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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:

http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/CorporateInfo/History/SonyHistory/2-07.html

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
tapes;
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