Another Friday is finally upon us!
With the weekend looming what better way to sit and relax this weekend than listening to some CDs. Some Beatles CDs. Some SHM-CD Beatles CDS!
Today I thought I’d take a quick look at three SHM-CDs that I bought in the last couple of years or so that are truly amazing to look at as well as listen to on a nice stereo.
(By now any reader of this blog is pretty much familiar with Japanese SHM-CDs. If not go to the search on the home page of this blog as I’ve written about them quite a lot.)
The three SHM-CDs I want to take a look at today are the following (newest to oldest that I acquired):
Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
The Beatles – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (2 CD Deluxe Edition)
The Beatles – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
To say that I enjoy these three albums is an understatement. All three of these SHM-CDs have been in constant rotation since I received them and I view each of these discs as my preferred way of hearing each of these albums.
I of course own the regular U.S. CD versions of these albums as well but as is usually the case, in MY opinion, these SHM-CD versions have a deeper, more fluid bass sound and nicer separation than their regular CD cousins.
On “Egypt Station” and “Sgt. Pepper” especially these Japanese SHM-CDs have an extra something to the sound that draws me in more than the regular CD versions. I’m not saying night and day different but better for sure.
Again, I’m not going to argue with those who feel this is all snake oil and that SHM-CDs don’t sound any different to regular CDS but in my experience they do.
In the case of McCartney’s “Egypt Station” the SHM-CD version does contain the two bonus tracks that were only available in the U.S. on the Target Stores exclusive CD which is a nice bonus.
(Note: On May 17th “Egypt Station” is coming out in a 2 CD Explorer version which has an extra disc with these two bonus tracks plus 8 more studio and live tracks. I’m hoping they’ll be an SHM-CD version of that – stay tuned.)
As for the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (2 CD Deluxe Edition) if you own the 4 CD version you’ll be happy (or not) to know that the 2 CD version has some differences in sound on certain songs.
Some of the tracks are mastered a bit quieter than the massive 4 CD set (which I’ve reviewed on this blog – see search) so for the Beatles obsessives out there this 2 CD set does give you something a bit different and is well worth seeking out.
Again, the SHM-CD sounds like an improvement to me so it might be worth hunting down if you’re into collecting Beatles CDs or music.
The “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” also sounds quite good but this is the one that sounds only marginally better than the regular CD version. The bass does sound better but it’s not as noticeable as the studio CDs.
Again, lovely packaging and a slight improvement but for this one the SHM-CD may be a bit of a stretch unless of course you’re a Beatles nut like me, then hands down go seek one out.
I’m so glad to have run into a few fellow collectors who love the SHM-CDs as much as I do. I’m sure it’s an acquired taste, or sickness whatever the case may be, but I also think it’s fun to have photos of the sets as you rarely see them online (thus my reason for doing this blog!).
Anyway, enjoy the photos above and if you’ve never tried an SHM-CD order one and see what you think. (Okay, I know I’m talking to folks around my age as younger people look at you as their heads pin when you talk about actually BUYING music.)
Until next time, be well and Happy Weekend!!!