I've finally got around to comparing various pressings of Bowie vinyl LPs. I've done a bit of this before, but I'm trying more in depth comparing right now.
Here are my notes so far on pressings of Hunky Dory. I've felt that an expanded reissue of Hunky Dory - if we get one - should perhaps included a replication of the US / Canadian vinyl 'mix'. I use the term loosely as I understand it's more to do with 'EQing' per territory.
There are considerable differences in the sound, even among early pressings (the same is the case with Ziggy...the 4T / 6E, I think that's what it is, is rumoured to be the best, and I've kept that, as a 1st pressing I had sounded truly awful. Same with Station To Station, I've had two 1st pressings which sounded quite muddy, while the black label RCA pressing - of which I've also had two, and have one currently, sound much clearer, and better. I don't mean the RCA International pressings of the 80's, I believe the black label pressing in this case to be anything from 1978 to around 1980 perhaps).
Anyway, my notes so far...
Hunky Dory Canadian pressing APRS - 5947 - DT / APRS - 5948 - XT
Treble-y, reverbed sound, giving the strings in particular on Changes an 'ethereal' feel.
I think this is my favourite version, and it's very similar in sound to US pressings I've had, hence the US vs UK in the title.
Hunky Dory UK pre Mainman pressing APRS - 5947 - 4E / APRS - 5948 - 3E
A comparatively muted sound, here quite sedate in atmosphere on Changes. Sounds a bit like somebody's put a large tea cosy over the speakers at times.
Hunky Dory UK Mainman pressing APRS - 5947 - 6E / APRS - 5948 - 5E
A more detailed sound. Less reverb. More 'in your face', though slightly 'loud' at times too (Oh You Pretty Things'). Sometimes the extra clarity is a good thing, but largely I find it bit much (for example on Kooks).
I am aware of the argument that the 1st pressing should be best : the earliest pressing of Hunky I've ever had was a 2nd, I think : the 1st pressings are near impossible to find, and besides the vast majority of vinyl pressings of HD are littered with vinyl clicks during "Changes", being the first track, and a very popular one at that.
I'd be interested in other's observations / findings on this topic.
The next EMI Expanded Editions:
* What are your hopes for these releases?
* Let's have The Man Who Sold The World
with the complete
Paris Cinema Studios, Feb 5, 1970 radio concert, and the complete April 1970 radio session. Hunky Dory
- add the complete Paris Cinema Studios concert, June 1971 in stereo
, from the BBC Stereo Transcription LP if the master is lost!
* Any future live 1974 release MUST include a recording of Drive In Saturday from the early part of the tour, it's classic!
The next DVD release?
* Cracked Actor / Omnibus documentary must be released on DVD!
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