Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head 2xLP - Red Vinyl


Vinyl Me Please (2022, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

Yeah, this is me doing that thing where I rebuy an album that I already have and wrote about not that long ago.  I'm mostly going to focus on this new pressing, so if you want broader thoughts about the album itself and how I feel about the songs, you can read my last write up here:

This version was part of the Vinyl Me Please club and I was drawn in by the promise that new lacquers had been made from the original masters.  While I do love vinyl, I'm not one of those crazy audiophile jerks that can pick out faint differences in pressings and claim that vinyl always sounds "better" as that's really subjective.  I prefer listening to vinyl as it feels like a more engaged experience to me, but for the most part I tend to think everything sounds pretty good if I like the music.  Despite that, I picked this up as I consider it a fairly important record to me, and I had a bunch of VMP credit.  So this didn't cost me anything out of pocket, really.

Is it better than my other pressing?  Yeah, it really is.  While the other pressing is totally fine and sounds good, this VMP version sounds enormous.  Every sound comes crashing though with tons of low end and richness.  When the Beasties recorded this, they made an aesthetic choice for everything to sound pretty blown out, so I can't call any version of this record "clear" sounding, but I can say this is the best I've ever heard the record sound, at least on my stereo.  In addition to your own ear sound preferences, the gear you play this on will make some difference I'm sure.

So, the last question, is it worth rebuying?  Honestly, I'd probably say no for most people.  If you have another vinyl version of this, you're probably fine.  As good as this sounds, and it sounds really good, I can't tell anyone that they must replace their existing copy.  However, if this is an extremely important record to you, it might be worth double dipping.  And if you don't have a copy of this on vinyl, this is one hundred percent the version that you should buy, no question about it.  If I didn't have store credit, I wouldn't have bought it and if I hadn't picked it up, I don't think my life or collection would have been any worse off.  That said, I'm really happy I do have this as it sounds amazing.

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head:

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