Sonic Grade: C
As for the Classic here, we have only one question:
This is analog? You could’ve fooled me.
And somebody’s been messing around with the sound of the drums on the new version — a certain Mr. Frank Zappa no doubt. He really did the album a disservice.
Bernie’s version for Classic beats a lot of copies out there — the later Reprise pressings are never any good — but it can’t hold a candle to a good pressing.
What’s wrong with the Classic? Well, to my ears it just doesn’t sound natural or all that musical. Sure, it’s a nice trick to beef up those drums and give them some real punch, but does it sound right?
The other quality that the best copies have going for them and the Classic has none of is Tubey Magic. The Classic is clean, and at first that’s a neat trick since the originals tend to be a bit murky and congested. But it’s clean like a CD is clean, in all the wrong ways.
The overall sound of the best originals is musical, natural and balanced. The Classic has that third quality — it’s tonally correct, no argument there — but musical and natural? Not really.