Nektar - Live In New York (1977) SACD Eclectic Discs
Years ago I bought Nektar's "Live In New York" which was one of the worst sounding CD's I EVER bought. It was only later that I came to understand that this live concert was from a Radio broadcast German bootleg (at the wrong speed) that had made its round over the years with the apparent master tapes having been lost. In 2003 Nektar negotiated the rights to their music back and with that arrived the long lost 16-Track New York concert tapes. According to the liner notes on this double SACD the tapes had suffered water damage from a water leak in the tape vault where they had been stored for years.
Re-mastering from these tapes would turn out to be quite a project and thanks to the skills of Mark Powell and Pascal Byrne we now can all enjoy this in better sounding format.
What makes this concert so darn good is the pure raw energy that Nektar exuded and was captured live on these old tapes. I recall listening to the bootleg CD version I had and just wishing that the sound would have been better as the music was just so alive. According to the history of this show the sound-geek accidently tripped over some cables during the show and screwed up a bit of Back To The Future with an apparent temporary power failure.
Audiophiles I dont think will want to pick this album up regardless of the remastering that has happened or the 5.1 surround mix as the sound is still below what you would like to hear from SACD. This is one of those recordings that I knew still sounded somewhat muffled but I am just such a big fan of Nektar that I had to have this recording. The music is essential and the concert was magical and fans of Nektar will need this.....but Audiophiles should stay clear.....you don't buy this one for the sound.
Ok so now that I have scared all the Audiophiles out there let me say that the sound is actually not all that bad just not up to the SACD format that you likely have come to expect. Sound wise the album is quite muted and lays sonically very flat and lack lustre. But of course this one is for the music as I said and less about the sound quality.
Either way it sure beats the original releases by a country mile !!!