Allmusic.com toolishness

Just what the name says.
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Xenu
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Allmusic.com toolishness

Postby Xenu » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:15 am

From the deluxe edition of "Days of Future Passed." Bolded for toolish emphasis:

Bruce Eder wrote:Sometimes names and packages are deceptive. Nominally, this release is a Universal "deluxe edition," presumably along similar lines to editions of key albums by Cream, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other bands like that. But in spirit and aspects of its content, it's actually quite a bit more ambitious, and almost closer to the 30th anniversary edition of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. Before going any further, it should be stated that the 1997-vintage remasterings of the Moody Blues' "classic seven" albums, including Days of Future Passed, were just fine. They were a significant improvement over the original late-'80s CD releases from Polygram, which were rushed and, in some instances, badly flawed, and they're rich and rewarding and will continue to please listeners for years to come. That said, midway through listening to the CD layer of this dual-layer (CD/SACD) double-disc "deluxe edition" of Days of Future Passed, this reviewer found himself amazed by what he was hearing, off of an album that he's known intimately for over 35 years. The CD layer on disc one, which presents the original album in its original mix, de-noised and restored, offers playing in some spots that this reviewer never heard before, and nuances elsewhere that were scarcely more than hinted at in the various incarnations of the album up to now -- and not just nuances by the band, but bowings by the orchestra's string section that stand out in relief that were never clearly represented before. And the voices -- they're now in the room with you, they're so close. And the SACD layer on the same disc, in 5.1 Surround Sound, is yet another listening matter entirely, literally putting you right in the middle of the band and also allowing you to hear each instrumental and vocal part separately if one so desires, as though it were coming from a separate corner of the room, with the complete, centered mix comprising a well-nigh perfect representation of the finished album; and, not surprisingly, the entire content of this release was prepared under the supervision of bandmembers Justin Hayward and John Lodge.


(Intermission: fwapfwapfwapfwapfwapfwapfwapfwap)

By itself, for the first disc alone, this reviewer would have happily paid the 34-dollar asking price for the imported release (a U.S. issue may occur at some future date) -- it's only eight or ten bucks more than Mobile Fidelity was asking for their Ultradisc audiophile version of the album in the early '90s, and this release offers a lot more surprises. And then there's disc two, which constitutes the results of a full-scale raid on the Decca vaults and their holdings of 1966-vintage Moodies tracks, plus a search of the entire session-tape archive from Days of Future Passed, and a retrieval of all of the group's 1967-vintage BBC appearances. So you're treated to the best-sounding editions ever of the single sides "Fly Me High," "Really Haven't Got the Time," "Leave This Man Alone," "Love and Beauty," and others, all in their official released versions, plus BBC versions of those (and several songs off of Days of Future Passed), including the earliest surviving BBC rendition of "Nights in White Satin," which Justin Hayward has always maintained was superior to the official version -- and he's right. There's playing and nuances on Justin Hayward's "Cities" that are new to this listener's experience, and his flanged and phased guitar on "Leave This Man Alone" feels like it's right in your face. And the BBC tracks are even more rewarding, Ray Thomas's flute helping to turn a surprisingly soulful BBC rendition of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (yes, the old Animals hit) sung by Hayward into an odd and pleasing piece of psychedelic-tinged R&B, while those live versions of "Love and Beauty" and "Leave This Man Alone" take this reviewer's nod for the best alternate released renditions of the band's singles. Just for completeness's sake, you also get the failed single efforts "Long Summer Days" and "Please Think About It," from the same chronology.


Etc.

I'm honestly surprised they still let him write reviews. He's *never* encountered a reissue he hasn't gushed over...moreso than anybody else at allmusic, Eder seems to be the "marketing guy," the guy they pull out to trump that this NEW THING is a GREAT BUY.

That is all.
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Postby Patrick M » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:22 am

I'm a big fan of 12/8.
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Postby lukpac » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:26 am

"Before going any further, it should be stated that the 1997-vintage remasterings of the Moody Blues' "classic seven" albums, including Days of Future Passed, were just fine. They were a significant improvement over the original late-'80s CD releases from Polygram, which were rushed and, in some instances, badly flawed, and they're rich and rewarding and will continue to please listeners for years to come."

I remember the "original CDs were crap" line in the reviews for the '97 discs as well. What I find amusing is that those are often regarding as being the *best* versions.

I'm convinced Bruce Eder has never actually compared versions of anything. I'm also convinced he didn't know DOFP as "intimately" as he would lead us to believe.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Andreas » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:05 am

You've never heard your favorite music sound this good! The clarity is exceptional, the separation...amazing. You will hear deeper lows and crisper highs. Treat yourself to a musical experience you've never heard before.

Our 24 Karat Gold discs reproduce the ultimate sound of a classic recorded performance without the digital hashness and irregular plated surfaces of standard aluminum discs.

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Postby lukpac » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:26 am

Capitol's New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo sounds better than stereo has ever sounded before!
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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dudelsack
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Re: Allmusic.com toolishness

Postby dudelsack » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:40 am

Xenu wrote:From the deluxe edition of "Days of Future Passed." Bolded for toolish emphasis:

Etc.

I'm honestly surprised they still let him write reviews. He's *never* encountered a reissue he hasn't gushed over...moreso than anybody else at allmusic, Eder seems to be the "marketing guy," the guy they pull out to trump that this NEW THING is a GREAT BUY.

That is all.


Eder works at Academy Records on 18th Street. I would guess that he's not getting too much writing work these days, heh.

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Postby CitizenDan » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:01 am

Anyone who refers to himself as "this reviewer" isn't to be taken seriously.
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Postby MK » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:11 am

He must ejaculate 50 times a day in front of his stereo.
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Xenu
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Re: Allmusic.com toolishness

Postby Xenu » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:59 pm

dudelsack wrote:
Eder works at Academy Records on 18th Street. I would guess that he's not getting too much writing work these days, heh.


You're KIDDING me. I've been in there several times. Has he always worked there?

I didn't realize he was on the front lines.

It's not that I dislike the guy, but his reviews *always* have that character about them. I don't think he legitimately believes any of it, nor do I think he's a mindless audiophile. He either thinks he's expected to write this, or he receives company pressure to include stuff like this.
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dudelsack
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Re: Allmusic.com toolishness

Postby dudelsack » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:23 pm

Xenu wrote:
dudelsack wrote:
Eder works at Academy Records on 18th Street. I would guess that he's not getting too much writing work these days, heh.


You're KIDDING me. I've been in there several times. Has he always worked there?

I heard him say he used to write for the Voice, too, so I'm not sure whether the Academy gig is only recent. Wouldn't surprise me if he'd been there forever, though - I don't get the sense there's a lot of staff turnover there.

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Postby czeskleba » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:50 pm

Bruce Eder wrote:The CD layer on disc one, which presents the original album in its original mix, de-noised and restored


Does the Deluxe Edition actually feature the original mix? I thought that had never appeared on CD and the tapes were lost or something.

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Postby JWB » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:22 pm

czeskleba wrote:Does the Deluxe Edition actually feature the original mix?


No. He took that whole sentence directly from the liner notes. :roll:

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Postby lukpac » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:53 am

czeskleba wrote:Does the Deluxe Edition actually feature the original mix? I thought that had never appeared on CD and the tapes were lost or something.


The story was that they were damaged (not lost), but they've actually been used for a few comps (I think a few show up on the box set), and Bill L said the tapes were in fine condition. I think the main problem was the mix just had sonic problems from the start.

Doesn't the DE feature some of the original mixes on disc 2? Or not?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby lukpac » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:55 am

Ugg. Do they believe this stuff?

Chicago Transit Authority

The 2003 remastered edition of Chicago Transit Authority offers a marked sonic improvement over all previous pressings -- including the pricey gold disc incarnation.


Chicago II

Potential consumers should note the unsurpassed sound quality and deluxe packaging of the 2002 CD remaster.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Xenu
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Postby Xenu » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:00 pm

My new favorite:

The Autumn Stone was the only double LP in the history of Immediate Records, and it came out as the company was entering its death throes, a desperate effort to cash in -- or, to use a term that's become popular in the 21st century -- "monetize" their library of tapes on the Small Faces. When lead singer Steve Marriott quit in the waning days of 1968, the group had been midway into recording a new album that would have been its third for the label, and a follow-up to 1968's popular Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. Left high and dry by Marriott's departure, with an uncertain future ahead for the group, the company elected to release the first anthology of the Small Faces' work. The result was The Autumn Stone, a mix of hit singles (going all the way back to their Decca Records years, with "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" and "All or Nothing") and up through their final 45, "The Universal," plus three songs recorded live at Newcastle Town Hall in early 1968, a bunch of album tracks, and some unissued tracks from the tail end of their history, presumably intended for the never-finished third Immediate LP. It was the first (and, for over 20 years, the best) overview of the group's work and history, depicting its transition from a white British Invasion-era soul band to a more laid-back and experimental psychedelic outfit. And it still holds up reasonably well, even in the face of more ambitious and comprehensive compilations such as Sanctuary's Ultimate Collection. The only caveat concerns the quality of the various CD editions -- the late-'80s, 22-song CD from Castle Communications sounded pretty poor (as did most of the Immediate catalog from that period), and the 1992 Castle version was little better. Subsequent reissues since the mid-'90s, however, have offered a steady (and ongoing) stream of major sonic improvements -- Castle's 1998 25-song re-release, part of its Essential Classics series, has very good fidelity and beautiful stereo separation on songs such as "Here Comes the Nice" and the title track, and clocked in at 72 minutes with the inclusion of the three bonus tracks, "Donkey Rides, Penny a Glass" plus monumental live renditions of "All or Nothing" and "Tin Soldier" (both of which were already represented in their studio versions); and Sunspots' 2002 version, packaged in a mini-LP sleeve, takes a different approach, offering still better sound and expanding the CD back to two platters, like the original double-LP version, and loading up bonus tracks on both discs, including the alternate takes of "Tell Me (Have You Ever Seen Me)" and "Green Circles," the live version of "Tin Soldier," the B-side "Donkey Rides, Penny a Glass," plus the piano- and organ-dominated instrumental "The Pig Trotters," the guitar-driven blues piece entitled "Picaninny."


I like how he feels the need to account for the Sunspots disc, simply because it's a newer iteration...although I'd bet that it's just cloned off of a previous CD.
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