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The U.S. Albums
The U.S. Albums
Price: $140.00
42 used & new from $121.73

73 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars US Capitol Albums--Without Duophonic Fake Stereo and Fold-Down Mono. And That's a Good Thing!, January 21, 2014
This review is from: The U.S. Albums (Audio CD)
It is not quite accurate to say that this set consists of the 2009 remasters rearranged in the US LP configuration. The decision made here was to avoid all duophonic fake "stereo" and fold-down mono versions, a decision widely and loudly announced prior to this release. This decision has also been made by just about every other major 60s act who have updated their catalogs for the CD age. If there was a unique US mix that Capitol received in mono, that mono mix is here. If that mono mix was then converted to fake stereo via the duophonic method by Capitol engineers, that version is not here, but has been replaced with the proper stereo version. Similarly, if Capitol received a unique stereo mix--as in the case of "Thank You Girl" from "Second Album," for instance--that version appears here. But if that stereo version was "folded down" for the Capitol mono LP, then that version has been replaced with the proper mono version, for the most part. Given that each CD contains both the mono and the stereo versions, you'll get the unique mix on the proper CD, but not the repeat mix spread out in fake stereo of folded down into fake mono. Hence, the heavily reverbed mono versions of "She's a Woman" and "I Feel Fine" are here, but not the duophonic versions. The other unique mixes are also here, like the longer mono versions of "And I Love Her" and "I'll Cry Instead" and the alternate version of "I'm Only Sleeping" with the later appearance of the backward guitar. But not the duophonic versions. Those versions have been expunged, just as the "electronically reprocessed" fake stereo albums by the Stones and the Beach Boys are no longer available on CD.

I have two players in my system, and I cued up the 2004 versions of these albums and played them simultaneously with the newer versions and flipped back and forth, and those duophonic mixes are interesting and how many people remember them, but they're also shrill and hard to listen to back to back with the proper mixes. Sorry, they just are.

Also keep in mind that the original duophonic and fold down mixes have already been released on CD by Capitol. They're readily available. This set is something different. It's also instructive that these new CDs open with the mono versions, whereas the older Capitol CDs opened with the stereo. In most cases, the unique mixes were mono, from which Capitol engineers created the duophonic versions. And most kids of the era listened to these albums in mono over tiny mono phonographs. So that's what's being privileged here.

One more thing about duophonic. The reason record companies made these duophonic mixes was because stereo records cost a dollar more than mono. George Martin would send over the versions he championed, which, in the early sixties were usually the mono mixes (this was particularly true of the singles, which generally didn't appear on the concurrent UK LPs), and then Capitol created the duophonic mixes on their own. So I understand the nostalgia issue here, of wanting those old trebly, reverbed duophonic mixes you grew up with, but the decision here was to make these sound as good as possible while honoring the unique mixes created by Martin and the Beatles themselves (rather than the dudes at Capitol). That's the logic here, and I get it. This set isn't a travesty or some carelessly thrown together rip off. It's the remastered US albums minus the duophonic stereo and fold-down mono mixes. Anyway, enjoy!
Comment Comments (46) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2014 7:35 AM PDT

The Studio Albums [14 LP][Box Set]
The Studio Albums [14 LP][Box Set]
Price: $281.97
16 used & new from $249.99

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect!, January 5, 2013
This is a copy-and-paste of a review I posted on Steve Hoffman. Sorry to Hoffmanites if you came here and realized you'd read this already:

Okay, well I've had this thing since Christmas, as I was given it as a present. I listened to it on a fairly bad stereo down in Florida, and only this week got to listen to it on my own rig. I'll agree with the general assessment. It's a mixed bag. The album covers are very inconsistent: as others have pointed out, "My Generation" is glossy and precise, while most of the rest are matte finish, like the Stones box set, and the cover reproductions are often washed out and cheap looking, like a bad scan. This is particularly the case with "A Quick One," "The Who Sell Out," "Who Are You," "Face Dances," and "It's Hard." The whole thing is based on the UK releases, so little things I thought were errors--like the bright yellow lettering on the front of "Who Are You" or the fact that Record 1 of "Quadrophenia" has Side 1 and Side 2, rather than Side 1 and Side 4--are actually in line with the original UK releases. (The US "Quad" was configured like "Tommy," with Sides 1 and 2 on record 1, and 2 and 3 on record 2.) The "Quadrophenia" cover finish is the same as on the 2011 Geffen reissue, though the mix is better on this. The inner sleeves are just paper, with no clear rice lining, unless the sleeve is particular to the release, and then it's heavy cardboard. The "Tommy" cover looks great, with one weird thing: both albums are housed on the far right panel, whereas in all the old Decca/MCA copies I've had, record one went in the left panel, record 2 in the right, with the booklet slit under the middle panel. Maybe this was how the old UK album cover was designed: couldn't determine this on Discogs. Then again, this design makes sense, as the two heavy records on either side tended to result in a tearing of the binding. I've seen that happen with old copies of "Tommy." So no complaints here.

The sound. The early records are all great, all the way up to "Tommy." I have an old Decca copy of this one, and my record 2 sounds thin and shrill, whereas this one is warm and detailed. Conversely, side 1 of my old Decca has more bottom than the one in the box. Not sure if my old Decca is an anomaly: I've heard that in most early copies, the two records would have been cut at different plants, so that's probably what happened here. But overall "Tommy" is a lovely listening experience. And to have it in this lovely cover, with the heavy 180g vinyl and black Track labels, is the biggest thrill this box had to offer me. And it's a big thrill. I love this copy of "Tommy." Love it.

"Who's Next" is also fantastic. I think this one was sourced from the Japanese SACD and it sounds like it was. (In fact, this is apparently also the case with "Sell Out" and "Quad.") The piano on "Getting In Tune" sounds like it's in the room with you, and the vocals are real and human throughout. Great bottom.

"Quad" is great, for the most part, with, as one of the earlier posters remarked, more treble. In many cases, this clarifies the notoriously muddy mix, particularly on "The Punk Meets the Godfather," "I've Had Enough," and "Bell Boy." But you don't get the bounce and warmth of the old version. My old copy is a Track/MCA, very early pressing, and hard to beat, and this one comes close. One place where my old copy wins hands down is "Love Reigh O'er Me." Here the trebly mix results in a somewhat dry and brittle sound, which is troubling in a song already so overloaded with overdubs and the rest.

"By Numbers" is the first real disappointment. Here the tendency toward a dryer, more "wooden" sound results in an inferior sound to my old MCA copy. In many cases, the box set version sounds more detailed and realistic. This is especially the case on "However Much I Booze" and "Success Story." At other times, it just lacks warmth and dynamism, particularly on "Slip Kid" and "Dreaming From the Waist."

"Who Are You": unfortunately, side 1 of my copy seems to be off center. But the sound is comparable, and at times superior, to my old MCA early pressing. "Guitar and Pen" is the stand out here. I did an intense A/B with this track, and the box set version won in terms of detail and dynamic range.

"Face Dances": This one's a dud. My original copy is a promo/1st pressing, and it squashes this one like grapes. Somehow, this new one is both muddy and brittle. On "Another Tricky Day," Entwistle's bass is massive, which is exciting, but when I played my old Warner Brothers copy I realized that the loud, booming bass on the new version masks all the detail, especially the acoustic guitar and the piano. On the new "You Better You Bet" Daltrey sounds submerged, and the drums sound like biscuit tins, to use Entwistle's old simile for the drum sound on "Tommy."

"It's Hard": This one's a draw with my Warner Brothers vinyl copy.

Haven't listened to "Endless Wire." Like everyone else, I would have traded this for "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" and "Odds and Sods."

The A/B business gave me a headache, I must admit: so much easier to do with a CD! After awhile, it's like blind tasting Coke vs Pepsi: you forget which one you liked and which one you were comparing the other one to. "Quad" was the most confusing: the new one has many virtues, and sounds great on its own; the stereo imaging is startling in its 3-D effects, and the individual instruments come through crystal clear. But when I played my 1973 copy, I heard this buttery warmth that I didn't realize was missing from the other. And then I played the box set version again and wondered if I was over estimating that warmth. And back again. But "Love Reign O'er Me" definitely suffers in the new version. I liked it fine when I played it by itself; after the A/B, I feel like I've just discovered a troubling detail about an old friend. I was better off before I knew it!

So, to buy or not to buy? My Who albums are all pretty good, but the old ones are old, no getting around it. So for everything up to "Who's Next," I'd say these new copies are my go-to. "Quad" is nearly perfect, but confess I also prefer the old US packaging. The remaining 4 are redundant to what I already have, with the possible exception of the new "Who Are You," which is tarnished by the off-center pressing. That might not be a problem in your copy, if you buy the box. So, as this was a gift, I'm perfectly happy with it, and will continue to enjoy the records in here that are winners. Had I shelled out my own hard-earned, I think I'd be slightly disappointed, particularly as I only really need half the set. Here's another way to look at it, though: if you buy it now, and feel the same way I do (that is, you're happy with everything up to "Who's Next" or "Quad" but not sure you needed the rest), just remember that having it in your collection is better than wishing you had it 10 years from now!

Anyway, hope this helps.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2013 5:00 AM PDT

Works 1
Works 1
14 used & new from $24.94

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best remaster yet, January 24, 2008
This review is from: Works 1 (Audio CD)
I assume people surfing on here are interested in the remastering job. Rest assured: it's splendid. The equilization is wide on both ends: on the treble side, you can hear details that are actually somewhat distracting--Emerson quietly pressing the reverb pedal on his Steinway in the silent gap between the second and third movements of the Concerto, feet shuffling and muted coughing from the orchestra on Pirates--while the bass signal is rich and sumptuous, particularly on Lake's side. The thing is so bright, in fact, that the tail end of some tracks reveal lots of tape hiss, but that only means you get to hear more detail than you knew was there. And this is as detailed a record as you could ask for. And actually the orchestra is a bit sloppy--Emerson has complained about this for years--something I never noticed before. But ELP is spot on. Enjoy.

One on One / Next Position Please
One on One / Next Position Please
Offered by nibbles13
Price: $36.99
6 used & new from $36.98

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a remaster, September 11, 2007
I have the original CDs of both of these albums, and I've compared them to the new "remaster" here, and I can't tell any difference whatsoever. I've even loaded tracks from each edition into Goldwave, a music editing program, and compared the files side by side for depth and compression and volume and so on, and everything comes up pretty much identical. So if you're thinking of getting this item under the assumption that you're getting a sonic upgrade, think again. The downloadable "authorized edition" of Next Position Please, available on iTunes, sounds much better than the edition here, while One on One is the same whether you download it, buy a used version on eBay, or get it here. The liner notes are good, though. Crummy packaging overall. A disappointment for fans, but that's not the audience for this reissue in any case. This is for British listeners who might have missed these records entirely first time around. Much like Wounded Bird records here, which has reissued mid-career Aztec Camera albums and Roger Daltrey solo records, without remastering. Same sort of thing here, I guess.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2014 4:10 PM PST

All Shook Up
All Shook Up
Offered by Media Medley
Price: $7.95
20 used & new from $2.17

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Great Bonus Tracks, Bad Remastering, March 7, 2006
This review is from: All Shook Up (Audio CD)
The album gets five stars: I'm slamming the "remastering," which was done by some hack named Vic Anesini, who clearly did little more than add some equalization to the original master. Also listen closely to the "remastering" of the bonus EP that comes attached: the opening high-hat cymbal bit from "You're Such A Good Girl" sounds like it was recorded on french toast. Surely a genuine "remastering" would have cleaned this up. I have a Japanese remastered CD of the EP that's included here and the difference is very dramatic. That being said, this is the last absolutely great Cheap Trick album, and deserves a reevaluation. George Martin produced it: there are orchestral Who-like numbers, Zeppelin rockers, Beatles-esque ballads, industrial workouts, trashy nods to the Faces, and now you get "Everything Works If You Let It" plus the entire "Found All the Parts" EP, complete with the "Day Tripper" cover. Cheap Trick unleashed this great homage to British Rock in 1980 and was trashed by the critics as derivative. Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene did the same thing thirteen years later and topped the charts. Now we can appreciate this as a postmodern piece of loving pastiche by an amazing band, one of America's greatest ever rock acts. Pity about the remastering, though.

Dream Police
Dream Police
Offered by insomniacsonline
Price: $6.54
50 used & new from $1.62

15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Half-Hearted "Remastering", March 7, 2006
This review is from: Dream Police (Audio CD)
The album gets five stars: I'm slamming the "remastering," which is apparently by some hack named Vic Anesini, who clearly did little more than add some equalization to the original master. In other words, this isn't remastering: this is rereleasing. I have a Japanese remaster of this great album and the difference is stunning: the Japanese disc explodes from the speakers, whereas the sound on this new reissue is thinner, with less bass and narrower dynamic range, than the reissues of "Heaven Tonight" and "In Color," which came out 7 years ago or something. Typical record company ripoff. What's more, the packaging is junk: all photos inside are in black and white, whereas the original album art was elaborately designed, with vibrant color. The live tracks are ok, but perfunctory. I was hoping for more.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2013 9:44 AM PDT

5 used & new from $27.40

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson on a roll, November 26, 2005
This review is from: Chimera (Audio CD)
"Chimara" was actually a 6-song EP released in 1983. The songs are all first rate, with contributions from members of the Yello Magic Orchestra and others, particularly the shoulda-been-a-hit "Acceleration." The six songs on this EP appeared in the US in 1984 under the guise of a 10-track Epic LP called "Vistamix," with the remaining four tracks consisting of singles from "Quit Dreaming (And Get on the Beam)" and "The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)," both of which, bless Allah, are also now available in souped up, remastered CD editions. This version is rounded out by 3 remixes of "Acceleration" and the great B-side, "Hard Facts from the Fiction Department," a hugely influential track and one of the first to make use of "found vocal samples," a technique that Nelson pioneered and brought to perfection long before everyone else and his brother. An entire book could be written on the techniques and styles that Bill Nelson pioneered, but that's another story. Buy this one, as well.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 28, 2011 4:47 PM PDT

Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam
Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $11.66
36 used & new from $2.55

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Wave Classic, November 26, 2005
Bill Nelson, the guitar wizard who led the brilliant Be Bop Deluxe from glam rock to new wave in the Seventies, entered the 80s with this extraordinary debut solo album produced by legendary British producer John Leckie (XTC, Simple Minds, Lucy Show). After Nelson broke up Be Bop Deluxe in 1978, following their extraordinary techno swan song "Drastic Plastic" LP, he formed Red Noise, a New Wave five-piece that produced one album, "Sound on Sound," which would eventually function as the template for the first two or three XTC albums. "Quit Dreaming," which began life as the second Red Noise album, eventually transformed into Nelson's first full-blown post Be Bop Deluxe solo album, producing a couple of UK hit singles ("Banal," "Do You Dream In Colour?") and climbing to number 7 on the British charts. In its new remastered form, with a clutch of crucial bonus tracks, the record sounds as current as it did 25 years ago. "Living in my Limousine" predates Flock of Seagulls (whom Nelson would later produce), "A Kind of Loving" taps into early 80s ska, "Youth of Nation on Fire" and "Life Runs out Like Sand" boast an exotic Asian air, and ""Banal" has the marks of a classic piece of postmodern new wave. Buy it now, before it disappears from the market.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2012 2:50 PM PDT

The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)
The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $12.21
33 used & new from $4.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swirling early 80s masterpiece, November 26, 2005
There is no other record on the planet even remotely like this one. From the opening swoosh of the exhilarating "Empire of the Senses" to the epic grandeur of "The October Man," "The Love that Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)" ranks as one of the absolute best albums of the 80s, hands down, and that includes "London Calling," "Murmur," and all the rest. No question about it, this belongs in everyone's Top Ten. That it is now available again, with bonus tracks, suggests that the world is actually starting to make sense. How to describe the sound? It comes on like a sleek, chrome-polished machine, with percolating drum loops, xylophones, searing synths and guitars, and melodies that intermix pop, Asian, techno, and new wave textures. Interspersed throughout the punchy vocal tracks are half a dozen ambient instumentals that were light years ahead of their time, influenced by Eno and Fripp, to be sure, but wholly original in their own right. When I first heard "Kid-A," I smirked, frankly, given that Nelson was working this territory 16 years ago. Buy it, before it disappears again.

Who: The Complete Guide To Their Music (Complete Guide to the Music Of...)
Who: The Complete Guide To Their Music (Complete Guide to the Music Of...)
by Chris Charlesworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.95
24 used & new from $2.60

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Skimpy, August 11, 2005
Part of a series, this book seeks to say something about every song released by The Who in as concise a manner as possible, so as to keep the book's length commensurate with the format of the series, I suppose. Charlesworth is quite good at sifting through the complexities of the Who's CD catalogue, which keeps getting upgraded and altered, with overlapping bonus tracks appearing here and there (and sometimes in different mixes), but his judgments about the music itself are both mercurial and banal. BOringly, he affirms all the tracks everyone already affirms, then fails to give the wealth of non-album material that has appeared on CD over the last decade even a cursory listen. "Glittering Girl," "Melancholia," "Water," "I Don't Even Know Myself," and so on are cursorily addressed with a minor shrug of indifference. "Cut My Hair" is astoundingly judged "one of the less memorable songs" on Quadrophenia. And absolutely everything after The Who By Numbers gets coolly dismissed. Someone needs to do for The Who's catalogue what Ian McDonald did for The Beatles' in _Revolution in the Head_.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 22, 2011 9:57 PM PST

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