While it isn’t a perfect pressing …. This is a clean and clear pressing….. Like many other albums being released again this falls in what I call the Question Zone…. Meaning any albums that are 46 minutes to around 57 minutes how will they press it…. The reason being is does a label want to spend the extra and make and 2 lp or would they rather squeeze it all in a give a sub par item for a decent cost…. This falls in latter…. Sort of….. Due to the mellowed music of most of The Smith’s music this is better than 80% of single Lps in that time length…. At 56 minutes this sounds great for what they did…. Not to mention quality heavyweight sleeves and a gatefold
I think Optimal did a good job here. Yes, this pressing sounds a bit muffled and slightly rolled off on top but it also more natural sounding than Tidal MQA stream version (which to my ear sounds more brittle and harsh). That said, there is 58 minutes of music here packed on a single disk (!) so the grooves are very tight and there is a significant amount of baseline noise. Wish Rhino went with a double disk pressed on three sides instead.
I want to counter all the negative reviews by pointing out that my copy sounds great, silent when silence is desired and with full rich sound for the music, no EQ required. I owned the original Rough Trade press when I was a kid, and this is a fantastic replacement. I very much recommend this press, but given how many people report problems, maybe it's best to order from a seller with a generous return policy.
Otherwise it's a 5 star record, filled with great and unique music and even some unexpected different arrangements in the radio session tracks. A great introduction to the band, and essential for anyone who appreciates their work.
Surely one of the most consistently solid albums I own, and at 16 tracks, that says a lot.
To my ears this pressing sounds really good. I doubt that it could sound better except for maybe cut a 45rpm and on double vinyl. Its as dynamic as its going to get, People . We're talking about LIVE, CONVENTIONAL instruments here and 56 minutes of music laid out across one lp.What you hear is The Smiths au naturale and it is pretty stellar. There's no sound wizardry to be had because it never existed on this in the first place! I have owned a cd of this for over twenty years and this pressing definitely sounds superior to that. This a perfectly acceptable reissue down to the packaging. Highly recommended! Or ....you could knock yourself out acquiring an original from Dear Olde England.
The album itself is great! Unfortunately this particular pressing is "not the yellow from the egg", as we say in Austria. IMO its very silent and flat sounding. I must say that I don't have an original to compare with but I don't really enjoy this vinyl.