I'm really enjoying all these postings by you, Clarke and that one from Mark. Love checking this board just to see the latest part in this fascinating continuing story.
I can't put it as beautifully as you guys, English not being my native language, but I still would like to react to your last remarks on the sound quality of ITSOTN.
I agree that the poor sound quality of that song is the sound we got used to and it does evoke that atmosphere you so well described. However, I personally am always happy when I get a very clean copy of a song, any song. In a way I think all these extra hissing sounds are a bit distracting. You would not have heard these additional sounds if you had heard Fred and the guys singing under their lamppost either, so to me it doesn't add anything 'original' to the record. When I hear a clean copy of a song I can really concentrate on the great harmony, the little off key way of singing, whatever of such a song.
It's the same way with cleaning up old paintings you briefly mentioned. Memories or not from the viewers, but they were not painted centuries ago with layers of dust. Nor had the artist intended them to look that way. They were sold at the time as fresh and sparkling looking paintings. When these paintings get the proper and careful treatment, things turn up that have been hidden for so long. Personally, I think this is great, like revealing something hidden for all of us to enjoy, just like the artist had done at the time.
To go back to the music. I didn't grow up with it, nor did I discover it in my teens, so I can't say I hold memories towards it, like most of you do. I just love it more than anything else for what it is: great music that you can feel, apart from hearing. That is one more reason why I prefer the freshly polished releases by Ace and the likes, over scratchy records.