SOME STUFFS: cherished Herbie Mann album remastered for vinyl

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Herbie Mann covered a lot of ground in his lifetime, and there are many albums in his very deep catalog that people love to go back to. One of them was released on Atlantic in 1962, a live recording called Herbie Mann at the Village Gate. Newly remastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray for Audio Fidelity, the album may have featured only three songs, but it brought jazz to an audience who didn’t know they needed it. “Comin’ Home Baby”, the shortest song on the album at 8:37, was edited for release as a single and managed to give Mann a Top 30 hit. Versions of “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “Summertime” (both George Gershwin compositions) brought fans down to their knees at record stores, imagine what it must’ve been like for those who witnessed these performances.

This remaster is vinyl-only and will be pressed on 180g virgin vinyl. You can pre-order your copy from

SOME STUFFS: Yes and Lynyrd Skynyrd get the audiophile CD treatment

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If you’re a classic rock fan, you’ll have to pick up these two newly-remastered CD’s when they are released on September 29th.

  • Yes90125 was the band’s comeback album in 1983 when they had went on hiatus after the release of Drama. The vocalist of that version of the band, Trevor Horn, would become their producer for their comeback. 90125 featured Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye and new guitarist Trevor Rabin, whose contributions were felt throughout the album. The album also featured contributions from various members of Horn’s production team, which also happened to be Art Of Noise. The album lead to three hit singles, including “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, “Leave It”, and “It Can Happen”, along with album cuts like “Hold On” and “Changes”.

    The album was remastered for vinyl and released earlier this year by Friday Music, but this CD is a completely different remastering, handled by Steve Hoffman.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s second album, appropriately titled Second Helping, was very popular with fans when it was released in 1974, and new fans were introduced to them with the help of what is arguably their second most popular song, “Sweet Home Alabama”. The album also features “Workin’ For MCA”, “The Needle And The Spoon”, and “Call Me The Breeze”. This 2009 remaster was done by noted mastering engineer Kevin Gray.
  • Both CD’s can be pre-ordered through CD Universe, so if you want 90125 go here; if you want Second Helping, head there
  • SOME STUFFS: New Order reissues not up to par, says fans

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    This news piece from Reuters makes me wish more fans would make a commotion. It proves that there are fans who still buy physical product and care for the audio quality.

    The issue in question is a series of reissues Rhino Records released for New Order earlier this week. Fans bought them but realized the audio quality is not up to par, with some claiming that a few of the tracks on the bonus discs are sourced from vinyl. While using records as a master is not a bad thing, this is New Order we’re talking about, a group whose master recordings are still in existence. The albums in question are Movement, Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life, Brotherhood and Technique. The same albums were reissued in England and throughout Europe last month, when fans discovered some of the errors on the discs. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), the masters used for the UK remasters were sent to Rhino and what Americans are hearing are the exact same discs as British fans. (In the past, individual countries could create a unique master for a particular release, so that a pressing in Japan may sound very different from the one in the UK. These days, the same “clone” of an album is used throughout the world.)

    New Order’s Peter Cook made a statement on his MySpace page claiming the reissue process was a mess, and that no one sent him or the other members of the group test pressings in order to have a bit of quality control. The articles goes on to say that Rhino released a statement indicating “We are now in the process of correcting the problems, but it should be noted that due to the age and condition of some of the original source tapes, the sound quality may vary”. Warner Japan had planned on creating limited editions for these new reissues, but since it seems they were going to use the same masters as the UK and US discs (as is customary these days), the Japanese reissues have been officially canceled.

    All parties involved will eventually allow fans to exchange their discs when an official announcement is made.

    If you’d like to see an updated forum thread on the errors found in these reissues (“300 and counting”), head over to

    SOME STUFFS: First two Osibisa albums remastered for release in December

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    Osibisa were a band introduced to me by my auntie (r.i.p.), and I got into their music immediately. In the last 15 years, finding decent quality editions of Osibisa albums on CD has been difficult since the CD’s were mastered from unknown sources, meaning it could have been a 5th generation tape for all we know. The first digital appearance of the first two albums happened in the mid-90’s, and the sound quality was okay but not anything too special. A few years ago the BGO label did a two-for-one reissue, but some say a few of the songs are obviously mastered from vinyl.

    It seems the Repertoire label in Germany are to the rescue, with the help of mastering engineer Joachim Ehrig. If the name is familiar, Ehrig is known to some as Eroc from the German prog band Grobschnitt, and he also released a number of solo albums. Ehrig has been a mastering engineer for awhile and according to a post at the Steve Hoffman boards, the source of the masters were DATs that came in from England. I had been told that the actual master tapes were hard to come by, since founding member Teddy Osei has them and allegedly did not want to give them out unless he was properly compensated. Depending on the source of the DAT, it’s possible that Osei has had a change of mind. Fans have not been entirely pleased with the CD reissues, so having it properly done may move people to discover and rediscover these classic albums.

    The CD booklet will feature slightly revised artwork from illustrator Roger Dean. The remasters of Osibisa and Woyaya will be released on December 19th.