|Roger Meadows Tailor
|I recently had bought some of Queen's cds from America.Purely for the extra tracks that are on them.But i was appalled at the state of the re-mixes that are on them.Who da fuck allows these assholes to get anywhere near these tracks.
I mean for example.Bicycle Race on the Jazz cd.Totally unrecognisable.A sampled acid trancey beat Robbie Williams would be proud of.Like the whole song is just flung together hit and hope style.And then there's Ogre Battle from Queen 2.I thought the butcher job they did on Liar the single was terrible,but this beats that by a country mile.
You guys can tell if i'm wrong but i'm beginning to think Queen should never allow American producers anywhere near their songs if this is the best they can come up with.Tell me what you guys think.
|Well this was a time when 'value added' CDs were being produced to get people to upgrade their collections. I do rather wish Queen had provided Hollywood with the needed info and masters for ALL of the b-sides and some unreleased stuff instead, but in the absence of that type of material, Hollywood did the best they could to get some bonus tracks lined up.
It's easy to see that Hollywood Records were unprepared for properly releasing Queen stuff.. things like re-edited Fat Bottomed Girls for their video collection, One Vision on 'Classic Queen', and my own experience of having informed them of the I Want to Break Free single mix all point to the fact that they had no clue original single versions for these tracks even existed, but I blame Queen for not providing them the proper guidance.
In fact, Hollywood really gets blamed too much for their mistakes. Their early CDs with missing bits and glitches (Sheer Heart Attack and NOTW) had been remastered by Queen's own Kevin Metcalfe, and not one of Hollywood's chosen remasterers. And the alternate version of I Want it All on The Miracle occured because they chose the wrong master.. well why was a master of the album with a different version sent to them in the first place?
I say it's time to forgive Hollywood and be thankfull that they have at least kept nearly everything (except the solo stuff) in print and their massive Queen catalogue proves that they did indeed try to do what they could to make things available.
|I like the Ogre Battle mix. Way better than crap like Bicyle Race and SSOR.|
|The Ogre Battle remix is great, also like Liar, or Fat Bottomed Girls & I'm In Love With My Car, Stone Cold Crazy, but on the other hand you have shit like Seven Seas of Rhye & We Will Rock You|
|I rarely listen to the remixs, and sometimes when I do I don't get all the way trough them. I too think they could of done without. The only new one i (Kind of) liked is for "Dragon Attack". I love the b-sides included but wandered why they didn't include "Human Body" or "Soul Brother". I do like however the 12" re-mixes on The Works that were done back in the day. The into to "Break Free" is like the video and the end was like a little tribute to "Jazz".|
|Roger Meadows Tailor
|I kinda agree with what J7 says but fucking hell what a fucking mess up.|
|I think that Queen authorised these mixes (and others which you will probably catch up with in a couple of reincarnations) and some of them aren't too bad.|
|Freddie reportedly gave his blessing to the SSOR remix. But hey, maybe the AIDS also infected his brain.|
|Arnaldo "Ogre-" Silveira
|I like the Ogre Battle and the Dragon Attack ones.
|Can I just point out that it's my belief that Kevin Metcalfe worked for, and on behalf of Townhouse Studios in London, and not Queen.
The reason for my belief of this, is that I have other records from other artists that seem to have "Townhouse Kev" etched on their dead wax, just as the Queen ones do. George Marino at Sterling Sound, New York, mastered a few Queen albums, and I don't think he was ever "Queen's own George Marino".
Sorry, please don't take it the wrong way. I'll shut up now.
|No that's fine, I stand partially corrected ;) but Queen did keep choosing him/them despite his record of mistakes. Anyone who can 'master' an album without catching glitches such as the one for Fat Bottomed Girls on the 1994 masters.. and using it again for 'Rocks' again without catching it, is obviously not doing his job.
One would think a mastering job would involve actually listening to the fucking tracks through at least once eh? :-P But then there should be someone to listen to an album before it gets released too so it's a whole chain of idiots I guess.
|Being fair, mastering a record is sitting there, and watching a specialist tool cut into a master disc, from which a master plate is then made. My own personal opinion is that Townhouse cuts (such as the ones featured in the boxset 'The Complete Works' were generally cut too shallow, and completely lack the warmth, and power that a lot of the German pressings of the original albums had. Mastering a vinyl album, you can completely destroy the sound, if you aren't careful.
Mastering CD's isn't really that different, except the sound you are tranferring to a CD masterplate, can't be "dicked with" quite as much. I'm sure things like compression come into play, but basically you're dealing with a digital signal, from a digital mastertape.
In the case of a lot of the albums that say they were mastered in a certain place, well it really depends where you buy your album, as to whether that's true.
The Game says it was mastered at Allen Zentz in California. If you bought your record in the US or UK, then it possibly was. I don't think Sweden's copies, or Germany's copies were mastered at Allen Zentz though, German copies of News Of The World weren't necessarily mastered at Sterling Sound in New York either, so you can't always bank on the sleeve information being 100% accurate to the copy that you buy. It only says really where the band contracted the mastering of what they considered "the main volume" of their product.
I'll admit "Re-mastering" is a totally different kettle of fish, as this involves someone who DOES dick with the mastertape from which the pressing master is made. Even if they're only effectively filtering a stereo mastertape.
|Sorry, once again. Maybe that was a bit of a simplistic answer, but maybe it's worth me remembering that I'm basically a simplistic sort of person, lol.|
|You should do some research before answering like that ;) You're speaking of the actual cutting of a final product rather than mastering.
Mastering used to mean preparing the master tape so that it was at a good level, and maybe minor EQ adjustments. These days 'remastering' simply means making the master louder and adjusting EQ so that it sounds more up to date. For CDs they go way overboard on the audio level which ruins the dynamics but back in the days of real music a masterer would warn the band/producers if having it too loud wouldn't "cut" on vinyl.
Regardless, someone remastering has the duty to actually listen to the tracks to make adjustments. It seems to me that some guys including Kevin perhaps only listen to the first track and make all their adjustments there. It's lazy. If my name was going in the credits I'd want to make sure I didn't overlook something.
"Examples of possible actions taken during mastering:
1. Edit minor flaws.
2. Apply noise reduction to eliminate hum and hiss.
3. Adjust stereo width.
4. Add ambience.
5. Equalize audio between tracks.
6. Adjust volumes.
7. Dynamic expansion.
8. Dynamic compression.
9. Peak limit the tracks."
|I think we're all agreed on a few points:
a) Some of the remixes are decent, some are hard on the ears.
b) B-sides would have been better (Soul Brother, A Human Body, etc.).
c) Some people don't like the remixes at all and feel they compromise the integrity of the album.
The last point is really a matter of taste.
I'll go on record as saying I like some of the remixes, don't like others and can tolerate those in the middle. Frankly, though, something is better than nothing (for me anyway). I'll explain...
In 1991, Hollywood Records acquired the rights to the Queen catalogue. What did they do with this treasure trove? They got behind it in a MASSIVE way. 1991 and 1992 saw the following:
The albums remastered with bonus tracks
A whack of promos in the US
Greatest Hits (Red)
I became a Queen fan after starting with Classic Queen. I know it muddies up the other collections by being all over the map, but at the time, I had no idea and loved every track. Sure, they could have gone about the whole project differently, and better in some places, but it was ambitious and has yet to be equaled.
North American fans got the following:
Mad The Swine
Keep Yourself Alive (Long Lost Re-take)
See What A Fool I've Been
I Go Crazy
Hang On In There
Original Extended Versions:
Radio Ga Ga (Extended Version)
I Want To Break Free (Extended Mix)
One Vision (Extended Vision)
The Invisible Man (12" Version)
Scandal (12" Mix)
and the remixes:
Liar (1991 Luoungo & Hellman Remix)
Orge Battle (1991 Sansano Remix)
The Seven Seas Of Rhye (1991 Bastone Remix)
Stone Cold Crazy (1991 Wagener Remix)
I'm In Love With My Car (1991 Shipley Remix)
You're My Best Friend (1991 Wallace Remix)
Tie Your Mother Down (1991 Wallace Remix)
Somebody To Love (1991 Badazz Remix)
We Will Rock You (1991 Remix Ruined By Rick Rubin)
Fat Bottomed Girls (1991 Malouf Remix)
Bicycle Race (1991 Vasquez Remix)
Dragon Attack (1991 RAK & Benson Remix)
Flash's Theme (1991 Lawnge Remix)
Body Language (1991 Rodgers Remix)
For a handful of not-very-good remixes, we got a decent amount of other goodies. I'll take the good with the bad over nothing new at all.
|I guess I asked for that, J7. lol.
Seriously, I once went for a job as a mastering technician for a company called Disctronics in the UK. I think there's about three reasons I didn't get the job. Too far to travel, not enough money, and finally, as you've just eloquently shown me, that I obviously didn't have the slightest "clucking fue" what the job entailed. :-)
|I believe these mixes aren't the best around but at least they are something extra. If you don't like them don't listen to them.
The SSOR mix isn't that bad, but Bicycle Race one is a little silly though.
|Apparently Freddie considered the Bastone remix of Seven Seas Of Rhye to be the best of the bunch that Hollywood sent back before he passed on. I wonder if that matters to how other people view the version of the track. It makes a difference to me, anyway. It's a different slant, but not what I'd call an unbearably different slant.|
|Actually, I find the SSOR remix very enjoyable and I can imagine Freddie liking it. He was always very much into "new" stuff, specially if it was about dancing and partying.
I don't think he would have gone along with the EMO crap thing, though, haha :).
About the HR editions, I think Queen, Queen II and The Works are the best of the lot, just for the B-sides and a few decent remixes.
|Roger Meadows Tailor
|I was a little bit pissed at some of the state of the remixes but taking on board what you said,Rhyeking,yea you're right.You did get a lot of crap but you got a lot more good out of it.Thanks a lot for answering my friends.|