Which CD remastering was the best for each album?

  • Yes, I started this topic and was asking the site's opinions about the various stereo versions, and that's all it was meant to be. It wasn't designed to cause any rancor. I can't help it if anyone decides to insert any on their own later on. On the whole, people have responded as I thought they would, i.e., merely saying which stereo release they liked the best. That's all the information I was seeking - beyond that is beyond the scope of the stated topic.


    But, longer, expansive replies are fine too - just more than I was expecting.


    I'm glad all three versions exist (from Trespass to Three Sides Live, that is - two versions otherwise). All are interesting in their own way. However, people have preferences, and I was curious to see if there was any kind of consensus here. That's it! :)

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • Thanks for posting this! I agree with the CD/BluRay idea too - the Steven Wilson versions of the Yes/KC/XTC catalogue would be a good model to follow.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • ...the 1970-1975 albums...are ruined to some extent by errors such as the use of incorrect vocal takes and missing instrument parts.

    Really? Do you have any examples? It's been confirmed by all involved with the project that no alternative vocals were used so I'd be interested to read which vocals you think have been replaced. Regarding instrumentation, I actually hear more stuff going on in the mixes, not less so, again, which parts do you think have been removed?

  • Nick confirmed on the old Forum that fold-downs were used for The Platinum Collection. However, Nick also said for the cubed box sets and individual albums, new stereo mixes were created in addition to the 5.1 mixes. For a listening example, if you listen to “Undertow” from The Platinum Collection, and the new stereo mix on ATTWT, you will hear some differences (e.g. the volume of Phil’s harmonies) that are not due to mastering.

  • Really? Do you have any examples? It's been confirmed by all involved with the project that no alternative vocals were used so I'd be interested to read which vocals you think have been replaced. Regarding instrumentation, I actually hear more stuff going on in the mixes, not less so, again, which parts do you think have been removed?

    The funny thing is that it was exactly this topic that turned me off to the Hoffman forum when the boxsets came out. I remember people making huge lists of everything that was "wrong" with the new mixes. When some of them ventured over to the old genesis-music.com forum, I ignored those posts instantly.


    Having said that, there were some curious developments on some of the songs when they went to remix them, namely, some of the masters couldn't be found. I remember reading an interview with Nick (it was either in one of the booklets of the boxsets or in a magazine interview - if we still had access to the old forum, I could find it for you in a heartbeat), and he said that when they were going to make a surround version of "Say It's Alright Joe", they couldn't find the original master. So, he had to use the best master at hand and create a "faux surround" mix - the amazing thing to me is that I sure as hell can't tell that SIAJ is not from the original master. It was very well done. Also, some others were never found in addition, e.g., the masters for the extended editions of "Mama" and "It's Gonna Get Better" they just couldn't locate; thus, they weren't included on the 1983 eponymous album's CD/SACD/DVD-A.


    Just very recently, I finally upgraded my stereo to a surround sound system. And, since I also had a player that could play SACDs, I was quite happy to rediscover the boxsets (it really was like hearing them again for the first time). Unfortunately, there were a couple of bits that do, in fact, seem to be missing. Now, you are also completely correct that there are new things that were not audible before - I notice those on virtually every album (and they sound even more amazing in 5.1). The two albums that I pointed out early on as ones where I prefer an older version are the ones where things didn't sound quite right to my ears in the new stereo mix (those were "Duke" and "The Lamb").


    So, since the new stereo versions were mix-downs from the surround mixes, I decided to check out the surround versions on SACD and DVD. I wasn't imagining things - the things I noticed were missing on the new stereo versions weren't in the surround mix either. Now, they are minor things - only two bits on "The Lamb" and a couple of more on Duke - but these things that I heard on the older stereo mixes are just not there. "The Lamb" ones I can remember off the top of my head, but the "Duke" ones I'd have to listen to again to get specifically (they consist of a couple pieces of piano accompaniment and a missing guitar break, as I remember).


    The Lamb examples are the "la, la, la" bit after "she's such a fine dancer" on "The Supernatural Anaethetist" and a small percussion break during "The Colony Of Slippermen". In the first one, on the new stereo mix, you can still hear it, but it is much quieter than on the older versions. When I went to check it out on the surround mix, it is audible, but very faintly - the channel that usually carries the vocal track is the center channel, and, during the "la, la, la" section, it is completely quiet. Something happened here - I don't know what. The percussion bit in "Slippermen" is right before the lyric "he places the number into the tube" - Phil, on the older mixes plays, this slappy-sounding percussion part before the lyric; on the new remixes, it's just not there.


    Now, that doesn't mean I can't listen to the new versions of "Duke" and "The Lamb" - I just regard them as new versions. As people have correctly said, there are many more new and extra things that are now audible on all the remixes of all the albums; however, there are a few rare bits from the original versions that are not audible anymore - thus, on two albums, I prefer the older stereo versions. However, overall, I fully embrace the boxsets and listen to them most often.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

    Edited once, last by OneForTheVine ().

  • Really? Do you have any examples? It's been confirmed by all involved with the project that no alternative vocals were used so I'd be interested to read which vocals you think have been replaced. Regarding instrumentation, I actually hear more stuff going on in the mixes, not less so, again, which parts do you think have been removed?


    The new mixes do provide more overall clarity and detail, which make them an interesting alternative to the original mixes. Though unfortunately there are many revisions that do change the character of these records in an unsettling way, such as changes in vocal and instrument engineering, reverb, placement and volume.


    Alarmingly, many tracks do have lines which are alternative vocal takes, the most notable examples being:


    White Mountain

    – “Fang, son of great Fang, the Traitor we seek, The laws of the Brethren say this, That only the King sees the Crown of the Gods, And he, the Usurper must die.”


    Get ‘Em Out By Friday

    - “Here we are in Harlow New Town. Did you recognize your block across the square, over there. Sadly since last time we spoke. We've found we've had to raise the rent again. Just a bit. Oh no, this I can't believe. Oh Mary, and we agreed to leave.”


    Supper’s Ready

    - “And it's hey babe your supper's waiting for you. Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true. I've been so far from here, Far from your warm arms. It's good to feel you again, It's been a long long time. Hasn't it?”

    - “They're going to change you into a human being!”


    Dancing with the Moonlit Knight:

    - “It lies with me! cried the queen of maybe . For her merchandise, he traded in his prize.”

    - “'Citizens of Hope and Glory, time goes by.”


    OneForTheVine has helpfully provided the Colony of Slippermen example for missing instrumentation, though there are others too.


    I remember people making huge lists of everything that was "wrong" with the new mixes. When some of them ventured over to the old genesis-music.com forum, I ignored those posts instantly.


    I only started listening to the band in 2014, so missed out on the official forum!


    If the new stereo mixes had been marketed as ‘alternative mixes’, fans would have viewed them as being complementary to the original mixes and just a different interpretation of the albums. In such a context, you would be right that endless criticism of the new mixes would be boring and pointless.


    It was, however, stated by Nick Davis in 2007 that the new stereo mixes would permanently “replace” the original mixes. In my view, this makes the level of revisionism in the new mixes an extremely valid point of discussion.


    Hopefully the original mixes will eventually be restored, otherwise we will lose a part of the band’s history. Especially when considering these alterations, which affect the most important Genesis tracks such as ‘Supper’s Ready’.

  • Thanks. The only thing missing that I've ever picked up on is the ambient bar noises on Get 'Em Out By Friday. On previous versions, you can clearly make out a bell ringing to signal last orders. That doesn't appear on the new mix. The alternative vocals have completely passed me by - are you sure you're not just picking up on vocals that are now much clearer than they used to be, hence they appear to be new or different to you? Certainly Phil's vocals during Willow Farm about being "changed into a human being" are more upfront than they used to be.


    As for the longer versions of Mama and It's Gonna Get Better well I thought it was a damn shame that they didn't use them on the new mix. They're certainly my preferred versions and, in making my own copy of Mama for the car, I've editedthe new mixes with the longer versions and you (almost!) can't see the join. I didn't know they'd claimed not to be able to find the longer versions of Mama and It's Gonna Get Better and I find that a bit suspicious. Why? Because Mama on the new mix is simply the longer mix faded out earlier, rather than the edit that appeared on the original mix, which suggests to me that they hadn't lost the longer versions at all; they (ie Tony Banks) just decided not to use them.


    If only Mike and Phil had been more hands on with the new mixes then maybe they could have challenged the decisions being made. But they left it to Tony and this is the result, for better or ill.

  • Multitrack tapes, so 24 or 32 or 48 channels of music.


    Each channel you can turn up or down the volume.


    So suddenly, you can change the way a song sounds by turning up that guitar, turning down those keyboards etc.


    Although, the 2006 onwards was the only time Genesis went back to the original multi tracks. Before that and everything was done from Stereo Copy masters, Vinyl / Cassette / CD.


    Regards


    Mark

  • Regardless, for most people, the stereo remixes are what matters. The whole catalogue in surround is a huge achievement, but not at the expense of lousy stereo mixes.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • @ Ian, perhaps there is a grain of truth but what's lousy about the Stereo mixes?


    Is it the source material?


    Is it the work of Nick Davis & his assistants?


    Is it the work of the Mastering engineer / mastering process?


    Is it an issue with the format?


    Is it an issue with the quality of the playback equipment, CD players range from £25 to £2,500 is there much discernible difference?


    Anyone can describe things as lousy, but whats the real issue here?


    The Steve Hoffman forums at the time were full of people running a variety of tests (non of which most of them seemed qualified to understand). Worse than that the Steve Hoffman forums started to sound a tad conspiracy theory, as though they were angry / jealous that they didn't get asked to do the project. Now the fantasists there seem to think Steven Wilson is the Mr Fix It of Prog legacy.


    Me personally? I wouldn't have spent close to £500 on a series of Boxsets for the stereo mixes, if I already had the remasters series from 1994 on the shelves already. For that price tag it was always about the surround mixes and the format (SACD) and (DVD-A). That swung the decision for me.


    Regards


    Mark

  • In spite of the already mentioned oddities I think the 2008 remixes from 1970 - 1974 are my favorite versions of those albums. The clarity is a big improvement and unlike some of the other remixes didn't occur at the expense of the overall sound of the album.


    The blue box albums are more of a mixed bag, as I like the remixed ...And Then There Were Three... but strongly prefer the 1994 DER versions of all of the others besides Abacab, which is a toss-up.


    Similarly, I LOVE the remixes of Genesis and Invisible Touch, but I just don't hear any improvement in We Can't Dance or Calling All Stations.


    The live box albums all sound superior to any previous version.

  • Me personally? I wouldn't have spent close to £500 on a series of Boxsets for the stereo mixes, if I already had the remasters series from 1994 on the shelves already. For that price tag it was always about the surround mixes and the format (SACD) and (DVD-A). That swung the decision for me.


    Regards


    Mark

    Too right. Each album was presented with a stereo, SACD and DVD-A mix in addition to DVD extras including new interviews, promo videos and 'live' footage. If bought as part of the box set, fans were treated to an additional disc of B-sides, all newly mixed in the three formats already mentioned and an interview with the band about those songs.

  • 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.

    Well, I think that's a very simplified statement and I think it was actually the other way round. Usually you try to recreate the original stereo mix first. Once this is set, you only need to expand the panorama settings of the individual tracks to the surround channels. This ensures that the volume relationships of the individual tracks are maintained and you get a surround sound image that does not differ much from the stereo impression. Steven Wilson once mentioned that this is exactly what he does with his remixes.

    Of course, a surround mix created in this way can be easily downmixed back to stereo.

  • Too right. Each album was presented with a stereo, SACD and DVD-A mix in addition to DVD extras including new interviews, promo videos and 'live' footage. If bought as part of the box set, fans were treated to an additional disc of B-sides, all newly mixed in the three formats already mentioned and an interview with the band about those songs.

    I don't mean to be nitpicking, but the 2007 box sets and the following 2-disc editions don't have DVD-As, they're all DVD-V with DTS and Dolby Digital audio in surround.

    Edited once, last by tom ().

  • @ TOM, your not confusing the unwrap of a stereo recording into a surround recording? thats the cheap cheating way of doing it. Nick really did go and get the multitracks and do it properly with panning so that the rear channels had some good use.


    Regards


    Mark

  • @ TOM, your not confusing the unwrap of a stereo recording into a surround recording? thats the cheap cheating way of doing it. Nick really did go and get the multitracks and do it properly with panning so that the rear channels had some good use.

    Not at all, Mark. I've just tried to point out that he first did the stereo mixes from the multitracks, then, from the same mixing session, he just spread the panorama settings to surround while keeping everything else unchanged.

    It's practically impossible to create a new stereo mix that's so close to the original stereo mix when you start with surround and then just make a downmix. This has to do with the different perceptions. With five equal channels, individual instruments are less "in each other's way" - a problem that requires a lot of attention in stereo mixing and which can be rather neglected when mixing in surround.

  • I really like the 07-08 stuff. For me, it all sounds better. Just a couple of oddities and one disappointing thing:


    At the start of the runout of IKWIL, the flute has pretty much gone.


    Is the "hasn't it" in Lover's Leap in a slightly different place?


    In Lilywhite Lilith, just after "by whatever's coming here", there is what sounds like a vocal line very far back, whether scat or actual lyric I can't tell. I think I always heard it, but it's much more prominent on the 08.


    The disappointing thing: on the 08 Musical Box closing section, the big chiming Hammond chords sound subdued compared to original vinyl and the DERs. Those huge chords are one of the main things that caught my attention as a child so I was sorry to hear them sound a bit smaller. But anyway, overall, I like these versions a lot.


    While far from being a favourite, ATTWT sounds especially good in its 07 incarnation.

    Abandon all reason

  • Is the "hasn't it" in Lover's Leap in a slightly different place?


    In Lilywhite Lilith, just after "by whatever's coming here", there is what sounds like a vocal line very far back, whether scat or actual lyric I can't tell. I think I always heard it, but it's much more prominent on the 08.


    The disappointing thing: on the 08 Musical Box closing section, the big chiming Hammond chords sound subdued compared to original vinyl and the DERs.

    I only noticed when I listened again to Supper's Ready over the weekend that the "hasn't it?" line has been moved. How strange.


    I believe that's Phil's vocal you can hear in the background on Liliywhite Lilith but I've never been able to work out what he's singing.


    Whilst I've not picked up on the difference on The Musical Box (I tend not to listen to much Genesis pre-Foxtrot) your comment reminds me of an issue I have with the new mix of Entangled. On the original mix, the last note really seems to ascend in volume, giving a much more climactic feel to the end of the song. Nick Davis has tamed this moment and consequently it's less dramatic.


    Thank goodness for editing software so that we can now mix elements from the various Genesis mixes together for our own enjoyment!