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P. Kelly (UK)

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Paranoid [VINYL]
Paranoid [VINYL]

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Sabbath: Paranoid Re-Mastered Vinyl (2009), 20 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Paranoid [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I remember purchasing the original vinyl back in the early 70s from Bradley's Records in Rochdale. It was the Paranoid single that really put this album on the radar screen and made it so popular. Unfortunately my original copy got completely worn out with excessive playing and mishandling at house parties. For me still today vinyl is the best format to appreciate the Black Sabbath sound with the Hi-Fi volume turned up high. So to get a new Deluxe 2009 release on vinyl was very exciting.

Sanctuary Records have done an excellent job with this particular vinyl release. The cover/packaging is as per the original album but being stronger to hold the two heavy vinyl discs (weight 188/190grams). The recording/pressing quality is in my view the best of all the 2009 re-releases. It is crystal clear, loud, excellent stereo separation including plenty of clean driving bass/percussion. The balance of the sound is excellent with the bass and percussion more pronounced in the mix.

The records are perfectly flat and the icing on the cake is that they have kept the original black and white `Vertigo' swirl label in the centre of the record on one side of both records. It is a pleasure just to watch this go around on the turn-table again, pure magic. One small issue is the cardboard inner sleeves. Why do record companies put vinyl in tight fitting cardboard? Why not use the more practical paper with antistatic vented plastic inserts to make ease of removal as safe as possible? If they want to include notes/pictures then still do so but on a separate cardboard/paper sheet. I am sure the high price of vinyl records can justify less than 1p sending on a paper/antistatic plastic sleeve.

The first disc is the original album in its full glory. It is worth the cost of the album alone just to have this available again. All 8 original tracks in my view are strong, including the quieter track `Plant Caravan' and the instrumental `Rat Salad'. These add variety to the album.

The second contains alternative mixes/vocals and instrumentals. The instrumentals are interesting but not essential. The main issue is that vocals on this album are so good that taking them away on any track means an essential part is missing from the record sound. It is not Black Sabbath without the vocals. On the instrumental version of `War Pigs' you can hear the vocals faintly in the background, which is disappointing. The alternative vocal version of Paranoid does not work for me and it is clear why it was not selected over the original version.

In conclusion a brilliant release of one of rock's classic albums that is a master piece on the vinyl format. Fully recommended. Put it on the turn-table, turn up the volume and watch the Vertigo swirl around to your heart's content.

Foxtrot (2008 Digital Remaster)
Foxtrot (2008 Digital Remaster)
Price: £7.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis: Foxtrot Re-mastered CD & Vinyl (2008), 19 April 2010
Genesis: Foxtrot Re-mastered CD & Vinyl (2008)

This was the album that established Genesis as one of the top progressive bands of the early 70s. Looking back it was really a major piece of work that was so different to what they had done previously. This album was a pleasure to listen to back in 1972 as it is today. I have the original vinyl copy and recently settled for the USA Import vinyl re-mastered box set due to quality problems with the UK released box set. The original vinyl release was never in my view a classical production/pressing that fully demonstrated Hi-Fi sound quality. It is amusing to see that the original record inner-sleeve contains a warning: `This long playing record is a high precision product that must be handled with care'. Clearly not by today's technically advancements but music companies still have difficultly making them as good as back in the 1970s even with 180/200grams of virgin vinyl. The re-mastered vinyl lacks some of the higher frequency range in places but it has clearer and more pronounced bass/percussion sound vs the original vinyl release.

I was playing extensively up to the re-issue of this re-master CD the Definitive Edition Release (DER) CD. This in my view is much better in sound quality compared to the Trespass and Nursery Cryme DER versions. I think this re-mastered Foxtrot CD version is also better than the DER version although the performance gap is not as much as for the Trespass and Nursery Cryme CDs. It has a slightly clearer, fuller sound that is more engaging to the listener. Although I think Trespass 2008 re-master is better in terms of the most sonically improvement vs the past CD releases, this re-mastered Foxtrot is the best CD overall in sound quality comparing all the 2008 re-masters.

The album contains six very strong songs (no fillers here). Three classic Genesis tracks: `Watcher of the Skies' (excellent mellotron/organ intro), Get `em by Friday (Great lyrics and strong instrumental passages) and of course the ultimate Genesis master-piece `Supper's Ready'. I will always remember a close friend's parents being totally shocked that we were listening as young teenagers to songs with lyrics about housing exploitation issues, forced genetic height restrictions and the end of the Earth/Human Race. Really shocking subjects back in the early 70s.

I think the Steve Hackett instrumental track, `Horizons' positioned just before Suppers Ready works so well. On this re-mastered CD his acoustic guitar sound on this track is very sharp. `Time Table' (great piano intro) and Can-Utility (strong musical passages) are also excellent songs that tend to get over-looked. I have been listening to the track `Supers Ready' now for 38 years and it still sounds interesting, fresh and moving as it did back in 1972, a really classic track. It's strength lies in taking the listener on a musical journey that continually changes direction and keeps the attention throughout. A strong combination of instrumental and vocal interaction. On this album they started putting together longer musical passages during tracks that would develop further on the Selling England album.

In conclusion, this re-mastered CD is excellent quality throughout and highly recommended. The album is still a pleasurable listening experience and a major contribution to their development that continued with the next two studio albums.

Dark Side Of The Moon - 30th Anniversary Edition [VINYL]
Dark Side Of The Moon - 30th Anniversary Edition [VINYL]

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of The Moon 30th Anniversary Edition Vinyl (2003), 5 April 2010
I still have my 1973 original vinyl copy, which in parts is now showing it's age. A recent clean on a VPI record cleaning machine has restored some much-needed life back into the album. I purchased this 30th Edition hoping with heavyweight virgin vinyl, it would be a significant improvement on my original album.

The cover of this 30th Anniversary Edition is much better with the cardboard being thicker and the hinge on the gatefold being significantly stronger. It contains the original posters plus an additional new one. The record sleeve is excellent being paper with an additional plastic vented inner sleeve, which makes record removal very painless.

The vinyl weight of the 30th Edition is 186g vs 134g for the original, which for back in the 70s was a reasonable weight. The sound of the newer release in my view is more compressed vs the original. It is very noticeable on the tracks `Time' and `Money', which lack the dynamic range and drive of the original. The run off on side 1 of the reissue at the end of the record is larger vs the original confirming the observation that the grooves are narrower producing reduced volume. To get the same volume vs the original it needs to go up a notch on the amp.

Ok the music is still brilliant but it is very disappointing that with the technology available in the 2000s vs the 70s and the cost of this heavy weight vinyl that the reissue and original are not at least the same quality.

In conclusion, I am very disappointed with the sound quality of this 30th Anniversary re-issue vs my original album. It lacks the dynamic range and punch of the 1973 classic pressing. My advice is try and find a second-hand 1973 vinyl copy in good condition.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2011 11:48 PM BST

Nursery Cryme (2008 Digital Remaster)
Nursery Cryme (2008 Digital Remaster)
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genesis: Nursery Cryme Re-mastered CD & Vinyl (2008), 5 April 2010
I have always considered this album a much more mature sound moving on from Trespass. On release back in 1971 it was a very progressive/innovative piece of work. I still have the original vinyl, which is not brilliant in production/ engineering quality for an album of this era. I gave up on the new UK vinyl re-mastered box set due to poor pressing quality but I now have the USA Atlantic/Rhino set, which I am happy with. The Nursery Cryme re-mastered vinyl is in my view better than my original (clearer, more detail and the bass/percussion is a lot more pronounced in the mix).

I find the re-mastered CD stereo mixes are much better than the previously released `Definitive Re-master' CD. It is much clearer; with the sound fuller, pushing out of the speakers a much more improved sonic mix. The re-mastered CD is overall better in cost/performance balance vs the re-master vinyl being much cheaper in price. The vinyl to date is only available in a very expensive box set. However, in my view the re-mastered vinyl gives the best sound quality.

The album was made to give a very Victorian feel in the music, lyric composition and the illustrations on the front and insert cover. The addition of the new band members also gave it a very different song and musical composition vs Trespass. In my view it contains three all time classic Genesis songs (Musical Box, The Return of the Giant Hogweed and Fountain of Salmacis). The Fountain of Salmaics for me like `The Knife' on Trespass is the song on the album that gets the best sonic face-lift on both CD and vinyl re-mastered formats vs earlier releases. The mellotron and bass introduction is much more intense and gives a massive flow of music through the speakers. Percussion and bass is also throughout the track much more detailed in the mix.

The other tracks on the album: For Absent Friends (Phil Collins first solo vocal outing), Steven Stones, Harold the Barrel and Harlequin I think are fine songs. However, overall I do not think this album has the same level of consistency compared to the next three studio albums.

In conclusion, I recommend this mastered CD it is good quality and is an improvement on the previously released Definitive Re-master CD. The Nursery Cryme album was an important part of the development of the Genesis sound and contains three classic tracks, which for many years were part of their live shows.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Price: £13.93

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: Genesis Re-mastered CD and Vinyl (2008), 30 Mar. 2010
I was very fortunate to have seen the band on the UK Lamb tour back in 1975 with two nights at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Absolutely brilliant and I can still remember the biggest impact visually on the first night was the identical figure of Peter Gabriel dressed as Rael and an identical dummy on the opposite sides of the stage at the start of the track, IT. Then it was a major stage stunt. It was impossible for a few seconds to understand what was happening with explosions and strobe lights but by today's on-stage graphic techniques probably very tame.

I have the original vinyl and the first CD released from 1985 (in my view this is a very poor recording). I also purchased the re-mastered UK vinyl box set but due to poor pressing of some of the other albums I gave up. Recently I managed to get a copy of the Atlantic/Rhino USA vinyl box set. Now I finally have a full vinyl re-mastered set that I am happy with. The Lamb re-mastered vinyl is excellent. In my view it lacks the higher frequency range in places vs the original but the bass/percussion is much cleaner and more pronounced in the mix. It gives a softer, less harsh sound.

Although in my view this album was the best recorded/produced of the albums from 1970, it was never one you could use to highlight the sound quality of your Hi-Fi system like for instance the Pink Floyd albums. For me with Genesis this never happened until ABACAB was released when Hugh Padgham joined the fold.

So to the re-mastered CD stereo mix, I find it excellent. Like all the others 2008 re-mastered CDs it has a different sound mix vs the original vinyls. I find it has what I like in a good CD: clear, clean, sound low background noise and the music fills the speakers. I will always prefer the vinyl vs CD sound but I have absolutely no issue listening to this re-mastered CD and enjoying it. The quality of the music is still first class and there are no major derivations that make the songs sound that different. It is still a 70s classic album and for me the best Genesis album released.

I do not believe this is an easy album to take on board as a first introduction to Genesis. All the previous albums in my view are more accessible on a first listen. I was exposed to this album in the full historical sequence of the first five albums so it was a natural follow on and a very high point of following the band in the early to mid 70s. I still find the story difficult to fully understand and clearly it can be taken many ways. The combination of music, lyrics and vocal performance make the album outstanding and there is so much to extract from it on each listen.

So what's good on this album: in my view everything from start to finish, but my favourites even after 36 years are still:

The Cage, I love the build-up and structure of this track. The vocals are great, delivered with real feeling.
Back In NY City, a very different sounding Genesis track with an aggressive, gritty feel.
Fly on a Windshield: Like the vocals at the start followed by the heavy musical sequence, which vibrates around the room.
Hairless Heart/Counting Out Time: A beautiful instrumental perfectly leading into a very catchy, commercial sounding track.
Carpet Crawlers: An excellent smoothing interchange of vocals with keyboards and later percussion:
Etc, etc

Like all the other Genesis re-mastered CDs, it is disappointing not to have any out-takes/unreleased materials included. I assume there must be is a good reason for this.

In conclusion, I recommend this re-mastered CD. It may not be as the as the original album was made 36 years ago but in my opinion it does not take anything away from a classic album. If you want to get into the Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis for the first time I would start with the other re-mastered CDs in sequence (Trespass to The Lamb). They are all excellent but `The Lamb' needs a little more patience to get into. Once you are in, you will never get out of `The Cage'.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:52 PM BST

Trespass (2007 Digital Remaster)
Trespass (2007 Digital Remaster)
Price: £5.99

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trespass Genesis Re-mastered CD, 19 Feb. 2010
` I Once Remember Echoes of My Youth'

Initially I purchased the Vinyl Re-mastered version box set but gave it up as a bad job due to the Foxtrot and Selling England LPs being extremely poor pressings (surface noise, pops, clicks etc). However, the re-mastered vinyl version of Trespass was excellent in sound quality. Not sure why they did not sell the vinyl versions separately as with the CDs. I have the original 1970 vinyl version, which is now suffering from excessive playing.

I have been listening to this album since the early 70s and still believe these songs are very under-rated. The issue is that collectively the next four studio albums were stronger and live sets contained over this period more classics from these albums (with exception of the Knife). Even for me as a vinyl lover the stereo mixes on this re-mastered CD are excellent. They are crystal clear, fill the speakers with detailed sound and the stereo separation is interesting because it very different to the original vinyl with addition sounds added. Totally the opposite to the very poor quality release of the 1994 Definitive Edition Re-master which unfortunately I have been listening to prior to this release.

To me this album is very easy listening, beautiful melodies and interweaving of acoustic guitars with organ. The vocals are much softer than later albums. Most of these songs the band were playing and developing on the road before recording and I think you can hear this (being at ease) to some degree on the album. There is no other group that sounds like this early Genesis. The band admits during the interviews on the box set version that they took their musical influences at this time from groups such as Fairport Convention and Family.

I like all the seven songs but my personal favourites are ` White Mountain', `Stagnation (changes direction musically constantly)' and of course the master-piece `The Knife'. This to me has been `beefed up' sonically on these new CD and vinyl releases more than any other track vs the original recording.

Clearly musical tastes and memories are different but to me this early Genesis album is still as enjoyable now as back in the early 70s and this remastered CD gives it a new, fresh sonic, face-lift. If you are an existing Genesis fan and want to remove bad memories of the Definitive Remaster or are new to the Peter Gabiel fronted band then I strongly recommend this CD re-issue.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2015 7:06 PM BST

Bad Company (180 Gram LP) [VINYL]
Bad Company (180 Gram LP) [VINYL]
Price: £19.33

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad Company, Bad Company Vinyl, 2010., 10 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Remember buying the original vinyl LP back in 1974 from Asda on Nixon Street in Rochdale just before leaving school. It was an eagerly awaited release at the time after Free finally disbanded in 1973. It certainly did not disappoint then and neither does this re-release as part of the back to black vinyl collection.

The sound quality is excellent and makes up for having to live with the 1994 CD release for all these years. Pressed on 180g vinyl (this one weighed in at 182g) on the very colourful, Swan Song label. Sound is clear, well balanced and keeps the listener's attention throughout. Four tracks stand out on this album for me: Can't Get Enough, Rock Steady, Bad Company and not everyone's favourite Seagull. Seagull being the last tack with just the vocals and acoustic guitars is a real test of the quality of the pressing and for the horrors of clicks, particularly close to the record run-off. But in this case luck is with me, a `clickless' ending: perfect. One slight complaint is the record was housed in a cheap, thin paper sieve. Why the record company cannot spend slightly more on an antistatic paper/plastic vented sieve is really puzzling as these heavy vinyl pressings are not cheap. So it went straight into a new `Goldring Exstatic' vented sieve for real protection and ease of release for playing.

The sound format of this album was to me similar to Free, solid percussion and bass, well-constructed, melodic guitar work and excellent vocals. A real `solid, together' sound. The drums and bass are really strong on this release and you hear and feel every hit/note, perfect vinyl sound.

I think this album was a very good opener and in my view the band got better with the next two albums: Straight Shooter and Running With The Pack. Hopefully we will get these re-released as well shortly. Strongly recommend this vinyl copy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2015 1:28 PM BST

Made In Japan
Made In Japan
Offered by Great Price Media EU
Price: £6.24

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made in Japan Re-Mastered Edition CD & Vinyl 1998, 21 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Made In Japan (Audio CD)
The best live rock album ever released? If not then it must be very close. I have collected so many versions over the years and currently have remaining the original vinyl, re-mastered CD & vinyl versions and the expanded `Live in Japan' CD set. My treasured possession is the original 2LP vinyl set which is still sounding good after all the years. I was lucky enough to see them perform many of these tracks live in Feb 73 during the last UK tour before the MK2 version broke-up.

This re-mastered edition has three encore tracks included that were not on the original album. (two of which I understand have not been previously released). These three encore tracks clearly add further interest and enjoyment to the album, but their sound quality on both formats is not as good as the seven original tracks.

The original vinyl version has a wider dynamic sound range than the re-mastered vinyl version, which sounds compressed in comparison. The vinyl weight of this re-mastered version is 132g vs 120g of the original. This is one of the few occasions I prefer a re-mastered CD version over the equivalent re-mastered vinyl version (even as a real die hard vinyl freak) as overall it is much better in terms of cost/performance balance. I think the audio quality of this 1998 CD version is slightly better vs the same tracks on the `Live in Japan' CD recordings as it sounds sharper and clearer. If you want this album on vinyl my recommendation is to seek out a good quality second-hand original 1972 copy with the attractive gold coloured cover.

What makes Made in Japan still sound so good 37years after release? Well you had a very special band at their peak with five brilliant musicians capturing a live improvised energy that could not be heard to the same intensity on studio albums. It is really amazing it was recorded on very basic equipment. It is really `the very best of'' Deep Purple MK2 even more so on this edition with `Black Night' and `Speed King' added. It really stands the test of time. Sounding as fresh and alive today as it did back in 1972. Absolutely brilliant, just turn up the volume `louder than everything else' and enjoy.

Who's Next [VINYL]
Who's Next [VINYL]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's Next Vinyl (2008 Edition), 31 Aug. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Who's Next [VINYL] (Vinyl)
`Pick up my vinyl and play, just like yesterday'

Have collected so many versions of this album over the years (CD & vinyl) as it is one of my favourite albums. Even after 38 years I still enjoy hearing it, a true sign of a timeless, classic album. I still have my original vinyl copy from 1971 on the Track label (total 122g weight pressing). I wanted a new vinyl version as I suspected after all the years playing it had lost significant audio quality. I first purchased the 2003 Deluxe Edition; re-mastered box set vinyl (3 discs) but was very disappointed and sent it back. It exhibited very high surface noise, several loud audible clicks and very poor sound quality for vinyl (certainly not recommended). The CD version is much better and recommended for the extra tracks available and excellent booklet.

This 2008 Polydor version is far superior in sound quality to the 2003 deluxe vinyl version. Pressed on 180g vinyl (this copy 186g total weight) and is part of the `Back to Black Vinyl' series. There is very little surface noise and the sound is very clear, and crisp. It is very difficult to believe the album was made back in 1971. A magnificent example of how vinyl should be re-issued. It just contains the original 9 tracks and is presented in a single sieve cover (identical to the 1971 version). The paper record sleeve has a plastic film inner cover and two corner vents. This is my favourite inner sleeve design for reducing the risk of damaging the disc when removing.

I always benchmark versions of this album by comparing the sound quality of the tracks: Baba O' Riley, Behind Blue Eyes and Won't Get Fooled Again. I think these three tracks test the audio performance of the recording really well. On the 2008 version they sound absolutely amazing. The synthesizer and violin on `Baba O' Riley' sound so fresh, vibrate and alive. The drum patterns are clear and intense pushing the song along perfectly. The bass and vocals give a perfect balance and depth to the song. The acoustic guitar during the intro to `Behind Blue Eyes' sounds so crisp and the dynamic range in the vocals is pure magic. The synthesizer break towards the end of `Won't Get Fool Again' really hits the high frequencies with intense detail, then the drums come thundering in with excellent stereo separation. It overall sounds very much better than my original vinyl version, which in fairness I conclude has lost audio performance with the extensive playing. If you still collect vinyl and you want to hear a real classic rock album in full, glorious audio quality then this is the version for you.

Stormbringer (Remaster Edition) [VINYL]
Stormbringer (Remaster Edition) [VINYL]

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deep Purple: Stormbringer Remastered Vinyl, 11 Aug. 2009
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`Yes, I can hear the sound of a windmill going round'

Still have my original LP version from 1974 on Purple Records (115g), a piece of typical flimsy 70s vinyl. Even remember buying it on release from the `Paperchase' basement store in Manchester. It was a shock first hearing the whole record because it was clearly a different direction compared to previous records. It was one of those albums that got better and better on playing with time. Was it really Deep Purple? Yes and no. Songs like Stormbringer, Lady Double Dealer -yes, Holy Man, Love Don't Mean a Thing-no very different. Overall I liked the LP and still do. Ok it was not my favourite Purple LP but I always thought the next MK 3 one would be better. Well the rest is now history.

Now 35 years on I purchased again the record with the same excitement hoping technology had pushed vinyl further on and I was very interested to hear the extra tracks on offer. The album packaging is certainly very much better. Well-made gate folded design with pictures of the band on first inner cover and very readable lyrics on the rest of the first inside cover and across the second inside cover. The record sleeves contain easy to view words and pictures from the sessions for the aging rock fan. Having two ca 200g weighted discs in the album makes it feel a really substantial package. Remembering back to the 70s taking half a dozen LPs under our arms to house parties would have required body building training with the weight of these remastered vinyls. It was disappointing to find the vinyl discs were not sent in the sleeves but free inside the middle of the gatefold cover between the sleeves, very strange. I am guessing they came from the manufacturer like this, as I cannot understand why any supplier would go to the extra effort to remove them from the sleeves. It clearly increased the risk of damage to the discs in the post.

Both my discs are not perfectly flat but my record deck arm can cope with the ripples at the edge of the records. The surface noise between tracks is noticeable but not unbearable and does not spoil any of the music on the tracks. Sound quality of the album is very reasonable but to me played back to back with the original, the sound seems more compressed and less bright. This is particularly noticeable on the vocals and on the last track, Soldier of Fortune it really stands out. The stereo remixes are interesting but for me not essential. They sound a bit like disco mixes in parts. I cannot comment on the quad mixes as I do not have a surround system connected into my HiFi. I very much like the High Ball Shooter instrumental, a great Purple trademark track and it works very well in this format.

In conclusion, I am a bit disappointed that 35 years on I am not blown away by the sound quality of this remastered vinyl set. I expected more. Ok vinyl technology may have peaked many years ago, the sound quality is certainly not bad and the music is still very enjoyable. However, I have been impressed by recent vinyl releases from Free, The Who and Black Sabbath. It makes me think Martin Birch et al must clearly have engineered this album very well the first time around making it very difficult to improve upon.

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