In case some of you are wondering if you should A)Upgrade your original Exit…Stage Left CD with the new remastered one or B)Wondering which version to get, I have some simple answers for you. You see I had the original CD and then bought the Rush Remasters version hoping for some audio improvements. The remastering done on the new CD brings practically zero improvements to the original mastering. Only the most intense audiophiles with expensive sound systems will likely notice a large enough improvement to make a difference. I’m pretty picky about audio fidelity and when comparing the two versions face to face I couldn’t find any differences at all.
So now that the whole remastered question is out of the way we can cover another question: that missing song. This CD is missing a song that was originally on the double vinyl album the CD is supposed to replace. That song was A Passage to Bangkok. That song was left out because the CD couldn’t hold the entire double album and a song had to be taken out to make room (this was before the newer 80 minute CD’s). Personally I think they made a good call. A Passage to Bangkok is not all that great of a song if you ask me. It’s not bad, but if you had to take one out that would be it.
The last question I hear between the two is cover art. You see, these Rush Remasters boast about not only having the music remastered but also the original album art being restored on the CD sleeve. To be honest the original Exit…Stage Left CD is true to the original album art so there is no need to get the new album for that either.
So essentially this version of Exit…Stage Left is still a winner and its only failing grace is the exclusion of the song, A Passage to Bangkok. If you have this album and are thinking about taking the double dip keep in mind the remastered CD won’t sound any different, will only look a little different, and will have the single advantage of an additional track. If you have neither and don’t mind missing out on one song in leu of maybe a cheaper CD then there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy this album instead of the Rush Remasters version.