Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Doors: S/T, Strange Days -- Analogue Productions 45 RPM 200 Gram Vinyl

Analogue Productions has finally released the first two titles of their long-anticipated 45 RPM vinyl remasterings of the Doors core catalog. And the wait appears to have been worth it, with one title sounding excellent, the other likely definitive.

The Music
 I can still remember the very day I bought my first album from the Doors--New Year's Eve, December 31, 1980. In the midst of Doors fever, fueled in large part by the Jim Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive, Elektra issued Greatest Hits, which provided me and thousands of other junior high and high school kids with their first real taste of the band. In the thirty or so years since, their catalog has been re-packaged and re-worked again and again, including the recent Rhino 180 gram vinyl boxset of the core albums. So, when Chad Kassem opened Quality Record Pressings and thereafter announced that his label, Analogue Productions would be reissuing the Doors catalog on 45 RPM 200 gram vinyl, audiophiles were understandably skeptical about the prospect of buying the catalog "yet again."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Short Spin: Fleetwood Mac S/T 45 RPM 180 Gram Vinyl

Following the major success of last year's Record Store Day 33 RPM and 45 RPM audiophile reissues of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Warner/Reprise is back this year with the band's self-titled 1975 release.   A revamped lineup added Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and also brought about a poppier sound--and the band's first real taste of commercial success, with the album spawning three Top 20 hits: Over My Head, Rhiannon, and Say You Love Me. Today's review covers the new 45 RPM reissue.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Short Spin: Shelby Lynne --Just A Little Lovin Quality Record Pressings 200 GRAM Vinyl

When Chad Kassem's first 200 gram vinyl copies of Tea For The Tillerman rolled off the presses at his Quality Record Pressings plant in Salina, Kansas last August, there was considerable skepticism regarding whether he would be successful. After all, it was the insistence by Classic Records on producing 200 gram records and the resulting inconsistency in vinyl quality that, while perhaps not causing the undoing of the company, certainly helped turn the tide of consumer sentiment against them. With the release of this 200 Gram version of Just A Little Lovin, Kassem has taken an additional big step towards silencing those skeptics and demonstrating his commitment and ability to produce a top notch all-analog vinyl reissue.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crosby, Stills & Nash: Audio Fidelity Gold Cd Review and Giveaway!

Audio Fidelity has just released their gold cd remastering of the classic, self-titled 1969 debut release from Crosby, Stills & Nash. While I normally review vinyl, this particular compact disc release deserves coverage--as it rivals the best vinyl releases this fantastic title has seen over the years.

Crosby, Stills & Nash, was originally released during the 1841 Broadway era of Atlantic Records, and one would expect that original pressings from that era would sound best. In this particular situation, however, the later Seventies-era Warner Communications masterings by George Piros actually sound much better--with much fuller bass, and less harshness to the top end than the originals. 

It was only two years ago, that Rhino released their own 180 gram audiophile vinyl reissue of this title, mastered by Bernie Grundman--and at that time, I thought it sounded very good, as it addressed the shy bass and tamed the top-end harshness of the original. The Audio Fidelity gold cd reviewed today, was mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.