BREAKING NEWS from 2020
We got a copy of the Abbey Road Remix in, cleaned it and played it. Now we can officially report the results of our investigation into this modern marvel. Imagine, The Beatles with a new mix! Just what it needed, right?
So what did we hear?
The half-speed mastered remixed Abbey Road has to be one of the worst sounding Beatles records we have ever had the misfortune to play.
Hard to imagine you could make Abbey Road sound any worse. It’s absolutely disgraceful.
Is it the worst version of the album ever made? Hard to imagine it would have much competition.
I will be writing more about its specific shortcomings down the road, but for now let this serve as a warning that you are throwing your money away if you buy this newly remixed LP.
As you may have guessed by now, I have completely lost interest in detailing the abundant shortcomings of this awful record. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy one.
If you did buy one, do yourself a different favor: order any UK pressing from 1970-1986 off the web and play that one head to head with it so you can hear how badly they screwed with and screwed up the new mix.
When the remastering is this incompetent, we
Remastering a well-known title and creating a new sound for it is a huge bête noire for us here at Better Records.
If this isn’t the perfect example of a Pass/Not-Yet record, I don’t know what would be.
Some records are so wrong, or are so lacking in qualities that are critically important to their sound — qualities typically found in abundance on the right vintage pressings — that the defenders of these records are fundamentally failing to judge them properly. We call these records Pass/Not-Yet, implying that the supporters of these kinds of records are not where they need to be in audio yet, but that there is still hope. If they target their resources (time and money) well, there is no reason they can’t get to where they need to be, the same way we did. Our Audio Advice section may be of help in that regard.
Tea for the Tillerman on the new 45 may be substandard in every way, but it is not a Pass/Not-Yet pressing. It lacks one thing above all others, Tubey Magic, so if your system has an abundance of that quality, as many tube systems do, the new pressing may be quite listenable and enjoyable. Those whose systems can play the record and not notice this important shortcoming are not exactly failing. They most likely have a system that is heavily colored and not very revealing, but it is a system that is not hopeless.
A system that can play the MoFi pressing of Aja without revealing to the listener how wrong it is is on another level of bad entirely, and that is what would qualify as a failing system. My system in the ’80s played that record just fine. Looking back on it now, I realize it was doing more wrong than right.
One of our good customers recently moved his stereo into a new house.
Interestingly, the electricity and spatial characteristics are so much better in the new place that I’ve had a complete sea change regarding the MoFi Kind of Blue. If you recall, I previously found this oddly EQ’d and unrealistic, but also wasn’t as hell bent against it as you are (though I certainly have been against other crappy heavy vinyl from MoFi, Analog Productions, Blue Note, etc.). Well, now I can’t stand it. It sounds fucking atrocious. The difference between it and my humble hot stamper copy is night and day. Whole collection sounds better, and is awesome to rediscover again, but this one really stood out. Onwards and upwards!
That is indeed good news. That record is pass-fail for me. If anyone cannot tell how bad it is, that is a sure sign that something is very wrong somewhere. Glad you are hearing it as I am hearing it. It is indeed atrocious.
Conrad followed up with these remarks:
The MoFi Kind of Blue never sounded right or real, but now it sounds downright puke. Will hang onto it and use as a test record for fun on other systems. As bad as it is, as I’ve said before, you have no idea how much worse their Junior Wells Hoodoo Man Blues is. My god; you’d suspect your system is broken, playing that. Bloated asphyxiated subaquatic delirium.