Daniel Lanois “Acadie” 2xLP (Record Store Day reissue, Diverse Records UK)

Lanois This is one of the best remaster/repackages I’ve ever heard or seen. Too bad about the quality control once the project hit the pressing plant.

Acadie is a 1989 release on Eno’s Opal label. This Record Store Day LP reissue — limited to 1000 copies —  is repackaged in a gatefold sleeve, with a second LP of different takes and “sketch” versions. The gatefold opens to display the album lyrics, and the innersleeves contain new liner notes from Lanois, with detailed text regarding the extra tracks.

The mastering is outrageously good. The first three songs on side one sound like new versions, but I’m pretty sure that the mastering just opened up a lot of space and detail compared to the ho-hum CD version. The vocals, especially, just leap off the vinyl. During “Fisherman’s Daughter,” I actually jumped when Lanois began speaking. It sounded as though he was sitting on the couch in front of me.

The soundstaging is eerily disconnected from the speakers, yet it sounds utterly natural. The louder it gets, the better the whole thing sounds.

Unfortunately, my copy has a nasty scuff (looks like a fingernail scar) across tracks 5 and 6 of side one, and there’s surface noise throughout much the pressing. When I peeked inside the empty innersleeve I found a large piece of vinyl that looked as though it had broken off the center hole. It’s likely that busted chip of vinyl damaged the disc surface during shipping.

The label on side one is off-center to the extent that it skids onto the innergroove – we’re talking over a quarter-inch off center from the hole

This is bad quality control on several levels.

On the quieter songs the pops and click really, well…sucked. The vinyl quality seems mediocre. The discs were sleeved badly; crammed into the short side of the seam and very difficult to remove.

On my copy there’s also a seam split on the top edges of the gatefold. I’m assuming ElusiveDiscs received the LPs in this condition, because their packing job is among the best. I contacted ElusiveDiscs tonight for a return authorization. I’m looking forward to a clean, undamaged copy and just hoping the first one was an fluke.

I know little of the UK label Diverse Records, but to charge US$45.00 for discs of such poor quality sure is…cheeky.





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