“This is in no sense a stunt record. Let the record speak for itself.”
Says that right here on the back. Of course the record starts with the sound of a train, moving from left speaker to right.
“In spite of the high
degree of perfection
reached hitherto in the art of commercial disc recording, especially
since the advent of the long-playing record, the monaural or one-channel system has certain limitations. The listener is deprived of any real sense of perspective in the sound.”
But wait, there is something astonishingly beautiful and perfect about some monaural mixes: and that beauty is called “clarity.” To my weary, tinnitus-filled ears, the mono mix of the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle is perfection, even in headphones. There’s separation. The piano, the organ, the harpsichord, the guitars, drums, the vocals, the reverb … it’s all there sounding just about what you would like these things to sound like, without the sugar-coated, frosty-haze of full frequency stereophonic sound creeping into your left and right ears, ping-ponging one at a time! Another great psyche classic, Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn also benefits from a mono mix, as it was originally released in mono. There is something distracting about the gamesmanship of “The Piper” stereo mix. That’s right … the gamesmanship.
Coincidentally, (then again, like I’ve written here before,
there are no coincidences …) according to the Pink Floyd
official website, the 40th anniversary edition will be
released on September 4th, 2007, as both a two CD set
and a three CD box set and with both the stereo and mono
versions. Unfortunately The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
has been “newly re-mastered.”