Tommy: Deluxe Edition details

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CDJones
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Re: Tommy: Deluxe Edition details

Postby CDJones » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:07 pm

lukpac wrote:Universal / Geffen release a hybrid CD / SACD version of Tommy on Oct 28. The 'Deluxe' version features the album in stereo (taken from the original stereo masters) and 5.1 surround sound (for those with SACD compatible players) mixed by Pete from the original eight-track tapes. A DVD-A version may follow after.



Original Stereo Masters? Maybe my mind is failing me, but I was under the impression that the Original Tommy Stereo Masters were ceremoniously cremated. Anybody else recall this tale?

Steve

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Postby lukpac » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:46 pm

I've heard that story as well (I believe it is printed in the liners to the '96 remix), but I don't really believe it. Kind of like the story about burning all of the '69 concert tapes. Many/all of those still exist.

It's quite possible/probably the master was lost/not accounted for for a long time, but I seriously doubt it was burned. Whatever the case, apparently MCA had/has great sounding tapes in their vault, master or otherwise.

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Postby britre » Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:30 pm

I would personally like to see some of the alternates from the movie soundtrack included in this collection as well.

Sme versions featured in the movie are still to date unreleased in a good form and nameley "Eyesight To The Blind" with Arthur Brown, and "Champagne", and the extended "Sensation"

While not really true Who cuts of the 1969 era, the SACD should have bonus material galor considering what this just might run in the retail world.

However, I do look forward to any good mix of Tommy. I found the reissue MCA single disc version quite good and in fact better than the original Decca LP, which you will not hear me say about lp vs CD very often.

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Postby Rspaight » Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:32 pm

Big yack session with Jon Astley in the new ICE. Some highlights:

- The 5.1 mix was, apparently, actually done by Pete. According to the article, the bass and drums are much more pronounced in the 5.1 mix, as opposed to the original mix in which Kit Lambert wanted to emphasize the vocals and acoustic guitar. "Sparks" is slightly extended, and "Pinball Wizard" ends with some pinball machine sound effects that were on the multis but not used in the stereo mixdown. Pete is currently working on a 5.1 mix of Quadrophenia, with Who's Next, Live At Leeds and Empty Glass in the queue. (So a Leeds Ultra-Super-Deluxe Edition with Scrubbing Bubbles is apparently inevitable.)

- The stereo track is taken from a quarter-inch "stereo mixdown master" that "turned up in Los Angeles at the MCA vaults." Astley sez it "sounds fantastic."

- Astley on "Young Man Blues" -- "[It] has a double-tracked vocal. There's another version knocking about that's not as good." Make of that what you will.

- The DVD-A will be a two-disc set and include everything on the SACD set in 24/96 PCM, plus a video interview with Pete.

- Astley on SACD vs. DVD-A: "As an audiophile, Super Audio sounds better to me; for me, it's the ultimate. But I can see DVD-Audio having a future because of all these little things it can carry, like [visual content]." (I can't wait to hear Luke's response to that.)

Lots more in the article, but I don't feel like retyping the whole damn thing. Any specific questions, though, fire away.

Ryan
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Postby lukpac » Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:30 pm

Rspaight wrote:- The 5.1 mix was, apparently, actually done by Pete. According to the article, the bass and drums are much more pronounced in the 5.1 mix, as opposed to the original mix in which Kit Lambert wanted to emphasize the vocals and acoustic guitar. "Sparks" is slightly extended, and "Pinball Wizard" ends with some pinball machine sound effects that were on the multis but not used in the stereo mixdown. Pete is currently working on a 5.1 mix of Quadrophenia, with Who's Next, Live At Leeds and Empty Glass in the queue. (So a Leeds Ultra-Super-Deluxe Edition with Scrubbing Bubbles is apparently inevitable.)


Some of the 5.1 changes seem a bit questionable, but then again, I don't see it as that big of a deal. We are getting the original mix again, after all.

- The stereo track is taken from a quarter-inch "stereo mixdown master" that "turned up in Los Angeles at the MCA vaults." Astley sez it "sounds fantastic."


Most likely the same tape Hoffman mentioned, and quite possibly used on the 1993 CD.

Does anyone still have the original 2 CD set on MCA? Or perhaps, should I say, one of the 2 CD sets. I've heard there was more than one version. I used to have one with "NM" markings (purportedly for "new master"), but got rid of it when I got the remix. The only thing I remember is there were big pops in a few places between songs.

- Astley on "Young Man Blues" -- "[It] has a double-tracked vocal. There's another version knocking about that's not as good." Make of that what you will.


Stranger things have happened, but that would seem to be the HTTB version. It would certainly be strange if they decided to double track vocals on more than one take back then.

- Astley on SACD vs. DVD-A: "As an audiophile, Super Audio sounds better to me; for me, it's the ultimate. But I can see DVD-Audio having a future because of all these little things it can carry, like [visual content]." (I can't wait to hear Luke's response to that.)


The "audiophile" line is pretty sad/amusing/etc, but everything else doesn't sound too far off base.

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Postby lukpac » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:31 pm

BTW, any mention about the demos or outtakes?

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Postby Rspaight » Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:12 am

Does anyone still have the original 2 CD set on MCA?


No, but I've had my share of Tommy versions. First one was the MCA in two single jewel cases in a longbox, which I got in 1985. It sounded like crap, if I remember correctly. Of course, now it's fashionable to say that those CDs were pure mastering gold, but I'm sticking with crap in this case. Tons of hiss and thin, thin, thin (even for Tommy).

Then I got the European Polydor version, which was two CDs in a fat double case. It was better, but not great. After that it was the MoFi, which is the best version of the original mix I've heard. (I never heard the 1993 single-disc.)

I actually got rid of the MoFi after the remix came out, because the money was good and I liked the remix better. I kinda wish I still had it now, from a collector's standpoint, but I don't really miss it otherwise.

I don't know if they changed the pre-1993 MCA version, but it wouldn't surprise me.

The "audiophile" line is pretty sad/amusing/etc, but everything else doesn't sound too far off base.


Yeah, it was the "audiophile" part I thought you'd enjoy.

BTW, any mention about the demos or outtakes?


Not much on the demos, but there was quite a bit on the outtakes. I'll report back after I get home tonight (where the magazine is).
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Postby Rspaight » Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:24 pm

OK, here's the scoop on the outtakes. All (semicoherent) quotes are Astley's:

"I Was" - "a funny idea that's kind of an opposite of 'I Am'."

"Christmas" - "an outtake that's really great... Pete felt like Kit chose the wrong one!"

"Model Child" - "sung by Keith, the same as 'Cousin Kevin Model Child' from Odds & Sods

"Tommy Can You Hear Me?" - "an alternate take."

"Trying to Get Through" - "a song that Pete sings which didn't make the album."

"Sally Simpson" - "a very funny 'Sally Simpson' during the sessions, where they keep getting it wron and they're having a laugh. And Pete's telling a story about what they wrote about him in the NME or something. So it's quite fun, about 4 minutes long. And then you hear an outtake of 'Sally Simpson' afterwards. And it's interesting because Pete's calling the outtakes what they were called at the time, and this was called 'Miss Simpson.'"

"Miss Simpson" - see above, plus "Keith is playing quite different things on it."

"Welcome" - "outtake number two, which didn't get used."

"Tommy's Holiday Camp" - "the one on the album has always been just Pete's demo, because they always felt it was great. But the band did have a go at recording it, and it never got used, so this is that version."

"We're Not Gonna Take It" - "an early alternate version where they didn't have the 'listening to you' part. At the end of 'See Me, Feel Me' it just goes back into 'we're not gonna take it...' and it finishes that way. So the 'listening to you' part wasn't actually written yet; it was kind of an afterthought by Pete during the making of the record."

"Dogs Pt. 2" - not part of the Tommy story line, but included here because it was the B-side of the "Pinball Wizard" single. "Pete's mixed it so beautifully. Keith's playing on it is just fantastic."

Woof woof!

Ryan
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Postby Chris M » Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:45 pm

Those outtakes sound interesting. For me the outtakes alone are worth picking this up. If the sound of the SACD is up to scratch I'll look at that as a bonus since we already have a pretty good redbook available ('93 remaster). I wonder if they will revert back to the original mix for Quad when they do the Quad DE :shock:

Chris

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Postby lukpac » Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:02 pm

So with all of these Tommy rumblings, I thought I'd revisit a few versions and compare them. The opinion of one popular audiophile is that an original Decca pressing is best, and that for CDs, the remix is best, followed by the 1993 CD, while the MoFi is muddy. Well, a few thoughts...

MoFi vs. '93 MCA - Other than the obvious case of Eyesight To The Blind, the differences aren't all *that* big. Some tracks (Overture, for example) aren't all that different. Others differ a little more. In almost all cases it seems as if the '93 MCA is brightened up ever so slightly - probably a small boost around 12k or so. A few tracks (We're Not Gonna Take It, for example) seem to have the mids slightly sucked out on the '93 MCA in an apparent attempt to "tighten" them up. I don't necessarily dislike the mastering on the '93 MCA, but in comparison to the MoFi (which we've been told is a flat transfer, and based on the comparison doesn't seem to be out of the question) it seems unnecessary. I'd probably give the nod to the MoFi, as much as it pains me to be in agreement with certain "MFSL is great!" people.

BTW, the volume on the MoFi seems to vary a bit from track to track, while it seems as if every track is as loud as it can be on the '93 MCA.

MoFi vs. Decca vinyl - I've got a Decca pressing that's a 1st pressing on side 4. Either my pressing is worn, or the best pressing was one other than the 1st, or something, as the vinyl doesn't sound all that great in comparison to the MoFi. Kind of harsh and a tad thin in comparison. I'd say it's my low-budget system, but I've heard plenty of other vinyl sound great on it, so I'm pretty sure it's not that.

I've also got a few other pressings I should compare to, although when I played them in the past none seemed that great.

MoFi vs. remix - At best the remix seems unnecessary, at worst it lacks some of the nuances of the original mix and just doesn't sound as good. Certain tracks actually sound *more* midrangy on the remix, and there's often less treble (check out the cymbals on We're Not Gonna Take It). Add to that the little "why didn't they do that" moments, and I really have no use for the remix.

So what am I saying? Well, of what I've heard, I guess the MoFi does the most for me, although I suppose a good piece of vinyl could beat it if I heard it. It will be interesting to see how the DE stands up. Astley backed off the NR for the most part on the Who's Next DE. Hopefully that trend continues.
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Postby Xenu » Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:31 pm

Yay! Luke kinda agrees with me! (I always thought the MoFi was pretty good, and that it was fairly similar to the single-disc MCA).

Luke, feel like justifying my take on the Who Are You situation anytime soon?
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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:42 pm

I suppose I could. I believe I've got dubs of the MoFi and Polydor around here somewhere. I know I've got the MoFi - not sure about the Polydor. Hrmm...here's the MoFi, but I don't know if I have a Polydor or not.

A lot of that stuff just makes me scratch my head. For Quad it's "supposed to be" MCA -> MoFi -> Polydor, but my MCA and Polydor copies are *identical*, and the MoFi sounds really, really close to them. So either there's another Polydor version I haven't heard, or somebody is smoking crack.
"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 Rspaight » Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:59 pm

Eh, don't bother. Pete's just a media freak.

WRT Tommy, the original MCA was crap, the Polydor was better, and the MoFi was better than that. I've never heard the '93 MCA.

I didn't notice a world of difference between the MCA (two single cases), Poly (fat double case) and MoFi (UD1 :)) Quads. I like the remix -- nyaah.

Speaking of Quad, here's something I found while I rummaging around looking for those GRE scores last week:

Image

Image

Of course, I don't have the actual discs anymore, just the longbox. Guess that goes to show that GRE scores don't mean squat, huh?

Ryan
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Postby Patrick M » Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:56 pm

I'd sell the longbox on ebay to some idiot collector.

Seems like I saw one of the Wall longboxes go for circa $50. Stupid white guys with too much money, I suppose.

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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:24 pm

Rspaight wrote:WRT Tommy, the original MCA was crap, the Polydor was better, and the MoFi was better than that. I've never heard the '93 MCA.


Haven't heard the Polydor, and I've been told there were two MCA two CD versions. The original and the "NM" version. I had the NM version, but got rid of it when the remix came out. The main thing I remember are big pops between a few songs.

Back to the remix a second...I should clarify that it is somewhat interesting in a "that's different" sense. So in that regard, it's not totally useless. But as far as the best version of the album goes, it does nothing for me.

I didn't notice a world of difference between the MCA (two single cases), Poly (fat double case) and MoFi (UD1 :)) Quads.


Like I said, the MCA and Polydor copies I have are identical (at least as far as I can determine with my inferior computer software). The MoFi doesn't sound very different at all.
"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