For a band that tends to release everything on vinyl and appreciates the format, The Majestic Majesty took about 3 years to get pressed. There were 1500 copies of the record pressed on black vinyl. The record has no center labels but has “Majestic” etched on the a-side and “Majesty” etched on the b-side. There is also no insert to speak of really, only a CD booklet size piece of paper that has the liner notes printed on one side while the other side is blank.
The stripped down acoustic version of Portugal. The Man’s 2009 album The Satanic Satanist, The Majestic Majesty was never physically released prior to this. Some people attribute that fact to a very big issue with this record, sound quality.
Usually when I hear rumblings about poor sound or records skipping I brush it off as people’s poor set ups, either using cheap/horrible turntables, speakers, pre-amps or any combination of those. Usually there are only a few people who whine about the sound quality and the majority quickly squash their gripes. But the general consensus with this record is that it sounds terrible, while others have no complaints. And after listening to my copy I tend to agree with them.
When I first heard the complaints I expected the worst. People made it out to be not worth picking it up, even for free. When I listened to it I was not pleased with the sound quality, but the people grabbing their pitchforks and torches are way off base. Yes the record does not sound great but it does not sound terrible either, at least my copy. Which stacks up with other people’s opinions of this record, some think it’s unlistenable and some think it’s fine. This seems to be a pressing with more bad apples than good, which is unusual. The glaring issue is the mastering, as it’s quite obvious this was not mastered for vinyl. The levels are way off which results in distortions in some places along with some fuzziness on both sides. It’s like the person behind the board decided to randomly adjust everything up and down with no discretion.
The band eventually caught wind of these complaints and looked into the situation. The band listened to their personal copies and had the same result, a mixture of terrible copies and good copies. They are in the process of trying to figure out a solution to the problem and have yet to announce anything regarding it.
In March 2013 the issue was finally addressed as Equal Vision pressed more copies of the record. They offered replacements to anyone who bought copies from the first pressing and were not satisfied. This new pressing, which is the second overal, has center labels but is still pressed on black vinyl. From what a few people who went for a replacement have sad, the sound quality issues have been fixed.