Saturday, 13 December 2008

CD vs Vinyl Record audio comparison using Joni Mitchell material

Lately, my friend Eric has been urging me to re-listen to Hits, a sort of "Best Of" compilation of Joni Mitchell's songs on compact disc. In particular, he was asking me to give her track California a good listen. Well, I took his suggestion early this morning and I must say that my breath was taken away by the sharpness and crispness in her voice. I put this track on repeat mode and I think the player must have played it five or six times.

In the meantime, I was curious enough to rummage through my vinyl record collection for The World of Joni Mitchell. This album is practically as good as a Greatest Hits collection since it contained very familiar titles like Big Yellow Taxi, Woodstock, Both Sides Now, The Circle Game and of course, California.

So I did a little experiment. I tried a direct comparison of the common tracks that appeared on both Joni Mitchell's CD and record. My verdict: the vinyl record versions have better warmth and they had more punch in the bass. The songs on the vinyl came over as more natural. (Note: This is not unique. I'd also noticed it before with Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water: better bass from the vinyl record. Is that the way analog music originally sounded before it got digitised?)


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