Finally! Supertramp remasters!

Discussion in 'Music' started by KeithH, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I've been waiting for this for a long time. I'm in a small record store last Friday evening and couldn't believe my eyes! On an end-cap was a remastered version of Supertramp Breakfast in America! It's about time! I bought the original CD back in 1989 and have been waiting for a remastered version for years. I was so "desperate" for a better-sounding version that I bought a sealed copy of the MFSL version last year on eBay for $65. On Friday, I bought the A&M (Universal) remaster for $12.98. It sounds great! Definitely better than the original CD. I have not compared it to the MFSL version yet (I have a lot of comparing of remasters and gold CDs to do). If you like Supertramp, the remastered version of Breakfast in America is a must-have. The store I was in also had a remastered version of Crime of the Century.
    If you buy the remastered Breakfast in America CD and have a CD player in the car, pop it in and "Take the Long Way Home". You'll be glad you did. [​IMG]
    For those who live in New Jersey, I saw the remastered Supertramp CDs at the Compact Disc World in West Windsor (Rt. 1, across from Quaker Bridge Mall). While Breakfast in America was $12.98, Crime of the Century was just $7.98.
    NP: Supertramp Breakfast in America remastered CD
     
  2. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    That is indeed good news. I too will be snatching these babies up real quick like! Breakfast In America is one of my all time favs.
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Wes Peterson
    Have you listened to "Paris"? This is by far my most favorite S.T. disc. For being an older live recording it is incredible. I really would like to see some super tramp released on DVD-A!

    Wes
     
  4. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    I'm probably going to pick up the new "Crime" at some point -- I've actually never owned a copy! I've got the MFSL "Breakfast", though, which ought to hold me on that front.

    Remastered versions or "Crisis? What Crisis?" and "Even In The Quietest Moments" were also reissued a couple weeks ago. On July 16, we're scheduled to get "Paris", "Famous Last Words", "Brother Where You Bound" and "Free As A Bird." On August 20, we go back for "Supertramp" and "Indelibly Stamped." Whee!

    The new Crime, the gold "Breakfast" (the first rock LP I ever bought, BTW) and the old purple "Classics Vol. 9" CD ought to satisfy my level of Supertramp fandom, though. I've also got "Famous Last Words" and "Brother Where You Bound" on vinyl back from the days of massive cut-out bargains in the late 80s.

    Ryan
     
  5. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Keith,

    Let us know how it compares to the MFSL version. I've been tempted to get the MFSL on eBay, but it would be great if the remaster is just as good or better.
     
  6. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Keith, do own "Crime of the Century" on vinyl?
    I see you have multiple copies of a lot of material, just curious if you've compared the MFSL CD to vinyl. I don't own the CD of C.O.T.C. but I own both the Domestic and MFSL vinyl pressing. Most people regard the MFSL pressing superior to any other issue out there. I give the the MFSL issue a slight edge over the Domestic, not a huge increase in fidelity, IMO.[​IMG]
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Wes,
    I don't have Paris on any format. Now that Supertramp's catalog is being remastered on CD, as per Ryan's information, I will likely expand my Supertramp collection. Currently, the only Supertramp CDs I have are Breakfast in America (three different versions) and Classics, Volume 9.
    Supertramp on SACD or DVD-Audio would be something else.
    Ryan,
    I probably should have picked up the remastered version of Crime of the Century for $7.98 last Friday night since I don't have the original CD. As I recall, their price on this CD was an everyday price, so I'll pick it up the next time I am up there. This store discounts very well.
    Where did you get the information on Supertramp releases? Is there a link you could share? I am hoping you can refer me to a web site with similar information for other artists.
    Brian,
    I've got a lot of new CDs that I am going through, so I don't know when I will do the comparison of the two versions of Breakfast in America. I'll post my results once I do the test. Nevertheless, I feel the remastered CD is easily worth the $12.98 I paid.
    Frank,
    I don't have Crime of the Century on any format, at least not yet. I plan on picking up the remastered CD. Something that just hit me is that I have Even in the Quietest Moments and Breakfast in America on 8-track! I picked them up for $1 each on eBay nearly two years ago. Perhaps I should compare the remastered CD of Breakfast in America to the 8-track tape. [​IMG]
     
  8. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    Wonderful news! Not to mention the boys are touring again!
    For those who do not own "Crime", get it. Audio is the best of any release, but more importantly, the statements, conjecture, mysticism and insights lyrically are among the most thought out and thought ful in rock.
    Cool Trivia... The kettle drum hits in the last and title cut needed delay to sound more ominous. But back then, no digital, and analog was that "sound through a spring" effect. So, Tramp built a 90 foot long cinder block tunnel and miked the drum from the far end... how bitchin' is that?

    "The actors and jesters are here. The stage is in darkness and clear. They're raising the curtian but no one's quite certain who's play it is..."
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mark, interesting information there. Crime of the Century is on my list. I'll probably pick it up for $7.98 this weekend. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    The release I'm going by was in ICE Magazine and:
    www.pauseandplay.com/cdfront.htm
    ICE is the more reliable, but pauseandplay goes out farther in time. I wouldn't treat any of it as gospel, but it's handy as an idea of what is "supposed" to happen.
    BTW, pauseandplay also has links where available to the preorder pages on CDNow -- the Supertramp titles they have listed as July 16 CDNow is listing as July 30. Your mileage may vary, etc., etc..
    Looking forward to the remastered CD/8-track showdown. [​IMG]
    Ryan
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ryan, thanks for the information. Much appreciated. I'll have to check out those resources.
    You said:
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I sat down and compared the A&M remastered version of Breakfast in America to the MFSL gold CD.

    The CDs:

    A&M remastered CD: A&M catalog number 069 493 349-2, $12.98
    MFSL gold CD: MFSL catalog number UDCD 534, $65 (eBay, spring of 2001)

    The equipment:

    * Source component: Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD carousel changer
    * Amplification: NAD C 370 stereo integrated amplifier biamped with NAD C 270 stereo power amplifier
    * Speakers: Totem Arro floorstanders
    * Cables: Audioquest Diamondback RCA interconnects and BetterCables Premium speaker cables with Vampire banana plug terminations

    According to the liner notes for the A&M remastered CD, it was "mastered from the original master tapes by Greg Calbi and Jay Messina at Sterling Sound, New York, 2002". There is no mention of how it was mastered, so I presume it was done at 24/96 (PCM) since that is very common practice these days. The MFSL version is an Ultradisc II.

    My two favorite songs on this album are "The Logical Song" and "Take the Long Way Home", so I used these primarily for the basis of my comparison of the two CDs. The first thing that was immediately obvious was that the A&M remastered CD is louder. I started off listening to "The Logical Song" on this disc, and a comfortable listening volume for me (I like my music on the loud side) had the volume on the C 370 integrated amp pegged at 9:30. Upon switching to the MFSL CD, I had to increase the volume to 11:00 to achieve what I considered to be a comparable volume (no meters used here). The second thing that struck me instantly is that the A&M CD shows more analog tape hiss. There is hiss on the MFSL CD, but is subdued by comparison. On to the music.

    I found the A&M remastered CD to be more punchy with more going on than the MFSL CD. The MFSL version was more reserved and clustered. However, while the A&M CD was more dynamic, it was somewhat more "digital" as well. The A&M CD brought more of a digital edge the vocals, but it was certainly not the sort of edge that peels paint. As a result, I did not have to go to Home Depot after the listening session for painting supplies. Still, there was no denying to my ears that the MFSL CD was a tad warmer in the vocals.

    The digital edge on the A&M CD also manifested itself in the harmonica (I am pretty sure it is harmonica) at the beginning of "Take the Long Way Home", which was a bit hard on the ears. The harmonica intro. was smoother on the MFSL disc. However, the A&M CD had it all over the MFSL version at the heavenly "aaaahh-aaaahh-aaaahh-aaashh oooh-oooh-oooh-oooh" section at the end of "Long Way". On the MFSL CD, this vocal passage is just there. However, on the A&M CD, the vocals in this section are immersive. Overall, I found the vocals to be placed more to the front of the soundstage on the A&M CD. Perhaps this rendered the vocals a bit forward, and I do not mean strictly in space. I mean forward in a slightly harsh sense, which I alluded to earlier. The vocals jumped out at me more on the A&M CD, and if the slight edge were not there, the presentation would have been perfect. Still, I liked what I heard from the A&M CD.

    In the end, I preferred the A&M CD. The presentation is not perfect, but I found it to be more alive and dynamic than the MFSL CD. Some might prefer the warmer and more reserved presentation of the MFSL version. In the end, if you own the MFSL CD, I recommend you pick up the A&M remastered version for a mere $13 or thereabouts. Then compare the two and draw your own conclusions. If you are torn between buying one version or the other, get the A&M CD. It is much cheaper and offers an excellent sonic experience. For now, I've had my fill of Breakfast. On to lunch!
     
  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Tonight I purchased the new remaster of BIA and compared it to the original CD, which has to be at least 15 years old. If you don't own BIA, buy the new remaster. If you already own it, I recommend passing on the remaster, as I think there is little, if any, improvement.

    As Keith mentioned, the new CD is mixed very loud. Without using an SPL meter, I estimate the difference to be around +6 to +8 compared to the original. Once I raised the volume on the original, I could hardly tell the difference between the two.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Brian, I have yet to compare the remastered version of Breakfast in America to my original copy. I once compared the original A&M CD to the MFSL CD and preferred the MFSL version. Your observations are interesting. I will do the comparison as well.
     
  15. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I've been in somewhat of a mode of picking up select remasters since I built my system recently. I've considered the original BIA CD to be fairly decent quality-wise, at least compared to other stuff I have from the 70's (esp. first half of the decade). I have noticed a bit of "edginess" here and there on the CD when played at fairly loud volumes (and my use of the term edginess pre-dates Keith's use of the term above for the remaster). Given this, Brian's comments, and my experience with just a couple of other CD remasters of material from the latter half of the 70's (where there doesn't appear to be much difference - I hear more difference with remasters of early 70's material), I may hold off on BIA for a while. Just a matter of priorities, but eventually...

    Doug
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    For those interested, remasters of Brother Where You Bound, Famous Last Words, Free as a Bird, and Paris are out now. If you live in or near New Jersey, Compact Disc World stores have Brother Where You Bound, Famous Last Words, and Free as a Bird on sale for $7.98 each and Paris (two-disc set) on sale for $17.98. The sale runs until September 6th.
     
  17. T r o y

    T r o y Supporting Actor

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    I was wondering if any of you have info. of any future Supertramp offerings on the SACD or DVD -AUDIO formats ?

    I can't believe they have not gone back and done one for these guys. I'm sure it will sound terrific when they finally do.

    Any thoughts ?

    Later!
     
  18. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    Yes, Supertramp will be releasing a few of their albums on SACD in the future including "Breakfast In America".

    Universal is working on them with Rick Davies.
     

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