SH Spotlight A few angry (but sort of funny) notes people sent me about my mastering work, imagined defects.....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 2, 2013.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    We used to get returns all the time at DCC (all record companies do), mostly defects in packaging, etc. but the returns of an "aesthetic nature" usually hit my desk with an enclosed note from the record store or distributor explaining why the customer returned the product. a few just cracked me up. Why?

    Well, I've often told the story of the DCC Gold CD of the Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus" and how a customer angrily returned it to the store (who returned it to the distributor who returned it to DCC where it landed right on my desk). The note enclosed said (and I quote, since I still have it with the disk that I'm playing right now):

    "Midrange vibration and buzzing on track 5, right side."

    Now, track 5 is "CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND" and the midrange "vibration and buzzing" is of course the bass viol being bowed, a great part of the song.

    That really threw me for a loop and so I started a collection of little interesting reasons that people returned product over the years.

    Here are a few more, right from the actual notes about WHY they were returned to the store:

    DCC Gold CD/Steve Miller Band "Greatest Hits":

    "Songs too long."

    DCC Gold CD/Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd "Jazz Samba":

    "Music too quiet, cannot hear it."

    DCC Gold CD/Joni Mitchell/"Court And Spark":

    "Unacceptable. Joni sounds weak and out of tune on this album."

    DCC Gold CD/Van Halen:

    "Return, too much bass."

    DCC Gold CD/The Eagles "Hotel California":

    "Not like I remembered it as a kid."

    DCC Gold CD/Bob Dylan "Highway 61 Revisited":

    "The sound gives me a headache."

    DCC 180 Gram LP/Jefferson Airplane "Surrealistic Pillow"

    "Worst sounding LP I've ever heard!"

    (Well, that could be true, but ours was the best of the worst.)

    DCC Gold CD/Paul McCartney And Wings "At The Speed Of Sound":

    "Dreadful album, dreadful sound."

    DCC Gold CD/Wes Montgomery "Goin' Out Of My Head":

    "Guitar totally out of tune, not that way on my LP."

    DCC Gold CD/Art Pepper with Miles Davis' Rhythm Section "Gettin' Together":

    "Saxophone player is not playing correctly. Too many sour notes."

    DCC Gold CD/Elvis Presley "Elvis Is Back":

    "This record has too much reverberation on it, Elvis is singing in a shower."

    And so on. I am skipping the "headphone people" and their numerous "I CAN HEAR A SPLICE AT 2:23 ON TRACK THREE!" return notes.

    I'll spare you the rest or I can post more if you want. I can laugh now but back then I seriously doubted people were in their right mind..

    A few more:

    DCC Gold CD/Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans "Know What I Mean?":

    "Starts off too quiet and goes too loud."

    DCC Gold CD/Badfinger "Straight Up":

    "Drums completely distorted on all tracks".

    DCC Gold CD/The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds":

    "Return: This music is in mono."

    DCC Gold CD/Phoebe Snow:

    "This album is too long".

    DCC Gold CD/Roy Orbison "The All-Time Greatest Hits":

    "This claims to be his greatest hits but it isn't".

    DCC Gold CD/Erich Wolfgang Korngold "Music From The Golden Age Of Motion Pictures":

    "This is not the original music, this is stereo remake."

    DCC Gold CD/Judy Garland "Live At Carnegie Hall":

    "Not the original album, this is a fake."

    DCC Gold CD/The Doors "Strange Days":

    "This entire album is off speed."

    DCC Gold CD/Deep Purple "Made In Japan":

    "Return-This is the same album that was released on Warner Bros."

    Those of you who work in music retail or at a record company, do you have any funny "return" stories?
  2. dwmann

    dwmann Well-Known Member

    Houston TX
    These are great! Can you post some more?
  3. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    When I was a student I used to work in a record store to earn some money, and I'll never forget having to deal with certain clients and their "complaints". One guy came in and insisted on returning the CD because he claimed the same song would play over and over again. We played it in the store and it played fine, so he decided to take it back and give it another go. Turns out he had set the "replay" option without realizing it, and could not figure out why the same song would play over and over again. That little tidbit is just the tip of the icerberg unfortunately when it comes to people I had the "pleasure" of serving.
  4. lee59

    lee59 Member Envy

    Temecula, CA
    audiomixer likes this.
  5. old school

    old school Senior Member

    Hell on this site you get some strange one's?
  6. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Senior Member

    Arizona desert
    "songs too long", I love it.
  7. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    UFB. Some of those comments are funny. Songs too long? Yeah.......OK!:rolleyes:. Obviously, that person never bought the album/CD in the first place.
  8. johnnypaddock

    johnnypaddock Senior Member

    Merrimack Valley
    That is hilarious!
  9. Myke

    Myke Trying Not To Spook The Horse

    Audio Fidelity - Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel

    Sound way too lifelike. I can hear her inhale and exhale between words. Why get me this excited ? I'll never meet Linda Ronstadt !!! I blame YOU for this !
  10. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Forum Resident

    British Columbia
    I find all of Steve Miller's songs too long too.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I think they were possibly expecting the short single edits and I gave them the album versions. Maybe. Or maybe the songs ARE too long..
  12. To be fair, the Capitol release of Greatest Hits 1974-1978 used the 45 edits of a few songs, whereas the DCC release of the same title used the full LP versions. So if you bought the LP or the original release of the CD, the songs on the DCC were indeed longer than what you were used to.
    stevenson66g, Purple, AidanB and 9 others like this.
  13. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Handsome, Humble, Genius

    Not a complaint but your Highway 61 Revisited was the reason I found this site. I never noticed the drop out on Like A Rolling Stone before so I did a search for it on the web and it brought me here. Great sounding CD, I am listening to it now.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
    zebop and DmitriKaramazov like this.
  14. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    One of the reasons I picked up the DCC(besides better sound), was the album versions. Rare at the time for album cuts on GH discs.
    steeler1979 likes this.
  15. bresna

    bresna Senior Member

    York, Maine
    When I visited Mosaic Records a few years back, they had a bunch of customer return reasons posted on the office walls. Several had me busting a gut laughing. One of the ones I remember went something like, "I bought box set but cannot play it because I don't have a CD player". :)
  16. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    East Yorkshire
    Great thread!!!! And Steve, yes please do post more some of these are hilarious!
  17. walrus

    walrus Staring into nothing

    Why do these people never send these messages to major record labels every time they brickwall a McCartney or Dream Theater or [insert artist here] album?
    eyeCalypso, AidanB, Chooke and 4 others like this.
  18. xj32

    xj32 Forum Resident

    Racine, WI
    I worked at a number of record stores in the late 80's and early 90's and then became the manager of a used CD store in the mid-90's. One of my favorite return complaints was when CD's which of course were supposed to be "pure and clean digital sound" were returned because they had scratches on them that the customer could hear as the cd played.

    Now the funny part was that 90% of the time these cds were from jazz "audiophiles" returning cds from jazz and big band artists that were originally recorded in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's...sessions that were originally cut direct to disk. :rolleyes::sigh::agree::rolleyes:
  19. Schoolmaster Bones

    Schoolmaster Bones Senior Member

    ‎The Midwest
    I'm pretty sure if you buy a Joni Mitchell CD and put it on, Joni Mitchell's voice is gonna come out the speakers. There's no mastering engineer in the world that can do anything about that.
  20. arthurprecarious

    arthurprecarious Forum Resident

    North East England
    Quite a few years ago I was in a store and a young woman was flicking through The Beatles albums and exclaimed "Oh No! Have Wings split up!?"
  21. sixelsix

    sixelsix Forum Resident

    memphis, tn, usa
    Steve, the dude should have complained about Miller's tendency to, um, appropriate certain pre-existing riffs for his own use. (i.e., All Right Now becoming Rock N'Me, Crossroads becoming Jet Airliner, etc.) Surely you had a hand in this! And why oh why did you ever let him use his falsetto? So much to answer for.
    George Lyons, Fullbug, Zeki and 2 others like this.
  22. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Ok, who is the meathead whom said the DCC of Van Halen has too much bass? Tell him/her to turn the subwoffer off. Gosh, if the DCC has too much bass...go grab the old Warner disc, which is very anemic sounding by comparison.
  23. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Yeah, all of those discs really sucked...not!
  24. quadjoe

    quadjoe Senior Member

    Very funny, Steve. It is amazing what people will say when returning merchandise. I never worked in a record store, so I don't have anything to add to the thread. (I could tell stories about returns I got while working for B. Dalton Booksellers, but that'd be off topic.) I love reading this stuff, please post more when you have some time. :)
  25. Mike in OR

    Mike in OR Through Middle-earth...onto Heart of The Sunrise

    Portland, Oregon
    Too funny, thanks for posting this Steve.
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