Sunday, October 04, 2009

Feelies Reissue Update

I just wanted to provide a quick update on the Feelies reissues. I finally got my vinyl copy of Crazy Rhythms (still waiting on The Good Earth). In terms of sound quality, the LP reissue is outstanding. I had an original Stiff pressing of the first album on hand for comparison. As hard as I tried, I could not hear a difference between the two, which was kind of surprising considering we know the reissue was digitally sourced. The digital source must have been better than CD resolution, because I could see frequency content extending all the way up to 40 kHz. The pressing was very quiet, which is a really good thing considering that some of the song intros feature extended periods of near silence.

The LP comes with a cute little business card with a code for a digital download. The download is administered through Domino, who offer the option of downloading the album as a CD resolution WAV file. The download sounded fine as well, although I believe it was slightly compressed. The download-only bonus tracks are terrific. I had never heard the 7" version of "Fa-Ce-La" or the demos of "The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness" and "Moscow Nights" before. What struck me about these versions was that although the sound quality and performances were cruder than the later versions, the arrangements were very much locked into place early. These versions also apparently date to a period before Glenn Mercer hit puberty, because he really sounds like an awkward teenage kid on these cuts with a far different voice than what would appear on Crazy Rhythms in 1980. (I guess if I want to hear the b-side version of "Raised Eyebrows" I will have to shell out for the Insound exclusive 7"). The live tracks from 2009 show the band has not lost a step in terms of energy and tightness despite the long hiatus.

Well done and highly recommended!

For anyone bummed the cover of "Paint It Black" included on the 1990 A&M reissue was omitted from the new reissue, here it is:

Paint It Black [click to download]


Sam Adams said...

Insound lists Raised Eyebrows as "(album version)," FYI.

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Sam,

Thanks for pointing that out. It also says: "Featuring the two tracks from the original single: "Fa Ce-La" b/w "Raised Eyebrows"," so I'm a little confused. Maybe the original single featured the same version of "Raised Eyebrows" as on the LP? Anybody know?

Pete Bilderback said...

I got confirmation that the "Raised Eyebrows" b-side is in fact the same version as on the album.