SUPERIOR-SOUNDING JAPAN 2008 REMASTER NOW AVAILABLE
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 09/15/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
In 2008, WEA Japan released the entire WB Tower Of Power catalog in remastered form. All of the albums benefit from new mastering, and are worthwhile acquisitions for fans.
I found all of the remastered material to be superior to the Rhino 2CD "What Is Hip?" 1999 compilation set, except, surprisingly, for the material from the 3rd album, which sounds better on the Rhino.
Amazon does a haphazard job of stocking these remasters, so you may have to seek them from Japan-based retailers. Also, Amazon's prices are at least a third higher than buying direct from Japan, although shipping costs will cut into that percentage.
Here are the links for the `08 remasters:
East Bay Grease
Tower Of Power
Back To Oakland
In The Slot
Live And In Living Color
Again, it's sad that American consumers have to obtain better sounding CD's from another country. WEA, and now WMG, have long maintained a corporate policy of not upgrading their catalog under the "they're-gonna-buy-it-anyway-so-why-waste-profits" philosophy, no matter that rival Sony has made a lucative business model out of remastering nearly the entire Columbia records catalog. Although this internal policy was mandated by the WEA regimes of the past, Edgar Bronfman, the current WMG chief, has maintained the status quo.
So, Tower Of Power now joins fellow WEA artists Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder, The Doobie Brothers, Tower Of Power, Neil Young, Van Dyke Parks, Little Feat, Van Morrison, America, Annie Haslam, Everything But The Girl, Roberta Flack, Todd Rundgren, Cold Blood and Paul Butterfield, just to name a few, whose catalogs either partially or wholly exist in better audio in Japan than here in the U.S.
It's a pathetic and frustrating situation."