by Philip Bendall
The original Platinum, the US and Canadian pressings of Airborn have different running times. The table below shows a comparison of the two versions.
"Track" refers to the track numbers plus the running times for each track as listed on the label on BOTH vinyl versions (as you can see, these are mostly wrong). Total running times are printed across the bottom. Actual running times for vinyl were timed using my stopwatch, the CD time taken from the CD Player display. The vinyl was played on a Rega 3 turntable. The "% faster than CD" is the percentage faster that the tracks on Airborn play compared with the Platinum CD. The "Corrected" column is the "Raw" column less 0.6% (to account for my turntable spinning approximately 0.6% faster, when compared with the CD which I assume is precisely correct), then rounded to the nearest 0.5%.
* length of Guilty as taken from "The Complete Mike Oldfield" on CD.
Quite clearly, Platinum Pt 2 gallops along!
As you can see, the printed running times on both vinyl releases are the same. However, the actual running times vary significantly. Firstly, note that the printed running times and vinyl and CD releases are similar (within a second or so). If anything, my turntable is spinning perhaps 0.6% too fast, but the error could also be explained by stopwatch timing error and subjective start/stop times.
On my listens I did not detect that the Track 2 speed-up was due in whole or in part to editing part of it out (although I might have missed something). To my ears it is entirely due to a faster beat. One could put a 3% speed-bump down to a mistake while making a new master for North America at the record factory, but to speed up a particular part of the album (Track 2) significantly had to have been a conscious decision.
Written by Philip Bendall, New Zealand, January 2000
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