NOT THE ORIGINAL RECORDINGS!
memberinkind | 03/31/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am a recording engineer and sound mixer. I grew up in Texas, listening to and watching ZZ Top. The first two ZZ Top albums were released on vinyl records. Tres Hombres was the first to be released on Compact Disc. When the inevitable popularity of the CD overtook the market, Bill Ham thought it would be a great idea to release the first six albums on CD, which they affectionately called the "six pack." While remastering this compilation, somebody (who knows, but who controlled all of ZZ Top's musical movements??) got the bright idea to re-edit, reproduce, re-arrange and remix the first three albums. At the time, there was a new device in the studios that was known as a "digital echo" device for adding reverb and delay textures to sounds. Most notably, Phil Collins was using this echo device to enhance his drum sounds. ZZ Top's producer (you know who) decided it was the way to go as well, that the new sounds would attract the day's "new audience." The echo and reverb patterns on the "six pack" were so much bigger and wetter than on the original first three albums. Then I started to notice that there were different vocal performances and different guitar riffs in a few places. Talk about re-arranging an original! At a later time, the reproduced versions released on the "six pack" were then released on individual CD's which contain the original artwork of the first three albums. However, they are definitely NOT the original recordings. This process is much like Jimi Hendrix's producer, who went into the studio after Hendrix died and actually hired a player to finish the guitar work on recordings that were incomplete when Hendrix died. Those recordings were subsequently released as "Hendrix's final unrealeased recordings." Suffice it to say, that if the world's art museums decided that certain Rembrandt or DaVinci paintings looked "faded" or weren't "up to date with today's audience," and they repainted certain brush strokes on these masterpieces, the world art community would have a cow! Don't buy these CD's, they are not ORIGINAL works. They have been repainted to fit what someone thought would be a new and "catchy" idea."
Why not repaint the Mona Lisa with bright crayons?
E. Townsend | 05/04/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"it's a 5 Star album -- but I gave a 1 Star for the cheesy CD remixes they did. But get it if you want to hear the sheer genius of their original vision -- it'll do until they reissue the original mixes. -- E.T.
Genius one-of-a-kind album --- Pointless, retarded and destructive remix.
I HAVE AN ORIGINAL MIX of the brilliant and flawless "FIRST ALBUM" on CD --- released before the HORRIBLE idiotic "Six-Pack" remix. Any true Top fan who wants one -- just drop me an e- mail and I'll burn it for you for free.
Shoot, that's just asking for trouble, so scratch that -- but it'd almost be worth being taken to court just to be able to ask the band "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? -- and why in the world don't you rerelease the original mixes?"
Maybe we can get Rick Rubin to intervene on our behalf...
My friend just found a used First Album CD in a used bin -- and it matches the UPC and CAT# on my good mix. So if you can find a used CD with NO DATE ANYWHERE on it and but the CAT # is: 3268-2 and UPC is: 7599-273779-2 -- BUY IT.
They also destroyed the equally brilliant "TEJAS" album -- they even CHANGED GUITAR LINES on "Asleep in the Desert" AND CHOPPED STUFF UP. Cut in HALF the brutally gorgoeus harmonica lead on "It's Only Love" -- Jerks. I think it must have been all the drugs people were doing in the 80's --- "hey lets spray paint over the Mona Lisa"
"Drivin while Blind" -- used to start with the vocal "A when yer drivin' down the highway at night..."
and now they chopped off the "A when yer..." so now you practically hear the punch-in . Now it starts...
"(d)rivin' down the highway at night..." WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT???
'Tejas' nearly unlistenable. So sad. How can we pressure The Top into UNmixing their remixes? Hmmm...
BUT OH JOY! I did just find a MINT CONDITION PROMOTIONAL LP of TEJAS in a used bin at FREAK BEAT RECORDS in Sherman Oaks CA -- so I'm gonna bounce that from wax to CD to tide me over until Rhino Records works their magic and remasters the orignal (God bless Rhino Records)..."
VINYL VERSION IS AVAILABLE!
wally gator | USA | 09/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who is interested, the vinyl version of this album is available here at Amazon, as well as the cassette version. I would recommend going either route instead of the CD version, since, to this day, the only version of ZZ Top's First Album is still the late eighties remastered version that appeared on the ZZ Top Six Pack set (AKA The ZZ Top Sucks Pack, by me, ever since I purchased it in 1992.)
Although Rhino has re-remastered two albums from the sucks pack (Fandango and Tres Hombres) making them sound fantasticly like the original releases, the other four still are completely void of any musical emotion whatsoever, reminicent of the awful Recycler album. This is because the albums were completely remixed in the late eighties to make them sound like albums recorded in the late eighties (ugh, wasn't that rocks worst period ever!?... the answer is yes.)
With amazing imagery, and a unique sound all its own, the vinyl version of ZZ's First is the type of record that makes the turntable bounce from side to side when you drop the needle. However, the CD version won't make your CD player do a god damned thing. At least not until Rhino does something to correct this. Great lyrics like "She was a sleazy mess in her beat up dress..." or "If her lovin' don't kill me, I know her husband will..." are wasted on that silver peice of plastic. SO the black wax is definately the way to go. Although the release date on it says 1990 here at Amazon. Maybe you should check out a used record store, or a yardsale instead, just to be safe.