The release of the Arlington gig has prompted some comments in the reviews page regarding the use of bootleg recordings. David Singleton offers this perspective on the matter.
A quick reply to the debate over “soundboard versus bootleg” currently raging in the review section of the Arlington show. Views are divided between those raving about the quality of the performance, and others who would rather we did not add bootlegs to the archives – just soundboard recordings.
The simple answer is that, with every show, DGM will put up the very best quality recording we have. In the case of Arlington, we have spent over a week listening to all the bootlegs that we could find, and mastering the sound to make what is, we trust, the best version currently available of a very strong show. It is much better than a “one microphone cassette recording” and was almost certainly professionally recorded at the outset -including a feed from the soundboard. But the quality is not perfect, and those who want soundboards should save their money – while those happy to hear great music in imperfect conditions will be well satisfied.
With the free previews, Hot Tickles, descriptions of audio quality and fan reviews, the site hopefully allows everyone to make an informed decision about where to spend their hard earned money.
The KC archives are large, but not exhaustive. There are periods, such as 1973, where there are some multitracks (Glasgow, Zurich, Amsterdam), but no soundboards. Conversely, 1974 is much better served, with extensive soundboard and multitrack recordings. All will find their way onto the site over time. As – when there is a significant musical reason - will some bootlegs.
If people are twitching over Arlington, then they have yet to hear the appalling quality of the only known recordings of the famed “Guts on My Side” from Udine. That is so bad that, despite days of sonic restoration, Sid Smith pronounced the patient clinically dead, and it has divided the DGMLive camp over whether we should add it to the site at all. It threatens to make “Trees” from the Fairfield Hall in 1969, sound positively HiFi (unless anyone reading this has a better version they would like to share with us?).