Not sure how much of this video you can stand — nothing could interest me less than a couple of audiophile / vinyl enthusiasts spouting off on what they think about some random records sitting in a local store’s bins — but one or two bits caught my eye. I thought it might possibly be of service to share them with you.
Is there any value to the comments of these two collectors? If you care about what music they like, perhaps. Anything about what to look for on the label or jacket that might correspond to better sound? If it’s there I sure didn’t see it, but I admit to speeding through most of it so I can’t say for sure.
The first bit I refer to above is at 18:42. The album in question is the legendary Kind of Blue. At this point the unseen helmet-cammed audiophile picks up the record, recognizes the original cover, and proceeds to pull the record out to see what era the pressing is from.
Drat! The disappointment in this audiophile’s voice is palpable as he drops the record back in the bin with his dismissive comment that “it’s a later pressing.”
But we here at Better Records would be falling all over ourselves to get our hands on that later pressing. Those late pressings can and often do win shootouts. We would never look down our noses at a Red Label Columbia jazz LP, and neither should you.
Our intrepid audiophile explorer does much the same thing about 23 minutes in. It seems pretty clear to us that he has no respect for such reissues, another example of one of the most common myths in record collecting land, the myth that the original pressing is always, or to be fair, usually better. (more…)
For those of you who’ve never chanced upon it, here is the ‘live’ version of the album in five parts.
Nilsson was way ahead of his time. Rod Stewart recently made an album of classic popular music that went to number one and revived his career. Harry Nilsson understands this music SO MUCH BETTER and sings it SO MUCH BETTER than Rod Stewart that one can only come to that conclusion. Either that or the rest of the world doesn’t appreciate Nilsson as much as I do. Probably both I guess. Too bad. This album is better than all the “also rans” albums put together. (more…)
Here is the article
Here is a link to the video itself (it wouldn’t play for me).
The excellent BBC Archive account on Twitter has unearthed an audio gem.
A 1959 film called ‘Hi-Fi-Fo-Fum’ purports to reveal the burgeoning audiophile scene, with more than a little tongue-in-cheek humour for good measure.
“There is a man in Wimbledon who will go on adding to his equipment until he can hear the sigh of the conductor as the piccolo misses its entry,” says the introduction. He sounds like our kind of man.
“Is it a religion or a disease? An American psychiatrist calls it ‘audiophilia'”, reveals the voiceover, as men – and it’s largely men – shuffle in and out of hi-fi shops before rushing home for earnest listening sessions. It was ever thus.
“Do they like music? Or are they in love with equipment?”, wonders our narrator, as one excited punter buys a new tweeter for “6 pound 4 pence”.
And while much has changed – you don’t see many shops with individual listening booths nowadays – much has stayed the same. “A dream of perfection… of machines more sensitive than the ears they play to”, reminds us that arguments about audio frequencies that the human ear can’t hear are nothing new.
The video also shows the early music critic. “With a dozen different recordings of every work, how do we find the best?” wonders the voiceover. “Rely on the critic, nothing escapes him,” comes the reply.
His verdict? “Comparisons are odious but inevitable…” Well, quite.
The interviewer apparently does not know how bad the new version sounds, but we had no trouble recognizing its awfulness here at Better Records and, as a public service, set about describing what we heard on our site.
Sonic Grade: F
Where did this thick, dull, bloated, opaque turd come from? Having played at least 50 copies of the album over the last ten years, I can honestly say I have never heard one that sounded very much like this new version (maybe some record club copy we picked up by accident did, can’t say it never happened).
Can that possibly be a good thing? (more…)
[Oh but they are, or they certainly can be. We admit we was wrong! We review a killer copy of LSC 1992 right here on our site.]
For more on Heifetz click here.
More on the amazing album that this song is found on, The Original Soundtrack.