Sonic Grade: D (at best)
A few years back we played the 180 gram reissue of Morrison Hotel that came out in 2009. Initially we thought it pretty good, but the longer it played, the more leaned-out and unpleasant it sounded.
Just listen to the vocals — they’re all wrong.
Jim Morrison has one of the richest and most distinctive baritone voices in the history of rock. When he doesn’t sound like the guy I’ve been listening to for more than forty years, something ain’t right.
And what ain’t right — not to put too fine a point on it — is the sound of that record.
Here are a few commentaries you may care to read about Bernie Grundman‘s work as a mastering engineer in the modern era. We much prefer the work he did back in the old days.
Moderately Helpful Title Specific Advice
The best Hot Stamper copies are always the earlier Big Red E label copies. There’s substantially more Tubey Magic on these pressings.
The typical Early Butterfly Label copy lacks the weight that the older cuttings had, often in spades. The best of these Butterfly Label copies can be passable, but they are not remotely competitive with the right originals.