The Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full of Blues LP - 2014 Reissue, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Friday Music (2014, Reissue)
Briefcase Full Of Blues by The Blues Brothers is arguably the most important record that was ever released in the history of the Earth. Well, in my world anyway. I was probably only 3 years old when I got a copy of this record for the first time in 1979 or 1980. It was my first favorite record, my first favorite band and The Blues Brothers was my first and only favorite movie. I've been living with this album for over 30 years, so when I read that a fancy reissue was on the way, I immediately pre-ordered it, despite a pretty hefty price tag.
I have little to say about the music on the record, some of my favorite songs I've ever heard. It's simply a timeless classic. If you don't have this record, it's an essential addition to any collection. What I want to talk more about is the quality of the actual reissue pressing.
If you go to Amazon right now, this reissue will set you back $30. Thirty dollars! When it was first announced I figured they had to be doing an expanded version of the record, a 2 LP set with unreleased songs or something. Nope, it's the same single LP record it's always been, so no new music. As far as the sound, it sounds great. It's probably the best this record has ever sounded. The music is clear, the vocals are crisp and even the crowd noise sounds better. I don't know that I would call it a revelatory experience or anything, while it sounds great it certainly didn't change how I already felt about the record.
The pressing is 180 gram vinyl, they've remastered everything from the original tapes, the artwork looks like it was cleaned up a bit. It's a good presentation, but I do think Friday Music completely dropped the ball by not using the old red, white & green Atlantic records label on the actual record. That label is so iconic and so much a part of this record that it's jarring to me to not see it on the turntable. Odd choice when so much was done to keep this faithful to the original pressing.
I guess at the end of the day I'll say this. If you don't have this record, you should add it to your collection. It's not going to sound any better than it does on this pressing. But, I think $30 is way too much for a single LP and you can probably find a good condition original pressing for a third of the price of this. I guess ultimately you'll have to decide how important a brand new record is to you vs. a used one.
The Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full Of Blues: