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SL re-issue of Sleep’s Dopesmoker – This mix is awful! 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 6:28 pm
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So, I didn’t pick up the recent SL re-issue of Sleep’s ‘Dopesmoker/Jerusalem’ when it hit. I was at a friend’s place the other day and had a chance to A/B the Rise Above version ‘Jerusalem’ with the SL re-issue. I have to say, as someone who’s grown accustomed to hearing the Rise Above version for years now, I was less than impressed with this ‘ultimate/as we always intended it’ version. I’ve always liked the David Sardy re-mix (I’m sure I read somewhere that Al Cisneros actually preferred this mix too, but I could be wrong on that count).

Got to say, I was shocked when we dropped in the SL disc to compare the two. So this is the fabled original Billy Anderson mix?!? Sadly, it does not impress. The drums sound really flat, like all the life has been sucked out of them due to them being swamped with reverb. The snare practically drowns under the rest of the instruments. The guitars also sound strangely sloppier and not as focused. The only thing this mix has going for it is the added low end in the bass parts, but that’s about it. It all sounds muddy, over saturated and lacking in dynamics. So glad I didn’t plump for this version. Did the earlier TeePee records version have the same kind of mix?

Does anyone feel the same?

I'd actually love to see the 'Jerusalem' version make it to wax. Then again, this album always made more sense on CD for the 'press play and zone out' approach.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:09 am
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Holy Mountain doesn't *sound* great either, have to admit.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:54 am
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Holy Mountain doesn't *sound* great either, have to admit.


I guess it's more with pronounced when there are myriad different versions of Jerusalem/Dopesomker. I was just kinda shocked that it sounded worse to my ears than the version re-tooled by London records. My local record store has a copy on LP, and I was half considering it until we did the A/B, and I fast came to the conclusion that I’d rather spin the old Rise Above CD than listen to this new mix. I dunno, I just expected more from it.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:16 am
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matt_tgpg wrote:
I'd actually love to see the 'Jerusalem' version make it to wax. Then again, this album always made more sense on CD for the 'press play and zone out' approach.


another victory for compact disc :)

i see no reason to buy another copy of this anyways. if you originally intended something to be a certain way, why take so long to rectify, let people get used to the version they put out (like Let It Be, i guess..)


Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:26 pm
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I can't stand the SL version either. Especially the cymbals piss me off.
Still prefer the original Dopesmoker mixed by Anderson and mastered by Mark Keaton.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:41 pm
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I prefer the old "Jerusalem" cd version myself as well. That is how I first heard it and it will always be the way I want to hear it.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:02 pm
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Glad it's not just me then!

Curious to hear the TeePee mix, but I’m pretty content with my old Jerusalem CD. The SL re-issue just seems like a bit of a cash grab, when it’s clearly NOT a superior version in any way (bar perhaps the awesome Roper artwork).

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:14 pm
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I have the TeePee vinyl 2LP, which I assume is a reissue. Sounds good to me, but I've never heard any other.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:54 pm
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Randolph Carter wrote:
I have the TeePee vinyl 2LP, which I assume is a reissue.

TeePee version was the first full Dopesmoker.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:56 pm
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Sleep recorded and mixed Dopesmoker and submitted it to London.

London had no idea what to do with it, so they brought in Sardy to edit and re-mix it.

He chopped it up and added a shit ton of compression to the drum tracks, among other things. The drums are overly compressed and although they are louder than the original mix, the dynamics are all gone. I'm a drummer, and I like loud drums, but it's a shitty mix in my opinion.

The "Jerusalem" release is the Sardy mix.

The Dopesmoker releases on Tee Pee and Southern Lord have the same original mix by Billy Anderson and Sleep. The Southern Lord release has been re-mastered to sound better across all formats. It's much closer to what the band had originally intended to release on London in the first place, before everything went FUBAR.


If you are used to one particular mix, the other will sound like balls. I personally prefer the re-mastered SL version, especially the vinyl. To each his own.


Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:14 pm
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