96kHz/24-bit ALAC/FLAC/AIFF/WAV, Cleveland International/Epic/Legacy (supplied by www.hdtracks.com)
Tempting though it may be to hit the ‘Buy’ button at the thought of Mr Meat’s finest hour in 24/96 glory, it’s not the revelation you might wish for, and the epic title track fares worst of the seven here, just too cluttered in its construction to allow individual elements to be teased forth. The bass is overwhelming, the whole painfully peaky in its most manic moments despite the magnificence of Steinman’s cod-Springsteen spread (authenticated by Bruce’s piano man Roy Bitten and drummer Max Weinberg). Slower songs are cleaner – ‘Heaven Can Wait’ holds back enough to hit the desired heights of swelling strings and textbook backing vox. ‘For Crying Out Loud’ was a pleasure to rediscover, hidden for years behind the exhausting exhilaration of ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’. A classic album, of course, but with little gained by bolting on bonus Bat bits. JF
Sound Quality: 70%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
The spoken introduction to ‘Hot Summer Night’ enjoys a full 60dB dynamic range but this collapses to ~15dB once the band strikes up. There’s little musical output >20kHz and note the spurious peaks above the noise floor. PM
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