Cherry Red's butchered mastering job on best of Lieutenant's Pigeon CD

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Maxell-LN, Oct 20, 2012.

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  1. Maxell-LN

    Maxell-LN Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm currently compiling my 70s digital library, and so in this sense, ones bound to come across some rather questionable acts such as Lieutenant's Pigeon, but yeah, come on, it was the seventies after all. I'm buying all my music from CD, because I like to have originals in my collection, and if I can't buy the CD, I'll buy a lossless copy if possible. I'm trying to get every 70s song that charted in Australia's top 40, whether it's great or the biggest piece of smooch out there.

    Recently on my radio station I decided to play an entire top 20 countdown from a week in September 1974. I had every single from that countdown on CD, except for this Lieutenant's Pigeon, the track in particular; "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen".

    This brings me to my recent purchase, the Best of Lieutenant's Pigeon, which was recently put out by Cherry Red, a record label whose products have been met with mixed reactions. This was the comp I just bought.

    The CD arrived in my box last Thursday, and this evening I ripped the shrinkwrap off and started extracting the tracks I liked into my digital collection. I started processing the songs for normalising the volumes, adding clean fades at the ends, and etc. When playing through my Philips monitors it sounded, ummm, yeah, really hollow. I thought at first, this was a novelty act, most probably a very ad-hock recording affair.

    I then pulled up the spectrum bar in Sony's Sound Forge to see with horror again that the track I was working on was mastered from a....... MP3...... absolutely wonderful. I thought it might of been the one track. Never mind. I could most probably find this track on another compilation.

    I proceeded onto opening up the other three tracks I ripped, and your kidding me, the whole compilation has been mastered from MP3. Cherry Red, thank you for such a butchered job, this is an absolute downright disgrace.

    In the past, I've come past the issue of selected tracks on compilations being mastered from MP3s, but now we have whole compilations. So now I'm wondering, people within the record industry now assume we can't hear the difference, and expect the rest of us to make do with this junk format.

    Down below are screen shots of the spectral anaylists from Soundforge.




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  2. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member

    Sickening !
  3. Maxell-LN

    Maxell-LN Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yep, they look like 128's.
  4. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Reopened by request

    I haven't done the spectral analysis (mainly because I don't know what I'm looking at) but I have at least two Rev-ola/Cherry Red discs that sound that way - Lori Burton Breakout and The Cake - More of the Cake Please.

    The Cake sounds especially bad, like an mp3 made from an off-center heavily worn vinyl LP.

    Almost $20 each I paid. :shake:
  5. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Lieutenant Pigeon's big hits ('....Kathleen' amongst them) were released on Decca in the UK so would be owned by the infamous Universal now....wonder if this Cherry Red release is as it is due to Universal (AFAIK) refusing to license out any material to anyone who intend on producing less than 20000 copies?
  6. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    new zealand
    Cherry Red are really the worst 'legit' label I have ever come across. They routinely use marginal sources which are then diabolically 'cleaned-up' resulting in almost comically abysmal sound quality.
    Boycott them, that's my advice.
  7. Mmmm...I'm rethinking that Hot Legs compilation that's coming out next month. 7T's (a division of Cherry Red) did a good job on the 10cc reissues a couple of years back.

    Did you complain to them about the title?
  8. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    new zealand
    When they do a 'good job' it's usually because they lift someone else's mastering!
  9. Colin Allstations

    Colin Allstations Forum Resident

    Anyone got the Win 'Freaky Trigger' reissue on Cherry Pop? Unlikely, but I thought I'd ask just in case.
  10. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Thanks for the warning. Cherry Red = bad.
  11. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    They did a great job on the Frazier Chorus-"Sue" re-issue
  12. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Its amazing how one bad egg spoils the whole basket. If its company policy to allow any old crap onto their CDs, count me out.
  13. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    I think I agree on this, the DR is exactly the same as the original issued "Sue" cd, The b-sides DR are a little better, probably lifted from the CD singles
  14. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Mysphere 3.2.

    .....and add a similar subsidiary Lemon. Never was there a more apt name.
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  15. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Sounds like some of these are right down there with (UK) Hallmark CDs!
  16. No in this case it was specifically mastered by Tim Turan for 7T's. Lemon has done a crappy job with their reissues but, in the case of the 7T's reissues for 10cc they are pretty good and not remastered from needle drops nor are they copies of other remasters.
  17. He's done some good work. While I don't doubt that Cherry Red has turned out some crap product, Turan's been contracted by the label for certain releases and done a good job on those he's worked on.

    The most recent album he worked on for them was an Ian Hunter release listed at Turan's website. It sounds pretty good.
  18. Maxell-LN

    Maxell-LN Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The first disc I got from Cherry Red was "The circle and the square" which though had some limiting, wasn't too bad. This was around 2009. I then bought Princess self titled album from 1986, originally released on Teldec in 1986, then Cherry red in 2009. It was somewhat brickwalled, I was a little annoyed, but it was better then my vinyl copy. I then bought other albums from other 80s artists including Rick Astley, and Smokie (7Ts). All with varying degrees of compression and brickwalling, but it was better then having nothing. I then got Belouis Some's "Some People", and discovered that it was ripped from vinyl, which was again annoying, but then again better then nothing.

    This Lieutenant Pigeon CD now though has definitely turned me right off Cherry Red, they seem to be the most tardy out of the re-issue companies out there, more to the point to not giving a toss. At first they didn't seem to bad, but over the years they have simply become appalling.

    I've bought many of these CDs off ebay, so in many cases I don't know the label until the day I get the disc in my letterbox. I'll definitely be taking more note of the labels now.

    Yes, I'll be doing that, it be interesting to see how they reply (if they reply at all).
  19. utenteanonimo64

    utenteanonimo64 Well-Known Member

    They massacred The Colourfierd Virgins And Philistines, which is one of my favourite albums ever, to the level that they chopped 20 seconds from one of the songs.
  20. BKarloff

    BKarloff Forum Resident

    I bought the Lemon CD re-release of Vinegar Joe's 6 Star General album. I was horrified when I played it on my system. The whole thing was a crackly vinyl rip, with absolutely no effort made to clean up the sound at all.

    Any label using vinyl rips or mp3s as its source should be boycotted. I wonder if anyone from Cherry Red reads this forum as I would love to hear a justification for this!

  21. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Unfortunately there are instances where tapes can't be located, cannot be salvaged or are known not to exist. In terms of a 'court of last resort' I don't necessarily have a problem with having a CD release of such material be taken from records IF great care is taken to find the best copies of the records possible, and the transfers and restorations from them are also done painstakingly well.

    The CD packaging should clearly state that the content is transferred and restored from records in the absence of proper master tapes.

    (IIRC early releases of Rhino's NUGGETS series contain the occasional clean 45 transfers when tapes couldn't be located in time. This is clearly stated on their packaging.

    When in later years tapes surfaced for some of the tracks the CDs were temporarily withdrawn, then remastered and re-released with the needle drops replaced with transfers from the newly-found tapes.)
  22. This seems to be SOP for Cherry Red. I recall a few years ago they put out a reissue of Whirlpool by shoegazers Chapterhouse, and about half of it was mastered from MP3s. In this case the stink raised by fans pushed them to go back and do it right. Apparently the botch job was a "mistake", but who knows?
  23. I agree. "6 Star General" was pretty inexcusable as well since it HAD a CD release before which wasn't sourced (as far as I can tell) from vinyl so there was a tape somewhere...whether it was the original mastertape or a dub I can't say.

    They are hit-and-miss with some fine sounding ones in the past (the 10cc reissues remastered by Tim Turan for their 7T's reissue label), to fair (the Stealer's Wheel CDs sound pretty decent overall although of the two I have I can't say what the source was but at least for the self titled it doesn't sound like ripped vinyl to me) to bad (some of the titles mentioned already).

    I've pretty much avoided the Lemon imprint for the reasons mentioned.
  24. Alan2

    Alan2 Forum Resident

    See also: Rock n Roll Gipsies.:shake:
  25. I doubt anyone from Cherry Red reads forums like this or cares.

    What's odd is that sometimes they get it right or use decent sources (the RPM label for example and some of the 7T's titles) and others they get it wrong (some of the Grapefruit releases for example and the other titles mentioned).

    It's really hit and miss with them. I mean what ultimately determines IF they decide to do a CD sourced from an mp3, vinyl, tapes, mastertapes, etc?

    Do they just accept whatever the label is willing to give them and don't complain? I mean they are paying money to license it.
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