See my ARSCJ article:
I found no evidence of the Cheap Trick album being digitally recorded in its original incarnation.
Japanese recordings from that period tend to sound bright to American ears. The early CD of that
album was not good, a lousy mastering job. The original LP doesn't sound over-bright or "metallic"
(except for the hard-rocking music) to my ears. I have the deluxe reissue CD from maybe 10 years
back and it sounds more compressed and more bassy than the LP, but not especially "early digital"
like for instance "Tusk" or Ry Cooder's "Bop 'Til You Drop."
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 5:03 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Digital History Query
> Found a remaindered copy of a later Epic CD incarntaion of "Cheap Trick at
> Budokan" which I have been listening to in the car. Apart from the fact
> that I feel that
> it is one of the best albums ever to go triple-platinum, there are some
> questions about its recording that I'm hoping the combined wisdom here
> might help illuminate.
> When the import release arrived in the little store that was my haunt in
> late 1978 there were several things about it that were waaaaay unusual. The
> quality of the
> photography -- even though shot in the dark, and somewhat enhanced because
> of that -- and of the album jacket printing was a king's mile above the
> average, and
> the later US version kind of darkened and blurred both by comparison.
> However, the sound of the disc was realistic in a way I had never before
> experienced; it was
> so good that it still took me additional years to notice that the music was
> good also.
> The earlier LP versions stated that "Cheap Trick at Budokan" was in SONY
> STEREO. I remember a record store clerk excitedly telling me that Sony
> stereo was
> better than regular stereo and my bullcrap detector going off as a result.
> Now, though, I wonder if he was in some way -- correct?
> Is it possible that digital was somewhere in the chain of "Cheap Trick at
> Budokan." Historically it is possible:
> The PCM-1 was in use and already being marketed by April of 1978 when
> the Budokan concerts were recorded. At that time, Sony was using 2" Betamax
> the disc was being developed, but was not putting out acceptable results
> yet as either a recording or playback format. However, April 1978 is a bit
> before the
> fateful meeting with Karajan mentioned in this corporate history.
> In my car, the recording sounds digital, but it is after all being played
> back from a CD. Elsewhere I've read that the first digital recording in the
> US was the Zubin
> Mehta/NYP recording of Stravinsky's "Petrushka" from June 1979. But I also
> recall that Fleetwood Mac's album "Tusk" was at least partly digital and it
> was on the
> market by the fall of '79. That was on the WB, not CBS.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Lebanon, OH