Last week’s list contained five stellar reissues from Analogue Productions in the 45 rpm format. (To read about the story behind Analogue Productions you can check out that article HERE
#1: Cat Stevens, Tea For The Tillerman
Chad Kassem chose this audiophile classic to christen his new record pressing plant (QRP). And a monumental choice it was. The sound is excellent; with a spaciousness and detail that reveals the true colors of this legendary recording. It also happens to be one of the quietest LPs I own, with a dead-silent background for the children to play. Using the original tapes, this reissue was mastered and cut at Sterling Sound in NYC by the great George Marino (the original pressing was also mastered at Sterling and the original mastering notes were still in tact). Any reservations regarding 40 year-old tapes are thrown out the window when you drop the needle.
#2: The Grateful Dead, Reckoning
Originally released in 1981, the songs were recorded live in the Fall of 1980 at two locations: the Warfield Theater in San Francisco and Radio City Music Hall in NYC. These relatively intimate locations were the perfect setting for the stripped-down, acoustic-based performances caught on tape. Mastered by Kevin Gray and pressed at QRP, this double LP is a must-own record if you have any love for the Grateful Dead in yer bones. The sound is vibrant and alive and with a deeply satisfying bottom end (especially so for a live recording). The instruments are clearly defined with the music flowing effortlessly from the speakers. The tempos are mellow, perfectly complimenting the material. This high-quality pressing maintains, rather, procures, that distinct sense of openness one would desire when listening to a live recording.
#3: Patsy Cline, Greatest Hits
The immortal Patsy Cline can be brought to life through your stereo! Seriously, check out this pressing if you dare. The sound is ripe with transparency and all the riches of analog. Originally released in 1967, this album is a collection of her biggest hits, including “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “Crazy”. Each and every song is a knockout. Analogue Productions treated this project with respect. They cut the record at Sterling Sound from the original master tapes as a straight, direct transfer to the lathe from the playback, without the use of EQ and bypassing the console all together. The result is an astoundingly rich experience.
#4: John Coltrane, Coltrane [Prestige 7105]
Released as part of Analogue Productions Prestige Mono series, this reissue was mastered from the original tapes by Kevin Grey. On this 1957 album we find a young Coltrane exploring a mix of standards and originals with a soulful intensity. Armed with an impressive backing band, Coltrane delivers the goods with rousing attack. A great sounding mono recording, as there is an uncanny sense of depth that treats the music as it should. This is a record that will make you fall in love with mono.
#5: RCA LSC-2446: Scheherazade/Fritz Reiner
This legendary RCA has been reissued by Analogue Productions along with 29 other classic shaded dogs. Any question as to why one would reissue another batch of these old warhorses will be forgotten once you hear them. They sound fantastic. Of course, there is something special captured on an original RCA, but they cost a small fortune on the used markets and for all their merits, they have their limitations as well. This seductive recording of Scheherazade plays effortlessly, providing the listener a world of harmonic delicacies and delights (especially with the string tone). As HP explains, “the sound is as it should be, inviting the listener into the music and entirely constant with Reiner’s readings. … If ever there were a must-have LP in the recent wave of audiophile vinyl reincarnations, this is it.”