10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
2012 Deluxe Version Review, 11 May 2012
I won't go in to detail about the merits of the album, suffice to say most people fall into one of 2 camps - Those that know it's a classic, and those that just don't realise it yet.
What I will talk about is this remaster, and whether it's worth investing in.
You get 3 discs - Remastered Stereo album, Outtakes and early demo versions, and the remastered Mono album.
Remastered Stereo - I did a comparison test to my exisitng stereo CD (which I bought in the 90s). At first, on low volume thorugh my computer speakers I noticed little difference, other than that the original 90s version was noticably louder. However, I've since compared both through decent quality headphones and the difference is VERY impressive. The 90s dics is a very "muddy" mix, with little separation between vocals and instruments, and is a bit of a mess. This new remaster, however, allows each component room to breathe and shine through. The bass sounds great, acoustic guitar lovely, hammond organ fantastic, vocals sublime. I felt like I was taking the journey with Stan on a first class fly!
Outtakes/demo versions - Very nice, if you appreciate hearing the development of the songs, the alternative USA mixes (quite noticably different in some cases) then you'll love this. If you're not bothered about such stuff, then this disc may pass you by a little.
Remastered Mono - I've read other reviews which talk about how this mono mix packs a serious punch and blows the stereo mix away. That's not my opinion. I listened to the mono album immediately after listneing to the stereo version (on the same volume setting) and was quite underwhelmed. Maybe that's because, in general, I love a nice bit of stereo separation, and stereo is the only way I've ever heard this album before. My biggest problem was with the soaring vocals on Afterglow, which on the Stereo version sounds great, but on this mono version seems at times almost completely lost in the mix. I can imagine if you play the album LOUD this mono mix will possibly have a lot more "oomph", but I haven't tested it at those levels. I will almost certainly play the stereo version in future rather than this.
Overall - For me, as someone who adores this album, this remaster is worth it for the stereo version, however I don't think you'll get much benefit if you're not going to be playing it through a quality hifi/headphones. If you are, don't delay, just get it, you'll love it!