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Double vinyl reissue of the Joshua Tree is a sonic gem!
on April 23, 2013
This is specifically the 2007 double LP reissue on vinyl that I am reviewing here. And my focus is on sound quality as the musical content has been thoroughly covered!
I love this double vinyl reissue and my expectations were surpassed for it. Not sure who did the pressing but my copy is beautifully pressed with excellent sound. From what I can tell reading online, this is the digitally mastered source used in the cd issue. As a vinyl fan, I find the sound very pleasing, very clear and still very `organic' sounding. Even if the source is digital, to my ears, vinyl provides a better soundstage than cd in this case.
As a double lp presentation at the normal 33 1/3 rpm. speed, the tracks are set up as follows:
Side 1 - Original tracks 1-3
Side 2 - Original tracks 4 and 5
Side 1 - Original tracks 6-8
Side 2 - Original tracks 9-11
This leaves lots of vinyl groove space for maximum sound reproduction. I wasn't sure from the cover if it would be 33 1/3 or 45 rpm. but it is the former. Yes, this means getting up more often to change sides but I was surprised to find this advantageous, not only in sound quality but it made me pay more attention to what I have previously considered the `lesser' tracks on this record - #6 - 11. They are the ones that perhaps benefit most from this presentation as there are some terrific production touches that I have missed before and now standout on this crystalline vinyl sound. Until know, I have not appreciated the left turn taken in mood with the final 2 songs `Exit' and `Mothers of the Disappeared'. There is a ghostly atmosphere provided by the Eno/Lanois production that is revealed better than ever here.
Also worthy of mention, `Bullet the Blue Sky' has never this good to me. The drums are rock solid while the Edge's guitar slithers menacingly between the speakers to capture the harrowing feel of this song like never before.
I got tired of the Joshua Tree after listening to it so much when it first came out, much like Rumours by Fleetwood Mac (which has also been reissued on great sounding new vinyl in 2011). However, with the new and improved vinyl sound of this reissue, I am reconnecting with it on a new level of appreciation.
Anyone wanting to know if this reissue is worth it, I would emphatically say `Yes'. I don't have an original UK pressing to compare it to so searching the audio forums may help if you want that comparison. However, this is definitely a sonic gem for me and you will be especially in for a treat if you have only owned it on cd before.