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Uneven sideburns are like EQ. They cause a face shift.
<--- LOL, could they make this any smaller
We're not allowed much of that stuff in sound science. It makes us rowdy.
Hey guys, I posted a suggestion to Spotify's idea box, and I was hoping you would all check it out, and possibly vote for the idea if you feel it is a good one. I don't want to lobby for votes, but this would add a feature to Spotify we could all appreciate - the ability to listen to original versions of albums, not just the remasters. Please take the time to at least read the post. Spotify won't even consider an idea until it reaches 50 votes, but I am not asking anyone to vote for the idea unless they truly believe in it. Thanks.
How does spotify get its tracks? Don't they just take what the labels send them? I don't think they could go back to the labels and say, "Hey, give us all 1,000,000 albums in your outdated masterings too."
I think they're definitely at the whim of the labels, but I remember I used to get access to original album releases on MOG. I miss MOG, it was perfect. 320kpbs nicely encoded w/ a huge library including back catalog. They're gone, replaced by Beats streaming, which is itself defunct now too. However, it gives me hope that it might be possible again with enough market interest. I know it's a long shot, but what a great long shot it would be! We wouldn't have to comb through CDs on Ebay or Amazon to find an original version, and what a great win this would be against brickwalled remasters.
BTW, on a side note related to a different thread, someone already suggested in-app EQ 2 years ago, it already had 4,000 sigs but they were "still waiting to hear back from the engineers".
The only thing older than that are probably the complaints saying the EQ in iTunes sucks!
I just received the 2002 remaster of The Rolling Stones' Hot Rocks today and cannot believe how incredibly good it sounds. It was remastered by Bob Ludwig, and it's pure ear candy. I have heard so many loud masters of the Stones, which eventually caused me to avoid their music altogether, and finally here is an album that showcases the Stones in all their glory! I am now trying to find out which other Stone remasters Bob Ludwig has done.
Don't hold your hopes too high. Bob is very good at doing what the customer wants. I have a saying about the loudness wars:
"You know something's wrong when a heavy metal album ends up less compressed than a semi-acoustic soul/blues album. (Iron Maiden, "The Final Frontier" versus Tom Jones, "Praise And Blame". Both mastered in 2010 by Bob Ludwig.)"
I just gave both a listen on Spotify, The Iron Maiden album sounds a lot better than the Tom Jones. Praise & Blame sounds horrible actually. I guess he's hit and miss.
I'm willing to roll the dice on the rest of his 2002 Stones remasters. If they were done with the same taste as Hot Rocks, and there's reason to believe they should since they were all done for ABKCO simultaneously, it should be ok.
Some of the absolute worst remastering jobs I've ever heard were the 2007-2008 Genesis ones. They hit all the sins: merciless brickwalling, boomy, one-note bass; gratuitous EQ, and a tasteless remix of every single album that buries keyboards wherever possible, sticks vocals way too far forward and naked, and obliterates carefully-hewn sonic textures--sometimes even replacing classic effects with obviously modern versions--thereby completely changing the feel of the music. I could also swear that there's a touch of Auto-Tune applied to the vocals. Every album in this remastered series sounds the same, and every one of them sounds like the engineer took We Can't Dance and said, "Yep, that's how they should all sound, even the ones with Gabriel out front. Then we'll brickwall it."
Surprises of surprises, the engineer was Nick Davis, who produced We Can't Dance. I've never had the privilege of hearing the original CD transfers of the Genesis catalogue, which I've read are often considered superior to any future pressings. I do have an almost complete set* of the Definitive Edition remasters done in the early 90s, and while I think these range from very good to decent, they definitely have their issues (for instance, lots of piercing sibilance on A Trick of the Tail) and I would have liked a proper reworked set.
*I'm missing Trespass, the DE version of which evidently only came out in the UK and was lousy, anyway--oddly enough, I saw it for sale here in the US on two separate occasions, including of all places a Best Buy, and stupidly passed on it both times
There's one big problem with that album/mastering... That album on LP included *singles* mixes. When it was redone for SACD, they included album versions. Also, some of the Stones albums were *remixed* for SACD, not just remastered. They replaced the wire reverbs and slap back with fancy digital equivalents that take a lot of the zing out of the sound. Worse yet, they dialed back the "telephone futz" sound of Jagger's vocals completely changing the timbre of his voice.I don't know how they managed to do it, but a lot of the sharp dynamics in the drums got smoothed over too. The SACDs sound smoother and cleaner, but they don't sound like the Stones. I grew up with these albums, and the monkeying around sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I was living with the first release CDs, but I recently got the mono box set. That's what I've been wanting- the REAL Stones sound but with clean transfers and mastering.
Remixing is entirely different than remastering. People generally refer to them like they're similar, but they aren't. It's like the difference between polishing an antique dining room table and stripping the finish off and starting from scratch. Personally, I think remixing is only called for when the original mix is completely incompetent, or when you want to create a new format version, like a 5.1 mix.
That is true, there's some bite missing. Especially with Jagger's vocals that previously had the telephone futz you mentioned. That slight bit of high energy static around the peaks of his vocals are gone, as well as a lot of the edge off the instruments. Generally, I find it pleasing to listen to. I think the original songs could sound harsh occasionally, which compression made much worse, but on the other hand I think you're right in observing that the alterations fundamentally change the nature of some songs. They sound less flamboyant, less angry. Because these masters seem to bring out a more musical element to the album, I have to admit I'm still very much enjoying them, and would rather have an interpretation like this around than not. However, I will look into the mono box set you mentioned for a more loyal master. I don't seem to have too many issues finding classical or jazz well mastered, but classic rock is getting more and more difficult, and I realized I don't have enough original CD releases. There's gaps in my rock collection, and I'm trying to fill them up, but would rather go back 20 or so years to do it.
A good track to compare between the SACDs and the original CDs is Street Fighting Man. That is one of the most aggressive songs ever recorded, but the remix succeeds in making it sound nice and polite. It's not discussed much, but when records are remixed, the people supervising often have entirely different tastes than the original people. Another good example is Steven Wilson's multichannel remix of XTC's Drums and Wires. He takes an album that was one of the quintessential spare, angular, direct examples of early 80s New Wave and turns it into something that sounds like a prog rock album. XTC turned into a band that emulated the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour aesthetic later on in their career, but when Drums and Wires was made, they were more like Talking Heads or The Pretenders than they were psychedelia.
I find that in general the first CD release is the best for most rock music. There are exceptions like Elton John and David Bowie, but in general that holds true.