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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Ha'peth of Tar!, 26 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Friends Of Mr Cairo (Audio CD)
I originally owned this album on vinyl LP record where it is quite stunning....a truly magical listening experience and for reasons I truly don't fully understand, emotionally very moving to me. However, having played this LP to death over the years, I finally invested in upgraded hi-fi components and speakers with a CD player now becoming my primary input sauce. I have since (somewhat foolishly perhaps?) sold my superb record deck. However, my current system is excellent and providing a good quality recording is presented to the CD player, performance is nothing short of stunning. Strangely however, I found this particular album disappointing but, I knew immediately 'why'. Although the CD album has one more track than the LP, they are played in a completely different order. For me (and my partner) it simply doesn't now seem to flow properly. Furthermore, the additional track doesn't sit well with the six original ones from the LP (in my opinion anyway). Sure, I appreciate that it is a simple matter to program the tracks to play in the desired order but I really don't want to have to do this every time I listen to the CD. To solve this problem, I have burned my own version, with the tracks in the same order as the LP and have completely ommited the 'extra' seventh track. Far, far better listening now in my view. I feel this has been a case of spoiling the ship for a ha'peth of tar in that, simply through adding one more track, the entire playing order has been altered, destroying the (for me) 'natural' flow and progression of the tracks which, on the LP album, seem to work perfectly. Maybe I'm completely wrong? Maybe the CD actually came first and one track was dropped to fit the restricted playing time of an LP? Whatever.... the cd, in it's presented format, simply doesn't work for me. The music is still superb but unfortunately, the overall experience is considerably diminished. And yes, the CD album artwork is appalling! The LP had much better artwork.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Dec 2010 14:10:16 GMT
Agree with you on the running order issue - the extra track 'I'll find my my home' was an unexpected hit single shortly after the original LP/cassette release (years before the advent of CD), and so, as often happens in such cases, the album was re-released, in this case swapping the sides and adding the hit at the top. The CD release years later followed the re-release running order. So it goes..

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2010 15:50:36 GMT
Thanks for this info, it's great that you've taken the trouble to contact me and I'm genuinely really pleased that you have. It's completely answered my bewilderment around 'why' they did this. I have rarely found examples of this which have had such a profound adverse effect on the natural flow of the individual tracks and my subsequent overall enjoyment of the complete album. Glad to know I'm not alone in this view too!

Kindest regards,

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2011 16:05:56 BDT
Thank you everyone for this info. I was going to buy the cd and not bother driving 200 miles ea. way to reposess my old hi-fi unit, but I will now, in light of everyone's comments.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 13:28:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 13:28:32 BDT
Go for it....I'm absolutely certain you won't regret it. Still one of my absolute favourite albums this and still, never fails to move me. Sometimes wish it didn't 'quite' so much...have to keep interupting the experience to wipe my eyes and blow my running nose!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2013 23:27:26 GMT
Belch says:
Despite being a Yes obsessive with a collection that now includes almost 100 singles from around the world, when I was a spotty 15-year-old I never got round to buying this album when it first came out.

I was then overjoyed when my hero Jon Anderson had a hit single with Vangelis in the form of "I'll Find My Way Home" and can still remember the thrill of seeing them on Top of the Pops.

As a result I ended up finally purchasing The Friends of Mr Cairo when it was reissued with the hit single added and the sides reversed.

And so my point is, I never had the anguish of the re-ordered songs but I totally feel your pain as this sort of thing usually bugs the hell out of me, geeky dweeb that I am.

So now I have another reason for feeling awful guilt and shame for not buying the album on its initial release, although I keep thinking one day I'll buy an original copy just for the collection - call myself a completist?!

On the upside, the extra track "I'll Find My Way Home" always reminds me of Christmas, despite it not being a Christmas song, back in the days when the only pressure in life I had was a tough paper-round and supporting a rubbish football team.
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Location: Rochester, Kent, UK

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