Which CD remastering was the best for each album?

  • What I mean by this is, after the albums were released in a digital format, is your preferred remastering A) on the original CD releases (mid-to-late 80s), B) on the so-called "Definitive Edition Remaster" CDs (1994-ish - these only went from Trespass to Three Sides Live), or C) on the 2007 version (i.e., the boxset version)?


    I would like to say that the 2007 versions were my favorite for every album, but that is not the case. (It is mostly the case, though.)


    So, my favorite version of "Duke" is the original CD release.


    My favorite version of TLLDOB is the Definitive Edition Remaster.


    For the rest my favorite version is the 2007 remaster (From Genesis To Revelation I didn't include because, IMHO, all of the versions released of it sound pretty much the same).


    There are some albums where every version was really good (e.g., SEBTP and ATOTT sounded great in all three versions). There are some where the original releases were quite dreadful sounding (e.g., all of the Gabriel-era, W&W, ATTWT).


    What are your favorites?

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  • Well, I only started converting my vinyl collection to CD once the 1994 remasters came out so I can't comment on the quality of the original CDs. The 1994 remasters were solid and all of them sounded pretty great, capturing the feeling that I remember from listening to those records on vinyl. However, when the 2007 versions came out...wow! The difference really is night and day.


    On Duke, for example, you can really hear the congas on Behind The Lines and there's some lovely effects on Evidence Of Autumn, both of which were absent from the original mix. On Wind And Wuthering, Steve's guitar on In That Quiet Earth is something of a revelation and A Trick Of The Tail's Dance On A Volcano has got all sorts of stuff going on during the closing section that was never noticeable before. Even the Hugh Padgham productions, which I thought could never be improved upon, sound better - the laugh on Mama has more echo on it, there's a jangly guitar on It's Gonna Get Better that was never there before.


    The records from 1970 - 1974 were always going to sound significantly better, partly because the band's musical vision was hampered by the limitations of vinyl and partly because they never had a decent producer back then. The bum note in Supper's Ready has finally been fixed and Willow Farm sounds much more like The Beatles circa Sergeant Pepper (in a good way!). Phil's backing vocals really shine on The Lamb and there are all sorts of nuances during The Musical Box that have been uncovered.


    I would never go back to the 1994 remasters, to be honest. I've copied all of my 2007 mixes to disc - adding the bonus tracks - and that's what I listen to in the car (because the original discs are far too precious for me to risk damaging them while driving on the pot-hole ridden roads of Britain!).

  • This is a rather subjective area filled with emotions and personal opinion.


    To me having owned a lot of the Genesis albums on a variety of formats, I would have to say the Multichannel 5.1 SACD's are the premier format and sound source.


    But the best listening experience of just four of the Genesis recordings happened to be at Fisher Lane Farm, June 2006.


    http://theeviljam.co.uk/2011/08/20/trip-to-the-farm/


    Inside the control room at FLF, listening through the SSL Desk, Avalon amps, PRO Arc speakers in an acoustically treated room, in Surrey on a hot summers day in a fully air conditioned room sort of was the pinnacle. Plus on Behind The Lines we got to hear the run out, there was no join into the next song... so you could still hear Phil bashing away at the hi hat and drums.


    hope that helps,


    Regards


    Mark

  • The Lamb (latest remastered version) sounded great,fresh and exciting in my car when I first played it.

    I heard sounds and textures I had never even noticed before even after after decades of listening to it via all the other formats/releases.

    "She looks at me and gently smiles, as if she knew I'd ask her all the time..."

  • Well, this site is a Genesis forum, which was designed to collect and discuss the opinions of its members about aspects of all things Genesis. So, subjective thoughts on this topic is exactly what I was hoping for! ;)


    However, when one posts a topic, others can often reveal that the topic wasn't as specific as intended. I spelled out the options I had in mind at the beginning of my first post (i.e., the original releases of the CDs, the DER versions, and the boxset versions), but I should have been more specific that I was soliciting opinions about the stereo versions - that was what I was originally intending to ask about. (Since not everyone has a surround sound system, I wasn't thinking of the 5.1 versions. Now, I completely share your opinion that the 5.1 SACDs are quite wonderful, and they are what I listen to when I listen to Genesis albums am at home. IMHO, SACD is the best digital format for capturing the warmth and feel of the original analogue sound - Blu-Ray Audio and DVD-Audio are very good too, but I still personally prefer SACD.) Your story about Fisher Lane Farm is very cool, though - if only all of us could have the same experience...


    What inspired me to start this thread now (besides wanting to do so on other Genesis forums in the past) is that someone posted a thread about the best way to start a Genesis collection. It occurred to me that, while I love the boxset versions of all of the studio albums, there are a couple of titles where I still prefer the older remasters, or at least I'm glad I still have them in addition to the 2007 remasters, because they preserve better (IMHO, of course) what I remember from the sound of the original vinyl.


    So, I was seeing if anyone else here had the same experience - i.e., are there versions older than the boxset versions of the stereo CDs you personally prefer to listen to. As I said above, my personal preference for "Duke" is the original CD release (but I fully agree about the extra detail that StillCan'tDance pointed about the 2007 version) and I prefer the DER version of "The Lamb" (and I also agree about the detail improvement that Gaz pointed out as well - I should add that I like the 2007 versions of "The Lamb" and "Duke" just fine; I just prefer the older versions for these two titles). If there aren't any for you, then there aren't any for you. I was just curious to see if anyone else has the same experience with other albums.

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  • Personally, I tend to go back and forth between the original CDs and the 1994 remasters. It was fun to hear subtle details that the 2007/08 remixes brought out, and they are great to listen to in 5.1. However, I am not a fan of the compression/limiting used in the mastering stage. It "squashes" the mix, and there's no sense of space, and no dynamics. I'm a big believer in dynamics which is something very few think about in today's music climate. All this being said, here's my preferences for each album:


    Trespass: the MCA CD for sound/94 remaster for completeness (MCA has some early fadeouts). The 2008 remix is also fantastic!

    Nursery Cryme: 94 Remaster...2008 remix is also very good.

    Foxtrot: Tend to prefer the original CD overall, but my copy has the first half second missing of Watcher Of The Skies/94 remaster otherwise.

    Live: The original Atlantic CD sounds amazing! 2008 Remix is also very good.

    SEBTP: Original and 94 Remaster both sound great to me.

    TLLDOB: 94 Remaster

    ATOTT: Original ATCO CD

    W&W: 94 Remaster

    Seconds Out: I have both the 94 Remaster and the 2008 remix. Both sound excellent, and it's hard for me to pick a favorite...despite the remix being louder.

    ATTWT: 94 Remaster

    Duke: Original Atlantic CD (no contest here!)

    Abacab: 94 Remaster

    TSL: I have both the 94 Remaster and 2008 remix. I just barely prefer the 94 Remaster...but the remix is also very good.

    Genesis: Original CD (prefer the original mix just barely)

    Invisible Touch: Original CD (prefer the original mix)

    We Can't Dance: Original CD (prefer the original mix)

    TWWW: The 2008 remix I prefer just for the fact it's arranged as a proper live show

    CAS: Original CD (prefer the original mix)

  • Actually the 2007 versions were remixes, not remasters! - I don‘t know how often I‘ve tried to explain that this is a huge difference, although Nick Davis did what he could to make it not too obvious.

    However, some albums benefitted largely on getting revised from scratch by going back to the original multitrack recordings, so they became very different beasts, almost incomparable to the old stereo mixes. Which was no surprise, since it‘s virtually impossible to re-create a mix in every detail. Especially the return signals from outboard effects like reverb have never been recorded on the multitracks, so it‘s more or less try and error to get these right.


    Having said that, I always thought it was a very bad idea to abandon the old stereo mixes completely, as they are part of the band’s history (and most of them sound fairly good, especially from the DER series).

  • YES! This is what I was going for in my original post. (I see we agree about "Duke" and "The Lamb", incidentally.)


    I agree with what you said about the remixes, esp. with the DVD-Audio versions of them - IMHO, the way they were done makes them sound a bit too "bright". To my ears, they sound wonderful in SACD, though.


    Yes, I guess I should have solicited opinions about the live stereo CDs are well - I'll put my personal preferences here now:


    Genesis Live - this is one of those, like SEBTB and ATOTT, that always sounded good. Still, I'll choose the boxset version.


    Seconds Out - I agree that it's tough to choose between the DER and the boxset version - they both sound great! Again, lean slightly towards the boxset version.


    Three Sides Live - The boxset version again, but I hate that the Ethel Merman outro is edited off of it. So, mostly the boxset version, but the DER for "It/Watcher Of The Skies".


    The Way We Walk - again, the boxset version for exactly the reason you gave.


    Thank you for putting so much thought and detail into your responses! :thumbup:

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  • My pleasure!!


    I know all the remasters and mixes like the back of my head. I really wish they would've gone the King Crimson/Steven Wilson/Yes route where the new mix is offered on CD and the original mix is on the DVD/Blu-Ray, along with the new mix. Taking the original mixes out of print is something I will never understand.

  • My pleasure!!


    I know all the remasters and mixes like the back of my head. I really wish they would've gone the King Crimson/Steven Wilson/Yes route where the new mix is offered on CD and the original mix is on the DVD/Blu-Ray, along with the new mix. Taking the original mixes out of print is something I will never understand.

    That's a very good point. The KC and Yes remixes/remasters done by Steven Wilson are indeed excellent, and the fact that he kept the original stereo mixes makes his sets all the better.


    It's been a decade since the original boxsets. I hope they aren't completely against revisiting the albums one more time eventually, perhaps doing CD/Blu-Ray audio with the original stereo mixes included as a bonus. I'd get them. (I know they tried SEBTP in Blu-Ray audio, but they did absolutely no promotion for it.) It may just be a dream, but it would be nice.

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  • Thanks, Mark. That was truly illuminating. Hearing Mike's isolated bass was a real treat as well as how the different mixes treat different aspects of the song. True, Nick's remix really pushes Peter's voice right up and there are all sorts of subtleties in the vocals that I'd never heard on the previous mixes. That "wind" sound effect, though, is now practically non-existent and that's a great shame. Tony Banks oversaw the remixing of all the albums so I suppose we should blame him!

  • Actually the 2007 versions were remixes, not remasters! - I don‘t know how often I‘ve tried to explain that this is a huge difference, although Nick Davis did what he could to make it not too obvious.

    However, some albums benefitted largely on getting revised from scratch by going back to the original multitrack recordings, so they became very different beasts, almost incomparable to the old stereo mixes. Which was no surprise, since it‘s virtually impossible to re-create a mix in every detail. Especially the return signals from outboard effects like reverb have never been recorded on the multitracks, so it‘s more or less try and error to get these right.


    Having said that, I always thought it was a very bad idea to abandon the old stereo mixes completely, as they are part of the band’s history (and most of them sound fairly good, especially from the DER series).

    Agreed. A true definitive release would be a 2 disc set, the 2007 remix AND the 1994 remaster. For me, the only 2007 that is best is Foxtrot, because the original mix was truly dull in every sense of the word. As for worst version: THe original CD release (Mastered by Sanyo) of Wind..... bad beyond belief!

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Ian and others, when you discussing the 2006 and onwards releases verses the 1994/5 and previous versions of the Genesis catalogue. Are you talking about the Stereo only versions?


    Nick Davis's word to me was that the Stereo mixes in the 2006 and onwards, where the fold down mixes from the Surround Sound mixes.


    The whole Genesis catalogue in the surround format is by example a huge achievement for the fans, but also perhaps one of the first band's to release their entire works in such a format / programme.


    The Stereo mixes are never going to be the best representation of the material Genesis have written / recorded, I find such conversations redundant especially when they start going on about compression / mastering etc.


    The box set / remixing project was never about the Stereo mixes or the concert / tv era footage of the time, it was always about the Surround mixes and getting them completed and released. The Stereo mixes were contractual through the Record Company.


    The previous stereo releases, all have come from reel to reel tape of the copy masters... not the multi track tapes.


    Regards


    Mark

  • The Stereo mixes are never going to be the best representation of the material Genesis have written / recorded, I find such conversations redundant especially when they start going on about compression / mastering etc.

    Well said; this is a Genesis forum, not the Steve Hoffman forum.

  • Agreed. A true definitive release would be a 2 disc set, the 2007 remix AND the 1994 remaster. For me, the only 2007 that is best is Foxtrot, because the original mix was truly dull in every sense of the word. As for worst version: THe original CD release (Mastered by Sanyo) of Wind..... bad beyond belief!

    The Nick Davis remix of Foxtrot was the first time when the wrong note as Willow Farm segues into Apocalypse In 9/8 has been fixed so, really, the remix of Foxtrot (or certainly Supper's Ready) is the only one worth listening to.

  • As for worst version: THe original CD release (Mastered by Sanyo) of Wind..... bad beyond belief!

    That was the one of the worst sounding CDs I ever owned - right up there with the first CD release of "In The Court Of The Crimson King". Both truly horrible remastering jobs and highly disrespectful to two great albums.

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  • Very interesting to read everyone’s comments! The 5.1 mixes do lack relevance in such discussions, as it's a very niche format and they are not directly comparable to the different stereo versions.


    Here’s my view on the new stereo mixes from the CD/SACD box sets:


    For the 1976-1982 and 1983-1998 albums, the new mixes are inferior to the originals. The lack of dynamics and tonal balance give these albums a squashed and bright sonic signature. The vocals and cymbals are particularly harsh sounding.


    For the 1970-1975 albums, the extra clarity and detail in the new mixes make them an interesting addition to the previous releases. But are ruined to some extent by errors such as the use of incorrect vocal takes and missing instrument parts.


    For all the live albums, the new mixes are superior to the original mixes.


    I respect those who disagree, as it comes down to individual taste. :)


    The box set / remixing project was never about the Stereo mixes or the concert / tv era footage of the time, it was always about the Surround mixes and getting them completed and released. The Stereo mixes were contractual through the Record Company.


    If only that was the case! Unfortunately Nick Davis said in a 2007 interview on this forum’s parent site, Genesis News, that the new stereo mixes would “replace” the original mixes. My view is that this would be wrong and unnecessary, and am glad others share this view.


    Agreed. A true definitive release would be a 2 disc set, the 2007 remix AND the 1994 remaster. For me, the only 2007 that is best is Foxtrot, because the original mix was truly dull in every sense of the word. As for worst version: THe original CD release (Mastered by Sanyo) of Wind..... bad beyond belief!


    Future album reissues would ideally contain newly remastered versions of both the new and original mixes, in hi-res via blu-ray, like King Crimson, XTC, Marillion and others have done. There’s no point reissuing the old 1994 remasters now, as these didn’t even cover the albums post-Abacab, and brand new remasters would deliver a much improved sound.