This MoFi Crime of the Century has two superb sounding sides. I have to admit I was DEAD WRONG about MoFi’s Crime of the Century — on this pressing, anyway. But I can tell you that this is one of the few I have ever played that sounded right to me.
It’s not that MoFi couldn’t cut a record that’s tonally correct. It’s just that most of they time they didn’t. This time they did.
I’ve been telling people for years that the MOoFi was junk, and that they should get rid of their copy and replace it with a tonally correct version, easily done since there is a very good sounding Speakers Corner 180g reissue currently in print which does not suffer from the ridiculously boosted top end and bloated bass that characterizes the typical MoFi COTC pressing.
We get these MoFis in on a regular basis, and they usually sound as phony and wrong as can be. They’re the perfect example of a hyped-up audiophile record that appeals to people with lifeless stereos, the kind that need amped-up records to get them going.
But when I dropped the needle on this copy, I was surprised to hear fairly natural sounding vocals; sweet extended — but not exaggerated — highs; and reasonably correct bass. (MoFi bass always lacks definition and never goes particularly deep, but that’s the fault of half-speed mastering, not poor EQ.)
If one were to pick some nits, one could say that it’s still a tiny bit hot around 6k. (The reason I know that is because the early British pressings have a smoother midrange compared to practically anything else out there. You may have noticed that good British copies never make it to the site, and there’s a simple explanation for that. Most early British copies don’t sound good. Also, they are rarely quiet enough to sell. I can’t tell you how many British COTC pressings I’ve heard in the last 5 years that didn’t sound good or were noisy and groove damaged. But it’s a lot.)
On a scale of 1 to 10, this record rates a 9. The average MoFi copy rates a 5. There’s a world of difference between those two ratings.
As I have previously written about this album, it is one of the most incredible musical and sonic journeys your audio system can take you on. It’s also a desert island disc for me. In my opinion it’s the Most Successful Concept Album of all time. Dark Side of the Moon or The Yes Album are two other productions that rise to this level, and as much as I love those albums, I actually think this one is the best of the three, if for no other reason than that the tragedy of the story here is more emotionally compelling.
This is also an audiophile’s dream come true. The creation of a huge Cinerama-like soundscape is on a scale that few recording engineers would ever even attempt, let alone achieve with such success.