The problem is in the mastering. If the masters have a lot of compression, you get compression. If the recordings are old, with masters that have problems, or the masters are 'who-knows-where' and the remastering is from some second generation tape (of course, no-one who knows would admit to this error)
All the above make any recording a guess as to the final quality of the product.Finally, the LP reissues have to deal with the fact that LP making is an art. And the art of LP making is lost with the generation of shiny silver discs that killed off making LPs. The dudes, and the factories and the machines and experience that made them are mostly gone.
So if you get a nice reissue LP, you are lucky.
Eventually, the dudes who are currently making LPs will sort out the stuff, and perhaps a genuine 'golden age' of LPs will begin again.
As for me.. I buy used LPs. I am lucky I have a decent supplier (retail used LP store) and frequent them regularly!
While I don't have the Supertramp LP you mention, I do have quite a few of the "Back in Black" series and find them excelllent in sound quality and production.
I agree that a reissue can only be as good as the master used to create it, so it is kinda a crap shoot from album to album. I guess I've just been lucky.
I agree it is a crap shoot on reissues. I think it is harder to find good reissues from the major labels. They either don't have the time or just don't feel it is worth thier time because of the format. Even if it could make them money, the volume is not worth high quality control. Most of the good quality reissues are coming from small labels like AP, MM, CR and a few others. Classic had issues with thier 200g in the past but I picked up some of thier newer Claity releases and they sound good. Also the cost of these releases from the magor labels are less than of the small company's but there are no reviews out there I can find. SO
The question I am asking is, people who have these Back to Black releases and other magor label releases is to give thier experiance with the recording which ones are worth getting or not getting and why.
What recordings did you get?
I have the following Back to Black reissues:
Allman Brothers-Live at Fillmore East
Elton John-Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Van Morrison-Tupelo Honey
Cat Stevens-Mona Bone Jakon, Teaser and the Firecat, Tea for the Tillerman
All of these are very good but the (2) standouts are Tupelo Honey and Gaucho.
Sadly, I've been unimpressed with both the Disreli Gears and the Layla and Other Love Songs. Compressed, brittle, noisy. Great music,though.
The reproduction onto vinyl has some inherent problems associated with the manufacturing process. This is in part due to:
1) The "stamper" and what generational copy it has been made from the original master tape: in the old days, production was handled over many countries and you will see marked differences in quality in English, German, Japanese and American copies of albums based on the source tapes/stampers sent out. Today's production is centered in one plant and the source is more uniform--good or bad.
2) The type of vinyl used--there was 13 grades of pellets used in the golden age--we are now down to four.
3) The time on the press (45 seconds per LP) and the humidity of the room
4) The general volume around the release and its production run--today's runs are 10,000 to 30,000 versus millions during the golden age
In the golden years, it was always assumed that Quality and Assurance would be handled by the return policy of the retailer--i.e., that Q & A would not be conducted at the plant.
Problems I am seeing with the current reissues are as follows:
1) poor file management of the artist's master tapes resulting in new reissues being based on inferior second or third generation copies--this is something I hear constantly from recording artists that tapes are misfiled or have disappeared (think of the amount of consolidation of labels that has taken place over the years)
2) poor remastering where new technologies such as dynamic compression are added to the original source or tonalities are completely changed (listen to the mid-range vocals of Robert Plant is the Classic Records reissue of the Houses of the Holy versus an original copy)
Generally speaking, I find it is better to buy a "stack" of used vinyl and try to find the hidden gems that have great master tape quality and quiet playing surfaces. You can usually find that 1 in 20 to 30 albums will really stand out to your ears. Expect the same ratio to apply to current production as well.
There is a fairly large thread on the Hoffman forum about the Back in Black series and there is very little that is positive that is said about them there with the exception of a couple of titles (the Hendrix Axis gets positive reviews, and some positive comments have been made about the Blind Faith).
One man's great is another man's junk but as far as the Back in Blacks are concerned, I'd be treading lightly.
I do have the Axis and it is very good.
Thanks for your list.
Thanks for your input. By the way as far as Layla and Other Love Songs go's the only desent recording of it is the SuperDisk release. I have a UK, JP and US releases and the SuperDisk beats them all. The new Japanese release of Disreli Gears is good. I think the origial tapes were not that well produced for either of those releases.
The problem with finding older rock album is most of them were not taken care for bunch of differant reasons.
This thread is to try to weed out the desent reissues from the bad. There are so many labels coming out with the same recordings it would be nice to learn which ones are better.
I am sorry to say that the people who purchased the bad one and good one can help others.
Thanks for the info about the Hoffman site and your opinion of Axis.
I looked at the thread on the www.stevehoffman.tv site . It's full of a lot of good info, mostly bad very little good about these releases.
Reissues suck, there is nothing like the original pressing in my opinion. My best albums were pressed in the late 60's, 70's, and very early 80's.
As I said at the start of this thread . This question has NOTHING to do with origial pressings only the sound quality of the reissue in question, not is the orininal release best. I do not agree with you either, not all reissues suck and some are better than the original pressing. You think the original channeled stereo where all music is on the left and vocals on the right or the other way around is the way stereo should be done. They sound like crap to me and I would rather listen to them in mono mode. Purchase the Geoge Martins Beatles LOVE album, thats how they should have been done in the 60's.
I bought the Roxy Music (self-titled) Back in Black and I have never been more disappointed with a record purchase (well, OK, the Amy Winehouse records but that was cheap). It's unlistenable. I've never heard the original pressing so I have no idea if it's just a bad recording (too much overdubbing?) or a really bad pressing.
Anyone have experience with it?
It has made me shy away from the other titles, some of which I really wanted to buy.