Sonic Grade: F
It’s been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, twenty years or more, but I remember it as none-too-impressive, playing into my natural prejudice against the earliest Living Stereo recordings and Classic Records themselves.
Keep in mind the Shaded Dog originals of this recording are awful too, as we make clear below.
We’ve played at least three Shaded Dogs of LSC 1901 since 2011 and all three were AWFUL.
A recent reissue showed us the light.
The size and scope of this recording is enormous, with the orchestral sections clearly staged wide and deep. Where is the old tube smear and compression and opacity? It must not be on the tape, because I hear no trace of it.
This copy is cut clean, its dynamics intact, which just goes to show how much better the master tape must be than we’ve been led to believe by the original Shady Dogs and the hacks at Classic Records (note: their heavy vinyl reissue is awful).
RCA managed to cut this record amazingly well decades after the tape was first recorded, not for audiophiles, but for music lovers. Maybe that’s the secret.
A PUBLIC SERVICE
We play mediocre-to-bad sounding pressings so that you don’t have to, a public service from your record loving friends at Better Records.
You can find this one in our Hall of Shame, along with more than 350 others that — in our opinion — qualify as some of the worst sounding records ever made. (On some Hall of Shame records the sound is passable but the music is bad. These are also records you can safely avoid.)
Note that most of the entries are audiophile remasterings of one kind or another. The reason for this is simple: we’ve gone through the all-too-often unpleasant experience of comparing them head to head with our best Hot Stamper pressings.
When you can hear them that way, up against an exceptionally good pressing, their flaws become that much more obvious and, frankly, that much less excusable.