Is it just me? Or do Wallmart music CD's absolutely bite..

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett DiMichele, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Yeah I know, I know....
    I bought them from WallMart what should I expect..
    It seems to me like any time I buy a CD from Wall
    Mart the mastering quality of the CD's absolutely
    blow. Are they second hand ? Are they burned by
    inferior CD Copying Stations? Are they just rejects
    that should have been melted down?
    I purchased Enya's new CD and I am listening to it
    now. While it's one of the better CD's I have gotten
    from Wally World you can still tell something is amiss.
    The high frequencies vocals and instruments distort and
    I was never able to hear this on my "Anything but Audio
    Phile System" but now that I have a good receiver and good
    speakers I can hear all the imperfections in the recordings
    and it's driving me insane.. Mind you this is at ALL volume
    ranges not just WFO (Wide CENSORED Open). It's not the
    speakers and it's not a cable isue (Fiber TosLink) it's not
    the speaker wire or termination... And it's absolutely B.S!
    Anyone else have similar experiances? Please vent with me...
    I know that this topic has recently came up regarding DVD's
    and beleive me Music CD's are not safe from these absolutely
    horrid mastering practices!
    ------------------
    Brett DiMichele
    Certified Audio Nut
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  2. TylerN

    TylerN Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never purchased a disc from Walmart but I did see a television program on special CDs manufactured for Walmart. The show was Undercurrents for those in Canada who have seen it.. It was an episode on censorship and they focused on Walmart's refusal to sell CDs containing explicit lyrics. It said Walmart will only sell an artist's CD if it contains no explicit lyrics (not only swears, but racey comments as well). The example they gave was the new, at the time, Rob Zombie CD. Zombie's label actually produced a second version of the CD especially for Walmart, for good reason apparently, Walmart accounts for a large percent of all CD sales ~10%. The Walmart version had way different lyrics in a number of songs compared to the normal CD store version.
    Here's a quick article i found on Walmart censorship: http://www.media-awareness.ca/eng/ne...ns/walmart.htm
    In this tv show they also went on to talk about Blockbuster's censorship. Apparently - get this - Blockbuster had a different version of Madonna's "Body of Evidence" than other video stores. It was a couple minutes shorter because it had some especially explicit scenes removed! Can you beleive it? Blockbuster wouldn't carry the movie unless the producers made a blockbuster friendly version.
    Since i watched that show i haven't rented a video from Blockbuster. They don't even tell their customer's they do this!
    CD clubs like Columbia and BMG also have different discs then the original recordings, if you look at CD liners for discs from these CD clubs, you can notice in alot of cases the production company is different than the original CD - it will be Columbia instead of the original company for example.
    Its for reasons like this that I always buy my CDs and videos from mom & pop shops rather than chains.
     
  3. James Nguyen

    James Nguyen Second Unit

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    please don't take this the wrong way, but....
    WAH!?
    I've never heard of audio (or video) quality being adversely affected based on what retailer you bought an item from. Unless there's the chance that it was a repackaged return, yet even then I'd assume that general quality wouldn't be affected in terms of sound quality. Skips, sure, I could see that in a 2nd hand disc, but overall distortion in various frequency ranges? Hmmm...
    :shrug:
     
  4. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Hot damn! Every day I keep discovering reasons not to step foot into WalMart or Blockbuster. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    - Brian
    My DVD Collection
    Want Sliders on DVD? Then please SIGN the petition!
     
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    At Blockbuster, Titanic has had the sketching scene censored
    Time to stop letting these companies dictate what we're allowed to see. I'm forseeing the fall of BallBuster, but WALMart is going to be much harder
    Jeff Kleist
     
  6. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Peter Apruzzese
    quote: At Blockbuster, Titanic has had the sketching scene censored[/quote]
    No, it wasn't censored at Blockbuster - this is another Internet Urban Myth. There was some fringe outfit in Utah (?) that was offering to edit that scene out of the movie, but I believe Paramount stopped them. Blockbuster is guilty of many things, but not of altering Titanic.
    To address the original post, WalMart's CDs are the same as the ones you buy anywhere else. The recording companies don't press special WalMart versions (unless it says so on the package!), they're from the same inventory. If the disc you bought sounds bad, don't blame WalMart, blame Enya and her engineer/producer. Even the "edited for lyric content" discs are not produced just for WalMart - any retailer can get them. In theory, they also sound exactly the same, unless the record company screws up, somwhow. Same with music club CDs, they are exactly the same as store-bought ones - except the packaging is usually slightly altered where the bar code is removed.
    [Edited last by Peter Apruzzese on October 15, 2001 at 07:55 AM]
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Well, their selection of music cds certainly bites...
    ------------------
    He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
    -- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Those CDs are produced for K/WalMart, and made available to other retailers. Without these retailers, these versions would probably not be made available at retail. I know they don't sell hardly at all in record stores. No one with a choice wants them
    Jeff Kleist
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ok, Peter & Tyler - we want some proof! (Bangs fist on table)!!
    I am inclined to believe that the Walmart CD's are 2nd pressings. I wouldn't put it past them at all. Although everyone may not agree with me, this is the same company that has run probably thousands of small businesses out of business.
    I'm not sure about BMG, but I'd expect that coming from Columbia. I've always wondered what they were up to today.
    Many, many moons ago, (about 30 years) I was a Columbia member for record albums. All of the covers had notches in them, similar to a floppy notch but bigger. And none of them were shrink-wrapped. A few of the albums had some skipping problems, but I learned how to fix most skips on LP's.
    Yeah, they were seconds. I think most of them were only returned because the orignal buyer didn't like the music, but I'm sure that you get the idea.
    Glenn
     
  10. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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  11. James Nguyen

    James Nguyen Second Unit

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    Off topic from the original post, but still pertains to this thread.....
    regarding the "censored" versions of various music CDs, these are readily available in many record chains and mom and pop stores throughout the US. I put censored in quotations since these releases are often produced by the artist at the same time as the "normal" version. Particularly with hip hop and rap albums, it is quite common to see a regular retail release (i.e. Explicit lyrics label) and one with "clean" lyrics.
    The differences in packaging between the two are often quite minimal, so it is quite conceivable to buy one or the other by accident. However, it's the artists discretion (IMO at least) whether or not they decide to do a clean version of the song. It behooves them to do so however so they have a version out there that isn't filled with bleeps for airplay on radio stations, in retail stores like Target or Walmart, on MTV, etc. etc.
    So, no, I don't buy into any conspiracy theories that Walmart is secretly censoring artists, nor do I think their CDs somehow just sound worse by nature of your buying it at Walmart.
     
  12. Alex Shk

    Alex Shk Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually have a "clean version" of The Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" CD. It is identical to the standard release except that the track listing is omitted (from the cover, booklet and label - no where in the package is there a track listing).
    This album contains a song called "Silverfuck". While I am NOT well versed in SP lyrics - I believe there are no obscenities on this track - except at the end of this lengthy song, Billy Corgan is heard to say "this is the take - I don't give a fuck". Strangely enough, even the censored version contains this phrase, clear as a bell.
    I guess things got worse since the early 90's...
    ------------------
    [Edited last by Alex Shk on October 15, 2001 at 10:59 AM]
     
  13. John Torrez

    John Torrez Second Unit

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    Wal-Mart only seems to edit cd's that have a Parental Advisory label. Because I bought the new Garbage cd from there and in the first song (I think) the S-Word is clearly heard. Also, I am a member of the BMG music club and I have bought most of my cd's from them. Not one of the cd's I have bought from there sounded bad. That inferior pressing rumour is just that, a rumour.
    [Edited last by John Torrez on October 15, 2001 at 12:04 PM]
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Brett, it might be that shopping at Wal-Mart has dulled your senses. You're probably being irradiated by dullard rays from all the J6Ps! Quick, shop somewhere else! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
    -- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
     
  15. Patrick Scott

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    Reading this stuff is about a entertaining as watching two midget hookers fighting over a street corner.
    Here are a few more conspiracy theories to mull over,
    1. Sam Walton was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963
    2. You are really not buying CD's at all at Wal-Mart, in order to save money they have been sticking records in the microwave and shrinking them down to CD size. What you might want to do is open up your CD player and glue a needle to the laser lens. This could cure your problems.
    3. When you buy coke or pepsi at Wal-Mart the bubbles in the cans are made of a differnet gas in order to cut costs.
    4. People who buy CD's at Wal-Mart are intelligent.
    Wal-Mart gets teir CD's from vendors who intern get their CD's from the same distributors as Sam Goody, Hastings, Best Buy and anyone else who sells CD's.
    Scott
     
  16. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    What Walmart does is no different than what MTV and MuchMusic (in Canada) do videos - The industry makes 'clean' versions of the albums, and lyrically censored videos, although they sure like to take liberty with the visuals.
    MuchMusic used to run a panel series called 'Too Much For Much', a program debating the appropriateness of videos in drive times, when they would schedule them in latenight off-peak hours. They were screened for visual themes and language context and content, and people would cast votes at appropriate times (I hear you thinking of the Simpsons! "One kid really likes the Speedo Man!"). It was a great forum for discussion.
    Blockbuster has a policy of no videos stronger than an R-rating, so you get clean(er) versions (per se) of Body Of Evidence, Striptease, and Natural Born Killers. Of the latter, it is Warner's policy to not issue a movie theatrically with anything stronger than an R-rating.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  17. JohnWalk

    JohnWalk Auditioning

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  18. Eric Taylor

    Eric Taylor Agent

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    Okay guys here's the take on Wal-mart and censoring CD's. I work at my local Wal-mart in the electronics department and we get our cd's from a vendor. The vendor get's the cd's from the distrubutor for the record copies just the same as any of the mom and pop stores do. The cd's are censored not with bleeps anymore, but with just the words "paused" out. Alot of times you can't even tell it, unless the song has alot of words in it. I still buy my stuff at the Wal-mart due to the fact that I don't like to hear alot of swearing in my music. I am not saying it's bad or wrong it's just that I don't want to hear it myself. I listen to alot of groups that do swear and still don't understand why they do it. A song does not have to have the word fu** in it to get a message across. That's just my feelings on the whole thing. But as I stated before the record copies distrubutors are the ones that send the music to the vendors who in turn send them to us. Same music, just cleaned up. As for the word "censored" I think it is a misconception on what some of us would rather call Clean versions of a record. If they were censoring everything then there would not be a way for a person to get a copy of the original song. So this way if you are a person like me that does not need to hear the word fu** in a song 25 times then this is one way to still get to listen to bands you like. Just my 5 cents worth.
     
  19. Patrick Scott

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    Thanks for the link John, I noticed that the info says some of the CD's will not play on high end stereo equipment. Um, that's us folks. What is the thought on this? Any ideas? It looks like I might have to go pick up some high fidelity equipment from Wal-Mart to make my CD's sound worth a shit. What the hell is up with that? I say fu** the recording industry, buy some beer and tequila and a set of drums and make your own music!!
    JMO
    Scott,
     
  20. David Albrecht

    David Albrecht Stunt Coordinator

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    "The high frequencies vocals and instruments distort and
    I was never able to hear this on my Anything but Audio
    Phile System"
    I was just re-listening to the new Jaci Velasquez album, Mi Corazon, and I'm hearing the same thing... when she hits any high notes a nasty distortion rears it's ugly head. Sounds like it was recorded with 1960 Radio Shack microphone or something.
    This is bothering me because I picked it up at Wal-Mart after I couldn't find it anywhere else weeks after its initial release date (several months back).
    Maybe this has something to do with the new copy protection dealie going on? I haven't noticed this on the new Tori album (listed on Fat Chuck's list), nor on the new Bjork...
    but then again, I didn't buy these titles from Wal-Mart (the plot thickens).
     

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