If you're familiar with Remastered versions of these classic albums


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05-11-2010, 02:53 AM
Hello UGers

Since people discuss songs in the Bands and Artists section, I'm guessing albums belong here as well. So, when I have the time and money, I'm gonna go out and buy some CD's that I've selected. Many are classic rock and metal albums from the 70's and 80's. Some of these have remastered versions. All of them are louder and clearer than the originals, that's for sure. However, I've learned that some of these remastered releases sadly enter the loudness war, where the significantly increased volume leads to clipping away of audio signals resulting in loss of dynamics and flat-sounding compression, which is really undesirable to me. There is also another issue, the mixing is altered. I decided not to purchase the remastered versions of Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, despite the beautiful clarity added to Kirk's solos and bass boost for Cliff's excellence. The overall mastering is changed quite a bit and simply does not capture the texture of the originals (I looked up samples to compare).

Anyway, the older albums that I want and have remastered versions are Led Zeppelin I, Physical Graffiti (LZ), The Dark Side of the Moon (PF), Wish You Were Here (PF), The White Album, Abbey Road, Piece of Mind (Iron Maiden), Powerslave (Iron Maiden). From what I've heard from Led Zeppelin's Mothership, I think Led Zeppelin's newest remasters are about the same as the original recordings with a hell lot of extra clarity.

If you own any of these or have taken note of comparisons between them and the original releases, please tell me if you think the remastered mixing is true enough to the original, and if the clipping problem is present or not. Thanks lots! :)

05-11-2010, 03:09 AM
i know that in the Zeppelin re-masters they switched the stereo channels around. As i have both the original and re-masters and while i prefer the re-masters first thing i noticed was (this is just an example) jimmy's main guitar was coming through the right speaker as opposed to the left lol. But most of the old rock and metal re-masters like that that i have experienced (especially with maiden) have been more then true to the original and just a better quality mix is all. (Although some people will tell you they prefer the crackle from the original tape lol) Which is true because there is a warmth you get in analog that isn't present in todays direct-to-digital recording methods.

05-11-2010, 03:50 AM
I don't actually care about "staying true to the original sound" too much. I wasn't born in the 70's, I'm not one of those people who bought the mono-mix Beatles box set "because that's the way they listened to it"... Sure, if you start tinkering with stuff that sounded fine in the first place, that's where you lose me

Take the 30th anni-release of Dark Side of the Moon > they completely ignored Alan Parsons for that project (for whatever dumb reason: his original production was way ahead of its time, to me DSOTM is still one of the best albums ever in terms of production) and instead let some other guy mess with the tapes. It doesn't even sound THAT different but the fact that this dude altered the volume of background vocals and messed with the transitions is just retarded because there was NO REASON WHATSOEVER to do that. To add insult to injury Sony released that album on SACD which was a different type of CD-format they were experimenting with in order to beat piracy or something: it couldn't handle any scratches at all and the sucker couldn't even be recognized by my record player so I had to rip the audio and re-burn it :confused:

It's said that this particular release does feature some improvements which are best appreciated on a surround system (I think it won some awards), so I kept it anyways. I'm still trying to decide whether I prefer it over the 20th anniversary mix, so until that time I'm keeping both versions in my iTunes library. Who knows, perhaps someday I'll make up my mind and delete one of them...

05-11-2010, 03:53 AM
I'm fine with the new Metallica mixes: they didn't change a lot so at least you're not "downgrading" your record or something. I'm still pissed off over the horrible way they mixed "Death Magnetic", but as you guys may know the Guitar Hero mix was NOT compressed in order to sound louder:


So that's the one I downloaded ; )

I also found me a few home-made mixes of "...And Justice For All". After years of listening to the original mix it's just plain awesome to stumble across some Youtube vids featuring remixes that actually DO justice to those awesome songs (see what I did there?)

I downloaded like 5 of those projects (one I believe was called "And Justice For Jason" :) ), some of which featured entirely new basslines, which means someone had been playing over the whole album! I eventually settled for a remix on which the original bass was enhanced. It's not even a very high bitrate download, but it sounds 10 times better than the original mix. I don't care if it doesn't sound the way Metallica meant it: it was a bad idea to mix that album like they did in the first place :rolleyes:

05-11-2010, 03:56 AM
Really!? The Ride the Lightning CD!!!???
Despite loving that cd i COMPLETELY agree. Wanna hear the most pathetic recorded double kick in history? Listen to Fight Fire with Fire right after the solo and right before the verse starts up again, that little extended bit where there's nothing but double kick for about 5-6 seconds. I've always said if that was recorded under todays standards that song would be even more badass

05-11-2010, 04:00 AM
well, yeah what i meant by true to the originals, not to let some random engineer make creative adjustments that make the overall sound off from the beauty that was when the original artist mixed it. so 30th anni DSOTM has transitions altered, then, but not the 20th anni right? Thank y'all anyway.

05-11-2010, 04:07 AM
Oh, and the Led Zeppelin mixes are great > I'm not even talking about the "Mothership" album: page & co did a great job when they re-released the entire catalogue on CD a bunch of years ago. If you buy a recent copy of any LZ record, you know you're making a good purchase. Which is how it should be! I HUGELY appreciate bands that treat their back catalogue with respect, instead of releasing a so-called "improved" version of their best selling album every few years or so, only to add a nicer booklet and/or 1 b-side because they KNOW that every hardcore fan is going to buy it anyways

It's just annoying when you have to do tons of internet research before you buy a cool album because there are like 11 different releases. For example: I'm a huge Zappa fan. The guy had many struggles over creative control and such, so after switching from record companies twice he just set up his own label. That means there are like 2-4 different versions of his classic records to choose from (the guy released like 70+ albums before his death) so it's a MASSIVE operation to sort out which ones you should stick to. For "Sheik Yerbouti" I decided to keep a pretty rare EMI release, for "Hot Rats" I went with an 80's remix, the first album (which is called "Freak Out") was also reworked during that period but since it also featured completely new (and very "80's sounding") drum- and basstracks I decided to stick with the old and unenhanced version, but with "We're Only In It For the Money" I couldn't pick a favorite so I decided to keep them both...

ugh :(