Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: 'Small Faces' and 'From the Beginning' Reissues


Universal Music last remastered and reissued Small Faces’ first two albums in 2012 as double-disc deluxe editions in conjunction with Sanctuary Records. Remastered from second-generation tapes, the discs sounded really good and you can read my original review here to also get my assessment of the music (spoiler alert: it’s great). Shortly after the release of these discs, UMe and Sanctuary parted ways, which may account for why UMe is currently mounting a whole new SF reissue campaign, although those old deluxe editions are still in print. The gem of this latest campaign will apparently be The Decca Years, a five-disc CD box coming next month that was “remastered from the original analogue sources,” according to the official copy. However, the campaign began late last month with 180 gram vinyl reissues of Small Faces and From the Beginning. I received CD review copies to examine, and after A/B-ing them against the 2012 deluxe editions, I can’t really discern any significant mastering differences. So I guess the big draw of these initial reissues is that they’re on vinyl. As I said, the mastering sounds really good, but I’d hesitate to purchase these new discs if you already own the bonus track-laden 2012 deluxes and youre primarily looking for a significant mastering upgrade. Presumably, these review discs contain the same masters that will be included on The Decca Years. I’m going to try to get my hands on a review copy of that box set to confirm whether or not it features any significant sound upgrade from the 2012 editions. Stay tuned…

Meanwhile, get UMe’s new vinyl editions of Small Faces and From the Beginning on Amazon.co.uk here:
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