Klaatu's albums have been given horrible treatments over the years when it comes to CD releases, that is until the Bullseye Records releases of the past decade.
Now Klaatu are having their own turn at it and remastering their albums (probably the last time this will happen) with the newest technology and releasing them with extended booklets containing newly created artwork to enhance the existing artwork. The additions to the artwork are by Ted Jones who did the original album covers (except Sir Army Suit) and is a nice addition. This time around is no exception. They've expanded the booklet, including things like a map of Politzania, etc. (and who knew that HOPE was an anagram for Hall of Peace Eternal?) and they started with a high resolution scan (several scans actually) of the LP cover for their jumping off point on the artwork. The contrast is better and the imagery looks sharper and more pronounced. Very nice job with the artwork! The booklet is phenomenal. The CD label harkens back to the original Canadian LP labels, excellent job guys! (Some of you may recall that the original large painting that the Hope cover comes from was stolen when it was sent to LA to Capitol Records in 1977 for the LP release.)
But how does it sound?
There had been good releases (Attic records) and not so good releases (BGO Records) of this album over the years on CD, and the Bullseye remaster in the early 2000s was a nice refreshing change. This remaster takes it a step further. The sound is nice and crisp. The bass is powerful. The highs are very present. The mids are crisp and clear. There's nothing muddy about this release, and there's nothing brittle about this release. They've really brought out more of the high end and still managed to keep the tape hiss to a minimum. Very nicely done. (Some of you may recall that the original master tape with the uncompressed first generation mixes was stolen when it was sent to LA to Capitol Records in 1977 for the LP release and all the band has to work with is a Dolby A encoded, EQ'd for LP cutting, compressed master copy.)
It's a close race between who finished first this time around. Bullseye vs Klaatunes. Both sound phenomenal. But I have to say that the KIaatutunes release on CD edges out the Bullseye release and takes over the number 1 spot for CD releases of this album.
Fantastic job with the remastering! Kudos to Peter Moore and Klaatu!