1. This day in history: January 12, 2002. 9:49 AM, California time. The Steve Hoffman Music Forums officially launched with this thread. Thank you for 20 years of music, discussion, and great memories! Join our "Thank You!" thread, and we'll see you in the forum!
    Dismiss Notice

Elvis Costello on Rhino--time to reevaluate?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Please delete

    Actually it's the opposite - the closer the tape is to the source, the lower the generation. A low generation tape would have less hiss than a high generation tape. Therefore, the Rhino was sourced from a lower generation tape.
  2. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Davis, CA, USA
    There are many instances where someone works on a particular reissue, does their best with it and does a quality job, and then afterwards it is futzed with by someone else. I believe this happened for example with a Fats Waller CD I have, A HANDFUL OF KEYS, where our esteemed host did the mastering initially and then the label gave it to someone else for "sonic restoration" including heavy noise reduction that completely screwed it up. I own the CD and can tell you it is definitely a disaster due to heavy use of NR that was applied by someone else, after Steve's mastering. See this thread:


    So the point is - Mr. Sandoval may be telling the truth as he knows it, and yet it's possible he could still be wrong if something like this occurred. Ultimately, I trust my ears, not what I read.
  3. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    So Cal, USA
    Oh, okay. I wasn't sure what the term was.
  4. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Except that he was at the mastering session. It's great and right to trust your ears, but your preference for other issues might not be because the rhino tapes were futzed.

    I tend to believe Sandoval - particularly because i find the rhinos better than any other versions vinyl or otherwise.

    It must be frustrating to be someone like Sandoval, come here, state something and then have others doubt it. He was there, we were not.
  5. nail75

    nail75 Well-Known Member

    You know, I have never ever seen a "Demon"-Elvis Costello CD of the original albums here in Germany. Not once.
  6. My impression as well was that initially the Rhinos were prefered here. :confused:
  7. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    I've ordered several Costello Demons (;)), including two from German sellers...
  8. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Not anymore...there's been some revisionist history.

    Despite the man in charge of the project stating the original tapes were used and no compression/wonky eq applied, many here feel that's not true:rolleyes:

    Not to mention this:
    Cryptic, but I'd really like to know his opinion on rhino vs. demon costello discs.
  9. Idler

    Idler Active Member

    Sydney Australia
    My Elvis Costello is on the Edsel label - where does this fit in with the Ryko, Rhino, Hip-O scenario?
  10. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Sometimes with discussions of sound quality here, people get sucked into the idea that there is an objective "best" version that everyone with decent ears will unanimously prefer. Sound quality is a matter of opinion. People who post here tend to have some general agreement about what type of mastering they like, but within those parameters there is still lots of disagreement. One person's "wonky" is another person's "breath of life" sometimes. There isn't always a "forum preferred version."

    The Rhinos are goosed a bit in the treble. Rhinos almost always are. Some people don't mind that, and in fact like that sound. I tend to be more sensitive to too much treble than others here, I've noticed. The old Demons have a much smoother, less bright, less harsh sound. I have no idea what their source tapes were, and perhaps they didn't have access to the master tapes. But I prefer the EQ choices made on them over the Rhinos I've heard.

    Not to put words in Steve Hoffman's mouth, but I know he isn't generally a fan of the brightness of Rhinos, and I suspect that's the basis of his comment.
  11. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

  12. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    My point is the rhinos aren't goosed in the treble. Sandoval said about several of them that they were flat transfers. Some may prefer the demon discs, but that doesn't mean the rhinos were goosed the way you say.

    People's preferences are there own, but objectively there wasn't anything wonky done to the rhinos.

    Also, rhinos of late do not sound bright to my ears. The fleetwood macs, talking heads, james taylor's gh, joni mitchel compilations, emmylou harris and to a lesser degree, pretenders all sound great to my ears.

    People are reading a lot into steve's comment, but i'd like clarification before i dump all my rhinos - and yes I've heard and still own several costello demons.
  13. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Which ones specifically did Andrew Sandoval say were flat transfers?

    At any rate, the Rhinos I've heard are brighter than the Demons (and also than the WB Spike). Whether that's because treble was added to them or subtracted from the others I don't know, but I prefer the less bright masterings myself.
  14. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Davis, CA, USA
    Which is in fact precisely what I already said may be the case in a post close to the start of this discussion thread. Go back and look if you don't believe me. Seems we agree this is a possibility.

    For the record, I also never said the Rhinos were objectively "worse" etc etc - all I said was, I don't like the way they sound. Even if they weren't boosted in the upper midrange, they sound like they were, which ain't a good thing to me.

    You miss the point entirely. Steve Hoffman was also (obviously) present when he did his mastering work with the Fats Waller stuff. And yet the pesky fact remains that someone else was asked by the label to screw it up after the fact. I'm not saying that definitely did happen with the Costello Rhinos by any means; it may not have. My point is you have no more real insider information about this issue than anyone else discussing this does. You could turn out to be right, cool. It's just that quoting from a statement your read by someone who was involved with the project, but may or may not know the whole chain of events that occurred prior to the CDs hitting the street, doesn't really settle the issue for me at this point. That's all I'm saying.

    Anyway. Peace - let's just agree to disagree and go listen to some E.C.
  15. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    Anyone think the original un-remastered US WB cd's of Spike, Brutal Youth, Mighty Like A Rose, Kojak Variety and All This Useless Beauty better the Rhino's? I've seen one post from a member saying the WB Spike was better, but I'm curious about the others. They are still relatively easy to find and not expensive.
  16. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Edsel Records is a subsidiary of Demon.

    The first sets came out on Columbia in the States and Edsel/Demon in the UK (very different masterings). Then Edsel/Demon remastered the albums and added liner notes and bonus tracks. Rykodisc licenced those remasters and issued them Stateside without any alteration. Then Rhino bought the rights and re-remastered them, issuing them as 2CD sets with even MORE bonus tracks (and losing a few along the way) and newer, more elaborate liner notes. Edsel/Demon licensed THOSE for the UK/European market. (so there are THREE Demon Elvis sets to contend with!) Then Hip-O licensed the rights and issued the set on low-priced digipaks minus the bonus tracks.

    There were also a set of Japanese mini-LP sleeve discs with NO bonus tracks whatsoever. I have no idea if those were unique masterings or if they copied earlier ones.
  17. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    But where did Edsel come from? Because there is certainly no mention of it on the early Demon UK CDs...

    BTW, I have noticed the Edsel two-disc edition of Get Happy!! on Amazon.uk (I assume identical to the U.S. Rhino) for £10, and less than that used. Not too bad considering the used prices on Amazon.com for the Rhino.
  18. Paul K

    Paul K Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
  19. The Keymaster

    The Keymaster Forum Resident

    So Cal, USA
  20. RayistaGeoff

    RayistaGeoff Forum Resident

    I'd certainly be interested in the results if you ever do this! Somehow, Elvis Costello was one of those artists that I always respected, but never really got into, so I have almost nothing of his. However, I happened to see an Imp/Fiend copy of Trust and picked that up, figuring I could always sell it here if I didn't like it. As it turned out, I really liked it, both sonically and musically, so will definitely be on the lookout for more albums if I see them cheap somewhere. Whether I'll *need* an entire disc of bonus tracks, I don't know, so probably would go for sound quality over extras. Fortunately enough, one of the two EC albums my library has is the Rhino Trust, so I'll be able to at least do that comparison myself.

  21. I have some of the Demons and they sound good but I prefer the Rhino's for the detail. Yes, some are a bit too bright (some more than others) but I just adjust for it. Overall, I thought they did a fine job with the remasters and they are sonically superior to the Ryko releases.

    As for the Demons I have "My Aim Is True" and "Armed Forces" and both sound extremely good--they are (as near as I can tell)flat transfers without anything done to them but, quite honestly, they are inferior sounding (to me) compared to the original LPs I had of the albums.
  22. It's all so subjective. Yes, the WB "Spike" sounds better to me--less bright with the same amount of detail slightly less loud**but**Beauty sounds comparable and Mighty sounds better to me on the Rhino.
  23. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Ohio, USA
    I'm not sure about the band personnel. If this is indeed 1989 (and it looks to be), I think Costello's touring band was the Rude 5 (Scheff, Ribot, Thomas, Knechtel), but I'm not sure if any of those guys are in the clip. Strange.
  24. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    There was also a "secret remaster" of some of the Columbia Costellos before Ryko bought the catalog. I believe that these secret remasters match the Demons. I remember sending back a few of my original Columbias back and they exchanged them for the 'remastered' ones. (armed Forces and Imperial Bedroom maybe?) There's an ICE article about it somewhere.
  25. lbangs

    lbangs Senior Member


    That may describe why I discovered that Columbia Get Happy I loved so much...


    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page