Sonic Grade: B-
Nice enough I suppose, but where’s the Midrange Magic?
The Classic 180g version was a revelation when it came out years ago. Bernie actually cut it pretty darn right. However, his mastering chain cannot compete with the one used on the best original pressings.
The evidence for this is overwhelming. There simply is no Bernie-Grundman-cut record that is the equal of the best pressings not cut on his current chain that I have heard over the years. (His old cutting system, the one that cut Stardust and Blue and much of the Contemporary catalog, was KILLER. Wonder what happened to it?)
Having said that, the Classic version gets you 70-75% of the way there and gives you quiet vinyl to boot, so it must be appreciated for what it is: a very good reissue, maybe even the best one Classic ever made. But not the real thing. Not even close.
The track to play to hear exactly what I’m talking about is You Don’t Have To Cry. On the best copies the guitars and the tambourine are very clear without being aggressive. The voices should be slightly recessed in the mix, spread out across the center of the stage, and clearly surrounded by the big room the boys are standing in. The best originals have midrange magic to die for on this track. The Classic? Uh… not so much. If that’s a quality you prize as much as we do here at Better Records, read on.
Here are some of our reviews and commentaries concerning the many Heavy Vinyl pressings we’ve played over the years, well over 200 at this stage of the game. Feel free to pick your poison.