Police "Message in a Box" question...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by RoyalScam, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    Gorts, feel free to link me to the answer...I couldn't search it out completely.

    I see that somewhere along the remastering line the tape drag on "Roxanne" and digital click on "Don't Stand So Close to Me" have been corrected...but what about the godawful first minute or so of "Can't Stand Losing You"?

    I'd forgotten about this until I listened again last night...first minute or so till the end of the first chorus sounds like a completely different pitch and EQ from the rest of the track. Has this been corrected and if so where is it available?
  2. Nobby

    Nobby Well-Known Member

    Birmingham, UK
    Hmmm…An interesting and somewhat intriguing question.

    It has been discussed here before, and I along with some others, but not all, am convinced that “Can’t Stand Losing You” is a needledrop.

    To try and get to the bottom of it, I today, picked up a second hand copy of the original “Outlandos D’Amour” CD to listen to the version contained therein.

    Sad to report it’s the same “version” as on the “Message In A Box” er… box!

    Have a listen to the word “so” about nine seconds in.

    There’s an out of phase clunk (when listening on headphones) that I would normally associate with vinyl. Not to mention the whooshy background rumble!

    I did a few months back post a clip of a copy of “Can’t Stand Losing You” from a compilation that I have that was most definitely from tape. The slight problem with this version was that it faded about 20” early. I originally thought it was a radio version… but have still to find out the real reason.

    I’d post a link to the thread, but the music clips are gone from my webspace!

    So to finally answer your question - no.

    All versions of "Can't Stand Losing You" are as you described with the exception (at least the one that I know of) which is featured on the first Police Hits compilation "Every Breath You Take", but that's the short version I was on about!.

    Oh and while I remember, the click on "Don't Stand So Close To Me" is on "Message In A Box", although it's not present on the original hits compilation where it's been edited out so there's a slight jump in the intro.

    Don't know about the tape drag, someone else will chime in I'm sure. :)

    Caveat: I wasn't aware that "Message In A Box" was remastered, so I only refer to the original release.
  3. KennyG

    KennyG Active Member

    Message In A Box has never been reissued with the latest Police remasters IIRC.

    To be honest, I doubt Can't Stand Losing You on the set is a needledrop but there is definately something odd about the source... particularly towards the end of the song.
  4. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    Thanks for the reply. Actually, to correct myself, the change in EQ, or splice, or whatever, actually occurs at :39 in on "Can't Stand Losing You".

    I went to Rhapsody to get an answer...where they have the Message box, the 2003 remasters of each album, and the 1995 AND 2003 version Every Breath You Take: The Classics.

    From what I can hear, the 2003 Outlandos remaster and the 2003 Every Breath remaster both contain corrected versions of "Can't Stand Losing You". Not sure if they are needle drops as you say (don't think so, though), and I'm not even sure if I like the sound, but at least it sounds more uniform than the older masters. Tape drag on "Roxanne" is gone too on both.

    Everything I heard pre-2003 has the uncorrected versions.
  5. Nobby

    Nobby Well-Known Member

    Birmingham, UK
    Allow me to amend my theory. I think you have something here. Something weird goes on 39" in...

    You know what, I now think the first thirty nine seconds are from a needledrop!

    The song seems to open up and burst into life from that point!

    There is no mess at 39" on "Can't Stand Losing You" on the "Every Breath You Take" compilation (black cover).
  6. jymy

    jymy Active Member

    Also no mess on The Police - Greatest Hits (A&M '92)

    but onthe compilation Virgin Radio vol.1 ('94, various artists) it is a mess
  7. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    The individual albums were remastered in '95 after the box set. Best Police cd's made available IMO. No "Roxanne" tape-drag or first 39 second "Can't Stand Losing You" funny business on the '95 'Outlandos...' remaster...
  8. Juan Samus

    Juan Samus New Member

    YES, "Can't Stand Losing You" is a needle drop on all CD versions of Outlandos including the box and the new remaster...it's totally obvious if you listen in headphones! The story I heard was that they lost or damaged the master tape when they were banding the Outlandos LP, and they had to use a needle drop instead. I don't know how true that is, but it makes sense to me.
  9. street legal

    street legal Forum Resident

    west milford, nj

    If this is true, I don't get it. Why not use the safety copy tape instead of a vinyl source? :confused:
  10. Juan Samus

    Juan Samus New Member

    I think it was first released as a b-side or on an EP or something...I'm a little foggy on the details...and there were never any copy tapes made...and then the master tape went bye-bye...so they had to use the previously released vinyl for the Outlandos LP. It seems to me that the tape-sourced version on the old hits CD is an edit or shorter version? Maybe that's why the box set and old CD have that bad edit because they tried to edit the short version and the needledrop together? I don't know. I don't have all the facts available to me right now but it does make sense. I'm sure they made safety copies of everything from that point on. ;)
  11. Great Deceiver

    Great Deceiver Active Member

    New Jersey
    Too bad we can't ask someone who mastered this song if they ever had to do a needle drop...
  12. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Maven Of Rare Earth

    Eastern Iowa
    Or do a remix and A/B it to the original mix. I'm sure someone with good mixing skills could've gotten a mix very close to the original.
  13. Mike Dow

    Mike Dow I kind of like the music

    Bangor, Maine
    If the master for "Can't Stand Losing You" was lost for previous CD issues, I wonder why they didn't just remix a version from the multi-tracks? On the 2000 release, DTS "Every Breath You Take: The Classics" and the subsequent SACD, "Can't Stand.." is featured in 5.1 surround.
  14. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    Until we can get some proof, I'm highly skeptical about this. We're talking about a late 70's recording made well after the band had been signed to a major label. All the multi-track tapes exist. You're telling me they couldn't have remixed it before banding the album in late '78? It was a flop single upon initial release in the UK. So, it's not like people would have been upset had it been remixed for the album. It wasn't a hit until its re-release almost 6 months after the album's release (after "Roxanne" put them on the map in early '79). And that's provided they couldn't have remixed it so closely to the original, that no one would have even noticed...
  15. Demolition Man

    Demolition Man Well-Known Member

    But then we would have that god aweful ping effect on the snare drum hit during the entire song. :laugh:

    Actually "Can't Stand Losing You" was released as a single with "Dead End Job" as the B-Side in 1978.

    Are you sure on that? If I recall correctly the 1995 "remastered" CDs were using the same masters as the 1993 "Message In A Boxset" used since the few times I listened to the 1995 issue of "Outlandos" had the same glitches on "Can't Stand Losing You" - especially the annoying phasing during the ending of the song.
  16. Chris Desjardin

    Chris Desjardin Well-Known Member

    Ware, MA
    This is a little off-topic, but I was wondering if the Every Breath You Take: The Singles (black cover version) is really ADD. Is says that on the back cover, but inside it says "Remastered in the U.S. by Arnie Acosta at A & M Mastering Studios".

    Does anyone know if it is really digitally remixed?
  17. Demolition Man

    Demolition Man Well-Known Member

    Most likely just some slight EQ adjustments but nothing major. Honestly "The Singles" has that typical early CD syndrom as I call it. In other words a bit too much high end with a lack of warmth.
  18. OcdMan

    OcdMan Well-Known Member

    Time to resurrect this thread. :)

    I'm curious, has anyone determined what the deal is with this song? Is Can't Stand Losing You on the 2003 remaster from the same tapes as the 1995 version or not? Maybe if someone would, please, post the first 45 seconds from the 2003 version, that might help to answer some questions.

    If this has been definitely answered in another thread, point me in the right direction, because I didn't find anything.
  19. Johnny Connor

    Johnny Connor New Member

    I like to know more about this Police box set because I thinkin about buying it!:help:
  20. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Active Member

    South Florida
    I always thought someone had forgotten to hit the "Dolby" or "DBX" noise reduction button and then remembered when the tape was rolling!

    Doubt seriously it's a needledrop.
  21. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    Originally Posted by Mike D'Aversa
    The individual albums were remastered in '95 after the box set. Best Police cd's made available IMO. No "Roxanne" tape-drag or first 39 second "Can't Stand Losing You" funny business on the '95 'Outlandos...' remaster...

    I now wish to recant my previous statement about the '95 remasters being any different from the '93 box set. They are the same. Turns out, I didn't realize I was listening to the 2002 reissue of the "Very Best Of Sting & The Police". This '02 reissue appears to use the same transfers of the original '93 remasters, but uses radically different EQ to make the songs sound much "better" IMO (a bit like how those JPN mini-LP's get secretly remastered).

    BTW, I now would recommend the hybrid SACD's as being the best of all. All you have to do is compare the tape source used for the song "So Lonely". They found a much better one, than any previous issue, for the most recent campaign.

    So, by my count, there have been four masterings of the work of The Police catalog. The originals from the 80's, the initial remasters for the '93 box/'95 reissues, the '02 Sting/Police compilation remaster, and the hybrid SACD's (the new best of is simply cloned from the SACD's)...
  22. MusicFan76

    MusicFan76 Active Member

    East Coast, USA
    Simply put...buy it...and give all the b-sides and the more obscure songs a listen because you may end up liking them just as much as the classics.

    Message in a Box is one of the best box sets available by any band.
  23. Even with the flaws everyone has pointed out here...I like it.
  24. Johnny Connor

    Johnny Connor New Member

    Cool.I'll get it when it on sale!:cool:
  25. OcdMan

    OcdMan Well-Known Member

    The first 39 seconds or so does have clicks, groove noise, rumble, summed bass, etc. They're all signs of a needledrop and not a very good one at that. And the rest of the track is so full of dropouts, the tape really might have been in such bad condition that they had no choice but to splice in a piece of a needledrop. The same track on the 1986 compilation with the dark cover (Every Breath You Take - The Singles) is from a tape that is in much better condition, at least at that earlier point in time. It's not a remix either, it just suffers from too much treble, and it fades 10 seconds earlier.

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