Music Reviews

posted: October 31, 2010

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ORG Joni Mitchell-Wild things run fast Wild Things Run Fast

Original Recordings Group 2-180g. LP
ORG Joni Mitchell-Wild things run fast

Forget about the argument as to whether you love Joni or not. Though some claim that this record, her first on Geffen records was a departure from the heavily jazz influenced Hissing Of Summer Lawns, towards a more mainstream sound, there were still plenty of jazz cats on this record, with Larry Klein on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Wayne Shorter on sax and Larry Carlton on guitar, just to name a few.

Wild Things is more accessible than Mitchell’s last two records, (Hejira and Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter), with shorter songs featuring some catchy hooks including her remake of the Elvis tune, “(You’re So Square) Baby I don’t Care.” However this record only made it to 25 on the Billboard chart in 1982.

Brief history lesson aside, if you like this record, click the link above the album cover and buy it right now. It is superior to the original pressing in every way. Early Geffen releases have never been known to be sonic masterpieces and the original pressing is no different, it’s relatively flat, two dimensional and bright. You could easily mistake this one for a CD. Pressed at Pallas on a pair of 45rpm discs, the ORG version, mastered by Bernie Grundman (who also performed mastering duties on Hejira as well as Mitchell’s most commercially successful release, Court and Spark) is positively brilliant. ORG has made a reputation for vinyl excellence, but this could be their finest achievement yet.

In the original, where Mitchell’s voice often disappears in the mix, she’s now out front and center, with a creaminess that I’ve never experienced before. There’s just more space everywhere; more bass weight and a huge soundstage in all three dimensions. All of the harshness in the original is gone. The additional space in the recording now lets you really hear the genius in the arrangements; if you thought you knew this record before, you are in for a number of sonic treats upon listening to the ORG pressing. They did it right, even at 45 rpm, the grooves only go half way into the vinyl surface, so there will be no worries of inner groove distortion on this record! Should you decide to perform your own quick comparison, be prepared for a transformation.

So, if this is one of your favorite Joni records, you owe it to yourself to purchase this one, it’s pure sonic perfection.

–Jeff Dorgay