SUB-STANDARD MASTER FOR (ONE) SUB-STANDARD ALBUM
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 05/03/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
The great "Hellbound Train" album aside, you have to be a REAL Savoy fan to want to own "Wire Fire", certainly not one of the band's more auspicious efforts.
Unfortunately, this CD seems to be the only way to now obtain the album; unfortunate, because the audio on this disc is TERRIBLE, especially when compared to other available remasters.
If it's "Train" you're looking for, then please do yourself a favor, and opt for the BGO remastered Street Corner Talking / Hellbound Train "2-fer", which is head-and-shoulders better sounding than this disc.
BGO has issued a series of nicely remastered 2-fers of the primary ten-title SB studio catalog:
Shake Down / Getting to the Point
Blue Matter / A Step Further
Raw Sienna / Looking In
Lion's Share / Jack the Toad
I have A/B'd these to the older 90's London single-disc releases and have found them all to be superior. By all means, if you own the London discs, and you're looking for the best audio, replace them with the BGO's.
For mini-sleeve collectors and audiophiles, there are also two Japan OOP imports of the first two albums, Shake Down and Getting To The Point that may still be locate-able. Both are slightly better than the BGO in audio quality, plus the glossy 'sleeve replications of the 60's LP covers are very kewl.
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."
Missing ending found
James C. Allen | Kearney, MO USA | 02/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like other reviewers I rate Savoy Brown's "Hellbound Train" very highly. It's not quite as great as "Raw Sienna" for example but compared to just about anything else, that's a small complaint. If you're into Hendrix, Cream, and early Zep, this is for you. Several reviewers noted that the original ending to the title track, "Hellbound Train", is faded out on the CD version instead of the original dead stop ending on the original LP. That original ending is available on the "Savoy Brown Millenium Collection" that is widely available. What I love about this album is that the bass is so upfront on the songs. Electric guitar lovers will feast on this album. While the title track is very heavy blues rock,almost proto heavy metal, several songs are far more upbeat and/or bluesy. "Doin' Fine" and "I'll Make Everything Alright" are also great blues boogie tunes excellent for dancing to. The real bonus to me is the organ on most of the songs is classic Hammond B-3 style similar to Steve Winwood's early work. Anyone interested in playing "classic rock" live in a bar type setting should check this album out for inspirations. Savoy Brown ranks easily with the best Free, Spooky Tooth, Humble Pie, Faces, etc. Yeah this is English white boy derivative blues but it's just too good. They deserve a wider audience, even now, and it would be so great if their early albums could be given the upgraded reissue treatment."