Ænima – Green Limited Edition

* I bought this mint two LP set knowing that it was not the official release.  The only official release of this record is on black vinyl and there has never been an official reissue.  I was also able to compare this to the original.

Both LP’s are bright green and you can see through them for the most part.  There are some cloudy/milky parts within the vinyl that don’t make it totally clear.  There are also tiny specks of what look like black vinyl embedded in each record.

The cover is made of a thin rough material that is not like a typical album cover.  It is flimsy and actually buckles when you handle it.  The insert artwork is also a cheap reproduction of the original.

When I played each record they had an unusual tap or bump sound as it rotated. The culprit was multiple excess vinyl tabs on the edge of each record.  The only way to fix this was to file the edges of the records to be completely round. Once filed down each of the records played fine.

Upon listening the records are obviously not pressed from the master recordings.  They appear to be from CD when compared to the full and deep sound of the original pressing.

It’s obvious that the Ænima – Green Limited Edition Reissue is a cheap reproduction attempting to capitalize on the expensive nature of acquiring the original pressing.

The original pressing of Ænima sounds absolutely terrific so don’t be fooled by this or any other cheap reproductions.

Green Aenima

Label: Zoo Entertainment

Catalog#: 72445-11087-1

Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album,

Unofficial Release, greenCountry:

USReleased:

Genre: Rock Style: Prog Rock, Heavy Metal

 

 

Tracklist

A1 Stinkfist 5:11
A2 Eulogy 8:29
A3 H. 6:03
A4 Useful Idiot 0:39
B1 Forty Six & 2 6:03
B2 Message To Harry Manback 1:53
Keyboards [Uncredited] – David Bottrill
B3 Hooker With A Penis 4:34
B4 Intermission 0:56
Organ [Uncredited] – Eban Schletter
B5 Jimmy 5:24
C1 Die Eier Von Satan 2:17
Vocals [Uncredited] – Marko Fox
C2 Pushit 9:56
C3 Cesaro Summability 1:26
C4 Ænima 6:40
D1 (-) Ions 4:00
D2 Third Eye 13:47
Synthesizer [Uncredited] – Chris Pitman

CreditsPerformer [Uncredited] – Adam Jones , Danny Carey , Justin Chancellor , Maynard James Keenan

Producer [Uncredited] – David Bottrill , Tool (2) NotesGatefold packaging.

On back:
The BMG and Zoo Entertainment logos are trademarks of BMG Music • ? © 1996 BMG Music • All Rights Reserved • Manufactured and Distributed by BMG Entertainment, New York, NY • Printed in U.S.A. • 72445-11087-1

Cannonball Adderley/Miles Davis – Somethin Else

In today’s music world, the barrier between the average music lover and great vinyl is price.  Nowhere is that barrier more strongly fortified than hi-fi jazz vinyl.  A fan’s eyes become transfixed with the notion of having a recording that is as close to the source tapes as possible, and all you need to do is be willing to part with 50 or so dollars.  45 rpm and an all-analogue process from original tapes is now the answer for anyone for whom money is no object, apparently.  And if you aren’t willing to drop that kind of money for great jazz, then you must not be a true fan of hi-fidelity jazz, right?  It makes one wonder what happened to the days of a solid recording for anywhere between five or ten, or twelve bucks.

But for the average music Joe, twelve dollars is not much to throw around when it comes to finding quality represses on vinyl these days.  Yet you never know when you might find something great for a small price. It was an early spring day, and, sitting in a local music store’s new arrive bin was Cannonball Adderley’s indispensable Somethin’ Else, re-released on vinyl by Blue Note. It came complete with a reproduction of the original liner notes and barcode-free album sleeve, and for just 12 bucks. For an album that his hard to find in decent shape in it’s original pressing, it was enough to make any finicky Jazz/Vinyl fan giddy. If the pressing itself was up to par, that is.

 

Was it ever.  For the price of admission, it’s hard to believe how clearly Art Blakey’s snare and cymbals ring through your speakers, coolly collecting between Miles Davis’ elegant strokes, Cannoball’s smooth alto musings, Hank Jones’ wistful keyboard lines, all in front of Sam Jones’ mellow bass.

This is music that has been reviewed again and again by many a jazz critic, so suffice it to say that if you are a jazz fan of any sort and don’t have this on the shelf, you are missing out.  The music itself is a joy, from the first track’s opening notes to the last few bars of “Dancing in the Dark”. After spinning the whole disc, the listener may realize this was one of the pinnacles of the careers of each of these men, even Miles.  It is in fact considered by many to be one of the defining moments of Cool or Hard-Bop Jazz.

 

Though all five pieces on the LP are top notch, no cut here stands out quite the way the album opener, “Autumn Leaves” does.  Whether you are a fan of the Bill Evans metropolitan swing version on Portrait in Jazz, or Nat King Cole’s orchestrated-pop version, this is the cut that expanded the spectrum and depth of the tune for the Jazz repertoire.  One can’t help but hear the heavy influence Gershwin’s “Summertime” had on this number, and it makes you thankful for the arranger as well as Gershwin himself. Rarely was mood so laid bare, easing in and out with a breeze that could only be described as, well, autumnal.  Hank Jones’ final lines that linger at the end of the cut will linger with the listener long after the playing ends.  The quintet wasn’t afraid to have a little fun as well-“Love For Sale” is Art Blakey’s moment, leading these players past the opener’s moodiness into a freewheelin’, up-tempo romp with Jones’ piano laying down the canvas that the others play and paint on.  “Somethin’ Else” is hot, cymbal driven jazz, with an answer and call between Cannonball and Miles, “One For Daddy-O” keeps the energy going and the albums comes to a quiet, classy end with “Dancing in the Dark”. Not one track is filler on this long-player.

 

As a listener, the only way to further the experience of such a wonderful album is to have no barrier between the music and the ear.  And quite simply, you would be hard-pressed not feel as though this pressing allows just that. Never is there a moment where you feel distant from the musicians, or the space they play in.  There is no feeling of isolation, but rather a feel of quiet inclusion into an intimate and rich moment in time between musicians at the peak of their powers.  The sound feels present, always available to the listener, from the air in the high end, all the way to the warm, yet precise bass tones.  Perhaps the only thing left to be desired would be that Hank Jones’ piano be better mic’d in the original sessions.  Compared with the other instruments, it sounds canned.  But it’s a minor quibble with an overall superbly engineered session.

 

Many audiophile collectors would have you believe you need to drop at least thirty dollars for an album such as this, pressed on premium 45rpm vinyl, to gain true access to the music.  All you need to enter the rich world of Somethin’ Else is twelve dollars, your ears and some free time (Well, that and a turntable with a receiver and some speakers.)

 

[Some might wonder why Cannonball was billed as the leader of these sessions, with some validation.  Miles was essentially doing a favor for a friend whom he knew deserved the recognition.  It is debated who actually led the sessions, though Miles did choose many of the numbers.  Either way, it was a welcome reunion between the two.]

Love – Da Capo

Any fan of Love (and Arthur Lee), and a fan of vinyl and all the sonic possibilities that it provides, could agree that the best experience of Arthur Lee’s original line-up would have been the third and seminal Forever Changes on your turntable, fresh out of the plastic of a first edition pressing in 1967, the smell of fresh petroleum product filling your nose as you spin.

The second best experience would be the same circumstances with the album that hinted at the creative peaks of Forever Changes, Da Capo. From the proto punk rush of “7 and 7 is”, to Arthur’s ‘Stones-inspiring “She Comes in Colors”, Da Capo came remarkably close to the heights of a psychedelic masterpiece. The only thing holding it back was the half-hazard and messy “Revelation”. The song essentially sounds like an excuse to Elektra to fill the second half of a long player. Yet what is remarkable about the album is that the 18 minutes and 57 seconds of deadweight on side B can’t eclipse the six, near perfectly crafted pop pieces on side A. The impulse to simply lift the needle and repeat is pervasive, and practically undeniable.

Unfortunately, wearing the grooves on this particular copy isn’t a huge draw for Side A, much less Side B. Sundazed records, who repressed Da Capo on 180 gram vinyl in 2001, has built a steady reputation over the years for keeping the beach torches of Surf music and Psych 60’s rock alive, among other members of the same family tree, all on vinyl- a very valid and respectable mission. Vexingly, in this resurgent age of vinyl, not everyone is on the fidelity boat. Vinyl not only offers the benefit of nostalgia and scraggly sounds of yesteryear, but with the right mastering and playback, can provide superior sound quality to almost every other popular audio media out there.

Today, with “Audiophile” pressings abound, with claims of “Mastered from Original tapes”, “180 gram” and name-drops of reputable remaster-masters gracing stickers on plastic, the noise can create a cloud of confusion that can make it hard to discern quality from claims.
The Sundazed 2001 reissue of Da Capo, sadly, falls under the latter category. The cloudiness of the remastering of the album is very confusing, especially with access to original masters, as the sticker told when I picked it off the shelf. Ken Forssi’s bass gets the worst of it here, with his lines running all over the other instruments, while never sounding tight enough or even in it’s right place, sonically speaking. Michael Stuart’s drums also get the short end, falling short of providing that true punch the music needs as though they wrapped him and his kit in cellophane before the sessions began. The high end seems to suffer overall, always keeping the repress sounding like a relic, never like a fresh vibrant slice of 1966. The production seems to focus mainly on boosting the midrange as much as possible; with the admirable goal of granting the music its muscle, yet never achieving that goal.
Sundazed, on paper, has my vote for one of the best repress labels out there, with an allegiance to finding the best, forgotten 60’s masterpieces, and seeing that they are not forgotten. Recent additions to their catalogue such as Leonard Cohen and The Velvet Underground make the name Sundazed all the more enticing. But after this listen, I just won’t bite.
The song that is crippled most here is “7 and 7 is”, the album’s cornerstone, a hard-rocking attack of stream-of-consciousness, stripped of its brutal beat and persistence through lousy sound.
The soundstage, or the space that is created between instruments, seems squished and forgotten. Overall, one feels the engineer is asking a Sitar-guitar player to rock out in a muddy bog. You just want to move forward, strip away the layers to get a sense of the raw power of the music, but your legs (or ears as it were) can’t seem to pull out of that first step into the muck.
The music on Side A is hardly muck. Bryan MacLean was starting to flex his pop-songwriting muscle on the slightly saccharine, Latin-tinged “Orange Skies”, and Arthur was as manic and brilliant as ever, warming up for his tour de force to come. This is music that deserves to be front and center-in your face. All Sundazed has done with this repress is remind you that A) A romp in a bog is no fun B) “180 gram” and “Mastered from Original Tapes” is not an insurance policy against said romp in the bog and C) You still need to be saving your bread for that first edition in M- condition on eBay.