Digitally Remastered

A recent trend from the music companies is to re-release older albums or CDs in a digitally remastered format, usually with added bonus material that wasn't available in the original version. Case in point: I just got my digitally remastered version of Dwight Yoakam's Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. yesterday.

The original CD came out in 1986 and had ten tracks on it. It sounds pretty good; I bought it about three years ago at the beginning of my Americana music phase. I listened to it a few times and then it went on the shelf. Then, recently, I ripped it to the iPod and was really blown away by it all over again.

Then I heard about the digitally remastered version which came out last year and had to get it. It has two discs; the first disc is ten demo tracks from 1981, which includes much of the material that went onto Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. five years later, followed by the ten tracks from the original CD, digitally remastered. If the original was a diamond, then this version is the same diamond, polished to a high sheen. The second disc is a recording of Dwight Yoakam and his band performing live at the Roxy in Hollywood in March of 1986. It has much of the same material as the studio album, captured on a night when the boys were just smokin'. This version of the CD will cost a bit more than the plain vanilla original, but the additional material and the cleaner sound makes it well worth the extra cost. Highly recommended for anyone who appreciates classic country music.

I also got HAG: The Best of Merle Haggard in the same order. 26 tracks, all of the classics. And to flesh out my Bakersfield Sound collection, I've also ordered Buck Owens' 21 Greatest Hits, and should have it soon. Looks like I've got a tiger by the tail!