Analogue Productions announces May 21st release of ultimate Kind Of Blue LP
What makes this version the ultimate Kind Of Blue?
- Source is the 3-track master tape.
- The three songs recorded at a slightly incorrect speed (the multi-track recorder, unbeknownst to the recording engineer, was running slow!) have been speed-corrected. The speed issue was not noticed until Classic Records did their release of the album, back in the 1990’s. All pressings prior to that have the three songs playing slightly out-of-tune!
- Mastering done by Bernie Grundman.
- Analogue productions owner Chad Kassem acquired the rights to the UHQR name and process from MoFi awhile back. This LP is manufactured in the UHQR fashion at QRP, each LP being 200 grams of Clarity vinyl. Clarity vinyl LP’s have a opaque milky white appearance, the vinyl being 100% free of the carbon element in non-Clarity vinyl. The quietest LP’s in the history of LP manufacturing. The LP pressing cycle is a very long (by LP manufacturing standards) 1.5-2 minutes, allowing the warm vinyl to cool before being removed from the press. That time minimizes the chance of warped LP's.
- The album is a single disc that plays at 33-1/3. Hallelujah! I think breaking up an LP side into two halves destroys the flow of the music as it was meant to be heard. I prefer to sacrifice the small increase in sound quality that 45 RPM affords to keep the music intact.
- The LP is packaged in a deluxe box (each copy numbered), with a booklet containing historical information about the album.
The album is limited to 25,000 copies worldwide. MoFi’s 1-Step pressing of Carole King’s Tapestry album, announced a coupla months ago at a retail price of $125.00, has sold out prior to release date. Kind Of Blue is a much more sacred album in the minds of many music lovers, so if you are interested in this new AP pressing of the album, I wouldn’t wait too long to order it. It is listed on the Acoustic Sounds and Music Direct websites, but not on Elusive Disc.
IMO: Music is a living, breathing art. This constant re-releasing of old stuff (no matter how good) is absurd fetishism. Instead of spending $125 on an LP of which one has multiple releases already, how about buying 10 CDs of jazz one hasn’t heard before? Or a YEAR of Qobuz, and explore what musicians have done since KoB?
Oh, wait, each copy is NUMBERED! In a DELUXE BOX? Too bad Miles is dead and can’t see that.
What's next? A collectible Thomas Kincaide print with each copy?
There's no reason one can't buy this LP, and as many other albums (on LP or CD) as one wishes. Since when is it one or the other?
Plus, some people don't have ANY copy of KOB, and want the version that will get them as close to the musicians as possible. Do they have your permission to buy this LP?
And, this LP is cheaper than a Better Records White Hot Stamper LP (look it up if you aren't familiar), and I'll make a wild guess than this version is superior to a WHS KOB.
Have you heard of The Electric Recording Company in England? They make limited-editions of extremely rare LP's, made using a completely valve (tube) system, and pressed in quantities of 100 or so. Priced at around $350 I believe, each release sells out in a matter of hours. The $350 price is a bargain, an original LP of the same title costing many thousands.
The KOB Classic Records issued in the 90's is an extremely sought after LP, fetching many times it's original price. Classic issued all the Led Zeppelin albums, and those LP's now command multiple thousands of dollars each. Their Zeppelin boxset (all the albums on single-sided LP's) trades hands for $30,000.
I guess you're just not a record collector, ay? It's okay, there's no shame in that ;-) .
I think they have already milked “Kind of Blue” to death
No, wait for the next reissue …. Which will be better, of course
The tapes are 60+ years old. I can’t imagine it hasn’t degraded to the point where the earlier pressings will sound better.
True Based on that fact, the first reissue is the one to go for (when done right… for example classic records first run 180gr) The originals get the ok from the artists when the mastering is done … so that one is authentic, all others are something else …. Shifting / boosting frequencies are not original … when you like that, go for CD and save a small fortune
The LP is now available from Elusive Disc. If you haven't bought from them before, orders over $99 ship free, and you pay no sales tax.
Expensive LP reissues aren't for everyone, but neither is a high end audio system. Analogue Productions owner Chad Kassem has a massive record collection (his taste runs to Blues and Jazz), and goes to great lengths to make the best sounding version of every Analogue Productions release that has ever been offered to consumers. From the LP's of his I've bought, I can testify he has.
His Beach Boys albums are way, Way, WAY better than any others that have ever been available (I've heard and owned them all), and in making his Tea For The Tillerman reissue discovered that all previous LP pressings (including any White Hot Stamper) had been mastered from a tape those involved thought was Dolby-A encoded. It wasn't, and running it through the Dolby decoder reduced the level of high frequencies dramatically. And no one before Chad had noticed?!
I had for years been mystified by the praise the UK Island TFTT LP had received (especially from Michael Fremer and Harry Pearson), as I found the sound very odd: the cymbals sounded cheap (I know very well the sound of Zildjian and Paiste cymbals), and the kick drum thin and wimpy, lacking weight and punch. Now we know why! I sold my Island copy and got the Analogue Productions LP. Vastly better, in every way. My Island LP had been pressed when the tape was brand new, yet Chad's reissue absolutely kills it. So much for the argument that old tapes can't make LP's superior to original pressings. That is a myth.
An individually hand-made LP is a very different thing from a mass produced one. I appreciate holding in my hands an Artisan-quality product, and am (in specific cases) willing to pay for it. Pride of ownership, ya know? My main tastes in music are more rural than urban, and my interest in Jazz perhaps far less than most here. If you can believe it, I own no copy of Kind Of Blue. I always figured I'd get around to adding it to the library, and what better time than now, with this release?
To answer @lalitk, whose post has been removed (presumably by himself): Oh, I unashamedly did. I have of course heard the album many times, and can’t wait to hear this ultimate LP incarnation.
By the way, the tape source used may very well be the one Classic Records made in the 90’s: the mix and master produced by Bernie Grundman back then. In the video Analogue Productions/Acoustic Sounds made announcing the KOB release, that matter was not addressed. Kassem purchased Classic Records and all it’s assets, the KOB tape included, so that scenario is a plausible one. In an AP/AS promotional clip, the making of a KOB LP is shown.
A lot of Vinyl Community YouTube posters/members have been reviewing the new Classic series of Blue Note reissues being issued on LP, retailing for a very modest $25.00. They and many other reissues are covered regularly by Vinyl Community (VC for short) member/poster Michael, a German audiophile going by the YouTube handle 45 RPM Audiophile. He has a very nice Einstein system, front-to-back. Michael has also made a video of his visit to that German company’s showroom, where he speaks with the Einstein owner/designer.
@tablejockey, AP is doing it in Stereo. The mono vs. stereo issue is widely discussed amongst collectors of late-50’s to the late-60’s recordings. There are valid rationales for both, and if both are available I decide which way to go depending on the artist and the nature of the recording itself. In a few instances I have gone for both: The AP pressing of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile albums ($35 each), for instance.
But I love those albums to death, and the original Capitol LP’s are two of the worst sounding records I’ve ever heard: extremely veiled, muffled, and castrated. The AP reissues---mixed by Mark Linett and mastered by Kevin Gray from the original multi-track tapes---are a revelation! Michael Fremer graded the mono version 11/11, the only case of him doing that I recall.
Michael (45 RPM Audiophile) includes the stereo AP pressing of The Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl album (the only true stereo recording of theirs until the very-late 60’s) in his "The Ten Best Sounding LP’s Of All Time" list.
I just went onto YouTube, and the first video that popped up was a new one from earlier today: Michael (45 RPM Audiophile) interviewing Chad Kassem about yesterday's announcement of the May 21st release of the UHQR Kind Of Blue. Acoustic Sounds was bombarded with orders, selling out of the first pressing of 6,000 copies in one day! They were receiving one order for the LP every 5 seconds.
We learn one thing in the interview: my guess that the tape source for this AP reissue of KOB was the mix done in 1995 by Kevin Gray for Classic Records was indeed correct. The mastering was done at the same time. Chad says he has been asked why AP didn't do a new mastering, and the answer is simple: 1- Sony will never again let the 3-track master tape leave it's vault; and 2- There is no way to improve on the job Gray did in 1995. It's as good as it gets.
Michael is hosting a live stream on his YouTube channel this Saturday at 12 noon CST. Joining him will be Analogue Productions owner Chad Kassem, Michael Hobson of Classic Records, Kevin Gray, the guy in charge of LP pressing at QRP (Quality Record Production, AP's in-house LP manufacturing plant, one of the three best in the world), and Michael Fremer. Submitted questions will be answered by the assembled panel. Be there or be square.
Watched the Miles Davis Kind of Blue live panel today. Very interesting discussion about the source of the new UHQR. Michael Hobson spoke at length for the first hour or so and provided some insight on the origination of Classic Records production process and how Chad at Acoustic Sounds has taken it to another level with the UHQR pressings. It was engaging enough for me to stay on the entire session. I also ordered my copies a few days ago.
When the industry decides to do a "best" version of something, its always interesting to hear what they do. If nothing else, it gives one an idea of what can be done, and if it's worth it in the future to pursue getting "upgraded" versions of favourites if they get released.
And what is it with all the negativity??? Doesn't matter where you go on this forum. When something that is "better" gets discussed, all the cretins come out in full force spewing the all so predictable negativity. Why is it so inconceivable that someone will buy this because they can/will appreciate the SQ with which the music is being presented?
For what a bottle of wine will cost at dinner out, you can get something that you will be able to enjoy for the rest of your life.
@perkri: Amen, brother! Seems like there’s nothing a person can say that won’t elicit an argument from someone.
As audioquest4life says above, the panel discussion on YouTube today was just great. In it Chad Kassem was asked how many of the 25,000 copies of his KOB have already been purchased. The answer was 16,000, in two days! At this rate, they’ll all be gone in a few days. As Chad says, buy now or cry later.
The Clarity vinyl being used for all the UHQR releases is the way forward for audiophile pressings. If you watch the panel discussion video on YouTube (just do a search for "45 RPM Audiophile"), you’ll learn why. You'll also get the answer as to why standard original record company LP pressings vary so much sample-to-sample in sound quality. The guys on the panel are experts in the field, Bernie Grundman being a mastering engineer for over fifty years.
Look, I have several vinyl copies of KOB, including a 1959 OP with only several clicks and pops here and there. I get the idea of a re-release with better sonics, trust me. But this is nothing but a cash grab for a select audience. And yes, unfortunately, many of the audiophiles I’ve met have used music to show off their system rather than vice versa; The acquisition of gear trump’s the enjoyment of music on that gear.
I’m sorry to come across as negative, whenever I see another re-release with limited availability, packaged with artwork and more liner notes, etc, I cant help it think that this is geared towards a well healed niche audience.
And I get it, if that’s the case, then so be it. But now you see why this is a graying hobby. The people who can afford to shell out triple figures on such an audio experience tend to be older and more insular. No wonder the younger audience, millennials and below, dive toward streaming.
Anyhow, I'm sorry to come and crap in the corn flakes in this discussion. I mean no disrespect to people who are looking forward to this release. And maybe, if I ever got it, and heard it, I would feel differently.
When it comes to audiophile reissue pricing: some of the reissues sell for less than a mint copy of an original. The Electric Recording Company titles, though THE most limited (sometimes only one hindered copies of a title are produced), are often reissues of LP's that are all-but-impossible to find, and when you do find them their prices run into the thousands. OF COURSE premium audiophile reissues are not for the average person. Neither is a high end audio system.