More of the Music of Blondie
Reviews and Commentaries for Parallel Lines
Audiophile Versions of This Album Suck (The Life Right Out of the Music)
I became a giant fan of this album the moment I heard it, but I always felt that the sound of my old original left something to be desired. So many copies are thick and lifeless; the music wants to cook but the sound seems to be holding it back.
And like an idiot I’m sure I had traded my original domestic pressing in for the MoFi when it came out in the early ’80s, the kind of dumbass audiophile move I discuss in the commentary Audiophilia 101: What Kind of Fool Was I?
As previously noted, the MoFi, one of those Jack Hunt turgid muckfests (check out City to City #058 for the ultimate in murky MoFi sound), is incapable of conveying anything resembling the kind of clean, clear, oh-so-radio-friendly pop rock sound that Mike Chapman and the band were aiming for.
The recording has copious amounts of Analog Richness and Fullness to start with. Adding more is not an improvement; in fact it’s positively ruinous.
The most serious fault of the typical Half-Speed Mastered LP is not incorrect tonality or poor bass definition, although you will have a hard time finding one that doesn’t suffer from both.
It’s Dead As A Doornail sound, plain and simple.
And most Heavy Vinyl pressings coming down the pike these days are as guilty of this sin as their audiophile forerunners from the ’70s and ’80s. The average Heavy Vinyl LP I throw on my turntable sounds like it’s playing in another room. What audiophile in his right mind could possibly find that quality appealing? But there are scores of companies turning out this crap; somebody must be buying it.
FURTHER READING on the subject of Half-Speed Mastering
If you are buying these modern pressings, take the advice of some of our customers and stop throwing your money away on Heavy Vinyl Pressings and Half-Speed Mastered Records.
People have been known to ask us:
How come you guys don’t like Half-Speed Mastered records?
At the very least let us send you a Hot Stamper pressing — of any album you choose — that can show you what is wrong with your copy. And if for some reason you disagree that our record sounds better than yours, we will happily give you all your money back and wish you the best.
To learn more about records that sound dramatically better than any Half-Speed ever made (with one rare exception, John Klemmer’s Touch), please consult our FAQs:
More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below you will find our breakdown of the best and worst Half-Speed mastered records we have auditioned over the years.
Half-Speed Mastered Disasters
Half-Speed Mastered Mediocrities
Half-Speed Mastered Winners
Half-Speed Masters – The Complete List
New to the site? Start here.