Sometimes the Hits Are Mastered from Sub-Generation Tapes…
And There’s Not Much You Can Do About It
Both Sides Now, the Top Ten hit that finally put Judy on the map, is clearly made from a copy tape and doesn’t sound as good as the songs that follow it on side two. Hey, it happens, and I suspect it happens more often than most audiophiles think. I would wager that back in the day most people who bought this album never even noticed.
One thing I’ve noticed about audiophiles over the years is that they’re pretty much like most other people.
The difference of course is that they call themselves audiophiles, and audiophiles are supposed to care about sound quality.
They may care about it, but are they capable of recognizing high quality sound? What is the evidence for the affirmative in this proposition?
Are they actually capable of critical listening?
Do they listen critically enough to notice a dubby track on an otherwise good sounding record when they hear it?
Or dubby sound in general?
Or to notice that one side of a record often sounds very different from another?
Or that some reissues sound better than the originals of the album?
Or that there is no reliable correlation between the country that a rock band comes from and the country that made the best sounding pressings of their albums?
The embrace of one third-rate Heavy Vinyl pressing after another by the audiophile community has rendered absurd the pretense that their members ever developed anything beyond the most rudimentary critical listening skills.
Sadly, the Dunning-Kruger effect, the best explanation for the sorry state of audio these days, means they simply don’t know how little they know and therefore see no reason to doubt their high opinions of themselves, their equipment and their acumen.
Progress in audio is possible, but only if you know that you are not already at the top of the mountain. The first thing you need to do is to appreciate just how much serious climbing is left to do.
Michael from Mountains
Since You Asked
Sisters of Mercy
A Ballata of Francesco Landini
Both Sides Now
La Chanson des Vieux Amants (The Love Song of Old Lovers)
Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
The first two songs on side one are two of the best by Joni Mitchell, and two other songs on the album are two of the best penned by Leonard Cohen, so plenty of good music on this one.
Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance that year by the way.
Soothing. Unique. Natural. These are clear adjectives used best when describing the style and grace of Judy Collins and her album Wildflowers. Her blend of folk and meditative music paints a tapestry of soft, nurturing colors that transcends the mind of the listener and seeks one’s soul. Much of the material feels uplifting and full of spirit, or even spiritual to some degree.
Records that sound best this way: