CLASSIC SECOND ARGENT LP FINALLY OUT ON CD!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original liner notes on this album stated that listening to the music evoked a feeling of sitting in a pew in the back of a church. I couldn't have said it better myself. Moody, mysterious and melodic, Argent surpassed their excellent debut album with Ring Of Hands. Released a year before the commercial success of their single Hold Your Head Up, this album showcased an idealistic young band willing to explore more esoteric, keyboard-based musical territory. The band would never sound this good again, unfortunately, although all of their albums are worth checking out. Ring Of Hands is even difficult to find on vinyl these days, so this superbly remastered CD is long overdue and a real treat. Highly recommended."
SUPERIOR 2008 JAPAN DSD-REMASTERS AVAILABLE
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 07/12/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
Sony Japan has just released the entire Argent Epic Records seven-disc catalog ("Counterpoints" was on a different label) in remastered, mini-LP sleeve format.
The 2008 Sony DSD-processed remastering trumps all previous releases, including the BGO, Edsel, Koch & Acadia-label CD's, not to mention the pathetic-sounding Collectables and Wounded Bird discs.
It is wonderful to finally have the primary Argent repertoire in dynamically-matched sound, as all the different releases (from the plethora of labels mentioned above) had varying audio levels, not to mention quality.
And, as always, the `sleeves themselves are fabulous, all being faithful replicas of the original gatefold LP record covers (except for "Nexus", which was a single-pocket LP design).
Unfortunately, however, Sony did not include two non-album tracks, "Kingdom", and "Closer To Heaven", which appeared on the "All Together Now" 2001-Koch & 2007-Acadia releases.
Curiously, though, Koch & Acadia also included as "bonus" tracks, songs that originally belonged to other Argent albums. These all appear in their proper place on the 2008 Japan releases.
Here are the links to the 2008 `sleeves:
Ring Of Hands
All Together Now
WHAT IS A JAPAN "MINI-LP-SLEEVE" CD?
Have you ever lamented the loss of one of the 20th Century's great art forms, the 12" vinyl LP jacket? Then "mini-LP-sleeve" CD's may be for you.
Mini-sleeve CDs are manufactured in Japan under license. The disc is packaged inside a 135MM X 135MM cardboard precision-miniature replica of the original classic vinyl-LP album. Also, anything contained in the original LP, such as gatefolds, booklets, lyric sheets, posters, printed LP sleeves, stickers, embosses, special LP cover paper/inks/textures and/or die cuts, are precisely replicated and included. An English-language lyric sheet is always included, even if the original LP did not have printed lyrics.
Then, there's the sonic quality: Often (but not always), mini-sleeves have dedicated remastering (20-Bit, 24-Bit, DSD, K2/K2HD, and/or HDCD), and can often (but not always) be superior to the audio on the same title anywhere else in the world. There also may be bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.
Each Japan mini-sleeve has an "obi" ("oh-bee"), a removable Japan-language promotional strip. The obi lists the Japan street date of that particular release, the catalog number, the mastering info, and often the original album's release date. Bonus tracks are only listed on the obi, maintaining the integrity of the original LP artwork. The obi's are collectable, and should not be discarded.
All mini-sleeve releases are limited edition, but re-pressings/re-issues are becoming more common (again, not always). The enthusiasm of mini-sleeve collecting must be tempered, however, with avoiding fake mini-sleeves manufactured in Russia and distributed throughout the world, primarily on eBay. They are inferior in quality, worthless in collectable value, a total waste of money, and should be avoided at all costs."