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Basket Press (In a winery)

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Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £26.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MoFi 2013 SACD release, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Desire (Audio CD)
I haven't heard the Sony 2003 SACD release of Desire, so my points of comparison are an old vinyl and a standard CD issue. I will assume that anyone contemplating buying this is familiar with the album, so will not discuss the songs.

Well, the MoFi knocks spots off either, even on the CD layer: more clarity and detail, a greater sense of the instruments, more "air", less "digital harshness", one can hear deeper into the, admittedly not too complex, mix, tempos seem more natural - especially on the loping rhythm of Black Diamond Bay. If one has a decent SACD player this is definitely worthwhile sonically. Whether it is worth it purely for the CD layer I wouldn't like to say: yes, that layer is better sounding than my comparison CD, but whether one wants to pay the extra is entirely a personal spending choice.

Packaging is to MoFi's usual high standard, with the protective liner.

An excellent version of some classic mid-70s Dylan - for me well worth the 16 quid I paid for it.

Close To The Edge [Cd+Dvda]
Close To The Edge [Cd+Dvda]
Price: £17.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2013 CD/DVD-A release, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Close To The Edge [Cd+Dvda] (DVD)
I won't comment on the material, assuming anyone looking at this issue is already a fan.

I can't/won't comment on the 5.1 mix, as I don't do surround.

So, the CD Wilson re-mix...As commented elsewhere here, a tad different from the 2003 Rhino release, subjectively "quieter" and a bit less bright, but still oh so clear. Which one is preferred is a matter of taste rather than anything else.

The main event for me is the 24/96 versions on the DVD-A. As per my comments on The Yes Album and various King Crimson releases, the sonic superiority of 24/96 over 16/44.1 is incredibly obvious - just listen to, for example, the opening acoustic guitar figures on And You and I for increased clarity, detail, a greater sense of the body of the guitar, the "air" in the studio.

The alternate versions, single edits and the versions of America are not really necessary for my tastes, but others will, no doubt, value them.

So, the CD is a valid and interesting addition to the Yes re-issue catalogue, but the DVD-A 24/96 versions stand out for their sonic excellence. Well worth it for me!

The Yes Album
The Yes Album
Price: £17.83

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another day..., 26 April 2014
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This review is from: The Yes Album (Audio CD)
...Another re-issue...

Comments are on the 2 disc CD/CVD-A 2014 release, concentrating on the stereo mixes, as I don't do 5.1 (other people can tell you about that).

I assume anyone buying this re-issue is well familiar with the material, so I will just stick to why this rather than any other issue.

Points of comparison are a waffer thin, oil-crisis era '70s vinyl, a standard CD issue and the 2003 Rhino re-issue, with the latter being easily the best sounding of those.

The CD with the new Steve Wilson mixes is good, appearing subjectively "quieter" than the Rhino CD, suggesting that the latter was "boosted" a bit in the mastering rather than being a completely flat transfer. Any other differences in the mix are relatively subtle, seeming to emphasise a few strands of instrumentation which were previously deeper in the mix, but not to the point that they become over-powering or too dominant.

The DVD-A is the main reason for me getting this, and the 24/96 versions are well worth it (fed from the blu ray/DVD player into a 24/96 capable DAC), highlighting the greater resolution, clarity and impact of this medium over 16/44.1.

The "alternative" album is OK, with the live stuff more interesting than the fairly pointless single edit of the opening section of Starship Trooper.

To summarise, if you have a disc player that reads DVD-A and something that takes a 24/96 signal this is worth it; the CD alone, less so, as it isn't offering a huge difference/improvement over something like the Rhino 2003 release, but is OK as part of this package.

Highway 61 Revisited [HYBRID SACD]
Highway 61 Revisited [HYBRID SACD]
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £59.95

5.0 out of 5 stars If you can still find a copy..., 23 April 2014
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...of the 2003 SACD re-master/re-release and have a decent SACD player, then it offers a clear improvement over the standard CD release. Just tracked down a copy from a seller on Amazon Marketplace.

It loses some of the digital "tinniness" of my old CD; more "air"; greater clarity; more impact, right from the start with that opening rimshot; more sneeriness from His Bobness, on what is one of his sneeriest albums; Bloomfield's guitar is even fierier. Wild mercury sound indeed!

An excellent version of an outright, stone classic album.

Wonder how the soon to be released MoFi SACD will compare?

Red, 40th Anniversary Series
Red, 40th Anniversary Series
Price: £16.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over and out!, 21 April 2014
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But what a way to go! Release your most incendiary album and burn out...

Comments are on the 40th anniversary CD and DVD-A and V, remixed by Steve Wilson under the watchful eyes of Fripp.

CD is an improvement on my old standard CD release: more clarity, impact, depth, detail, more dynamic range.

My main concern on the DVD is with the MLP 24/96 stereo bit, as I don't do surround and I do have a 24/96 capable DAC to feed that into...Oh yes! This is what DVD-A is for! Even more clarity, impact, depth and detail, even greater dynamic range. This was always one of the most hard hitting albums of the classic prog era (VDGG's Godbluff is the main competition) and this version hits harder and without resorting to ludicrous over-compression.

Make like Nigel Tufnell: crank it to 11 and rock out like it's 1974 all over again!

Aladdin Sane 40th Anniversary edition
Aladdin Sane 40th Anniversary edition
Price: £10.28

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polishing a classic, 21 April 2014
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This concerns the 40th anniversary re-master, so I will only comment on why this version, assuming that anyone buying it or considering buying it already knows the material.

First off: Yay! No outtakes or alternate versions! Most of these I've heard over the years just confirm why the versions on an album are the ones chosen. And I'm not that much of a completist that I need to hear the evolution of songs.

Second: Does it sound better than previous CD releases? Oh, yes, the sound has been gently buffed and polished by Ray Staff, no Loudness Wars here, revealing more of what Bowie and the lads were up to, which is A Good Thing!

The CD version to go for, IMO!

Vagrant Stanzas (Deluxe Limited Edition)
Vagrant Stanzas (Deluxe Limited Edition)
Price: £18.53

5.0 out of 5 stars How to play a guitar, 20 April 2014
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Every time I listen to Martin Simpson (which is a lot) it reminds me why I never learned to play the guitar: I would never, ever have been able to play like this.

As he matures he seems to be becoming a more confident song writer, yes still picking excellent songs, traditional or otherwise to cover, but capable of mixing in his own good and moving songs (Jackie and Murphy being a good example, and appealing to a North East native like me).

Simpson may not have the greatest singing voice, but it is serviceable and he can communicate effectively.

But, the guitar playing...Oh, man! I just love what he does with an acoustic guitar, a resonator, a slide, his fingers...Never flash or showing off but serving the song or tune.

The second disc of the "Deluxe edition" is very worthwhile, especially for the version of "The Green Linnet".

A must for anyone who appreciates folky, folk-blues and the like guitar playing (not to forget the occasional banjo foray!).

Solar Motel
Solar Motel
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.16

5.0 out of 5 stars What electric guitars are for, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Solar Motel (Audio CD)
Yes, the Television comparisons were inevitable after Forsyth studied with Richard Lloyd, but are not completely accurate: this is not the "Marquee Moon Part 2" that some journalists claimed.

What you get here is 4 extended, guitar-dominated instrumentals, showing touches of - as noted by other reviewers - The Dead, Krautrock, Television, some of Verlaine's solo outings and the like. I can see it appealing to those who like Dark Star stylee Dead, Marquee Moon, Verlaine's Around, even Fairport's A Sailor's Life or Neu! 75...That'll be me then!

Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition - Updated Edition
Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition - Updated Edition
by Stuart A. Vyse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says and more, 20 April 2014
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Ostensibly this is an examination of how people arrive at superstitious beliefs, and it does that very well, clearly and concisely written and well referenced.

However, there is more, much more, as in examining superstitious thought Dr Vyse slips in a lot of other psychological theory, making it something of a stealth psychology primer, and none the worse for that.

A very useful and interesting book.

Nagaoka Anti Static CD Sleeves (pack of 20)
Nagaoka Anti Static CD Sleeves (pack of 20)
Offered by Analogue Seduction
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 20 April 2014
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As noted by one of the other reviewers, a significant number of releases these days use LP mimicking cardboard sleeves, which I feel necessitates an extra layer of protection from scratches. Which is where these nifty sleeves come in very handy indeed.

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