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Free Hand Import
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As for the mastering engineer Fred Kervorkian did what's called "selective band compression". Yeah, there is selective band compression applied but the album sounds surprisingly good and isn't brickwalled More importantly, detail and clarity are an improvement over previous editon of the album. There is limiting applied as well as some denoising (at the request of the band) but it isn't as obtrusive as I thought it would be. The best comparison I can think of is that this shares a lot of assets and drawbacks as The Beatles remasters.
This edition does sound better than the DRT.
Why no bonus tracks? I suspect it has to do with the fact that the GG label Alucard will be releasing these reissues on vinyl later this year (2010) and that the band wanted the CDs to reflect the original albums and the forthcoming reissues. "Free Hand" along with "In a Glass House" and "Octopus" represents GG at their finest.
This reissue bests the DRT in terms of sound with much smoother e.q. choices. Recommended.
We begin with "Just the Same" a great upbeat-syncopated rocker... one of those tunes where the chorus sticks in your head and you sing it all day. "On Reflection" showcases great vocal work with a powerful instrumental jam at the end. "Free Hand" is stunning! Great piano intro that turns into a full-out rocking tune slowed down briefly by a wonderful intricate middle section only to blast back into the awesome verse. "Time to Kill" shows once again the power this band has... what a grooving tune, great bass line, great vocals, great interaction between musicians, great everything. "His Last Voyage" is the mellow track on the disc, similar to what can be heard on "Acquiring the Taste", complete with a very juicy guitar solo. "Talybont" is a short instrumental with sort of an Irish jig feel. "Mobile" begins beautifully with a violin and guitar intro only to transform into another great rocking tune. Finally, the bonus track is an unreleased version of "Just the Same". Good version, bad mix (kind of sounds squished/over-compressed).
The Free Hand remix sounds wonderful! After living with the atrociously muddy One Way Records mix for decades I can only say WOW... GREAT JOB!Read more ›
If you're a GG fan and you're wondering if you need to buy it, because you already have it on CD or vinyl, well, YOU DO, believe me. Me? I'm buying ALL the reissues in this series myself!
Gentle Giant Lives!!!
From the opening finger clicks of "Just the Same" to the folk electric violin part that opens "Mobile" the band are tight, focused and deliver some of their best music. This reissue sounds terrific. I saw someone else complain about pops and crackles on their CD. Perhaps I'm losing my hearing buy my edition sounded perfect. How does this compare to the previously issued CD's? It's much, much better sounding than the original CD with better depth and presence. The BGO issue sounds very good as well but I have to give this edition the edge because the clarity is better throughout the CD.
This DRT reissue (which is, by the way, Derek Shulman's indenpendent label)features a single bonus track a good sounding live recording of "Just the Same" with the band in top form. The recording features Derek's vocals upfront in the mix (my guess is that it's from a mix board cassette which might explain why it's flat sounding compared to more modern recordings that and the age of the original source tape). It still sounds good and although the mix is a bit muddy at times, it sounds as if there was considerable clean up done improving the overall sound. While it can't compare to something recorded for professional release from the same time period, it's a solid sounding effort with the band playing with fire and intensity. The performance always wins out in my mind over sound quality and the sound quality is pretty darn good all things considered.Read more ›
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