I have various album covers which are low resolution, but the colours come out really pretty.
I have higher resolution images of the same covers, but the colours are very different, much duller and less vibrant.
The first image is the original which I would like to imitate. The second is the larger resolution image I have acquired (scaled down for easier viewing). The last image on the bottom is my attempt at imitating the top image using the second image. Using GIMP, my settings were:
Colors → Saturation: 1.500 Colors → Brightness-Contrast → Brightness 35 Colors → Brightness-Contrast → Contrast 8
But as you can see, the colours and tones are just not quite the same. The skintone isn’t as rosy-peachy and the colours just don’t feel as warm as the original.
I think there is some major color profile confusion going on here.
When I download the low res version with the vibrant colors you like, I notice that its color profile is Adobe RGB. The hi res version is Untagged RGB but I assume it’s sRGB.
Here are the two images side by side:
If I wrongly assign Adobe RGB to the hi res version, it gets more vibrant and starts to look like the lo res version:
And if I then convert the hi res version to sRGB and assign Adobe RGB once more, I actually get the exact same colors:
This might have been done deliberately by someone who believes it’s a neat way to make an image more vibrant, or it has happened by mistake in some editing frenzy.
Either way, I think it’s a bad idea to do like this. It looks unnatural, it’s out of control and, as shown in another answer, it makes the image loose details in the colors.
The hi res version looks way better and more natural in my opinion. I would just keep the hi res version as it is and dump the overly saturated lo res version.