Halloween Post #1: Nightmare Before Christmas--on vinyl!

I came upon an interesting "retro" item recently at everyone's favorite punk/metal boutique, Hot Topic(not that there's anything wrong with excessive body piercing.......).

I always cast a somewhat hesitant sideways glance as I pass by the place during mall runs, as they've had some NBC items in the past. Despite wearing very little metal a few weeks ago(watch, Bic pen, loose change, dental fillings), I was happily allowed entrance, as I noticed a whole display of NBC 10th anniversary items. What I was most excited over was a 2 LP set of the NBC soundtrack(same tracks as the CD), featuring pictures(in the vinyl itself, not the labels) of Jack, Sally, Lock-Shock-Barrel, and Oogie Boogie--very interesting item, farmed out by the Walt Disney Company to Hot Topic, of all places! I guess the Disney Stores have officially died(surprise!).

It's the first truly NEW addition to my Disney record collection since the 60's(not including sealed ebay purchases)!

The big question is: do I make a CD of the set, to capture the "warmth" of the analog sound--or is that defeating the whole purpose? Anyway, some of you might want to don some metal and hurry on down to your friendly neighborhood Hot Topic store!



Well, speaking as a longtime record collector with annoying audiophile tendencies and a bit of an audio engineering background,

(1) Picture Discs invariably sound like poop, because the picture is printed on a big piece of paper just under the plastic surface of the record. They used to be sold with a disclaimer on the packaging, warning of their inferior sound reproduction qualities. Expect significant surface noise, a bit more distortion than normal, and a TON of background rumble.


(2) Any "warmth" you have missing from a CD will be just as missing from a CD you make of an LP, since they'll both have the same sonic limitations inherent to the CD format. And you'll have the additional joys of surface noise, mistracking, and the likely scenario that the LP was NOT mastered from the original first generation mixdown. (It might have been in this particular case, but generally it isn't.) AND the official CD was probably mastered through a much better "sound card" than yours. In short, you'll have the worst of both worlds.

Occasionally you might find an LP that was for some reason mastered from a better tape than the CD was. Or a case where the guys mastering the CD just plain botched the job, which happens all too often with older material. So if you play your NBC LPs and find they really do sound *significantly* better, then it might be worth the trouble to transfer them. But it's highly unlikely in this case.

Thanks for posting this, though. You've just given me a MARVELOUS solution for a very difficult Christmas shopping dilemma!
Wow, thank you so much for the in-depth discussion; as much as I've wanted to be somewhat of an "audiophile," it never really happened!

My only contact with "picture discs" was with Dave Mason's first solo effort way back in the 70's(anyone remember him? Traffic? "Feelin' Alright"? the 70's?); I don't recall any problem with the sound, but I won't even mention what I was playing it on--don't want to scare you!