Mastering engineer Drew Crumbaugh — aka The Analog Loyalist, whose attempt to restore R.E.M.’s I.R.S. Records catalog was thwarted by Universal Music earlier this year — has taken a second crack at cleaning up the 1980 concert included on the reissue of Joy Division’s Closer, and is offering the new version as a free download.
As Crumbaugh writes on his Power of Independent Trucking blog, in the six years since he was asked to work on Rhino Records’ reissues, his skills have progressed so far that he can “no longer listen without wishing for a mulligan.” So he took that mulligan, and has remastered the two 1980 concerts that appear on the bonus discs to Closer and Still.
“They are spectacular. Not to toot my own horn, but these now simply crush what was used on the 2007 releases. Even the most hearing-challenged of listeners can tell the difference, and not just by minutiae. Cymbals ring, drums go THWACK and not “thwop,” guitars slice through the murk. If there were any justice in this world, Rhino would pull the 2007 sets off the market and reissue with these masterings. One can dream…”
Crumbaugh — part of the team behind the Recycle and Extra Track (And a Tacky Badge) restoration projects, and who also has been posting some great restored New Order live shows on a sister blog — has made the first of those two remastered live sets, recorded Feb. 8, 1980, at the University of London Union, available as a high-quality FLAC download at his website.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Video: Peter Hook schools interviewer on how to play ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ on bass
- Peter Hook to publish ‘Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division’ memoir this fall
- Joy Division ‘+-’ 7-inch singles box to be reissued as 10-disc CD set next month
- ‘Total: From Joy Division to New Order’ to feature unreleased New Order track