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Questions about two CDs: The Alan Parson Project and Steely Dan (1 Viewer)

KeithH

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I heard The Alan Parsons Project's "Games People Play" on the radio a few days ago, which reminded me that I still had no Parsons CDs in my collection. So today, I went to a hole-in-the-wall store and picked up The Best Of The Alan Parsons Project, which dates back to 1983. The CD sounds very good and has 12 hits, including "Eye In The Sky" and "Games People Play". In scanning amazon.com I saw a two-disc set from 1997 entitled The Definitive Collection. Seeing as this two-disc set is much newer than the disc I picked up today, how do the two releases compare sonically? Has The Definitive Collection been remastered such that it is much better than the original compilation? The store I was in had a follow up compilation to the disc I bought. I guess it was volume 2. Anyway, if The Definitive Collection is significantly better sonically than the disc I bought, I will get it instead of that old volume 2 disc to have a reasonably representative collection of Parsons' best works.
Now, on to Steely Dan. I have the remastered MCA compilation A Decade of Steely Dan, and I love the selection of songs and the sound quality. Regarding the sound quality, I also have the original version of A Decade of Steely Dan, and the remastered version is better. That said, I have yet to hear a Steely Dan CD that didn't sound good. At Best Buy yesterday, I came across a two-disc set from 2000 entitled Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story, 1972-1980. Is this another studio compilation? If so, how does it compare sonically to the remastered version of A Decade of Steely Dan? Obviously, as a two-disc set, Showbiz has more songs than Decade. I was just wondering if Showbiz gets you better remastering in addition to more songs. Thanks in advance.
 

Jan H

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Keith,

Regarding Steely Dan,

If I were you I'd just break down and find a nice used price for the 4-CD Box set Citizen Steely Dan. It, too, is remastered, and contains every song they ever did (Until Two Against Nature). I picked mine up for $20 at a local Wherehouse.
 

KeithH

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Jan, I have thought about buying the boxed set. However, I think the Showbiz Kids compilation came out after the boxed set, so I was thinking that the two-disc set might sound better. However, seeing as both cover 1972-1980, as stated on the packages, I suppose the Showbiz Kids set could simply be excepted from the boxed set and, therefore, would draw off the same masters.

Thanks for the recommendation.
 

Mike Broadman

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All of the Steely Dan albums were remastered a couple of years ago. The same tracks were used in the Citizen Steely Dan box set, the Showbiz Kids compilation, and I believe a Decade Of...

I personally broke down and got all the albums because Aja stands on its own so well.

NP: Paquito D'Rivera, Tropican Nights, SACD
 

Jan H

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Keith,

My pleasure. To my knowledge, Showbiz and Citizen are identical remasters, so it just comes down to how big a fan you are, I guess, or what $ you want to drop on CD's. Happy listening. JH
 

Marvin

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With a group like Steely Dan, I think you'd be better off buying their actual albums rather than greatest hits compilations. It's not like they had that many albums anyway and as mentioned above, they've been remastered.

Personally, I'd recommend their first two: "Can't Buy a Thrill" and "Countdown to Ecstasy". The Show Biz Kids compilation has 9 songs from these albums but they left some great ones off: "Midnite Cruiser", "Pearl of the Quarter", "Turn that Heartbeat Over Again" etc.
 

KeithH

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Mike, Jan, and Marvin,
Thanks for sharing the knowledge. I have some decisions to make. All I know at this point is that I need more Steely Dan CDs. Thus far, the only CDs I have are Aja, Gaucho, A Decade of Steely Dan, and Two Against Nature. I also have Two Against Nature on DVD-Audio and the DTS CD of Gaucho. Not only is Steely Dan's music exceptional, but their recordings are first-rate as well.
Anyone,
Comments on The Alan Parsons Project compilations would be appreciated! :)
 

Jan H

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No offense, Keith, but APP sucks. Spend the extra money on all of the aforementioned options first, and then go buy either the Pink Floyd or America box sets, depending on which APP phase you like better, the vapid or the insipid.
 

Marvin

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All I know at this point is that I need more Steely Dan CDs. Thus far, the only CDs I have are Aja, Gaucho, A Decade of Steely Dan, and Two Against Nature.
Well, that should make your decision even easier. Why bother with greatest hits albums when you already have 3 of their albums? As I figure it, they have only 5 others - their first 5 - so get the first 2 now and then the 3rd and 4th next (Pretzel Logic and Katy Lied). I'd skip the other one - The Royal Scam - until you have everything else; it's not that good.

I'm not too familiar with Alan Parsons though he has a really nice song called "Limelight" featuring Gary Brooker (of Procol Harum) on lead vocals.
 

Frank Anderson

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Jan,
To each their own. I have every single APP CD ever released. I got the Ladyhawke soundtrack just a few months ago. The CD's replaced any cassettes I had. Of course the cassettes replaced all the albums I had and the albums replaced my 8 track tapes (have I dated myself?). APP and Journey are the only two groups which I re-bought all their music.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I am a fan of both Steely Dan and Alan Parsons. Since you have quite a few recommendations for Steely Dan, I will only comment on APP.

The Definitive Collection, IMO, is a better recording than the original "Best Of" and "Best Of... Volume 2" releases. While I do not know if "Definitive" is remastered, it sounds superior. Other excellent sounding APP recordings are Gaudi and On Air, although I do not care for the music of the latter recording as much.
 

Larry Geller

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If I were you I'd just break down and find a nice used price for the 4-CD Box set Citizen Steely Dan. It, too, is remastered
This is NOT TRUE. The box set is NOT remastered & contains by far the worst version on CD for every single track (except for the ONE single goddamn bonus track tat is on there-the reason I still have kept the box). Also, worst packaging ever!
 

Philip Hamm

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For Steely Dan, avoid the box set, it's the old masters. The new masters sound much better. Get "Pretzel Logic" and "Katy Lied" right away.

I'm not much of an APP fan, but I do like the first album "I Robot" and the follow-up "Pyramid". "I Robot" is blatant attempt by Parsons to create another "Dark Side Of The Moon", but stands up fairly well IMO. There is a 96/24 DAD of this album that sounds excellent through my DVD-A10, highly recommended. I have "Pyramid" on LP.

NP: U2: a CD I burned of non-album tracks from the "All That You Can't Leave Behind" singles.
 

mike_decock

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For Steely Dan albums, I don't think any CD beats those albums on Vinyl. My $3, used, bargain-bin LP of "Aja" blows my $25 Mobile Fidelity Gold CD out of the water, hands-down. In fact, it kicks the CDs ass after it's blown it out of the water.

-Mike...
 

Scott Merryfield

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Thanks for the link, Mike. I've read comments here in other threads stating that Citizen Steely Dan was not from the remasters, but always thought the box set pressing sounded decent. It was a quick way to add all the albums to my CD collection (I only had a few on vinyl, plus A Decade of Steely Dan on gold CD).
 

Philip Hamm

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For Steely Dan albums, I don't think any CD beats those albums on Vinyl. My $3, used, bargain-bin LP of "Aja" blows my $25 Mobile Fidelity Gold CD out of the water, hands-down. In fact, it kicks the CDs ass after it's blown it out of the water.
Really? Is that the original "ABC Records" pressing or is it a newer version? Also, it is generally accepted that Aja was perhaps Mobile Fidelity's worst sounding CD ever made. The remastered MCA disc sounds much better. I have all three, the MCA remaster, the UltraDisc II, and the original ABC vinyl record. I admit that the record sounds awesome, but I've never really compared it to the others.

NP: Peter Hamm: "Turn"
 

Charles Gurganus

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Count me a APP fan as well. My favorites have always been the Tales Of Mystery and Imagination, Turn Of a Friendly Card and I Robot.
 

Jan H

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Frank,

Sorry about that crack, I just couldn't resist. I really hate APP.

Larry, Mike, et. al...Color me confused. I could have sworn that the box set was completely remastered. Are the new individual CD's re-remastered? Can someone please explain definitively the differences in sound quality betweem the box set CD's, and the new remastered individual recordings. I'd like to know before I have to buy them all over again. Thanks in advance. JH
 

Mike Broadman

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Can someone please explain definitively the differences in sound quality betweem the box set CD's, and the new remastered individual recordings.
There are none. They are the same exact recordings. I had the box set but sold them and got the albums not for sound reasons, but simply because I like having complete albums on their own CDs, and especially because Aja is split on discs 3 & 4. However, it's cheaper to just get the box.
 

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