Surfer Rosa - (Import Vinyl Record)
Discovery Miles 4 950
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Nathan, South Africa. 13 November 2016
Excellent EU pressing of their classic Steve Albini-produced album. I bought an English pressing of this about ten years ago but didn't have a good turntable at the time so I effectively destroyed it. As I type, I'm listening to my new copy from Takealot for the fourth time and it still sounds amazing. Highlights include the only single originally released, "Gigantic" (also the only song where bassist Kim Deal â€“ credited as "Mrs. John Murphy" â€“ sings lead vocals throughout) and "Where is My Mind?", made famous by the movie "Fight Club", which serves as the perfect opening to Side 2. The rest of the album is comprised of less catchy, more authentically punk/proto-grunge, and occasionally somewhat cathartic, but nonetheless highly enjoyable and well-crafted tracks. Standouts among these include "Bone Machine", "Broken Face", "River Euphrates, "Oh My Golly", "Vamos" and "I'm Amazed". Lead guitarist Joey Santiago is on top form, often doubling his his irreverent and sometimes downright crazy parts. The master (there is no indication that this this is a remaster) is surprisingly louder than average for the era and genre, and even compared with the heavily compressed vinyl masters of newer alternative albums that are coming out these days. This allows for a much lower noise floor (because you don't have to turn it up so high) and a wider dynamic range, thereby allowing the tracks to breathe and the listener to immerse themselves in the environment created by Albini. Fun fact: Deal apparently sang her vocals for "Gigantic" in a bathroom because Albini thought it would give the track an interesting effect. Albini employed several other experimental techniques, including surreptitiously recording studio banter between takes and even, in one case, attempting to instigate a fight between Black Francis (frontman and lead guitarist) and Kim Deal. These are included as "skits" between tracks on Side 2 and it may be argued that they were direct forerunners of the "skit tracks" used in hip-hop albums of the late nineties and early 2000s.
The cover and inserts are, I believe, pretty faithful to what you would have found had you opened a copy from the original 1988 run. An interesting variance from my 2005 English copy, however, is that the inner sleeve is printed on white paper with gold on the inside, while my earlier copy had that reversed â€“ an interesting effect but it made the artwork a little difficult to see clearly. The record also comes shrink-wrapped, which my older copy did not and which I will certainly appreciate ten years from now when the white backgrounds have not turned brown.