Ok, so some of you know that I am a big fan and champion of a lost psychedelic pop gem by an obscure group called The Glitterhouse. I have even written about it here on Audiophile Review along with another even rarer obscurity that commands some serious coin in vinyl collectors circles (Would You Believe by Billy Nicholls).
The short story behind this album — called Color Blind — is one of producers manipulating innocent, naive and eager young artists and leaving them out on the line to dry. They never got to soar and were dropped without a net, lost to bargain bin obscurity at the lowest of the low 5 & 10 Cent Stores (where I first found the record!). You can read my full story by clicking here.
When I began working on a series of reviews about mobile streaming with Tidal and Qobuz I was surprised to find The Glitterhouse album up on Tidal. And now that I have a complimentary reviewer’s subscription to Qobuz (as well as Tidal, full disclosure) I was equally surprised, and pleased, to find it up there too!
As I reviewed this while traveling this Summer, both versions sound surprisingly nice over my MacBook Pro’s built in computer speakers and it sounded like the album should sound when I plugged on my headphones.
This is a very good sounding album although I think this version may be a rip from a vinyl source (“Sassafras and Cinnamon” sounds a little wavering, like the record was a bit off center…. this is the same on both players). The CD version I have came from a pristine vinyl pressing so I suspect that the original master tapes are probably lost to the ages.
I found it curious that both Tidal and Qobuz took control over speaker functionality on my computer, so I had to switch on the headphones from the player. Not a problem but a curious thing.
So how does it sound? Well, they both sound good but also both sound a little different. And I can’t explain why but I am finding the sound on the Tidal version a bit more enjoyable. The bass and mid ranges seem a bit more true to the original LP version.
Understand that I was listening to both of these under identical circumstances, without a DAC, just the basic CD quality, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz streams.
I know this album quite well owning several copies including Mono and Stereo versions. The stereo is quite good for 1968 standards for an unknown group — this was recorded in the same studio where The Band was recording Music From Big Pink!
Anyhow, I am tickled that an obscure recording like this can be found on streaming services. You can find it on CD (there is one on Amazon, which is the same one I bought from founding member Moogy Klingman when he was still alive, RIP).
And of course if you go on Discogs you can easily find LP copies there as well. Streaming is a good way to check out the album to see if you like it. If you do, you’ll want to get the vinyl version for the super cool silver foil cover art. The Glitterhouse are pure psychedelic bubblegum joy!
And hey, I just noticed that the Billy Nicholls album is on Tidal. I may review that next. Stay tuned!