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the fireplace user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 May 05, 06:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For the people who can answer (mainly John S. Stuart, I think):

Basically we have four “sounding” versions of Queen albums on CD:

- The CD first pressing made during mid-80
- The Hollywood Records releases (1991)
- The “Digital Remasters” series (1994)
- The Japanese Remasters (2001)

From what I read in this forum and other places in the web I assume that the Hollywood series are the only CDs remastered directly from the original master tapes. Am I wrong? John Stuart wrote that EMI sent erroneously the original master tapes instead of copies and never got them back. I think this is true because some of Hollywood remixes have some Freddie vocal part that clearly derive from some other takes of songs (for example ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’). Or I remember a terrible hiss at the beginning of “Death on two legs” (first CD-pressing) that magically disappeared on the “Hollywood” version. I didn’t listen to the ‘1994’ version, but I think it has the same hiss problem.

When Queen Productions claimed that they have lost the master tapes of “All dead all dead” and other songs, what kind of master tapes they referred to, given the fact that they never received back the (original?) master tapes sent to the U.S.?

So I would like to know from what kind of masters have been each of the CD versions made and in the end which is the “best sounding” (for example I noticed that many people complained about the 2001 remasters)

Then why do we (fans in Europe) deserve crappy packages, crappy discs, crappy sounding CDs, crappy artwork, crappy everything? Why I can buy for 10€ the beautiful AC/DC mini-album reissues and must get basically the same crappy Queen CD I bought more than 10 years ago? Even the ‘plain’ CD Zeppelin remasters are better than the 1994 Queen remasters. I think that the “Greatest Hits III/Rocks” thing i.e. “put everything you want on the market and the dumbass fan will buy it” might be an answer.

Thanks



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Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 May 05, 07:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, 1994 remaster CDs are not the best ones... Need to ask guys from Parlophone and QP Ltd perhaps.

Wait for John S. Stuart reply - it's always interesting to read what he thinks and knows about, since he knows more than anyone of us :)

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Posted: 11 May 05, 08:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Serry,

If you ask official sources, you'll get the standard company line that espouses the fact that EVERYTHING they release is for the good of the fan. Blatant rubbish, but their stance nonetheless.

To me, the best sounding product available on the market at the moment are the Japanese mini-LP versions of the albums. They are clearer and sound less harsh at the high end. The bottom end is rich and toneful. I also believe that all the mastering errors (track cues etc) from all previous issues were corrected.

As for what EMI have now in the vaults, who knows. I'm sure John can give some kind of definitive answer here, but we really will not know until the Deluxe issue of ANATO hits the shelves. We will then have to go on what they include as detail in the sleeve notes in terms of the source tapes. We know that Brian appealed for the return of original masters, but since then, have heard absolutely nothing. I've mailed brianmay.com about it on a number of occasions, but have yet to be graced with a response.


Benn
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Posted: 11 May 05, 09:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was one of those first to ridicule some of the 2001 remasters. The problems are widespread for me. But my main gripe is that these current remasters are the only ones to alter the sound so much, to almost ruin my enjoyment of the music. I still listen to my 93/94 remasters. I have listened, side-to-side, quite a few albums. Right up to The Miracle and including MIH. Others have posted tidbits from Innuendo's 2001 remaster. Most of the new remasters BEFORE The Works, sound pretty good. But still add some unwelcome compression (NOT as in data compression!). They're not much different. But everything after that, up to MIH is radically different.

This is why I stick with the 93/94 remasters. They're not perfect. But they're pretty accurate reproductions of the albums that were released all those years ago. Except, they have been given a clean and subtle shine added. The proper way to approach (re)mastering. Justin-SS has done what he thought sounded good and entered into the whole thing with a bias for his own sound. I find that inconceivable in this business.

If you like the sound, get them. But the way they've changed ruins it for me.

More info:

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q_FORUM_ID=1&Q_FORUM_NAME=Queen+-+Serious+Discussion&TOPIC_SUBJECT=japanese+imports&Q=484271&page=2

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=410535

And the comment made by Negative Creep on that last link is true. I altered the sound of The Miracle and Innuendo. Both sound way better than they did. Even better than the 2001 remasters.
EDIT: And by alter, I mean, added some volume.

Peace,
Adam.

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 May 05, 12:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry to disapoint, but I can only partially answer this question, as I do not own the 2001 Japanese Remasters.

That said, I do agree with both Serry and Fireplace that the 1994 Digital Remasters series are not the quality I would have expected for such a high profile release.

So for general listening purposes, I prefer the original UK mid 1980 releases - as even with their basic "mastering errors (track cues etc)" - they seem to sound the closest to my friendly old vinyls. (Having just said that though - as far as CD's go, the Mobile Fidelity gold "A Night At The Opera" and "News Of The World" are well worth a listen).

The 1991 Hollywood Records releases (imo) contain both far too many - and much more serious remastering errors (like the complete removal of parts of tracks for example), so for me that is a far more annoying and serious issue than nuances in sound clarity, as the latter far too easily detracts from the over-all experience.

I also agree with Ben: "we really will not know until the Deluxe issue of ANATO hits the shelves."

As for Ben's second point: "We know that Brian appealed for the return of original masters, but since then, have heard absolutely nothing...", that is because, as far as I know, nothing has ever been returned! So the truth is still out there!






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the fireplace user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 May 05, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks John.

But what about master tapes. The 94 remasters have been remastered from the ORIGINAL master tapes? Or only the Hollywood cds have?
And maybe the japanese mastered their version tweaking the 94 remasters copies...


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the fireplace user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 May 05, 15:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

P.S. As far as I know all the "Hollywood" errors should have been fixed by now. I know that the errors of "In the lap of the gods" and "It's late" have been fixed. There are other errors?


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Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 May 05, 07:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

the fireplace wrote:

P.S. As far as I know all the "Hollywood" errors should have been fixed by now. I know that the errors of "In the lap of the gods" and "It's late" have been fixed. There are other errors?


I Want It All

Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 May 05, 08:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, the_hero... The booklet to Sheer Heart Attack (remaster 1994) album is one of the worst I've ever seen!

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Posted: 12 May 05, 13:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Why have the Queen albums not been given PROPER remasters. With new sleevenotes, and extra tracks etc. I'm sure it would bring in a shitload of money.


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jcrawford79 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 May 05, 15:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Serry-What is wrong with HR's I Want It All? I am curious to know as I thought all these problems had been corrected by now. Thanks in advance.

the fireplace user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 May 05, 17:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well the fact about the "I want it all" Hollywood version is that basically they put a different mix on the album, and the company claims that they didn't do it on purpose but they received that mix from EMI/Queen Productions. About the other (musical) errors I knew that they have been corrected. Or not?


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Posted: 12 May 05, 17:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jcrawford79 wrote:

Serry-What is wrong with HR's I Want It All? I am curious to know as I thought all these problems had been corrected by now. Thanks in advance.


First chorus is wrong. It's shortened and contains only Freddie's solo part with sound effects instead of usual chorus.

As Adam wrote on QueenVault.Com:
"Appearing only on the 1991 Hollywood Records remaster of The Miracle. At 1:14 into the track, the chorus that repeats the lyrics "I Want It All" is missing completely. Additionally, there are added backing vocals in the track. The first chorus has no backing vocals, lead vocal has more obvious multitracking, less prominent synth, more rhythm guitar, and lead guitar. There is no first chorus repeat. How did this mistake happen? Quite simply when Hollywood Records was remastering the album, Queen Productions provided the incorrect album master tape to Hollywood Records. The I Want It All mix that appears on the Hollywood release was added to the album master on March 15, 1989."

Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 May 05, 18:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the quote. I believe I may have gotten that info from either a Justin Shirley Smith quote or from Mr. Stuart.


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Updated October 2, 2016
Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 May 05, 18:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh and to comment on the remasters... I just bought all of the 2001 remasters and like them quite a bit. Songs such as Fight From The Inside and You And I sound quite a bit better. If I had to rank the remasters:

1. 2001 Japan
2. 1991 Hollywood
3. 1998 Hollywood "Crown Jewels"
4. 1994 UK

Just my opinion of course :)


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Updated October 2, 2016
greantings user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 May 05, 21:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What's your verdict on the A Night at the Opera DCC Gold CD? I like it a lot and it's the one I play the most. Very clear and dynamic (for lack of a better or more accurate description - it's in the middle of the night right now and I should be in bed!).

Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 May 05, 22:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Never heard any of the Gold CDs. I think 4 CDs were released in that format: ANATO, ADATR, The Game, and NOTW.


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greantings user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 13 May 05, 00:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) wrote:

Never heard any of the Gold CDs. I think 4 CDs were released in that format: ANATO, ADATR, The Game, and NOTW.


I've only seen & heard the ANATO disc so far, but would love to hear the other three. I don't see them listed in the DCC discography, but perhaps they are Mobile Fidelity releases since they also press Gold CD's? If you'd like to hear the ANATO DCC CD, just send me an e-mail and maybe I can help you out. ;-)

Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 May 05, 01:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That would be great. I'll send you an email tomorrow when I get up. I remember quite clearly seeing all 4 of those albums in the mobile fidelity gold disc format. I think they go for quite a bit on eBay these days...


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Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 May 05, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam Unger (QueenVault.com) wrote:

Oh and to comment on the remasters... I just bought all of the 2001 remasters and like them quite a bit. Songs such as Fight From The Inside and You And I sound quite a bit better. If I had to rank the remasters:

1. 2001 Japan
2. 1991 Hollywood
3. 1998 Hollywood "Crown Jewels"
4. 1994 UK

Just my opinion of course :)


Have you heard all the 2001 remasters to rate them so highly like that? As it has been said by most, the 2001 remasters sound pretty decent up till the halfway point, i.e. Hot Space.
Just trying to make things clearer.

Peace,
Adam.