Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > "Jazz" remaster?

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gagakid1906 user not visiting Queenzone.com
Mustapha, Mustapha...
gagakid1906
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Posted: 09 Jul 11, 10:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know I may have already said this on Facebook,
but is the Jazz remaster worth buying?

I'm really stuck right now...


You had your time, you had the power

You've yet to have your finest hour
Back2TheLight user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 09 Jul 11, 21:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jazz, being my least favorite CD, I heard now sounds quite a bit better than before. When it comes out here in the US, I will more than likely obtain a copy.


I Want It All And I Want It Now!!
gagakid1906 user not visiting Queenzone.com
Mustapha, Mustapha...
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Posted: 10 Jul 11, 05:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bambams-paradise wrote: Jazz, being my least favorite CD, I heard now sounds quite a bit better than before. When it comes out here in the US, I will more than likely obtain a copy.

thanks :) will keep that in mind


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You've yet to have your finest hour
TyphoonTip user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 10 Jul 11, 06:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Track down a first press instead. Sounds much better. The EQ is similar on the new remaster, but the 2011 is heavily limited and less dynamic. Don't be fooled.

They're reasonably available on ebay. I'd recommend the 1986 European press (CDP 7 46210 2), or if you keen on shelling out some cash, the 1988 Japanese press (CP32-5315).

Avoid the 1991 Hollywood and 1993-4 DMS releases. Both sound awful.

Rotwang user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 09:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I haven't heard it but I personally think you should listen to some tracks on youtube or amazon instead of asking for opinions. This is a subjective matter and those that are keen on criticizing because they own music software to look at EQ levels and so forth are getting a bit irritating.


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TyphoonTip user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 10:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Rotwang wrote: I haven't heard it but I personally think you should listen to some tracks on youtube or amazon instead of asking for opinions. This is a subjective matter and those that are keen on criticizing because they own music software to look at EQ levels and so forth are getting a bit irritating.
________________________

Terrible. Irritating indeed. I think there's a cream for that.

While we're on the subject, what I find irritating is presumptive posts guessing at how people arrive at a particular opinion.

Opinion. ...sorry, just felt the need to type that word again for some reason.

Anyway, back on topic; EQ software, you say. Googling now. And to think, All this time I've been using my ears....

pittrek user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 10:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I would say it sounds 1% better than the Japanese mini-vinyl :-)

e-man user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 11:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

played it start to finish earlier today

the best version I've heard. lots of vocals which all of a sudden came to life, the drums sound better as well

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 11:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The 2011 remaster features "Jealousy" with the bass drum reinstated, which, according to the liner notes, was mistakenly left off the original master for this track, resulting its absence from all subsequent releases until 2011. It's safe to say this new master will be the definitive one from this point on.

Let the discuss began as to whether this constitutes Queen pulling a George Lucas on us. Personally, I think if Queen intended it to be there and it was a mistake to leave it off, we now have the correct version.

Rick user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 14:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I rather don't respond, because audiophiles will kill me for this, but the 2011 version is great. I really don't understand why people say other releases are better. I have the first CD pressing of Jazz and it's worse. It sounds thin, the volume is way too low, no bottom end at all, buried vocals. The 2011 version brings the subtleties to life. Like guitar parts in Let Me Entertain You and If You Can't Beat Them, Fred's vocal part in Jealousy, John's bass part in Bicycle Race etc.

I have a Harman/Kardon set and it sounds bloody amazing. Get it!


John: "It's the one thing I wish I could do - sing."

TyphoonTip user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Jul 11, 19:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As another poster has helpfully pointed out, there's no objective 'best' master. The best one is the one that you happen to like.

Anyone claiming, audiophile or otherwise, that they somehow have exclusivity in 'knowing' what's best, is just rubbish. Having said that, there is a lot to be learned from people who genuinely know their stuff when it comes to the mastering process. I've worked in music production for a while, but am only really scratching the surface when it comes to this stuff. There's some smart people out there who make for very interesting reading/listening (if you're interested in that kind of thing). ...Having said that, there are also plenty of snobby wankers.

For my part, I just find the first press of this album the best. That's not to say I think the 2011 is bad. In fact, like I said before, the EQ is quite faithful to the original, but in the end I find it too loud. It's just not for me.

As for the kick in Jealousy, am I the only one who finds it hard to swallow that it was simply 'mistakenly' left off the album? I haven't heard an explanation that I find convincing as to why this apparently happened. It just seems far more likely that it was an artistic decision, particularly given the well known perfectionism of the band. They were famous for poring over mixes & even overseeing how records were physically pressed. It just seems completely implausable that it was accidently left out.

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Posted: 12 Jul 11, 07:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm with you Typhoon Tip on Jealousy.

I do find it a bit hard to swallow, especially given it's Freddie's track and he obviously can't oversee this "correction".
These are remasters, not remixes, so it's a step too far for me.

Unless somehow this kick drum is on the stereo mix down master tape and was left out of the final cut for some reason... I'm not technical so not sure if that's even plausible...? If that's the case, then I'd be OK with it, but that seems highly unlikely as there is monster bass guitar all over this (and it sounds freaking awesome on a good vinyl pressing). 

Actually, I'm guessing it can't be on the stereo mix down because then it would have reappeared on subsequent vinyl cuts, CD's etc etc. Most likely just more inane, poor decision making from the current QP set-up.

I'll keep my vinyl and CP32 thanks.

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Posted: 12 Jul 11, 18:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm sure I posted this elsewhere, but i think the Kick Drum on Jealousy is simply a giant cock-up by QPL.
It's only supposition, but let's look at some facts:

1) Gary Taylor himself said (in reply to a question from me on this forum), that there was only one 'unique' version on Deep Cuts 2 - Jealousy.

2) These albums were originally planned for the beginning of June, but were put back three weeks.

My conclusion to this is that some muppet put the 'unique' version of Jealousy destined for "Deep Cuts 2" on the 'Jazz' album AS WELL. This mistake was only noticed after tens of thousands of CDs had been pressed and printed, and it was deemed far simpler and cheaper to let the 'mistake' remain and re-print the sleeve notes, than it would have been to re-press all those CDs - hence the release date was put back.

If this IS the case, then it would be nice for someone at QPL to grow a pair and admit it.

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Jul 11, 21:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How can they prove it was a genuine mistake if it, in fact, was and all they can do is tell us?

I suppose somebody could post the tracking sheets, which should show which track was assign the bass drum in 1978. All that would prove is that it existed, which isn't the point of contention here. We're curious as to how it was left off at the time of mastering the album. It seems like a big mistake for an engineer to make. Some responsibility lies on the band's shoulders, where it's Freddie's song and Roger's instrument. Surely, one of them would notice, or Brian or John, but perhaps not. Later, the song wasn't a hit and didn't get a lot of play, so maybe they rarely put the album on or paid enough attention to realize there was no bass drum.

A question perhaps lurking in the shadows is: Did Freddie or the band leave the bass drum off on purpose in 1978?

Why? I have no idea. The song lost some low-end support and hearing the bass drum now, it's an improvement. Someone suggested that the bass drum version was intended for Deep Cuts 2 only, not necessarily the album, which raises another question: How would we have felt if it had been left on on the Jazz remaster (to maintain the original album), but was included on Deep Cuts 2?

In the end, though, what we're left with is that it the drum is there now, where it wasn't before (for 33 years). Do we accept their explanation at face value? It's difficult to prove a negative, such as something not having happened (in this case, the drum was absent by honest mistake).

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Posted: 12 Jul 11, 21:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote: How can they prove it was a genuine mistake if it, in fact, was and all they can do is tell us?

I suppose somebody could post the tracking sheets, which should show which track was assign the bass drum in 1978. All that would prove is that it existed, which isn't the point of contention here. We're curious as to how it was left off at the time of mastering the album. It seems like a big mistake for an engineer to make. Some responsibility lies on the band's shoulders, where it's Freddie's song and Roger's instrument. Surely, one of them would notice, or Brian or John, but perhaps not. Later, the song wasn't a hit and didn't get a lot of play, so maybe they rarely put the album on or paid enough attention to realize there was no bass drum.

A question perhaps lurking in the shadows is: Did Freddie or the band leave the bass drum off on purpose in 1978?

Why? I have no idea. The song lost some low-end support and hearing the bass drum now, it's an improvement. Someone suggested that the bass drum version was intended for Deep Cuts 2 only, not necessarily the album, which raises another question: How would we have felt if it had been left on on the Jazz remaster (to maintain the original album), but was included on Deep Cuts 2?

In the end, though, what we're left with is that it the drum is there now, where it wasn't before (for 33 years). Do we accept their explanation at face value? It's difficult to prove a negative, such as something not having happened (in this case, the drum was absent by honest mistake).

_________________________________________

Hard facts, as you point out, may be an impossibility. So all we're left with is judging their explanation on the balance of probabilities. And for me that boils down to this:

QP current position:
- The kick was simply "mistakenly" left off.

What we KNOW about Queen (as they were at the time):
- Immersed themselves completely in the recording process to the point of attaining a 'perfectionist' label by some.
- Paid incredible attention to the mixing process. Often resulting in multiple mixes of tracks, until either compromises could be reached, or indeed the writer of a particular song was completely satisfied.
- Paid great attention to the physical manufacturing of the records; to ensure that their hard work had been accurately represented in the product they were releasing to the public.

Conclusion:
- For me it's impossible to reconcile what we KNOW about Queen with the explanation that we have been given.
- The only rational explanation is that,
   a) Queen, and more importantly Freddie, would have been well aware of the missing kick.
   b) It was approved it for release.
   c) Therefore, it was more than likely an artistic decision.

4 x Vision user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Jul 11, 08:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Why was Mustapha so quiet during the first half.... I thought the whole thing was going to sound worse when I started listening ?

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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 21:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree about Mustapha.  It's very annoying with it starting soft, then loud, then going soft (or so it seems) again.  Actually, I listened to the album on my expensive Shure headphones and wasn't very impressed.  BUT, I need to give it another listen before making final opinions.  Someone in another post said it was on purpose.  No clue why.

The whole "Jealousy" thing is very interesting.  Very.  I would love to know WHY this bass drum was added...is this played by Roger Taylor?!  

Let's keep this thread going...I'd like to see if someone can find the answer!

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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 22:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't get what's annoying about Mustapha?

It's always been like that.
It's like that on vinyl. I love it. It isn't anything new to this remaster.
It's deliberately like this. I love the way it just explodes into life.... very cool.

Fat Bottomed Girls has a similar style in that it softens the guitar intro and builds.
The dynamics add so much to the feel of a song that sadly gets lost on CD in most cases.

A good comparo is Drowse on vinyl v cd. Completely different song on vinyl. If you've only heard it on CD and then play the vinyl (which I did) you understand the whole feel of Roger's intent and why the name Drowse works so well.
I'm getting carried away. Enjoy the dynamic swing in Mustapha, it's intentional!!!

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Posted: 23 Jul 11, 20:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

OK, sorry to bring this thread back to the top, but I had to tell everyone...

I finally now realize what I have missed out with "Mustapha" for all of these years.  See, I grew up with the HR versions and quite honestly, that track on that version doesn't do it justice.  After pulling out the vinyl, I realized how stupid my "annoying" comment was!  And the 2011 remaster ROCKS!

I just wish the "mono" sound could have been a bit more obvious to my ears from the beginning...ah, I feel so dumb now.  HA!

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Posted: 24 Jul 11, 13:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jazz has always been a strange one sonically. I think I've said elsewhere it's difficult to make it sound more even without compromising the original intent. I like it.

The more I think about the kick drum thing the more find it odd. I'm not sure anyone would really have noticed would they? Just think that it was a good mastering job. The lack of decent sleevenotes on the bonus material has always been a curse with Queen (remember Brian's two sentence note for the KYA retake on the HR Queen 1 reissue?) - a better explaination would've done justice eitherway.