The Klaatu catalog has been butchered by Capitol Records with their various CD reissues for more than a decade. And then it got butchered by Justin, Attic, Collector's Choice Music and BGO. Finally along comes Bullseye Records of Canada and contracts with the band to do it right!
This is the best this album has EVER sounded, even when you include the original vinyl, cassette and 8-track releases! <g>
Seriously, this disc has never sounded so clear, so crisp, so sharp, so warm, so beautiful! Right from the opening of We're Off You Know, you realise that you are in for one heck of a treat. The sonic quality on this disc is so stunning and wonderful that one has to wonder why none of the other labels could get it right. The level of hiss on this CD is a little higher than the previous Attic CD release, but the restored high end and overall fidelity of the disc's sonics far outweigh that fact and you don't really notice the slight amount of hiss that is present. It certainly isn't anywhere near the amount of hiss that is on the BGO records CD version of this wonderful album.
Bullseye has gone back to the analog transfers done from the REAL original master tapes, not the copies of those tapes that Capitol, Collector's Choice Music and BGO used. You'd think therefore that this disc would sound like the Justin and Attic discs (which used these same transfers). Not so. I can't find the proper superlatives to exclaim the glory of hearing this disc! You have to hear the disc to truly appreciate how much better this CD sounds than any of the previous CD releases, or even the original vinyl releases!
Bullseye Records worked closely with the band members to make sure that this package was the definitive version of the disc and it shows. Not only is the sound spectacular, nothing is missing or edited out to "make it fit"! This is the full original album with proper track indexes and fully restored sound with some of the most beautiful remastering ever heard.
And not only is the sound superior, but the packaging is beautiful as well. The front cover is the original LP artwork. When you open up the book you're treated to real credits for the first time, as well as reproductions of the lyric sheet artwork with the lyrics reprinted with permission of the publisher (unlike earlier CD releases). The booklet also contains a reproduction of a rare promo banner that is reminiscent of the Star Wars opening as well as a promo poster from Holland. The back cover of the booklet is the original LP back cover artwork. Note, the front cover artwork is actually the real deal here folks. It isn't from some promo picture that Capital put out that didn't have the song titles, and it's not from a cut-out album cover with a hole punched through one of the corners. This is the real artwork for this album and it looks great! The CD label even has the label artwork from the original Canadian LP (modified for CD format of course)! This package was done the way every CD reissue should be done.
Kudos to Bullseye Records of Canada for getting it right!
Kudos to Klaatu for persisting until they got a proper CD reissue! It's about time your work was given it's proper release in the digital domain!
I look forward to the rest of the catalog on Bullseye!
For "3:47 EST" aka "Klaatu":
Capitol - 1990 - 8 out of 10.
Justin - 1990 - 8 out of 10.
Capitol - 1992 (2-for-1) - 6 out of 10.
Attic - 1993 - 9 out of 10 (the only thing preventing a 10 out of 10 is the missing mouse squeak).
Collectors’ Choice Music - 1999 (2-for-1) - 5 out of 10.
BGO Records - 2000 - 5 out of 10.
Bullseye Records - 2001 - 10 out of 10 (if the quality of the test pressing stays as is)
Justin - 1991 - 4 out of 10. Low marks for quality.
Capitol - 1992 (2-for-1) - 4 out of 10. Low marks for editing the world’s most perfect album and partially for quality.
Attic - 1993 - 9 out of 10.
Collectors’ Choice Music - 1999 (2-for-1) - 3 out of 10.
BGO Records - 2000 - 4 out of 10 (with bad track ID placement).
Bullseye Records - 2002 - 10 out of 10 (the best has finally arrived!).
- Dave Bradley – October 14,
2002, revised April 2003