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Matthew Sweet: Altered Beast

Matthew Sweet: Altered Beast

Intervention Records  IR-SCD14

Stereo Hybrid

Pop/Rock


Matthew Sweet

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2 of 3 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Comment by Downunderman - March 9, 2019 (1 of 7)

Does anybody know what the current state of play is with this title - This (and Girlfriend) are no longer listed as SACD coming soon on the Intervention Records site and previous indications were that they were slated to come out this month...from memory.

Comment by Wolfspaw - March 11, 2019 (2 of 7)

The Intervention Records thread over at Hoffman's stated that they have cancelled a bunch of Sacd's and are now concentrating on vinyl. Apparently some titles were not getting big enough pre-orders. I can't remember if this is one of those affected or not.

I don't know the validity to this next piece of (unrelated) news, but there was someone saying that Sony will not license out any of their titles anymore. As I said I don't know this as a fact.

Comment by Downunderman - March 16, 2019 (3 of 7)

certainly very sad if the other Matthew Sweet titles have been binned and if true about Sony, I guess we can only hope that Sony becomes something of a little red hen and starts up a more vigorous SACD issue schedule on its own account.

Comment by John Bacon-Shone - April 2, 2019 (4 of 7)

Part of the problem was due to Pledge Music. As PM apparently spent money that was not theirs to keep, these re-issues were collateral damage.

Comment by Downunderman - December 23, 2020 (5 of 7)

.....Looks like this title could now be back on. March 2021 (if memory serves) being the indicative time frame. Happy days if it comes to pass.

Comment by Downunderman - April 16, 2021 (6 of 7)

This album was originally issued on CD back in 1993. Now it has been Mastered Direct-to-DSD FROM THE ORIGINAL ANALOG MASTER TAPES by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound and this SACD issued in 2021.

I am a bit of a fan of Matthew Sweets rueful ruminations on love lost and found. So it is great that this album, which by and large, is not so well thought of compared to Girlfriend or 100% Fun, has made it to SACD.

This album could be a case of the exception proving the rule in that the 6 bonus tracks serve to improve the album, rather than detract from it.

The album as originally issued being stylistically all over the place and not particularly cohesive. The bonus tracks added to this SACD are quite good and fit in well with what was there in the first place. It has gained an accentuated sprawling character and could now be power pop's very own 'exile on main st.'.

The DSD master has also helped significantly what was a midfi recording to begin with. When first issued on CD it had an average DR of 8, here the average DR has come up to 11. The production on this album tends towards a dense 'wall of sound' presentation and there is now much greater clarity of the various elements in that mix. Compared to Girlfriend it is warmer and fuller sounding too.

Note also that the orange cover above has not been used for this SACD issue (The album was originally issued in a range of different colors). The dark blue cover is the one used here.

Comment by the other theo - November 21, 2021 (7 of 7)

My disappointment with this release is that it does not completely replicate the original recording.

The album is divided into two parts, corresponding to the sides of the original LP (named Part One and Part Two.) Part Two is bookended by dialogue excerpts from the Tinto Brass/Bob Guccione film Caligula starring Malcolm McDowell. The excerpt at the beginning of Part Two shows up as Track 8 - Intro. The excerpt at the end is a hidden track in Track 15 - Evergreen. Though the artwork on the ZOO redbook CD lists Evergreen as being 4:23, it is actually 5:49. Evergreen on this SACD release ends at 4:28, which includes a short fade to silence.

I emailed Intervention records about this omission and got no response.

I'm just a little sad that this slightly diminishes an otherwise excellent release.