R.E.M. IRS albums...
Oct 29, 2005 at 6:05 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

AdamWill

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Is it just me or are the IRS R.E.M. albums (everything before Green) really rewarding for good equipment? I used to hate 'em when I just had MX400s. Couldn't hear the vocals, everything sounded mushy and far away. Now I have much better stuff, they sound fantastic; I guess because they don't have any of the compression, 'exciting' equalisation, over-emphasised vocals etc that lots of mixes have in order to sound good on MX400s
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. If only Warner mixed them the same...
 
Oct 29, 2005 at 7:42 PM Post #2 of 14

Zuglufttier

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I don't know, I never thought that those recordings were bad sounding. In my opinion they have a rather big difference in sound. They changed their style when they moved to warner and this might make you think that the earlier recordings are better. Earlier on they had a very own style and with warner they became more mainstream and sounded a little less original in my opinion. Well, I never thought too much about the quality of the recordings anyway
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Oct 29, 2005 at 7:49 PM Post #3 of 14

AdamWill

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zug: do you have any bad headphones you could try comparing with your good ones on the IRS albums? I'd be interested to hear what you think...
 
Oct 29, 2005 at 8:01 PM Post #4 of 14

markl

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On the first few REM CDs, they cut off almost all bottom end to make it better for radio. They have not been remastered yet, the versions on the shelves are the same ones from the early 80s. The only way to get the REM albums Murmur and Reckoning remastered in proper form are the expensive out-of-print Mobile Fidelity gold CDs which absolutely *smoke* the standard versions. The drummer and bass player from REM were elated with the MoFis as it was the first time on CD they felt their instruments could be heard!
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Sadly, those two are the only ones MoFi put out, we are stuck with the standard CDs for the rest for now.
 
Oct 29, 2005 at 8:45 PM Post #5 of 14

sno1man

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Has anybody heard the Eponymous CD? . It's kind of a "best of" of their IRS years.

I've been told that the sound on that one is very good and the individual songs sound better than on the original albums, but I have not heard it.

I cant find it anywhere locally and though Itunes has it, getting it that way would kind of defeat the purpose
 
Oct 29, 2005 at 9:23 PM Post #6 of 14

AdamWill

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markl: ah, that's interesting; I should really have been more specific, I didn't listen to those two lately. I was mostly thinking of Document, Fables of the Reconstruction and Lifes Rich Pageant. (I certainly feel they have enough bass). Document especially went from being an also-ran in my collection to being one of my favourites, when I got my SR-80s, and it's only better with HF-1s...

I'd definitely like to get a hold of the mofi remasters (I saw the Reckoning one, a long time ago, when I didn't really know what it was, for 10 quid on the second hand shelf at a long-closed-down music store in Cambridge - argh!) some time, but I think the later IRS albums are very, very nicely done as it is...

Do you know if there's any difference in the sound between the regular and IRS Vintage Years editions?
 
Oct 29, 2005 at 11:58 PM Post #8 of 14

aerius

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Quote:

Originally Posted by markl
Sadly, those two are the only ones MoFi put out, we are stuck with the standard CDs for the rest for now.


And vinyl. The LP of "Life's Rich Pageant" was mastered by Bob Ludwig and it's miles ahead of the CD. Unfortunately I no longer have a vinyl setup.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sno1man
Has anybody heard the Eponymous CD? . It's kind of a "best of" of their IRS years.

I've been told that the sound on that one is very good and the individual songs sound better than on the original albums, but I have not heard it.



Hard to say since 1) I haven't listened to it in years, and 2) I believe quite a few of the songs are slightly different mixes and versions of the ones on the original albums. I can give it a listen over the next few days and get back to you on it.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 1:38 PM Post #9 of 14

markl

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Quote:

Do you know if there's any difference in the sound between the regular and IRS Vintage Years editions?


Nope same mastering with some bonus tracks tacked on.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 3:20 PM Post #10 of 14

Sovkiller

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Quote:

Originally Posted by markl
On the first few REM CDs, they cut off almost all bottom end to make it better for radio. They have not been remastered yet, the versions on the shelves are the same ones from the early 80s. The only way to get the REM albums Murmur and Reckoning remastered in proper form are the expensive out-of-print Mobile Fidelity gold CDs which absolutely *smoke* the standard versions. The drummer and bass player from REM were elated with the MoFis as it was the first time on CD they felt their instruments could be heard!
tongue.gif


Sadly, those two are the only ones MoFi put out, we are stuck with the standard CDs for the rest for now.



Well not only the first albums, the last one really sucks also, and according to some fans, even the vinyl press is nothing to write home about....what is wrong with those guys???
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 3:46 PM Post #11 of 14

catachresis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sovkiller
Well not only the first albums, the last one really sucks also, and according to some fans, even the vinyl press is nothing to write home about....what is wrong with those guys???


Supposedly, Michael Stipe was this shy, retiring Eng. Lit. type and Peter Buck the rompin-stompin' College rock maverick. One day, the world decided they were Georgia's incarnation of U2, and they became stars.

My sister was working in a small modern art gallery about three years ago, when Michael Stipe came in. He confided to her that the problem with modern music was that there wasn't enough "glam" any more. He'd painted his fingernails black.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 10:15 PM Post #13 of 14

aerius

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Did some listening to Eponymous and compared the songs on there to the original album versions. It's a mixed bag. The left-right balance is centered better on Eponymous so the soundstage feels more balanced and has more depth. Good & bad news is they've subtly tweaked the EQ on some of the songs, on some it gets rid of harshness, on others it adds a bit of needed bass, and on a few the vocals get a bit mushed and the songs sound kinda soft & muffled. "So. Central Rain" and "Rockville" improve, but "Fall on Me" takes a hit.

It should be noted that the differences are pretty small. With a Senn 580 I likely wouldn't notice them unless I knew about them and I was carefully listening for them. With my K340 it's more apparent, but I likely still wouldn't notice unless I heard both versions within a short time frame.
 
Oct 31, 2005 at 5:01 AM Post #14 of 14

AdamWill

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I wouldn't say there's much wrong with the recording of the last album, technically speaking. (Though it's the same, warm Warner-style mix). It's the quality of the content that sucks...

(I liked Up and Reveal, though.)

catachresis: yeah, Stipey's like that. He had some really ill-advised make-up on for the last few tours, and he frequently dances like someone set fire to his pants...ah well, gotta love him.
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