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 Post subject: Chuck Berry on CD
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:35 pm 
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Anyone see Universal's new Definitive Collection? It's almost, ALMOST perfect. It basically replaces The Great Twenty-Eight, but has thirty tracks total. Funny, 'cause when I had that CD, I remember thinking, "Man, this would be perfect if only 'Promised Land' and 'You Never Can Tell' was on here." Well, those two were added. Unfortunately, they also added "My fucking ding-a-ling" (it's one saving grace is that it inspired an amusing Simpsons moment) and dropped "Bye Bye Johnny" in the process, which was unnecessary because there was room for it too.

Anyway, I haven't heard it, but I'm sure it's the same mastering as Anthology, which was reissued as Gold, you know, Universal's strange reissue campaign where they replace every two-disc compilation already in-print with a more generic-looking package titled Gold. Well, it's more than that, they have added some comps and made a few changes to others, but that's what it's become in recent months.

I did find a copy of The Chess Box, and I actually prefer the mastering on it. The booklet's gone, but supposedly Greg Fulginiti and Doug Schwartz did the mastering, like they did for the other Chess boxes, and it sounds like the same masters were used as Anthology. The difference is, Anthology is twice as a loud with a few more decibels in the upper region to give it a more 'whitened' sound. It's not a HUGE boost, but it's noticeable. Anthology was done by Erick Labson, and that's kind of his MO. The limiting isn't too bad, but it's more noticeable on some tracks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:39 am 
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There's a 2-CD collection out now that also includes tracks from the Mercury years, which up till now haven't been served well. Is that the one you mean?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am 
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They dropped Bye Bye Johnny? WTF?

And how many comps do they need to release? I've got the 2 50th anniversary sets from 1997 - I didn't even know Anthology existed.

Anyone have "More Rock & Roll Rarities"? Was there a third set as well? I just have the first one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:25 am 
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No, I mean these:

Gold (2 CD's - same as Anthology which was deleted)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00092 ... F8&s=music

and Definitive Collection (1 CD)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A2 ... 27?ie=UTF8

The Chess Box is the one to get, IF you have the money. BMG Music Club/Yourmusic.com has it, so that's probably the cheapest way to get it. It's not perfect, "I Want To Be Your Driver" is missing (not a great track, but it was on The Great 28) and half of the third and final disc is mediocre. Hell, I'm thinking of burning a two CD-R set from the Chess Box...the first two discs in The Chess Box clock in at about an hour, so remove the lesser material from the third, add a track or two that's missing (like "I Want To Be Your Driver" and "Don't Lie To Me") and wallah, perfect 2 CD-R set.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:43 am 
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lukpac wrote:
Anyone have "More Rock & Roll Rarities"? Was there a third set as well?

Yes. No.

I haven't listened to the "Rarities" CDs in ages since I am not that interested in remixes. The demo versions are great though. The Great Twenty-Eight is my exclusive choice for Chuck Berry...do the recent remastered collections really improve upon that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:48 am 
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Andreas wrote:
Yes. No.

I haven't listened to the "Rarities" sets in ages since I am not that interested in remixes. The demo versions are great though. The Great Twenty-Eight is my exclusive choice for Chuck Berry...do the recent remastered collections really improve upon that?


For some reason I could have sworn AMG used to list a third set.

Yeah, I'll take the original mixes, especially when an original stereo mix existed. Although You Never Can Tell is decent - is that first time stereo? Later comps use that mix, don't they?

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck Berry on CD
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:53 am 
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MK wrote:
I did find a copy of The Chess Box, and I actually prefer the mastering on it. The booklet's gone, but supposedly Greg Fulginiti and Doug Schwartz did the mastering, like they did for the other Chess boxes, and it sounds like the same masters were used as Anthology. The difference is, Anthology is twice as a loud with a few more decibels in the upper region to give it a more 'whitened' sound. It's not a HUGE boost, but it's noticeable. Anthology was done by Erick Labson, and that's kind of his MO. The limiting isn't too bad, but it's more noticeable on some tracks.


Shows what YOU know:

The Chess Box

Quote:
Some serious fans, however, also found disc one, and especially the earlier songs on that disc, to be very controversial; part of the intrinsic nature of Berry's music was the sheer noisiness of the songs -- tracks like "Maybellene," "Thirty Days," "You Can't Catch Me," and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" insinuated themselves into listeners' consciousness over the radio and on the jukebox with their sheer raucous, in-your-face sound (frequently near overload). But at the time The Chess Box was done, the philosophy about CD mastering was to clean up the noise in original recordings whenever it was too pronounced, lest the "hot" digital sound make the track too harsh. (Note: this "problem" especially afflicted "Layla" by Derek & the Dominos, so much so that the producers of the Clapton box remixed the song). Thus, the first 15 or so tracks on the first disc of The Chess Box may sound too "clean," lacking some of the raw edge from their vinyl editions.
[...]
The now out of print Great Twenty-Eight collection remains the definitive single CD hits collection, and the audio quality on MCA's two-CD Anthology, released a dozen years later, is superior


I'm convinced the AMG editors don't have a fucking clue about how mastering works.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:39 am 
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I used to have Great 28, not anymore. I don't recall it sounding better, but that's about it.

I have the Anthology and Chess Box in front of me. I can up a few tracks. Any particular songs you want to hear, Andreas?

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck Berry on CD
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:15 pm 
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lukpac wrote:
I'm convinced the AMG editors don't have a fucking clue about how mastering works.


Hollywood Steve Huey is too busy Yacht-Rocking (http://www.channel101.com/shows/show.php?show_id=152) to worry about your puny mastering.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:05 pm 
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MK wrote:
I have the Anthology and Chess Box in front of me. I can up a few tracks. Any particular songs you want to hear, Andreas?


What about Maybelline, Roll Over Beethoven and School Days? First minute of each in .flac?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Yeah, I can do that. I'll be on lunch in an hour, I'll encode them and have them up then.

BTW, some of these tracks are just crappy..."Around and Around" sounds like a bad dub on both sets, "Maybellene" has that tape damage towards the end, and "Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller" has that funky thing going on in the beginning, maybe tape wear or something.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:09 pm 
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Okay, here's the samples, FLAC format, a little over a minute from each source to make room for fade-outs. I tried matching the volume a bit - in every case, Anthology had to be turned down. For "Maybellene" and "Roll Over Beethoven," it was 65% of the original volume, for "School Days" it was 60%. Everything was ripped with iTunes on a Mac (as AIFF files), everything was cut together and exported as a FLAC on Amadeus II.

Maybellene:
http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 5F72D8AEF4

Roll Over Beethoven:
http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 9276A29A7E

School Days:
http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 6A5083512A

Files are deleted after 7 days. The results sound pretty interesting to me...do you want to know the source order of each file or should I wait a bit?

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck Berry on CD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:41 am 
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lukpac wrote:
I'm convinced the AMG editors don't have a fucking clue about how mastering works.


Once again: Bruce Eder. He's pretty much the only one who writes like that. You can spot his reviews a mile away.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:33 am 
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Here are the three relevant tracks from the Great Twenty-Eight, first minute of each. (I normalized the entire tracks after the extraction, and then edited them).

Maybellene: http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 4C2D214F27
Roll Over Beethoven: http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 7E6686352E
School Days: http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 7D3BF846AE

I can also post the more problematic tracks Around And Around, Sweet Little Rock'n'Roller and the last minute of Maybellene (because of the tape drag) if there is interest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:44 pm 
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BTW, more "Definitive Collections" have been issued by Geffen (is that what they're calling it now? Not Interscope or Island or MCA or Universal? They're just calling that monster Geffen?), included a 26-track collection for Buddy Holly that isn't bad, selection-wise.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A2 ... 13?ie=UTF8

(If I may digress...Personally, the negative reviews for The Buddy Holly Collection over at SH are overblown. All right, it's not good as Steve's compilation, but c'mon, I want more than 20 freaking tracks, and some LINER NOTES would be nice. Labson mastered The Buddy Holly Collection in 1993, BEFORE he started compressing the crap out of everything left and right...actually before the whole freaking industry started doing that. Yeah, there's a treble boost, but it's not that bad, much less intolerable. FWIW, tracks are in clean mono, not mono over a stereo head like Hoffman's collection.)

There's also a decent 24-track collection for Muddy Waters...and another 24-track collection for Jerry Lee Lewis (credited to Hip-O not Geffen) that covers his whole career up to 1981.

There's also an interesting 20-track collection for John Lee Hooker, also on Hip-O, and it looks similar to Rhino's Very Best of John Lee Hooker: that is, a skimpy compilation (albeit 20 tracks to Rhino's 16) that samples his entire career.

Oddly enough, Rhino's getting in on the act, reissuing their own line of "Definitive Collections," mostly soul and r&b artists like Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield, but also people like Foreigner.

Anyone know how these sound?

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