Why I loath and love K-tel records

They brought some great music to the masses in affordable compilation albums, including big names, the first being issued in 1966. Infact, they sold more than 500 million albums, and that’s also part of the problem. They sold music as a cheap commodity, and the quality of their records was sometimes woeful. Far too many tracks were crammed onto an LP, intentionally limiting dynamic range, and the pressings often were so flimsy and prone to premature wearing and warping. My experience is that the sound quality often suffered. Not sure about the quality of vinyl used.

I just played a lovely Phil Coulter album, in which he plays instrumental versions of Irish tunes, on piano. Very disappointing sound, losing much of the subtlety of the instrumentation and arrangements. Contrast that with this Lee Ritenour album on Victor/JVC Japan.


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