Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Flaming Lips DSOTM clear vinyl vs. the CD

I've been a big fan of the Flaming Lips' version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon since I first heard it on my clear vinyl copy from Record Store Day -- all vinyl color confusion aside.

But in coming back to Minnesota, I was quite excited to bring my CD copy of the album back and drive around and listen to it at a very high volume, as I like to do here and there.

But when I finally got a chance, the only word I had was disappointment. Every sound and part of a song which I loved before seemed flat. It was like I was hearing the top 10 percent or 15 percent of every song and sound rather than the full range the artists intended (both the original Dark Side of the Moon record and the cover are great records, sonically speaking.)

But anyway, it was a disappointment, to find that certain parts of songs or sounds in any given track on the Flaming Lips' version of that classic record just were not the same on the CD version playing in an automobile. But at the same time, it really got me thinking about the difference between CD and vinyl in the first place.

The first time I really noticed the difference was when I was in Indianapolis with some of the other inters listening to Bob Marley's Exodus on my stereo. It was on CD, initially. Then I remember I had it on vinyl, so I put that on. Going from one to the other, with the exact same songs, really shows the difference and makes it infinitely clear why vinyl is so superior.

This experience with the Flaming Lips' version of DSOTM was just the latest incarnation of this reality. If anyone doubts the superiority of vinyl over the MP3 or CD, I challenge you to listen to a CD or MP3 on a stereo system and them listen to the same music on vinyl on the same system. The difference is ridiculous. And that's why we love vinyl.

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