Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DesertChaos, Sep 20, 2019.
I did read somewhere it was part of the plans with Esoteric
It would fit the profile. Plenty of interesting sounds for a Surround mix, plenty of live recordings and BBC sessions.
Come to think of it....... yeah I'm going to say it.... As much as I want Drastic Plastic - and I want it VERY badly - I'd pretty much die if they did a Red Noise box. Damn I love that record.
I had 'Tremulous Antenna', my memory of that CD was over-compressed, and easily surpassed in quality by both the 'At The BBC' and this 'MM' boxed set, however I agree that this third official CD release was an unnecessary filler for the 'MM' boxed set, as it appears to be exactly the same master used for 'At The BBC'.
I believe you need to reassess your opinion of the Chicago 'bootleg', which is an off-air radio broadcast, and is a long way from a "70s audience recording". This recording has been widely bootlegged over the years, it would have been better if the 'MM' boxed set had access to the radio station master, however this official release is the best version of this off-air radio broadcast I've heard.
I agree that these two CDs were ill-considered "deluxe" additions for the boxed set.
The remixes were never intended to differ from the original mixes. Their purpose was to re-create the original music by accessing the detail of the multi-track tapes. The previous two remixes, especially the 24-bit versions, were clear improvements to these ears, however I agree that is less obvious with 'MM', which may be more of a compliment to the original recording, mixing and mastering process.
Music aside, the 'MM' boxed set does feel less essential than the previous two, in terms of overall package, and I hope the following boxed sets do not just re-package existing officially released material or lower quality recordings.
I didn't buy At The BBC as I had no real problem with the previous two BBC releases in my collection. That may have been an error on my part if it is as much of an upgrade as you say. Its release coincided with my feeling that at around 80 albums I had achieved peak Nelson with Songs of the Blossom Tree Optimists.
I still mainly listen to BBD and the run of amazing releases he put out between apx 1995 and 2005 that spanned Crimsworth to Alchemical Adventures. It was an extraordinary burst of mid life creativity that also saw him touring with a band again. It was a strange band but a good one. There was at least one Grammy contender in that run of releases too if there had been a label with a vested interest to make it happen. We could talk all day about the self-limiting nature of his business model and how that hurt his ability to build a new audience but future generations will marvel at a lot of the music he produced. After 2005 there were diminishing returns for me and by 2013 I figured I had done my bit.
Anyway ... I have played the Chicago cd again this morning and still can't believe it is a radio recording. I will persevere with it but my bar as to what counts as acceptable audio quality in a commercial release has certain risen in recent years. I go back to bootlegs I used to adore by other artists and even though I am no audiophile I can't imagine how I listened around the sheer amount of dirt and general disturbance. Then again my hearing has become much more sensitive since I turned 50.
I think that's fair enough, but it's worth noting that in recent years a whole plethora of releases have come out that aren't a slave to audiophile concerns. I'm thinking of, say, the King Crimson box sets. Some of the live material in those is just terribly recorded, everything that can go wrong has gone wrong with some of it. Yet as I've grown older, I've become able to tune out the flaws, the flutter, the lack (or too much) bass, the vocals waving in an out (or hardly making an appearance) and to really get into the moment. I guess I'm the reverse of yourself. I prefer professional recordings, of course - but less than that can have some fine moments too.
I will confess that I had hoped that the Chicago recording on the boxed set would be sourced from the broadcast master, however the 'bootleg' label on the official release was a warning of its limitations. The off-air broadcast is audience-effects heavy, and I can see why you think it lacks the quality you would expect from a professional radio station.
I share your lack of enthusiasm for audience recordings. Most of them are utter rubbish and down-loaders are far too polite to speak the truth, in case they put off those who take the time to make the clandestine recordings and upload the music files. I used to grab many more audience recordings years and years ago, but came to realise that they were generally poor and distracting from the official studio and live releases. Very few of them warranted a second play, so I stopped downloading them. The main problem is the lack of candid opinions on the sound quality of audience recordings, as they all seem to rate themselves as "very good" or "excellent". Most are average at best.
Back to BBD. I hope the future releases are not held prisoner by the format of the three boxed sets so far, do not continue to compromise the additional material, and make the boxed set premium prices appear as poor value for the avid fan. If 'Axe Victim' is next, it'll be interesting to see what the third and fourth boxed set discs contain. I am not aware of any quality live recordings from this period. Their first BBC session is only available in bootleg/off-air quality and the second BBC session is already on the 'At The BBC' official release. I hope my pessimism is misplaced!
I struggle with this a little. As you hint, there probably isn't a whole lot of "found" stuff for Axe Victim that we've never heard in some form or other. I wouldn't be surprised if they simply axed (sic) a disc and made it a smaller set.
That said, I'd like them to include some bootleg stuff if they deem it worthy. I see these boxes as a way to celebrate the band, the period, and the moment. So I actually prefer them to do that even if the sound is poor. As long as they're honest about what you're getting. The 2-disc sets are for those that don't want this type of material, imo.
I played the "bootleg" disc this evening, and honestly, I find myself at odds with some of you. It's actually really good quality, and not especially "audience-effect" heavy (if I'm understanding that term correctly). Compared to the live shows in say, King Crimson's Larks box, this thing is audiophile quality.
The performance itself is pretty good, but Charlie is a little... excited, but hey that was how it went down.
Nice little disc to include, I think. Note that I've never heard the concert before, as I wasn't one to grab bootlegs. I'm surprised at how good this is, and how good it sounds after earlier comments.
My clumsy attempt to put words to my thoughts may have failed. I was trying to explain that by mixing in too much of the audience-effects microphones, the mix can become messier, the drums more distant, and the overall feel can sound more like an audience recording. I believe this Chicago recording was originally quite a good one, however it does suffer in three ways. One, the audience-effects are left too high throughout the mix (by contrast, you can hear the BBC concert recording rather clumsily mixing the audience up and down at the start and end of each song). Two, having heard this official release and previous bootlegs, it's clear that too much noise and hiss reduction (tell-tale "lisping" on high frequencies and "thin" sounding crowd sounds) was applied to the source recording before this official release put back some more middle and bottom end into the master. Three, it's an off-air recording, with the limitations of FM broadcast compression apparent. Putting aside all of that, it's a worthwhile partner to the BBC recording, with the band in a much rockier mode.
Thanks for the clarity, it's just as likely that I was too stupid to understand your point.
Since I'd never heard it before, it's likely it colors my opinion. I admit, I am happy when bootlegs are brought into the official discography. Yes people may have heard it before, but a bootleg is a bootleg.
When bringing them into the official discography, I guess the labels have decisions to make, especially when it comes to changes. I've been buying the Tangerine Dream Bootleg series of releases (12 discs worth, thus far), and honestly some of them are worse quality than this one. My only complaint with the BBD "bootleg" is that it doesn't have Modern Music content, although I guess that's what the BBC gig does.....
The bootleg is actually from the Sunburst Finish tour and theoretically should have been included with that set.
However, I'm grateful to have it no matter how I got it!
Yeah, that is kinda weird they included it in the MM box instead of the SF box but no big deal anyway because it's been available for many many years already.
It's been available on the black market apparently, but not officially. I know a lot of people don't make the distinction, but for me it's an important one. I don't expect commercial releases to compete with the piracy community. I am however grateful to the people who made the recordings as the performances could have been lost forever without them.
Note that this recording has nothing to do with "piracy" per se. Piracy is when someone takes an officially released recording & sells it themselves as such. This was a "bootleg", a recording of a previously UNRELEASED item. Although one I never saw for sale anywhere as a bootleg, it is one I got multiple times in the old tape trading days, then I mastered it myself to CDR for sharing digitally with other fans & I've seen other digitized versions out there being shared/traded as well - as "bootleg" if you want to give it a name, but one that no one (not to my knowledge but I would not put it past someone to try to profit off it illicitly) actually made $$$ on.
Now that this has been officially released though (as part of this boxset) it does now cross over into piracy waters, rather than the more "innocent" bootleg sharing community, and sites like one I cannot name here for example will ban sharing of since it is now considered an official release and ethically against their rules of fan sharing only non-released material.
The word "bootleg" is an over used term. Unofficial recording is a better way to describe what we're talking about here.
Dear Cherry Red Record execs that are reading this post...
PLEEEEEZ make our day by announcing an expanded/remastered
LIVE! In the Air Age deluxe box
I agree. That would be awesome. A full set from Sept and Oct from Scottland and England were the same but killer otherwise.
Life in the Air Age
Orphans of Babylon
Maid in Heaven
Bring Back the Spark
Kiss of Light
Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape
Ships in the Night
The Modern Music Suite
Down on Terminal Street
IMO the Modern Music songs are much better when played live. Twilight Capers is SICK!!
Without the fade on Blazing Apostles too..... When did the version of Shine on the EP with the album get recorded then??
No offense, but that seems to be a distinction without a difference.
Bootlegs have indeed taken money from the pockets of artists over the years. On the other hand, without people recording these things we'd of lost some great moments and performances. I'm glad the bootleggers did their thing recording concerts, but the line between that and piracy as we know it today is a thin one, imo.
Huge difference between bootlegging and piracy.
For piracy examples, look at the popular box sets coming out of China that sell for a fraction of regular cost on eBay. Bootlegging of unreleased live shows is a completely different animal, albeit no less illegal. I was at a record show years ago that was busted for this very reason, bootlegs. Buys were made by the Feds during the show, then the place was shut down. Us customers were unceremoniously escorted out while the sellers remained behind.
Some artists do in fact compete with bootleggers by beating them to the punch, or at least officially releasing the content. King Crimson is an excellent example.
I accept you have a different view. I still say it's a distinction without a difference. Meaning, they may have different methods, but in the end of the day they're very similar things.
I'm grateful for those who recorded the bootlegs, and even to those that shared the material to an extent. But when it comes to people selling bootlegs, then it's a fine line, imo. They're not the same, but they're not so different.
Still, thank goodness bootleggers did what they did.
I've listened to BBD since the 70s. Just the stereo remix is crazy good. I will get the 5.1 and send the stereo mixes to my old girlfriend. She doesn't deserve any better!
Here's to coming releases. Looking forward to Drastic Plastic and Live in the Air Age. In many ways my favorite BBD album is Live in the Air Age. Very few bands put out such great live product.
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