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This review is from: Tumbleweed Connection Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
Another remaster,another addition to Universal's very successful "Deluxe Edition" series. Some of which have been excellent value. We have already seen "Captain Fantastic" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" given very lavish deluxe treatment. According to the extensive essay by John Tobler contained within the booklet of this double cd reissue of one of Sir Elton's career defining early 70's albums for DJM records,it has been released (along with his second album Elton John Deluxe Edition) to commemerate 40 years of recording. And what a wealth of material it contains.
It's not so much how good the album sounds,it's all the extra material contained on the second disc,most of which is previously unreleased,that make these new deluxe editions a must have for any fan of Mr.John. It's also not the first remaster of course. Almost all his classic 70's back catalogue was first given a clean up in 1995 by the late Gus Dudgeon,Elton's longtime producer and collaborator. The remainder of the 70's albums and most of the 80's and 90's were finished by 2003. And for those us who were quick enough to snap them up,six of his classic 70's albums were reissued in Hybrid SACD 5.1 by Universal America's excellent "Chronicles" series a few years back. Worth a hunt if you have an SACD player. They are pretty nice sounding surround remixes though the Stereo layer was still the 1995 remaster (track down the deluxe edition of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and you'll understand what I'm talking about).
So onto the 2008 clean up. The albums themselves sound like they were recorded yesterday,very nice indeed. Universal,along with Sony use single bit technology (DSD or direct steam digital) that they created for archiving all their aging analogue back catalogue,so any remasters they have released since 2001 sound as close to the original master as possible. The bonus tracks that were on the 1995 remasters are included on the second disc along with almost all of the album in demo form or alternate versions and some previously unreleased live radio performances. Worth the price of admission for the second disc alone. I hope that all his classic albums get the same treatment as each one passes the big 40 anniversary.