Pitchfork reports that 20 years after it came out, Fiona Apple’s beloved debut album Tidal will be released on vinyl for the first time. Vinyl Me, Please, the subscription service behind the release (it’s their May 2017 “Record of the Month”), shared a Q&A with its head of music, Cameron Schaefer, in which he described the two year process behind the vinyl’s development — including enlisting Ted Jensen, who mastered the original 1996 release, to remaster the album. Schaefer spoke about some of the differences you can detect between the MP3 you might be listening to at this very moment and the upcoming vinyl version:
There are parts on some songs—like “Slow Like Honey”—that don’t sound as sterile per se, as in there’s complete silence in the silent gaps between words and music. There were little pops on that and “The First Taste” on the test pressing that were standing out to me, and it turned out—after checking in with Ted, Fiona’s people (including her manager, who was a producer on the album), a rep at Sony— we realized that she was very, very close to the mic, and the mic picked up little sounds she was making with her tongue and her lips. Those sounds were straight through to the mic, to the tape, and onto the vinyl.
Fiona Apple wrote Tidal when she was 17, but that didn’t stop her work from sounding like it came from someone who’d been through the wringer of a whole musical career, of multiple heartbreaks, of trauma (on one autobiographical song, “Sullen Girl,” she lyricizes how being raped when she was 12 left her “an empty shell”), and of age itself. Unlike a lot of alternative pop released in the mid-’90s, Tidal holds up — and Apple hasn’t diverged much from the earthquaking emotion of the contralto/piano/drums-driven work she started doing at the time: simple, booming excellence and honesty transcends trends quite nicely.
Watch the video for “Sleep to Dream,” Tidal‘s first track:
Unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber to Vinyl Me, Please to get it — but you can become one, and find out more about the release, here.