No, I'm not referring to a Brazilian bikini wax job (you have such a dirty mind!), I'm talking about the vinyl I scored over at Infinity Records yesterday. Mad Mike and I went there on a recommendation from Dan, and it was a total blast.
In addition to getting a bunch of out-of-print soundtrack albums, I was also able to find four sealed Beatles stereo LPs, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. I checked them out as soon as I got home and they sound fantastic. So does John Williams' score to the 1979 Dracula, so I got to hear that sound good for the first time ever.
I am an audiophile but I'm not insane. CDs are more convenient and many times a good CD remaster can best an LP, but if the original album master is used with no re-equalization then the album will sound pinched and shrill on CD. Albums tended to be mastered for the platform they will be played upon, and so album masters were prepared knowing the kind of sound values that would be introduced along the line. Each stage of the vinyl audio reproduction process, from cutting the disc to playback on your home hi-fi will introduce certain aspects to the sound, that celebrated analog warmth. That's why so many early CD issues of albums sounded so lousy. Nowadays they tend to correct for that when preparing a CD, and also take advantage of the additional dynamic that digital offers, but the EMI Beatles CDs from 1987 have, to date, not been properly remastered for digital reproduction.
Now that an entire generation has grown up not even knowing what vinyl really sounds like it is getting harder for people to accept that there are some advantages to having that platform still available. The album re-recordings of John Williams' Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind scores sound infinitely better on wax then on CD (the original soundtrack recordings are now available and sound like they were recorded yesterday, though). When you take care of your vinyl and store it properly, it will last a long time and have an aspect to the sound that it takes a lot for a CD to reproduce.
It's also nice to have the original album artwork in the size that it was intended for. Sgt. Pepper and Revolver in particular. This is also something that I lament about the passing of laserdiscs as well. The jacket of my copy of Excalibur had that original one-sheet painting and it was gorgeous.
The real find, though, was the Men Without Hats album The Folk of the 80s (Part III). This is a sentimental favorite for both Raz and myself. Tim had the cassette of this, which he had loaned to Raz and went to Floridia (sic) for the summer (he came back with bleached hair... it looked green).
Every day that summer Raz would come over to my house and we'd play Sim City, Pirates, Star Control and other games on my stepfather's Commodore Amiga and we'd listen to that tape all the time. Well, I found two copies of the album, the European pressing for $4.00 in mint condition and the MCA pressing for $1.00 in near-mint condition, one for each of us. I called Raz with the good news as soon as I found them. They sound great, which is nice because that cassette Tim had was one of those nasty MCA tapes with the white shell and no noise reduction that sounded like it was recorded underwater. You know the kind, the front cover of the jacket had the LP cover on top and the bar code on the bottom.
I also found a complete copy of John Gielgud's production of Hamlet with Richard Burton for a dollar.
Well, I settled things with old Douchebag. He apparently thought that I was home in Queens last night, and didn't bother to try to call me to find out. However, everything's cool now.
Interestingly, Raz called me yesterday during the vinyl bonanza. He was hanging out with Brad, and they wanted to see me. I couldn't because I was out on the Island, but maybe this means the beginning of the ice melting between us. It's too early to get my hopes up, but it is a nice thought.
...now over, thank goodness
I found that my cell charger no longer works. I had a spare, so I was able to charge ti today, but apologies to both aerolyndt and suitboyskin, both of whom I was supposed to speak to yesterday. Sorry.