Magical Voivod Booker Radio

I picked a few things up through the rest of the month of November, separate purchases from both E-bay and Discogs. Most of them were items that popped up that had been on my wishlist at prices that were really reasonable. The first was a Booker T. & the M.G.'s album called "Melting Pot"

Some of his band may seem familiar, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Steve Cropper were both members of the Blues Brothers band in the famous movie. Of course, Cropper was one of the founders of the M.G.'s and Dunn joined his long-time friend shortly after. This is a 1971 original pressing by Stax Records, STS-2035 with SS-0173/SS-0174 runout etchings along with hand etchings of MASTERCRAFT MEMPHIS HC on side A. The condition is excellent, hardly any noticeable noise at all, and it's a great album and one of the last ones from this iteration of the M.G.'s.

Along with Melting Pot, the seller had free delivery so I got my wife a Radiohead record that he was also selling at an ok deal.


Radiohead isn't exactly my bag of tea and that made it a little hard to make out some of the quality. This album was released in 2011 and there was only 1 pressing in the U.S. but it's not exactly readily available in a lot of retail stores.

Next, we have one of my favorite bands from the 80's, Voivod. Kind of a weird name, they're a Canadian progressive thrash metal band that was known for unconventional dissonant chords and science fiction themes. Well, at least until "Angel Rat". While I think "Killing Technology" is probably their best album, but the height of their unique sound is probably "Dimension Hatross".

The album was released in 1988 and this was the U.S. FW 44262 release, with the original inner sleeve and even the T-Shirt order form. One of the things that made this album such a steal was that they're typically pretty pricey. Noise records never pressed a ton of them so it cn be hard to find one in good condition. This one was sold as all original but the vinyl was apparently used in a record changer, so there's a lot of fanned scuffs all over both sides.


You can see pretty clearly the spiral scuffs on the vinyl, but fortunately these have almost no impact at all on the sound, which is pretty amazingly clear and crisp. Eventhough I think "Killing Technology" is probably their best album (their previous album), this was the first album of their's that I've ever heard. I actually owned a vinyl copy of thing long ago in highschool, don't know what happened to it, but the first time I put it on and when "Experiment" came on, I was blown away.

Unfortunately, their next album was the beginning of their decline in the things that I liked about them. "Nothingface" was still a pretty cool album, but it was less of that frantic dissonance and more clean and produced. I remember reading an interview with Voivod in Guitar Magazine (or one of those) where Piggy the guitarist was complaining that the music was too complicated and was hard to enjoy playing live. So the music got simpler and there was more production. One nice thing about Nothingface was a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine". The trend continued with "Angel Rat" and after that, I lost interest.

Then, I found a first U.S. mono MAL-2835 pressing of The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour". This was actually the second copy of this that I have, the first was the SMAL-2835, the stereo version of the first U.S. pressing, but there was some damage on the first side that pretty much made that side unlistenable. Which also means I can't enjoy songs like "I am the Walrus" which is sort of the point of owning the Mystery Tour.

The gatefold contains a 24-page color booklet that's attached to the inner spine. The majority of the pictures are all from the movie, which is only mildly interesting at best, even if you are under the influence.


It's hard to compare the two versions, and I think the CD release is probably the best sounding of them all, not so much because of the media but because of the way a lot of the songs are produced. There's a lot of fuzzy overdrive on certain instruments (or vocals) and maybe the digital mix is just better suited. One thing that I did notice about the mono version is that sometimes it sounds like the pitch is off, kind of like if the record speed up or slowed down ever so slightly for a short moment. It's also entirely possible that it's supposed to sound that way.

One last album that I got but didn't take any pictures of is Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother". I got a replacement for the one I got from the beginning of November which I returned because the vinyl looked fine but sounded horrible. I thought that I was getting a Canadian release but it was the 1983 U.S. SMAS-382 re-issue, and most importantly, it sounds flawless. Well, almost, the beginning of "If" has some pops and cracks but that's about it. Can't wait to blast it on a weekend.

Didn't bother with any pictures because it looks the same as the other one, except maybe a bit more damage to the cover.

Filed under: Music