As most of the world knows today, it has finally been announced that Rhino/WB/Reprise has undertaken the most ambitious vinyl reissue program of any major label in recent history.
Spurred on by a vinyl lover high up in the Warner Bros./Reprise records administration, I can now reveal that Kevin and I have been remastering for Rhino 180 gram vinyl the cream of the WB/Reprise back catalog for release. Mastered at AcousTech and pressed on virgin vinyl at RTI, Camarillo, these albums will feature the original artwork, track listings and (most importantly to me) are all being cut in true analog from the original Warner Bros./Reprise stereo master mixes, some untouched for 35 years.
There will be a dedicated website where you will be able to order these titles and much more:
They will also be at the usual places (Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct, etc.)
Also, BRAND NEW WB RELEASES are coming in vinyl. You have seen our mastering efforts from analog tape to lacquer on the current TOM PETTY/Highway Companion and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS/Stadium Arcadium, Mastering legend Stan Ricker has cut from hi-rez digital DIRE STRAITS/Brothers In Arms, etc. and most of you have grabbed JONI MITCHELL's/Blue, our first Rhino "reissue vinyl" attempt. We are working on the new WHITE STRIPES/Icky Thump right now (from amazing sounding 1" 30 ips master tapes) and such classic albums as FLEETWOOD MAC/Rumours, RICKIE LEE JONES, JAMES TAYLOR/Sweet Baby James, Mudslide Slim, VAN MORRISON/Moondance, ZZ Top/Tres Hombres, Fandango, FRANK SINATRA and MANY HUNDREDS MORE. If you are patient, you will see your own personal favorites on the list, all painstakingly (and I mean PAINSTAKINGLY) cut directly from the original analog master tapes.
Now threads like the Van Morrison Moondance thread below are probably making more sense to you:
FRIENDS, this is the time to buy a turntable. Trust me on this: You will not hear these classic titles sound better anywhere, ever!
to get on their email mailing list. It will be well worth your while!
Stay tuned. Much more to come.
ATLANTA, GA April 27 2005 Warner Brothers records with Rhino/Reprise recently announced that they have hired Steve Hoffman, one of the world’s most revered mastering engineers, to undertake the most ambitious vinyl reissue program of any major label in recent history. Steve will be mastering with cutter Kevin Gray at Kevin’s AcousTech Mastering and records will be pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at RTI – all are being cut in true analog from original Warner Brothers/Reprise stereo master mixes – some of which have been untouched for 35 years.
Steve Hoffman shares, “The old “EQ Cutting Masters” had compromises built in to the sound of the tapes. In the old days the tapes were routinely EQ’d, compressed and sometimes filtered to make it easy for needles to track the groove. When I bypass those tapes the original untouched master mixes reveal a whole new scene; detailed, beautiful sounding dynamic music appears and we can cut this directly onto a phonograph record.”
At Mr. Hoffman’s request, Signals-SuperFi, LLC, in concert with Continuum Audio Labs of Australia, will provide a Criterion turntable and Copperhead tonearm for test-pressing evaluation. Asked why he chose Continuum for the job, Steve remarked, “I heard the Continuum Criterion turntable with the special Copperhead tonearm at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show and was impressed by the resolving sound. This system will be perfect for my evaluation of the Rhino/WB/Reprise vinyl 180 gram test pressings from RTI.”
“We’re terribly excited about the project,” confides Chris Sommovigo, owner of Signals-SuperFi and distributor of Continuum’s record players in North America. “The fact that Warner Bros./Reprise/Rhino is showing this much commitment to the vinyl format – to not just cut and release LPs from the old EQ Masters but to hire Steve to re-master the albums entirely – is really fantastic news for vinyl lovers. Continuum’s analog gear will give Steve the kind of tool that no mastering engineer has had at his disposal before, and Steve will – in turn – be delivering some of the best vinyl ever set onto a turntable.”