I'm certain many of our following is aware of the big news of the day in Smithdom.
This is the real deal, folks. From a collector's standpoint, these are nearly all the outtakes and alternate unreleased mixes everyone drooled about while reading Simon Goddard's excellent book.
From an audiophile perspective, though, I'm not sure where these fit within the defined constraints of this blog. While I am as excited as any of you are to hear these, and they ARE revelatory, they are sourced from mono bootleg vinyl. The story is these ultimately came from Warner Strategic Marketing, on CDs, a few years back. I would kill to get a CDR dub of those WSM CDs, and I can only imagine how pristine THOSE sound (and hopefully stereo!).
The vinyl capture is also somewhat compressed/clipped, big no-no's in my (admittedly anal) arena. While less of a bugaboo to my audiophile ears than the mono aspect, of course if I had my way - fat chance - someone with a thousand-dollar rig would re-transfer the vinyl at a more reasonable level to avoid undue clipping/compression.
Those are my nits and my nits only, though. What is the collective mindset on using some of these (like the original unmixed, unreleased John Porter-produced "Sheila Take A Bow" version) as bonus material in our little project? Should I see what I can get from these vinyl rips, or let them exist in their own domain out in the wild, and hope some little birdie drops CDRs of the Warner Strategic Marketing discs in my lap?
Any reader who wishes to take me up on said offer - to work from the actual CDs (or CDRs) as-sourced from Warners, and has source material to contribute, please drop me a line at analogloyalist AT gmail DOT com.