Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde (Mastersound Gold FLAC) MP3/Flac


Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde (Mastersound Gold FLAC)[/i]

[i]That thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold.[/i]

Dylan’s psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory masterpiece.

With 4 different mono masters, and 5 different stereo mixes of Blonde on Blonde – which one should you get? Well unfortunately there is no [i]definitive[/i] version, but the Mastersound Gold version offers the best compromise. It utilises the benefits of stereo (using 20-bit Super Bit Mapping), all the while preserving the tone and feel of the original mono pressings.

It is important to note that Dylan himself was present at the mastering of the original mono pressings, revealing how the artist himself wanted the album to sound. The problem with mono is that it lacks the depth and clarity of stereo. At worst, the mono pressings of Blonde on Blonde sound rather dusty and dull (the Sundazed edition in particular sounds muted and colorless). The stereo remasters have the advantage of better detail and recreate the various positions of the instruments in space.

The Mastersound edition has a rounded, warm, full sound. The sound is very detailed and defined, with individual instruments more discernible. The subtle, unobtrusive dynamics illuminate the quieter passages of music and avoid the jarring effect on other stereo masters. Everything seems up front and close, sometimes at the expense of the depth and soundstage of other stereo masters. And while this version sometimes lacks the punchy bass and harder rhythmic guitar of other pressings, in my view it better utilises the advantages of stereo over mono without compromising Dylan’s vision of Blonde on Blonde.

By comparison, the Remaster available on the SACD (mixed by Michael H. Brauer), is aggressive sounding, sharp, jarring and fatiguing to listen to. Brauer puts his own emphasis on elements of the music - the harmonicas sound unnatural and shrill, the lead guitar dominates the mix, while the bass is overbearing. This approach is not without its merits (for example tracks like Sooner or Later benefit from the chunky bass), but it is too unlike Dylan’s conception of how the album should sound.

Guitars jangle like neon lights