Elvis Costello on Rhino--time to reevaluate?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by edb15, Oct 10, 2007.

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  1. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    They're on digipaks and are clones of the first discs of the Rhino 2CD sets. Only bonus tracks are 'Watching The Detectives' on 'My Aim Is True', 'Radio Radio' on 'This Year's Model' and 'Peace Love & Understanding' on 'Armed Forces.'

    'Taking Liberties'/'Ten Bloody Marys And Ten How's Your Fathers' and 'Out Of Our Idiot' are not included in the reissue program, so all those non-LP singles are currently OOP.
     
  2. Marry a Carrot

    Marry a Carrot Interesting blues gets a convincing reading.

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, there have been quite a few used Rhinos at Amoeba. I saw My Aim Is True, King of America, and All This Useless Beauty there today. But I think RoyalScam's point wasn't that they're hard to find now but rather that they may be hard to find in the near future. I've actually seen some signs that supply of the Rhino Get Happy!! is already drying up.

    Not quite all of them, since two are on Hip-O's two-disc My Aim Is True and several others are on the Rock and Roll Music compilation.
     
  3. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    By the way, it's worth mentioning that all the Ryko CDs have very entertaining liner notes written by EC. It's not going to mean much to the average listener, but for completists, it's something unique to the Rykos.

    Yes, the Rhinos have their own, newer EC notes, which are great, but my perception is that the Ryko notes are funnier. This is one of my favorite excerpts, from the Ryko Goodbye Cruel World notes:

    "Our second guest was Daryl Hall who added some effortless high harmonies to the chorus. He was also adored by the camera during the shooting of the accompanying "Win a Date with Elvis and The Attractions" video ... Daryl made the rest of us look as if we had just crawled out of a hedge. My humour wasn't helped by the record company representative shrieking at the make-up girl: 'Make him look handsome' as I was about to go under the pancake. Ah! The Eighties."
     
  4. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA
    I actually very much agree. The Rhino notes are by comparison rather placid.

    I actually just bought the Japanese F-Beat KING OF AMERICA CD today, R32-1042, after reading this thread, $25. Seems they can be had. I'll be interested to see how it sounds - as others have said here before, no guarantee the Japanese F-Beat even used the same mastering as the German F-Beat, though I certainly hope so based on the comments here.

    In my experience, yer pays yer money and yer takes yer chances with Japanese CDs, including early ones. Some sound amazing, others yecch. Worst sounding pop CD in my collection may be the Toshiba Black Triangle of WINGS' GREATEST, and I had to pay a fair amount of money for the privilege of making my ears bleed...
     
  5. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

    Where does "Ten Bloody Marys..." fit into this? That was put out in 1986. I've always liked the sound of it as it seems fairly close to the records. It's not loud and doesn't seem heavily eq'ed.
     
  6. RJL2424

    RJL2424 Forum Resident

    This is because the licensing deal with Rhino expired back in early 2007, and Elvis Costello cut a new licensing deal with Hip-O (UMG/UMe's reissue division) to reissue the albums. According to the Elvis Costello website, the new, currently in-print Hip-O reissues of the Elvis Costello material allegedly use the same mastering which was prepared for the Rhinos.
     
  7. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Does this hold true for Mighty Like A Rose, Brutal Youth and Kojak Variety as well? Maybe All This Useless Beauty too?
     
  8. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    I'll reserve the right to change my opinion after further listening... but I just took a tour through my three different King Of America CDs:

    Demon (FIEND CD 78)
    Ryko (RCD 20281)
    Rhino (R2 74642)

    I wasn't really looking at which version was which as I switched between them in iTunes, so it was semi-blind. It was obvious that one of them was worse than the other two; that turned out to me the Ryko: trebley and brittle. Despite all the Ryko comments, I was suprised by the difference. I think it would fare well enough on its own, but it lost pretty badly in the comparison.

    The Demon and Rhino have their charms. I personally really liked the Rhino. It had more definition and was more open and natural. It is louder but really didn't seem very compressed. The Demon is just more mellow, and so that quality compares nicely to the Rhino in the spots where things (especially EC's voice) get a little maxed-out. The Demon was good, but I just liked the Rhino a little more.

    One more thing: I'm now very interested to hear the Rhino Get Happy!! I have the Demon and Ryko versions, and the difference is night and day. The Ryko, again, is treble-crazy, but to me it sure sounds like a better source than the Demon, which seems pretty muddy by comparison.
     
  9. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I could post a 30 second sample of one of the tracks off the German version.

    Of course the one Demon I don't have is King Of America because it seemed a little excessive to get that one! It would be interesting to do a comparison between that and the F-Beat as, for all I know. they may be the same mastering.

    I may have to pull out all my Demons and Rhinos and do some careful comparisons! In general though I agree with the observations that the Rhinos are brighter as a result of a boost in the upper midrange and that (at least some of) the Rhinos are louder as the result of limiting being applied at the mastering stage (although a fairly modest amount of limiting by "modern standards").

    As for the "Demon CDs" well, for anyone who isn't clear on this: Demon was a UK label started by Jake Riviera (Costello's former manager), Andrew Lauder (formerly of the UK Warner Bros) and Elvis Costello, in 1980. It was started at the same time as F-Beat (which was set up mainly to service Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and related projects). Demon still exists but it was sold in 1998 so therefore Costello has no connection to it anymore. F-Beat was disbanded after 1987 when Costello's US contract with Columbia expired and he then signed a worldwide deal with Warner Bros. F-Beat only came into existence as a result of a legal battle in late 1979/early 1980 between Riviera, Lauder, Costello and Warner Bros which came about as a result of the breakdown of the original licensing deal between them for the rights to Costello and Nick Lowe's recordings outside of the USA.
     
  10. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    The only CD version of that album is the original Demon issue. The mastering style on there is the same as on the other old Demon CDs, so if you like that you would probably like them. Ditto for Out of Our Idiot.
     
  11. riknbkr330

    riknbkr330 Forum Resident

    Listening to it right now. Sounds fantastic. Really tight drums and bass during "Crawling to the USA". I compared "Girls Talk" with the Ryko copy on "Get Happy" and it isn't so muddy and mushy...I don't know how to better describe it.
     
  12. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    So Cal, USA
    I once saw about a dozen used copies of "The Juliet Letters" there, all for $8.99. That was bizarre.

    Uh oh. That's the best reissue of the lot!

    If anyone here is having second thoughts about picking up a Rhino, start with "Get Happy!!" It's worth it for the 30 bonus tracks alone.
     
  13. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    The Rhino Get Happy!! seems long gone and is selling used on Amazon for $40 or so. OTOH, Amazon still has a handful of other Rhinos new for $13, such as Armed Forces, Trust, and Imperial Bedroom.
     
  14. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    In my listening tonight, I compared "Watching The Detectives" on Ten Bloody Marys and Girls, Girls, Girls. Very similar (both are Demon issues), but the one on Girls sounded just a little better. (I was kinda expecting them to sound the same.)
     
  15. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    So Cal, USA
    And the "50 Great Hits" mock sticker on "Get Happy!!" annoyed me slightly. It should have been just that: a sticker.
     
  16. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    So Cal, USA
    Agreed on the Ryko KOA. I got the vinyl a while back and was astonished at the difference. The Ryko KOA has always sounded thin and icy to me.

    If you think the Ryko sounds like a better source, just wait until you hear the Rhino. It was so striking that I'm still trying to get used to the difference. I thought the Rhino was loaded with NR until someone here told me that it was just sourced from a higher generation master tape.
     
  17. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC

    Uhh. Sandoval said himself that there was no limiting involved with these issues.

    Nothing against you Vice, but I don't understand how we've had some of the people who worked on the music we love tell us things that some people on this board say just ain't so. They may prefer the older pressing, but not for the reasons they think.

    Frankly it's a little embarrassing how some here have chased away the people who have actually been involved with the music directly because they simply don't believe what they're told.
     
  18. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I know what he said, I read it at the time. But I've looked at the waveforms for the Rhino Get Happy and they sure look limited to me. I used to maintain that Get Happy wasn't limited until another board member insisted that I compare it to the UK vinyl. Anyway, I didn't say the Rhinos were bad, I'm just making some observations.

    Same thing's happened with other recent remasters of certain artists. People involved said that tapes were mastered flat with no limiting, but it aint necessarily so. I'm thinking in particular of the recent Split Enz remasters.

    Besides, Gabe, did you read Steve Hoffman's comments about which are the Elvis Costello CDs to get, back on Page 1?
     
  19. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Yes, very non-specific. I'd like to know if he's actually compared the Demons to the rhinos. I'd be curious to know if he did.
     
  20. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    So Cal, USA
    I agree.
     
  21. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

    Thanks that's my take on it too. Looking back through the thread I have to figure that Ten Bloody Marys lumps in with all of the other Demon issues. Anyone reading this thread really aught to jump on that CD since it's one of the more readily available Costello 1986 Demons.
     
  22. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    True on all counts. That's what I meant by "get them now"...once they're gone, they're gone, as in "no longer being manufactured".

    Here's a good place to see the differences between all of the releases, BTW...

    Elvis Costello Reissues (formerly "Elvis Costello on Rhino"
     
  23. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

    Thanks. I love Ten Bloody Marys and am glad I hung on to it. Just in terms of format the bonus tracks on the Rykos and Rhinos never replaced my fondness for having those tracks all in one place. But thanks for confirming that it's similar in sound to the other Demons.
     
  24. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Because they hit digital zero? Did you compare actual dynamic range?
     
  25. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Yep. Plus, it makes no sense to have ringwear on a CD booklet. They shoud have replaced that with fake pockmark and hub damage from the jewel box.
     
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