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Fleetwood Mac remastered albums (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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Hi everyone,

I was curious about the sound quality of recent remasters of Fleetwood Mac albums. As has been the trend recently of box sets of albums like Dark Side of The Moon and the Beatles albums, I read about new remasters of 1977’s Fleetwood Mac Rumours and the self titled album from 1975. Those are my first exposure to the re-formed band of my youth.

I have what I think is a very early CD releases of 1975’s Fleetwood Mac from Reprise 2281-1 Europe 254 043. It sounds great. I bought it way back in the early days of CD. I also have Rumours from Warner 3010-2 from the same period. It sounds great too. I’ve never listened to any of the later re-issue versions. I also have Tusk and The Dance and Mirage and Tango in the Night which I listen to much less. I also have 25 Years, The Chain. These are all early CD releases.

in doing some reading, I just ordered a remastered Rumours. I think it’s a 2004 Remaster and it’s from Warner. It’s a 3 CD set. But I’m not clear if Warner ever did a remaster of 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, there is a remaster that is said to have been done in 2004 and then 2017 from Rhino/Warner. I’m leery of a remaster from Rhino. But there was one positive review.

So right now I’m targeting Fleetwood Mac and Rumours to pick up remastered releases. I’m more curious about how they sound and that’s why I’m buying them. So I’m looking for advise and insights on these two albums that have been remastered. I’d also be curious about high resolution audio file options. I’d be curious about Tusk and Tango in the Night and Mirage too.

Incidentslly, I picked up two of Stevie Nicks remastered solo albums. I also have those albums Bella Donna and The Wild Heart in the early CD versions. I haven’t tried the new remastered discs yet.

Thanks for any insights.
 

Lord Dalek

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Joel Henderson
IIRC the Buckingham/Nicks era albums are a bit bright but still good sounding. Not like they were desperately in need of a remaster anyway.
 

jcroy

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jr
Some of the re-releases after y2k of Rumors might have brickwalling issues.


If you believe the statistics in the loudness database, there appears to be a significant deterioration in dynamic range in the later remasters of Rumors.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I have the Tusk one that came out a few years ago with (I think) several CDs, a DVD-A in 5.1, and vinyl. I haven’t listened to it a ton or done a direct comparison to the original CD but I don’t recall it being radically different. It sounds good and the bonus material is great. If you’re only going to listen to the album on CD and not the bonus discs or vinyl or surround version I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag, but if you dig the extras it’s a nice set.
 

jcroy

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I have the Tusk one that came out a few years ago with (I think) several CDs, a DVD-A in 5.1, and vinyl. I haven’t listened to it a ton or done a direct comparison to the original CD but I don’t recall it being radically different. It sounds good and the bonus material is great. If you’re only going to listen to the album on CD and not the bonus discs or vinyl or surround version I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag, but if you dig the extras it’s a nice set.

(On a tangent).

If I was 15-20 years younger, I would have been into stuff like this ^.

In hindsight I came to the realization that I was hardly listening to any of the extra tracks / alternate versions / etc .... on re-releases of classic albums.

For that matter, I was frequently not even listening to the cd versions of albums I already owned for decades. Nowadays I end up just listening to the same albums on youtube or a flat-rate streaming service.
 

Nelson Au

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Hey guys, thanks for the replies!

jr, what do those loudness results in the page you linked to, I gather the green bars are better? Not sure how to read that.

Joel, my recollection from the recording sessions for Rumours, they had so many layers of tapes that were mixed, the upper end was lost. But I got the impression the engineers managed to pull the highs back out.

Josh, based on some of what I am hearing here, maybe I’ll stick with the early CDs I have for now. The new remasters might not be an improvement. And you’re right, I may not be that interested in the extras. On the Beatles new releases, I am interested in the alternative takes and extras though.

I’ll see how I like the remastered Rumours and decide if I try the other remasters. :)
 

jcroy

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jr
jr, what do those loudness results in the page you linked to, I gather the green bars are better? Not sure how to read that.

Green is better. Red is bad.

The numerical values appear to be the db difference beween the loudest and softest parts in a particular track.
 

jcroy

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Josh, based on some of what I am hearing here, maybe I’ll stick with the early CDs I have for now. The new remasters might not be an improvement. And you’re right, I may not be that interested in the extras. On the Beatles new releases, I am interested in the alternative takes and extras though.

The remastered tracks from various re-released Fleetwood Mac albums are up on youtube.

Subjectively I don't know how they would compare to the original 80s cd releases, without access to rips from the original 80s versions with similar encoding. I suppose you could rip your old 80s era cds to the computer and encode them at a high bitrate (whether mp3, ogg, etc ....), and do A-B listening tests comparisons with the re-mastered versions on youtube.
 

jcroy

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As a silly demonstration, I decided to do an A-B comparison test for the song "Little Lies" from the 1987 Tango In The Night album. (I'm working from home today, and just finished eating lunch).

This is the only Fleetwood Mac song I listened to over and over again back in the day. So I'm familiar with what the original 1987 vinyl version sounded like and some of the nuances.

On youtube, there were three later versions which sounded 'harsher' than I remembered it.

2003 - The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac (track 4)
2017 - re-release of Tango In The Night (track 7)
2018 - 50 years - Don't Stop (track 8)

(According to the loudness database, these remastered versions of "Little Lies" have some brickwalling issues).


There were several vinyl playthrough videos on youtube, where one sounds more like what the original 1987 vinyl version I remembered. (It is purportedly a playthrough of a 7" 45 rpm vinyl single version).

I took out an original 80s cd version of Tango In The Night which I have on a bookshelf, and listened to "Little Lies" on the computer. As far as I can tell anecdotally, it sounds more like the original 1987 vinyl version without any of the immediate "harshness" of the y2k and later remastered versions on youtube. Sounds like more "breathing space" in the original 1987 version (subjectively).
 
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Nelson Au

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Jr, thanks for the extra information and clarifying the green and red bars. I looked up what brick walling is. I know of albums being remixed to make them louder. Thus loosing the dynamics.

I currently don’t play the CDs anymore, I rip the discs I want to listen to via iTunes in lossless. I know others use other software for ripping. last night I streamed Rumours to my main audio system and I thought it sounded great. That’s why I wondered about these remastered versions.

Your comments that the new remasters tended to be harsh is telling. That’s good to know. Thanks.
 

jcroy

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jr
You should judge for yourself whether the post-y2k remastered versions sound "harsher" or "less fidelity" than your old 80s era cd versions. You should not take my word for it. ;)

Many of the re-mastered versions of various FM albums are officially up on youtube, if you don't have a monthly music streaming service.

(Easy to connect the computer to the av receiver unit via hdmi).
 
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Nelson Au

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Thanks Jr. I did order the remastered Rumours album. So I’ll see or hear what that one is like.
 

jcroy

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Nowadays the only reason I'll buy a brickwalled remastered cd version of a classic album title, is if the original non-brickwalled cd from the 80s or 90s is not easily available or out-of-print.

For example, awhile ago I ended up buying the 2005 re-release of The Power Station album. (They were a short lived supergroup which had singer Robert Palmer and some of the guys from Duran Duran). The loudness database data for this album suggested the 2005 remaster had brickwalling issues, while the original 80s cd version did not. I didn't feel like searching for the old original 80s cd on the used cd market.

I compared the 2005 remaster cd to my old vinyl copy, where for some of the tracks the brickwall harshness was immediately obvious (such as their 85 hit song "Bang a Gong").
 

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