Heart - Dog and Butterfly
Album Comparisons: Dog and Butterfly
Dog & Butterfly was Heart's fourth studio album, and the last to feature guitarist and founding member Roger Fisher. In keeping with the album's title, the first side of the LP featured more "rocking" numbers, while the second side tended more toward softer material and ballads. The single "Straight On" reached #15 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and was later released in a slightly different mix on the compilation album Greatest Hits/Live. Heart, along with Blondie, is one of my favorite bands of the 1970s and first part of the 1980s. I have every studio and live album from Dreamboat Annie through to Jupiter's Darling with the exception of the Christmas album, so I am naturally going to be a bit discriminating about the quality of any remasters.

Cook With Fire

1985 original CD release

Cook With Fire

2004 remaster

Cook With Fire

High Time

1985 original CD release

High Time

2004 remaster

High Time

Hijinx

1985 original CD release

Hijinx

2004 remaster

Hijinx

Straight On

1985 original CD release

Straight On

2004 remaster

Straight On

Dog & Butterfly

1985 original CD release

Dog & Butterfly

2004 remaster

Dog & Butterfly

Lighter Touch

1985 original CD release

Lighter Touch

2004 remaster

Lighter Touch

Nada One

1985 original CD release

Nada One

2004 remaster

Nada One

Mistral Wind

1985 original CD release

Mistral Wind

2004 remaster

Mistral Wind
And the winner is: Original 1985 CD release. The levels say it all. I'm pretty disgusted with the 2004 release, as there was absolutely no reason to do this to the remaster other than to try to match today's typical volume levels. The 1985 CD sounds great, and the levels are already pretty well maximized without compression - although there's plenty of available headroom in some tracks, the songs in question should be taken in the context of the album as a whole. This is an album of powerful crests and soft, quiet lows, and one that deserves the most dynamic transfer possible for the fullest appreciation.