Song to Comus: The Complete Collection. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jsnruf, Dec 16, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jsnruf

    jsnruf Member Thread Starter

    After wading around the archives for a bit, I found that there was a void of consensus on Comus on CD. Is the Castle 2-disc issue of First Utterance and that "other" album worthwhile? Catalog number is CMEDD1121. If it's something to avoid, what would be recommended?
     
  2. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    Scope J likes this.
  3. 93curr

    93curr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Definitely buy it. :righton: Play and enjoy the heck out of the first disc and discreetly pretend that the second disc doesn't exist. (which isn't hard, as ther artwork and credits for TKFC aren't even included)
     
  4. Vintage Season

    Vintage Season Active Member

    Location:
    Hillsborough, NC
    Second disc? I didn't even know there was a second album!

    Having just brushed up on the history of the group via their Wikipedia entry, I am now curious. Okay 93curr, how bad is the second album? Any passing similarity to the music of First Utterance, or how far did they stray?

    - M.
     
  5. aswyth

    aswyth Active Member

    Location:
    LA, CA
    The second album has moments, but it's not as good as the first one at all. "The Complete Collection" is worth it, good notes, good sound and all the Comus you need.
     
  6. 93curr

    93curr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    If Nickelback had a favorite Comus album, it'd be that one.:eek:

    It's not totally unlistenable (although the vocals try my patience), but it's not very good either; just aggressively bland rock music. They strayed pretty far, sadly. (not enough to get on Top Of The Pops though)
     
  7. jsnruf

    jsnruf Member Thread Starter

    :laugh:

    Good to hear that this set has good sound quality though. All previous versions of First Utterance I've heard drove me nuts!
     
  8. zongo

    zongo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    I agree with others that the second album isn't that great. I think I listened to it once or twice when I got this set and then not again since. Still nice to have though.

    Content-wise, the real reason to get the "Song to Comus" 2-CD is (besides the first album) the "Maxi-Single" which I didn't even realize existed before getting this. It's just as good as the first album and adds substantially to that album.

    Just for you, since you asked about sound quality, I just went and did a quick listening comparison of the "Song to Comus" first album to the version put out on Si-Wan records from Korea some years ago. First of all, this album has some oddities of the recording beyond the oddities of the music itself. The vocals just sound kind of weird to me, like they are out of phase with the rest of the music or something I can't quite identify (maybe quavering around in the soundfield or something?). The Sanctuary CD ("Song to Comus") is a little brighter and a little louder than the Si-Wan version; it's not so bright that I find it irritating, and there are some Sanctuary CD's that I do find too bright. The Sanctuary version also has a little more detail than the Si-Wan. Also, I can't quite identify exactly what it is, but the two versions seem to have some kind of a small difference in the soundstage, like maybe the Sanctuary is pushed over toward the right speaker a little bit or something? Under any circumstances, neither version was vastly superior to the other in my very quick spotcheck. Certainly if you can get the Sanctuary version for cheap, I wouldn't dish out a lot of money even to satisfy your curiosity about the sound on the Si-Wan, they are just not that different.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. audiodrome

    audiodrome Well-Known Member

    Location:
    North Of Boston
    Why not just get First Utterance?
     
  10. jsnruf

    jsnruf Member Thread Starter

    Expenses and dubious quality.
     
  11. ChrisM

    ChrisM Vinyl Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    I have a number of Si-Wan CDs and have generally found them to be pretty decent transfers. However, I don't have the Comus album on that label.

    I do have First Utterance on the BGO label. It was released in 1995 and was mastered at SRT in Cambridge. Although no specific mastering engineer is listed, there's a 90% chance that it was done by Nick Watson who was the person that generally did this type of material for the label at the time.

    I have no other version to compare it with but, it always sounded fine to me. I must admit that it's been a while since I gave it a good listen.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  12. ChrisM

    ChrisM Vinyl Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    I just thought that I'd add to my previous post since I've had a chance to give the BGO CD edition a bit of a listen.

    I think that this version is probably done with very little tweeking... if any. If you listen to the beginning of the track Drip Drip, you'll hear tape hiss. So, it looks like there wasn't an attempt to drown out the natural sound from the tapes with noise reduction. Also, there is a part in the same piece (about 7 minutes in) where the bass jumps in with some very dynamic thumb whacks against the strings. This really jumps out of the speakers... and not like it's been modified in the remastering process.

    I've never heard this album in its original vinyl state but, I'm quite pleased with the sound of the transfer onto this CD edition.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  13. zongo

    zongo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    I think a lot of the BGO issues from this time period that were done at SRT sound pretty good. For one example, I think that the versions of the Trees albums on this issue sound better than any other, including the new remasters after direct comparison. I'm not surprised by what you say about the Comus issue.
     
  14. Jeff Carney

    Jeff Carney Fan Of Specifics (No Koolaid)

    Location:
    SF
    I had it and dumped it. Love the album but as I recall the Song To Comus was heavily compressed.

    Still looking for a decent version of this on CD.

    Teichuku Japan 1st press is no-noised. Si-Wan probably is a clone of this one as that is common with CDs they released that were already issued in Japan.

    Arcangelo's Japan mini was a mess. Think it was probably just taken from the Song To Comus version.

    Iirc, the K2 Japan mini was pretty compressed as well.

    Guess I'll have to track down the BGO and hope it's better. Not going to spend the kind of dough this goes for on vinyl.

    If I had to settle for any of those I've heard, I'd probably just live with the Teichiku. Despite the no-noise, at least it isn't compressed.
     
  15. Zephead2112

    Zephead2112 Well-Known Member

    Nice to search the forum and find some discussion around Comus.

    I was first introduced to them through my interest in the Swedish progressive metal band Opeth; Mikael Åkerfeldt is a big fan and Opeth often reference Comus within their own material.

    As for Comus themselves, I was able to track down the original ‘First Utterance’ LP on the Dawn label and subsequently, a 7” promo copy of the Diana maxi-single complete with picture insert and the second LP. Not easy or inexpensive items to find, I can tell you!

    The ‘Complete Collection’ on CD is great for those who have yet to be introduced. That said, I still like hearing the pops and crackles on the original LP as they almost add to the ‘spookiness’ of the music.

    Cheers,

    Keith.
     
  16. I have it, and would say "go for it". As others have said, the sound is decent (haven't listened to it for a while but I don't recall having any issues with it) and it collects pretty much everything in a nice, low-cost package.
     
  17. Scope J

    Scope J Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan
  18. inperson

    inperson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I paid $160 for an original UK vinyl :faint: Most expensive record I ever bought.
     
  19. Mr. H

    Mr. H Forum Resident

    wow. so much hate for the second album. i think its different but has some great stuff on it. so long supernova being kne example.
     
    Summerisle likes this.
  20. Scope J

    Scope J Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan
    Any fondness for Out of the Coma ?
     
    Mr. H likes this.
  21. ChrisM

    ChrisM Vinyl Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Yes, indeed! Even the fairly rough early live recording that makes up the second side. The double live LP recorded in Sweden in 2008 is also worth getting.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
    Scope J likes this.
  22. Scope J

    Scope J Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan
    Winter bump
     
  23. zongo

    zongo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    A few months ago I got the Rise Above Records LP version of "First Utterance" and found it to sound spectacular! I didn't compare directly to CDs, but it sounds really fantastic, and I had never really thought either of the two CD versions I have ("Song To Comus" and a Korean Si-Wan CD) were particularly good. Recommended, and I'm sure it's much cheaper than an original LP.
     
    Plan9 likes this.
  24. Summerisle

    Summerisle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    That 2nd record is flawed but damn it has some gems and kicks butt on some tunes. Don't deny it. Buy it!
     
    Mr. H likes this.
  25. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    Get the 2 CD comp
     
    Mr. H likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page