Roxy Music: Roxy Music
Universal (Japan) UIGY-9665
Stereo Single Layer
Cardboard sleeve reissue from Roxy Music features SHM-SACD format and HR cutting from the 2014 DSD master, using the UK original analog master. Comes with an obi faithfully replicating the one in the Japanese edition LP.
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Comment by Downunderman - September 17, 2021 (1 of 4)
This SHM-SACD came out in 2015 and represents the album as it was originally issued back in 1972. Consequently, and contrary to the track listing further up the page. it does not include 'Virginia Plain' which was originally only released as a single, but was added to subsequent issues of the album.
The booklet advises;
Tape Research: Abbey Road Studios
Research: Junichi Yamada
DSD Flat Transferred from the UK original analogue master tapes. Edited in DSD by Manabu Matsumura at Universal Music Studios, Tokyo, in 2015.
It is certainly a great album, but the sound quality of the master tape used here is pretty poor. Getting close to Lo-Fi in todays money.
Bass (Drum & Guitar) is quite wooly on average and sound levels can be quite variable between and within tracks. The recording also sounds quite distant from the listener and on occasions veiled as well. Evidence, at least, that it really is a flat transfer!
There is a subsequent Super Deluxe edition that includes a Steven Wilson DVD-V 5.1 multi remix (including 'Virginia Plain') that was issued in 2018. I have not heard it, but have asked the powers that be to consider listing it on this site.
It is certainly a title that could be greatly helped by a remix.
Comment by Mark Werlin - October 14, 2021 (2 of 4)
Downunderman: I did an A/B comparison through headphones between the SHM-SACD and the HDCD version. One of the points you mention, the variability of levels in the mix, was addressed in the HDCD remastering through compression and EQ. But to my ears, the SHM-SACD is superior to the HDCD; truer to the original intentions of the artists, and closer to original analogue sound. The band were experimenting in the studio and at shows: I saw the first US tour with Eno, who ran live signal processing on Bryan Ferry's vocals and piano, and Andy McKay's saxophone.
If anyone has heard the remix on Blu-Ray, please add a comment.
Comment by Downunderman - October 14, 2021 (3 of 4)
I very much agree with all that you say Mark!
The previous digital incarnations that I have heard sound pretty ordinary and this SACD is well ahead of them.........the heart does pine for a (faithful to the original) remix from the multi's by the likes of Steven Wilson though.
Comment by Mark Werlin - October 17, 2021 (4 of 4)
Since the super deluxe edition box set only contains Steven Wilson's 5.1 remix but not his stereo hi-res remix, I'll wait until the stereo version becomes available as a download.
Some of the remastered hi-res downloads of 1960s and 1970s rock albums I've heard were very disappointing. Tony Visconti's 2020 remix of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World", under the original title "Metrobolist", gains in detail but loses the engaging darkness of the original mix (which was well-transferred by Bob Clearmountain for Rykodisc Au20).