Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Vinyl vs. CD?

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JacquesDaniels user not visiting Queenzone.com
JacquesDaniels
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Posted: 31 Oct 06, 04:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey,

I've been googling my butt off trying to find a website with comparisons of Queen vinyls and CD's, similar to The Frank Zappa Album Versions Guide (a.k.a. Return of the Son of the Vinyl vs. CD FAQ) at http://www.lukpac.org/~handmade/patio/vinylvscds/index.html , but I haven't found anything. I also tried to search the QZ forum for similar topics, without finding any - perhaps I just don't know how to search then?

Anyhow.. The closest to what I was looking for is the Queen Picture Hall website, which is sort of discontinued, but it's not quite the thing. Does such a website exist for Queen, or should there even be one?

onevsion user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 31 Oct 06, 06:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting question...

Never saw a website like that. Maybe it's beacause the tracks on queen's vinyl catalogue are often the same as they are on cd.

Innuendo LP has some edited versions.
Made In Heaven LP is also edited (and it misses tracks: yeah, and track 13)
A Kind of Magic CD has some bonus tracks.

And off course there are the Hollywood 1991 remaster cd's with bonus tracks (remixes) on it.

I think JSS made a list (available on queenzone) of most of the different versions from queen songs wich exist.




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Posted: 31 Oct 06, 12:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's a few differences here and there in terms of differing versions, but almost all of them are edits - there are very few alternate mixes (like the Beatles mono/stereo mixes, which were sometimes different performances).

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Posted: 31 Oct 06, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ducksoup wrote:

Interesting question...

Never saw a website like that. Maybe it's beacause the tracks on queen's vinyl catalogue are often the same as they are on cd.

Innuendo LP has some edited versions.
Made In Heaven LP is also edited (and it misses tracks: yeah, and track 13)
A Kind of Magic CD has some bonus tracks.

And off course there are the Hollywood 1991 remaster cd's with bonus tracks (remixes) on it.

I think JSS made a list (available on queenzone) of most of the different versions from queen songs wich exist.





And also the Mirical has some extra tracts only on CD version.

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Posted: 31 Oct 06, 17:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed!

Jjeroen user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 04:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, we're all on on edits.
But difference with Zappa, is that it is the other way round.

Main difference between Zappa's album and cd-releases is that some of the cd versions have been EXTENDED. (As in a song on Hot Rats that originally ran for 3 minutes, now runs for 7!)

That never happened with Queen...

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 05:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jeroen wrote:

Well, we're all on on edits.
But difference with Zappa, is that it is the other way round.

Main difference between Zappa's album and cd-releases is that some of the cd versions have been EXTENDED. (As in a song on Hot Rats that originally ran for 3 minutes, now runs for 7!)

That never happened with Queen...


Indeed. As, I'm sure, are most of you, I'm perfectly aware of all the regular edits, official extended versions and such, but I was thinking of, e.g. mono mixes, different EQ'ing, etc. For one, "My Fairy King" has a bad glitch or whatever at the end of the track in most CD versions (excluding the japanese mini vinyl CD replica remaster thing), whereas the vinyl plays perfectly well.

I also want to know differences in the general differences of "feel" to the vinyl and CD (perhaps even tape) versions, as in, how airy or compressed each would sound.

As an example, to me, Opera has some good moments on the surround DVD version, but I prefer the regular CD version, because of the mixing is more together as some perfect sort of music, instead of just an interesting 5.1 mix with some details more emphasized due to the possibility, which doesn't make everything sound as well and fluent as on the CD.

Another example, Hot Space sounds infinitely better on vinyl than on CD, because the air hovering around the needle sort of gives a different kind of electricity for the sound, and better yet, if the disc runs just slightly too fast. :)

And as some of you surely know, there's a ridiculous number of different tracklistings for the first official Greatest Hits album, and I'm sure some of them have different versions of some tracks (Fat Bottomed Girls, Under Pressure)... though, of course, it would take a really fanatic collector to actually want a few hundred different copies of Greatest Hits.

As for the Zappa albums - the main difference really isn't even about the length of the songs, but the mixing and the initial/re-mastering. If you listen to albums like "Cruising with Ruben and the Jets", "We're Only In It For The Money", "Zoot Allures" or "Tinsel-Town Rebellion" on the original vinyl and CD, the differences are so much more important than the mere length of some tracks. For one, "TTR" is hardly listenable on the pre-1998 (non-Chrislu Spencer) releases, while the original vinyl version sounds perfect (particularly Peaches en Regalia) and every bit of music (and non-music) is intact.

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 05:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I fully agree with you.
Just some random thoughts:

If you are talking about smaller (unintended) differences is cd/vinyl, then in Queen's case there are a LOT. If you count the FIRST EMI cd-editons...
For instance: on ADATR the first notes of the piano of You and I is missing (it fades in realy). There are more of these errors.

Also, when you talk about the general mix of the albums, there are significant differences as well.
That first batch of cd-releases, dispite you can hear that they are OLD, do sound like the original albums when it comes to the mix.

BUT if you for instance take the Japanese cardsleeve re-re-re-releases from a few years back, some of the albums have been RUINED.

Take Innuendo: nowadays the original cd/vinyl already sounds a bit outdated MIX-wise. But listen to that re-release and all power, every 'punch' in the music has disappeared. The mix is totally different on almost all instruments and it just sounds like shit.

I also agree on what you say about the ANATO 5.1 mix. The NEW one, that is. The first one was alright, I think. But the second makes the whole albums sound 'different'. I found that most annoying in the Prophet's Song - the new mix emphasisez some elements of the music way more then on the original version. On the same line: it takes out some elements of the music that were essentially audiable on the original giving the song a totally different feel.

On yet another different level;
AKOM and Works sound pretty weak on their original vinyl pressings because of that shitty Direct Metal Mastering they did at the time. Horrible invention, that DMM!!
Consequently: those two albums sound much much better on their CD versions. Even on the original, first EMI releases.

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 05:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jeroen wrote:

I fully agree with you.
Just some random thoughts:

If you are talking about smaller (unintended) differences is cd/vinyl, then in Queen's case there are a LOT. If you count the FIRST EMI cd-editons...
For instance: on ADATR the first notes of the piano of You and I is missing (it fades in realy). There are more of these errors.

Also, when you talk about the general mix of the albums, there are significant differences as well.
That first batch of cd-releases, despite you can hear that they are OLD, do sound like the original albums when it comes to the mix.


Yeah, I've noticed that thing about "You And I" as well. My brother has the original CD release, and I've got a remastered version, which is alright - in every other way, except on the disc, the tracklist is numbered to 11, starting with Intro, even though the disc itself has the regular number of 10 tracks.

And yes, the mixing is alright on the first CD's. And I'm quite happy with some of the Hollywood Remasters as well, particularly Queen II. The original CD was rather quiet.

OT: I just noticed, while writing a message, the form has a typo, there's a third 's' on "Message". I don't know if anybody's ever noticed it before, but there it is again.

jeroen wrote:


BUT if you for instance take the Japanese cardsleeve re-re-re-releases from a few years back, some of the albums have been RUINED.

Take Innuendo: nowadays the original cd/vinyl already sounds a bit outdated MIX-wise. But listen to that re-release and all power, every 'punch' in the music has disappeared. The mix is totally different on almost all instruments and it just sounds like shit.


Well, fortunately, I don't own any of that batch. I've only heard mp3's of the Japanese cardsleeve re*4-releases, of which I only kept the debut album because of the good digital version of "My Fairy King". But yeah, this is the kind of information the collectors, completists and the insane friggin' maniacal fanatics want to know, and should be made into a website, similar to that Zappa page I pointed out.

jeroen wrote:


I also agree on what you say about the ANATO 5.1 mix. The NEW one, that is. The first one was alright, I think. But the second makes the whole albums sound 'different'. I found that most annoying in the Prophet's Song - the new mix emphasizes some elements of the music way more then on the original version. On the same line: it takes out some elements of the music that were essentially audiable on the original giving the song a totally different feel.


How very true.

jeroen wrote:


On yet another different level;
AKOM and Works sound pretty weak on their original vinyl pressings because of that shitty Direct Metal Mastering they did at the time. Horrible invention, that DMM!!
Consequently: those two albums sound much much better on their CD versions. Even on the original, first EMI releases.


Oh yeah. I only have on vinyl the DMM versions of those two albums, and I found them rather horrible as well. Still, strangely enough, I'd rather listen to them on vinyl, particularly AKOM, I don't know why. Probably because of the lack of the rather useless extended versions of AKOM and FWBF.

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 18:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The remasters of the 1998 box the crown jewels are pretty good, better than the 1994 remasters.

Is it true that the US LP releases of Elektra have a better sound than the European ones of Emi?

As for Frank Zappa; the man was a total control freak when it came to mixing/remastering. He even re-recorded a lot of bits and pieces of his earlier work for the cd releases.



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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 19:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the best vinyl releases soundwise are the Japanes editions, and it appears that in CD´s they are the best too!

I don´t know why, but someone asked Allan Holdsworth why the japanese editions were the best (vinyl) and even he couldn´t understand (he guessed that was something to do with the type of material used in their pressing or something).

But there must be an extra element that people are not aware of, that can improve the sound of it.

Take care

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Posted: 01 Nov 06, 23:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank goodness Queen didn't take their master tapes and "update" them like Zappa did in the 80s. I realize he felt the need to due to the quality of the tapes themselves, but when I try to imagine "Fairy Feller" with a Synclavier, I cry a little inside.

And I agree on the Japanese quality being superior. They're so meticulous! Maybe it's in my head or ears, but I hear the difference.


You don't have to be bigger. Just louder.
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Posted: 02 Nov 06, 04:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

USA and especially Japanese pressings are superiour by standard. Always.

They have better pressingplants and use better material. More expensive but it is worth it.

The vinyl is thicker and of better quality with less 'airbubbles' for instance.
Sleeves are nicer as well most of the time.

Btw: Apart from cheapass Sout-American and particular Asian pressings, always stay away from Spanish and French pressings as well!

(Well, if you want to play them of course ;-)

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Posted: 02 Nov 06, 06:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, thanks for the replies. Queenzone can be a nice place if you actually have something worth saying... ;-)

So, to put it bluntly, everybody should just keep in mind to only buy the U.S. and Japanese pressings and everything will be better. And I have to agree (though not very whole-heartedly, because "I want to believe"), because from the few japanese vinyls and some U.S. versions that I've heard, they really are better than their European versions.

Again, off from the Queen topic:

Does anyone have the original vinyl release of Metallica's "...And Justice For All"? Because, I want to know if the bass is mixed as low (difficult to hear) on the vinyl as on the CD. The CD doesn't have any balls on it.

And, more on the Zappa thing: I happen to love the Synclavier stuff, especially "Jazz From Hell" and the unreleased "Resolver+Brutality" material. Granted #1, it's considered an acquired taste, and doesn't work for everybody, but you'll get used to it. Granted #2, it would've been unpardonable to hear real instruments replaced with machines on any of old Queen songs, and the re-producings Zappa did for Money and Ruben were horrible. Luckily, the original versions are rather easy to find. But, I wouldn't have been surprised, if Freddie had taken on the synclavier thing - or some other controversial idea - later, if he hadn't had his health-related problems. Who knows what kind of music he would be writing now.

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Posted: 02 Nov 06, 06:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

JacquesDaniels wrote:


Does anyone have the original vinyl release of Metallica's "...And Justice For All"? Because, I want to know if the bass is mixed as low (difficult to hear) on the vinyl as on the CD. The CD doesn't have any balls on it.


Hi there,

I never had the CD but the tape. And from what I heard and read, you can presume that the bass is basically absent in all pressings and versions, because it was intended to be that way. The loss of Cliff, his influence on the band, the way they always treated Jason... Making the bass play with the rhythm guitar and then mixing it down was just the tip of the iceberg. Jason wouldn't speak up much back then, so there you have the album with a horrible sound. Only St.Anger is worse. :-)

Jan

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Posted: 02 Nov 06, 09:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jan78 wrote:



Hi there,

I never had the CD but the tape. And from what I heard and read, you can presume that the bass is basically absent in all pressings and versions, because it was intended to be that way. The loss of Cliff, his influence on the band, the way they always treated Jason... Making the bass play with the rhythm guitar and then mixing it down was just the tip of the iceberg. Jason wouldn't speak up much back then, so there you have the album with a horrible sound. Only St.Anger is worse. :-)

Jan


Thanks for that; with that info, I'm sure the vinyl is as shitty as the CD, unless someone else points out any difference. It's weird though, that the band's (arguably) best album should be ruined with an unnoticable bass track. St. Anger just plain sucks throughout.

Anyway... If anyone's interested in supplying detailed information, opinions and whatnot - and some webspace as well - I'd be happy to build a website for "A Night At The Queen(+) Vinyl vs. CD Attack Of The Hot Space Jazz Works On Fire FAQ" or whatever - on my sparetime, that is - which is rather scarce for the next 10 months at least. Or perhaps we should just call it "Duck Soup", unless QPR are going to name their upcoming release thus? =P

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Posted: 02 Nov 06, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good idea Jack! ;-)

I don't have any webspace and zero knowledge about building websites, but if you need any information on any of the releases and all their different versions, I'd be happy to supply you with information!