The Who’s new remasters for iTunes and HDTracks hold a special surprise

Share this:

The Who quietly snuck a bunch of new remasters of most of their catalog onto iTunes and HDTracks last week. What’s most surprising and exciting is that these don’t appear to be just remasters of the 1996 remixes but of the *original* mixes, or new mixes created to sound just like the originals. “De-mix” may be more appropriate.

I’m also not convinced they’re really remastered, as they sound VERY good, like the Who’s original releases did. Not “loud” at all. Remastered with a very light touch, perhaps.

Most notable is Live at Leeds, the best live album of all time, which not only gets that remix treatment featuring the setlist in its original order (“Tommy” follows “A Quick One,” and then “Summertime Blues,” “Shakin’ All Over,” “My Generation” and “Magic Bus” appear after all of Tommy) with no between-discs fade out. It also has what appears to be all of the between-song banter that makes the Who’s shows so much fun, and which had been removed to varying degrees in all previous versions.

Look for the ©2014 to determine which albums have gotten this treatment. There are still some of the less-recent remixes on iTunes, so keep your eyes open. Sadly for those who like their music in tangible form, there has been no mention anywhere of CD or vinyl releases for these. So if you want to hear The Who how they should sound, you’re forced into choosing either lossy iTunes or lossless HDTracks versions.

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Tom Johnson
Share this:
Close