It's with a heavy heart that I write this one-star review, as this has been and will remain both one of the classic rock albums and one of my favourites.
It's not the album as such that gets one star; far from it, it's a five star masterpiece. But this version, which proudly proclaims "Remastered and revisited", should also include a further word; spoiled. That there have been tweaks is audible from the off: the start of the first track, Time Was, is clear, defined, pure. Wonderful, or so it would be if, when the track gets going properly a little time later, the volume of the piece didn't drop. The same thing happens between tracks, so that the volume you've set for what was once the first track on side two, The King Will Come, is not the volume you want for the following track, the wonderful, laid back, Leaf and Stream; this comes roaring unsubtly from the speakers. Elsewhere the balance between vocal tracks has been tweaked to bring up the backing vocals; not a bad thing as such, except that here it drowns out the main vocal line. The effect of all these changes was to make me return again to my old vinyl copy; it may not be what is wanted by most customers in this digital age, but at least the album was properly mastered then.
Sure, the CD has high production values; a nice case, a booklet, some extra tracks. Time and trouble have been taken over these, and it's obvious that someone involved cares about this. I just wish those people involved in the remastering process had cared as much, as what has come out of it fails to live up to the high standards set by this marvellous album.
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