All 4 titles
(On The Beach, American Stars n' Bars, Hawks & Doves and
have been remastered and repackaged.
All 4 titles are HDCD
format - compatible with normal CD players but giving enhanced sound
quality on HDCD players. Nice one.
Thanks Neil - I know you still don't
like CD's - neither do we - but at least we can all stop worrying about it
And for proof - here's some scans of the OTB CD
See? It does
My initial reaction to the remastered
Easily the best OTB I've heard on CD, last
year I made a very hi-fi remaster myself last year with high end audio
gear from mint German vinyl. I gather it has done the rounds on the
internet trading lists, it wasn't bad but this remaster is SUCH an
improvement on the transient dynamics and overall distortion levels as
you'd expect, things that go 'thump' thump a little more clearly, if you
follow me. Not a bad job at all. (even though I gather Neil still doesn't
like them - probably never will) Overall background noise is pretty much
the same as my vinyl transfer which could be for a number of reasons, not
least the degradation of the 29 year old master tapes - the pressing I
used was an original German quality pressing and it actually features just
slightly LESS overall hiss but of course the titles have been remastered,
so it's also possible that the new mix is different although I cannot tell
any difference at all in the stereo mix.
The only serious points are:
1) the seemingly deliberate removal of certain clicks and glitches
that I know to exist on the original recordings. I miss them already
2) the standard issue dynamic range compression that afflicts most
commercial CD releases where the overall sound is raised in volume at the
expense of various peak volumes that get squashed down so as not to
distort or clip - (this is standard for CD and is not an error as such)
3) The original vinyl release had a slightly louder 'revolution blues'
in comparison with all the other tracks and that is not the case on the
new CD where the tracks are more or less the same in overall volume. These
minor quibbles aside this is as good as it'll get on CD. I do not have
access to HDCD to listen to it that way, maybe some kind soul can let me
know if there is any vastly superior sound in the HDCD replay.
As far as the other 3 titles are
concerned I can only report initial listening tests (mine) show that they
sound good to me. Reactor really chugs along in an agreeable way - but
then I thought it did on vinyl too... ASAB is seemingly faultless and
Hawks and Doves gets the same verdict.
They are as good as they'll
get on standard CD
The artwork has been thoughtfully re-arranged on
all titles to include almost everything that featured on the original LP
sleeves and I thank Warner/Reprise for that. Well done
And we can finally settle another issue that
has been dogging collectors of this album on vinyl: This is bad news for
UK and some German/EU fans of the vinyl - ALL UK
copies regardless of vintage were mastered using a faulty cutting tape
that played at the WRONG speed. The resulting LP played too fast.
It really makes a difference to the sound of the songs
so I suggest all UK pressing owners frame the damn thing and put it on the
wall and listen to the CD. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
also applies to later EU and German pressings that carry the 'strawberry'
mastering stamp. Original 1st press copies from Germany are OK as are most
other nationality pressings to my knowledge - but if it says K54014 or
'Strawberry' in the dead wax run-out area, it plays incorrect. ALL UK
pressings are affected.
All US copies are OK.
the original pattern that was inside the LP sleeve is reproduced on the
inlay tray. The pieces-of-paper-in-the-sand inner bag images are included
as part of the front cover which folds out to 6 times it's package size -
The Petition final count
I would like to thank each
and every one of you from the bottom of my heart - we'll
probably never know if it had any effect on Neil's decision - but that
scarcely matters, what matters is that folks can now buy the album and
decide for themselves if it was worth it.
of course a big thank you to Neil Young himself for finally doing it. You
had your reasons Neil, I guess but now that it's out, maybe everyone
including Neil Young will stop worrying about it.
Tell me more?
This site has been on-line since mid
it was set up as a petition to allow people to register
their desire to see this wonderful album again - it was never released on
CD until now and was deleted from the vinyl catalogue years back. That
seems to be all over and what a relief it is for me.. now I can get on
with my life ;-)
Here follows the original text
of the front page:
So WHAT'S THIS ALL
On The Beach is not currently available on
CD (or anything else).
I want to give old fans and new fans the
opportunity to register their disappointment!
I got featured in MOJO magazine!: image
original LP from 1974 was deleted years ago and On The Beach has
never been released on CD.
It is one of six 'missing' albums in Neil's
Reprise back catalogue (the others being: Journey Through The Past
1972, Time Fades away 1973, American Stars & Bars
1976, Hawks & Doves 1980, RE-ACT-OR 1981 -
collectively known amongst Neil's fans as 'THE MISSING SIX')
The demand is there, even for bad bootlegs. 2nd hand vinyl
copies of On the Beach fetch crazy prices
but they SELL and, as cherished vinyl copies wear out, the album
has become the stuff of legend. I think that's a shame. Neil still has the
So why is it not available?
label, Reprise are NOT to blame - the decision not to re-release rests
with Neil Young.
Why does Neil not release
Only Neil knows for sure...
Some suggest Neil is
punishing us all for not liking the material enough first time around. I
don't believe that.
Neil might know...
Some suggest that
Neil has bad memories of this period in his life...maybe so. Only Neil knows.
A more plausible
explanation is that he simply hates CDs. He has said as much. He
has hinted that it may come out on DVD-audio eventually... but who
knows? Only Neil.
Maybe he is waiting for DVD audio to become standard
before releasing any more of his back catalogue and won't consider
releasing on CDs at all? Neil has previously remastered the tapes for CD
release but he never actually sanctioned the releases. He is on record
[sic] as saying CDs 'fool the mind but leave the heart sad.' CDs
are flawed by their very nature. The sampling rate just
isn't high enough to capture the deeper resonance of music. That much
It is also true that CD's are not as good as the record
industry would have us believe but there is a BIG PROBLEM with Neil's
Most people have CD players now as their primary
source of audio. It's not their fault, it's just the way things panned
People will use any method at their disposal to obtain the
recordings, nothing will change that. CDs will be around for a long while
yet. MP3 will be there too... Neil? People just want the tunes - don't
hang on to them too long or they may perish, and I know as a musician you
never intended that...
If it's about CD sound quality, well,
no argument there - they suck but I'd still listen to OTB on CD, and so
would many others, but most important of all, people would once again be
able to enjoy it. They'd have the chance. When folks can afford to upgrade
to DVD, then of course they will do so - but in the meantime CD fills the
I'm not just making this up:
I first heard On the Beach in a car, on tape, on a long drive
across Europe. You can't get much less hi-fi than that, even
so, the music tore through all the distractions and blew me
away. Shouldn't the music be what it's all about?, not the
fidelity of the presentation? Whaddaya say? Read some of the entries in
the petition archives. Be in no doubt that people feel a lot for this
If it's the message or the Times
surrounding OTB that's worrying you Neil then... well... that's up to
People have gotten to know and love this album so, Release it on
CD, and we won't blame you for CD's being crap!
You, the fans, can join this
small appeal by signing the Petition in the guestbook.
You can hear tracks from the album
on crap mp3, view the artwork,
(including rare songbook pictures by Rick Griffin) and learn more about
the album and Neil's other work by exploring the links.
You can also read a transcription of an older interview
with Neil where he put his views across on this issue, even if they are a
bit hard to define! Check it out.
So, whatever you think about Neil's
decision, whether it's right or wrong, it isn't up to anyone but him, the
fact remains; On The Beach is an incredible album and a fans
favourite. It has an audience just waiting to hear it again. That is
I hope Neil sees this petition and it makes him
reconsider. Take a moment to read some of the entries in the petition
lot of younger fans have never even heard it.
But it's up to Neil
There's no harm in reminding him is there? HEY NEIL!
RELEASE ON THE BEACH!
(and the other 5 too!)