The Who – Direct Hits - 200g Quiex SVP* Classic Records Reissue - Still Sealed with Sticker
Originally released in 1968 by fledgling UK indie label Track Records for the European market only, this compilation of five single sides plus various album cuts became an instant have on both sides of the Atlantic. Utilizing the original monaural mixes throughout, we've recreated one of the most sought after collector' items in classic rock. Rare mono masters of hits such as I Can See For Miles, Substitute, Happy Jack, I'm A Boy and Pictures of Lily never sounded so good. Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood by Chris Bellman and cut from the original full track mono takes on Classic's ALL TUBE MONO cutting system - no mono cut on a stereo cutting system here! Pressed on Classic's proprietary 200g Super Vinyl profile this reissue puts you closer to the master tape than any other LP.
Direct Hits was the first official compilation of the Who's music. And it would be notable on that basis alone, even though it was planned exclusively as a European release. But it did a lot more than that, reaching far beyond its intended audience and raising some listener's consciousness along the way. Track Records, which had the band's contract in England and which was always strapped for cash, conceived Direct Hits as a cash-in effort behind the Who's then recent spate of singles, which included "I Can See for Miles," "Pictures of Lily," and their cover of the Stones' "The Last Time" (done as a gesture of support following the drug arrests of Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and Brian Jones) -- and as Track didn't have access to the group's earliest singles, the record was filled out with B-sides, a few non-hit 45 sides, and a notable album track or two. The resulting LP packed as much pop/rock punch as any piece of 12" vinyl to see the light of day in England in 1968, as well as being weird and quirky in the best possible way, what with odd but catchy tracks like "Bucket T" and "In the City" bumping up against the familiar "I Can See for Miles" and "Substitute." It was the best snapshot of the Who's history yet put before the public, and it was good enough to be brought over to America by some enterprising importers, as one of the first U.K. albums to find somewhat wide distribution in the United States, especially at record stores serving college campuses. And that's how it came to be reviewed in the pages of Rolling Stone -- possibly the first British import LP to receive what was, in those days, a true honor. Actually, the album bore an uncanny resemblance in song lineup if not design to the U.S.-issued Magic Bus album put out by Decca Records, which was not an officially acknowledged compilation on the group. The Rolling Stone review stacked them up against each other and found the American LP wanting. And in one fell swoop, Direct Hits became the record that introduced British imports to a wider American public than had ever known about them, and established the notion that the British record labels often did better work. There would subsequently be better work done in this vein in the United States, by Decca -- which learned to straighten up a bit and fly somewhat right as the Who's audience grew exponentially, and had the advantage of access to those early singles -- on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (which also lacked some of this album's quirkiness) -- but Direct Hits was there first, with its own odd virtues.
(REVIEW REPRINTED COURTESY OF BRUCE EDER, ALL MUSIC GUIDE /ALLMUSIC.COM/)
For its extraordinary contribution to the modern music, superb production, craftsmanship, fine musicianship, revolutionary significance and influence it exerted on numerous generations of musicians, writers and general public, or for some other innate quality, this album was voted one of top-200 albums of all time in one of the largest poll of critics, music reviewers, professionals and producers ever organized: the poll, which was conducted by Paul Gambaccini, legendary BBC Radio A&R man, surveyed more than 50 top music professionals (including Roy Carr, Jonathan Cott, Robert Christgau, Cameron Crowe, Chet Flippo, Ben Fong-Torres, Charlie Gillett, Greil Marcus, Murray the K., Lenny Kaye , Bruce Morrow (a/k/a "Cousin Brucie"), Tim Rice (of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita" fame), Lisa Robinson, Robert Shelton (who wrote liner notes for Bob Dylan's first album), Ed Ward, Joel Whitburn, Pete Wingfield, etc.). For more details, see: "Critics Choice: Top-200 albums" compiled by Paul Gambaccini, Omnibus Press, Library of Congress Catalog No.7855565 (or ►click here for the complete album listing)
1. Bucket T
2. I'm A Boy
3. Pictures Of Lily
4. Doctor! Doctor!
5. I Can See For Miles
7. Happy Jack
8. The Last Time
9. In The City
10. Call Me Lightning
11. Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand
A Note on Classic Records: Acclaimed reissue label specializing in audiophile LP reissues of classic albums; employed its own custom-built tube-based mastering equipment on all of its releases; masters its releases from original master tapes (or the best sources available). Earliest releases were a box set of RCA Living Stereo classical titles and Verve jazz titles (subsequently sold individually). Classic used 180 gram vinyl until 2001. That year they switched to 180 gram "SV" (Super Vinyl) and added a sticker specifying the type of vinyl to all their LPs. They introduced 200 gram "Quiex SV-P" in July 2002. That was followed by "SV-P II" and, in 2008, "Clarity Vinyl." In the 2000s, they also introduced lower priced versions of many of their LPs, pressed from the same masters but on regular 150, 140, or 120 gram vinyl. Represses were always done on the latest vinyl formulation and can be dated by the sticker. Classic also produced a line of gold CDs in the 1990s and then 24/96 HDAD digital disks. Mastering was typically done at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Grundman himself or Chris Bellman.
Note: I will ship this via USPS Media Mail insured for $60 and I will pay the difference. This protects us both!