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Life Love & Hope (Vinyl) Limited Edition, Import

Price: CDN$ 41.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • LP Record (March 4 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Import
  • Label: Rock Classics
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

Double vinyl LP pressing. 2013 album from the Classic Rock band, their first studio album in over 10 years. Centered around the incredibly gifted guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz, Life, Love & Hope is a reflection on how certain traumatic events can impact people's lives. The songs bring an uplifting message delivered around the classic guitar and vocal harmonies of Boston's classic sound, which are a true trademark of the band. Vocalists on the album include Brad Delp, Kimberley Dahme, David Victor, Tommy DeCarlo and Tom Scholz himself. Of the album, Tom Scholz said, 'These are all songs from the heart, each of them taking many months of effort to write, arrange, perform and record, always up to the demands of Boston's harshest critic, me. They have all been meticulously recorded to analogue tape on the same machines and equipment used for Boston's hits for the past 35 years.'

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By P. Hattie on April 25 2015
Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
pure crap these guys are done.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Worth A Purchase, Despite Scholz's Objections June 9 2015
By kindasorta - Published on
Format: LP Record
Despite objections from Tom Scholz about this being an "unacceptable" vinyl release, I went ahead and purchased it anyway. No, its not perfect, but its much better than you're led to believe. In fact I would probably go out on a limb to say that this vinyl edition, even with its flaws, is the definitive version of this album. It simply looks and sounds many times better than any of its digital counterparts.

The backstory for those who may not know: this edition was slated for an early 2014 release but ended up being delayed after Tom Scholz rejected the vinyl master, citing “clicks, static and dropouts during many of the quiet segues between the cuts.” Against his wishes, the label pressed the records anyways and released it - to which Scholz responded: "I want Boston fans to know that this vinyl reproduction of ‘Life Love and Hope’ does not meet my standards as producer.” To which my response is simply "Relax aint that bad."

The Good: The audio quality on the vinyl is very good. It sounds much cleaner and has more punch to it than the CD version. The vocals sound more natural, the and guitars are much more alive. The overall mix sounds more balanced and natural than the CD version, which felt very artificial and muddy. According to the brief but incredibly informative liner notes written by Scholz, many of the tracks on the album were recorded, mixed and mastered entirely in analog with no digital manipulation whatsoever. Its definitely noticeable. The liner notes also point out specific songs which were done entirely analog. Many of the tracks feature different takes than the CD version, the most noticeable being the title track, and "Heaven On Earth." The former, according to the liner notes, features a different mix in the second half of the song due to the first mix being damaged, while the latter has what sounds like an entirely different take on the lead vocal along with a different mix. Other highlights include "Last Day Of School" which sounds much grander than the digital version, along with the all analog bonus cuts "Oh canada" and "God Rest Ye Metal Gentleman." To my knowledge, the only hard copies of those two cuts available are on this album, which in and of itself makes it worth a purchase.

The artwork also far surpasses the CD. Of course being larger more detail is seen, but it also features different artwork entirely. The back cover features a far away rear view of the Boston spaceship with thrusters activated, which was a very cool added touch. The gatefold opens up to a panoramic shot of Scholz studio, with the liner notes superimposed on top. The gatefold is thick and high quality, which should stand up over time. The sleeves feature a blue pencil sketching of the ship on the cover on one side, the other features lyrics to most (not all) of the songs but for some reason they are all listed out of order. The vinyl itself is 180 gram red vinyl which looks very sharp, and neither of the discs had warps in them.

The Bad: Some of Scholz's complaints are justified. Quality control on these discs were not as good as they should have been. The label on the second disc has several air bubbles under it, and there is on occasion clicks and pops that are audible on top of the music. The biggest offender was side 4 with O Canada and God Rest Ye Metal Gentleman. Upon removing from the sleeve for the first time there was a white line that spread across the entire first track from edge to edge. Initially it looked like a scratch, however I carefully was able to wipe it away. I believe it was indicative of slight damage though - throughout the entire length of O canada, very loud clicks and pops are heard, as well as through the first perhaps 45 seconds of Gentleman. It may be isolated to my particular copy, but its particularly frustrating that it occured on those particular tracks which are exclusive to the LP. Both discs also have very light scratches on them that mostly don't affect play all that much, but on occasion the clicks and pops do pop up. The scratches are very noticeable on the lead-in and lead-out grooves. I'd say perhaps 90% of the album is trouble free, but there are times where the clicks and pops will deter from the enjoyment of the music. However, as it stands, this is likely the only vinyl release this will ever get, and even this was limited to 1,000 pressings supposedly, so there's not much you can do except grin and bear it.

As for the songs themselves, i've already commented on those in a review of the CD version. Some good (the songs with Delp, Heaven On Earth, the title track) some not so good (Someday, Love Got Away, The Way You Look Tonight). I didn't mind the Corporate America re-hashes since CA was a complete train-wreck anyways. I much prefer hearing what I considered to be the best songs on CA presented here alongside other tracks where they seem to fit in better. The album overall to me still retains is "slightly above average" 3- star rating, with the extra star added for "O Canada" and the stellar "God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen", which is the only track on the album to feature 'real' drums (dont even get me started on the tacky digital drums on this album, which unfortunately sound even more obnoxious in this enhanced analog state). The enhanced audio quality definitely gives these songs new life, but I wouldn't consider it to be a revelation or anything close to that nature. The album still remains far away from being anywhere close to Boston's best works, but mostly I find it pleasurable to listen to...again, if not for those tacky digital drums. I had the pleasure of seeing Boston live in 2015 and hearing some of the new material with real drums floored me. Here's hoping on the next release, should there be one, that Tom hires his touring drummer to play on the album.

All in all, well worth the purchase for the hard core Boston fan / completest. Vinyl is the way Boston was meant to be heard, and this edition gives you the best presentation of these recordings possible right now...for what its worth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sounds great includes 3 bonus tracks not on cd Nov. 20 2014
By Mike M. - Published on
Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
Limited Edition double red vinyl.Sounds great includes 3 bonus tracks not on cd! Including the original version of I had a really good time! A must have to complete your Boston vinyl collection!

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