I was disappointed with "Sailin' Shoes" on my main player. I played it on my super cheap Sony changer thru my cheap LitE DAC Ah! and it sounded much better.Go figure!!
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I disagree - While I can't speak to the recent spate of reissues, I can tell you about the original LPs. I think many folks would hold Waiting For Columbus as one of the best live rock albums ever made, with sonics that range from very good to near spectacular and a performance that still enthralls after all these years. Feats Don't Fail Me Now, The Last Record Album, Hoy-Hoy, Down on The Farm, Time Loves a Hero and parts of Dixie Chicken all enjoy relatively fine sonic traits. Lowell George's solo LP, Thanks I'll Eat it Here has excellent sound as well (maybe the best of the bunch). George Massenburg knew what he was doing.
Richard, I am a big Little Feat fan, and I might agree with you on their later records, but the first three are rough - even in the original vinyl product as I recall. And I think the original CD re-master of Dixie Chicken is downright awful, which is too bad because what wonderful material and performances.
Perhaps there was an intention on the part of Lowell George and the recording engineer for the sound to be a bit coarse and loose. Most people at the time these recordings came out weren't playing them on five to six figure systems, and if they were - they may not have had the capacity to tell the difference when "listening" in any case;-)
I have got new vinyl recently that is quite good, like the Warner release of Dire Straits S/T. The new Neil Young: Dreamin Man Live '92 is also impressive IMO.The point I am aiming to make is that it's a great time for vinyl fans.
It seems the general opinions on newer Music Direct MFSL vinyl has not been positive. I have steered clear of the newer ones, just because of this. I will have to pull out my Waiting for Columbus LP, and contribute an opinion here.
As someone mentioned above, the MSFL LP version of Waiting for Columbus is tremendous.
I own a few that are great too. Muddy Waters: Folk Singer and Cat Stevens: Teaser and the Firecat come to mind first. That said, Music Direct has come out w/ quite a few since taking over MFSL. Again, I have not heard many good things about the sound quality of the vinyl since they took over production. There is no question that there are many good ones from the original MFSL.
Funny, I was outside the West Seattle Easy Street records this weekend pawing through the boxes of dollar disks, half listing to the music producers on the corner behind me dropping names and picking the breakfast out of their teeth, when I pulled out a very clean copy of the original 1978 Warner Brothers pressing of Waiting for Columbus. Flat, no scratches whatsoever on the disks or the cover - only the previoius owners name scrolled in sharpie above the lushious Tomato's head on the front. Boy, it sounds really, really good. If the MSFL pressing sounds a lot better, then maybe its worth 29 times what I just paid for the original.
This spurred me to pull out my old CD release of Dixie Chicken for comparison - it still sounds 2-dimensional and compressed in comparison to the original WFC Lp. Same as I recall for the production of most cuts on Salin Shoes and "Little Feat", but maybe I would change my tune if I heard the original Lp versions of those recordings again.
In any case, I appreciate the discussion here as I will very likely not spring for the Gold CD versions of the earlier LF recodings, and will focus on trying to find them in vinyl instead.