Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In case it hasn't hit your radar, a remastered two-fer of #1 Record and Radio City is being released by Fantasy today.  There's quite a bit of discussion in the blogosphere about the merits of the various Big Star remasters / reissues but I haven't picked up any solid word yet on the new one.  Back in 1970 I had a realization (when the kid in the dorm room next to mine played the same three records over and over through his humongous stereo for the entire school year) – some people own stereos so they can listen to their records and some people own records so they can listen to their stereos.  I was definitely fell into the former category – using a modest but adequate system to listen to the hundreds (if not thousands for a few years ) of new records that I acquired.  That being said, I love the sound of a good vinyl LP and abhor the sound of a bad CD (whether poorly remastered or one that's a product of the loudness wars i.e no dynamic range).  My older brother works for Avalon Acoustics – makers of really high-end speakers – and my brother-in-law installs home systems that run into six-figures so I can appreciate the merits of a really great recording through an exceptional system (next time I go out to Boulder I want to run an original Radio City LP through the Avalon demonstration system) but in the end I'm listening to the musicians and what they were doing rather than the recording itself (and given that at least half of my listening involves "recordings of independent origin" – bootlegs –  a decent sounding official release usually is more than adequate).  But in the back of my mind I hold on to a fantasy that one day when my son is out of college and our retirement needs are covered (yeeh, right) that I'll have a dedicated listening room where I can pull out one of those original Blue Note pressings from the racks, sit back in comfortable chair with a good book, and get the feeling that Hank Mobley is right there in the room with me.  

Larry has a great comment about the lyrics for RC in response to my post yesterday.  He's inspired me to read the lyrics again and see what other little gems might be contained therein besides "I loved you, well, never mind."  To maybe put a (slightly) finer point on my thoughts, I guess I'd rather have the lyrics remain just what my ears hear and my brain processes (however inaccurately) and my emotions respond to than have to read that the bridge to You Get What You Deserve has something to do with Chilton's reaction to the Vietnam War (pick your own example of critical overreaching and assumption).  Thanks Larry...that is indeed a great line and it is Chiltonian to the max.   

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