Four Seasons: no audiophile grade remasters? why?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chemically altered, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    The only group from my days of spinning 45's on a turntable bought from Woolworths that never went high end. I enjoy my multiple Rhino and Ace compilations, but I'm missing high quality audio to go along with every other of my favs from the 60's. So, why no audiophile grade mixes and masters from this one time singles super group?
     
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  2. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    They seem like more of a Sundazed kind of project than a MoFi (though some of those Sundazed albums sound great). Which is to say they were more of a singles group than an album act. Also do they have their masters? If not, I wonder if the whereabouts are known, given the state of the Vee Jay and Phillips catalogs.
     
  3. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    good question, you'd think at least a hits comp would have made the bins.
    my Time Life comp isn't bad, but it could be better.
     
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  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Better in what way? It was carefully mastered by Bill Inglot from the only surviving tapes. What more do you want?
     
  5. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    Steve, just 'surviving tapes' tells me something happened to the originals? On those cds, better than the Rhinos which are brighter IMO, it just seems what's on the masters would be better, for instance, my mono 45 of Rag Doll just kicks every version on cd I've heard, and I can make mental adjustment since most cds are stereo, but I just assumed those original masters weren't lost....
     
  6. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Big reason, many of the master tapes are missing in action. Plus, they recorded in long defunct studios, like Bell Sound and Stea-Philips, the tapes were stored at the latter (Bell Sound) and for labels which were defunct. These missing master and session tapes is why these recordings often sound less than ideal, many a Four Seasons hit from the Vee-Jay and Philips era sounds today on CD like they came from high generation or less than ideal source tapes. The Four Seasons tape library is in less than ideal condition. Unless good fortune intervenes, and missing tapes turn up, and in usable condition, this won't get better. I suspect many of the available tapes from their sound are 2nd or 3rd generation or higher at best from what the available CD issues sound like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Problem here, is that single master may well be missing in action or in unusable condition.
     
  8. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    l
    What more do I want? let me think.. A bit of noise reduction and some audio restoration for starters. Plus some detailed background on what Inglot says is "the only surviving tapes". In the Four Seasons 25th Anniversary edition, I believe Inglot stated that the best sounding tapes were used and that's why it's a coin toss as to mono vs. stereo masters being used on that compilation.

    And no matter how careful Inglot and Ken Perry mastered these "surviving'' tapes, that was 25+ years ago and technology has moved on. New masters could do wonders, but we'll never know if there's little more to what we want then putting up with what is already a quarter century old.

    But what do I know. I'm not a real audio engineer like yourself, I only play one on TV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  9. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Great overview of the Four Seasons' tape story. It explains a lot and is a fascinating story on it's own. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
     
  10. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Noise reduction can't cure lack of lower generation, better quality, source tapes. All the technology in the world, can only do so much when the source tapes are only of such quality. Remixes can't be done most likely since there likely aren't multitrack masters to remix from. The best you or I can do is what is extant, or hunting down clean original Philips and Vee-Jay LP and 45 RPM discs in the best condition we can find.
     
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  11. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    I thought Ace's “EDIZIONE D’ORO” was supposed to be, er, well, the Gold Standard for Four Seasons on CD.

    Lots of Mono on that set, whereas, IINM, Inglot used almost exclusively Stereo (not ideal for Four Seasons) -- at least he did on his Rhino 2-CD set.

    But nothing can touch the Mono 45's (though I think that's usually the case for 60's acts).


    EDIT: I was actually typing my "45's" comments at the same time as McLover posted the same opinion.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  12. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    I agree, Ace's Edizone D'Oro is the best available CD of what we have for Stereo sources. And agree heavily that the Mono 45 RPM singles are the best Four Seasons mixes of the hits we know and love.
     
  13. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    yeah, the wide stereo saps the power but did sound cool on vintage console systems:)
     
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  14. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    Please, no.

    I know zinging the Inglot is the in-thing to do, but those old Rhino CD's are made from the only tapes that exist. The later Jersey Beat box was an improvement for a few tracks, but no amount of expensive technology is going to improve what's on those tapes. It's a miracle we have some of the Vee-Jay sides on tape at all. Life is short. Enjoy the music.
     
  15. Dee Zee

    Dee Zee Once Upon a Dream

    I'm not in town at the moment to check but I thought the 3 CD box set that came out last was mostly mono up to a point on the first CD and maybe into the second.
     
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  16. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I want them in MONO! The mono mixes are vastly superior. I have the few that were released on CD.

    Most copies of The Four Seasons on original vinyl are fairly beat up. Half (or more) of them ended up in people's basements or garages and got moldy.
     
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  17. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
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  18. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
  19. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

  20. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

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  21. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Even if the correct masters were all accounted for... There are few original Four Seasons albums that are solid enough to scream for audiophile treatment. Nor is there enough demand.

    They could do a hits collection if they had the masters. But they don't
     
  22. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    I made my own compilation CD-Rs from vinyl ages ago so I'm good (I can't resist collecting reasonably priced vintage singles... Gentrys, Gene & Debbe, Don Williams/Pozo Seco, Everleys, Miriam Makeba, Cowsills, Bill Haley, New Colony Six), but often wondered myself, especially with the success of the Jersey Boys show/movie, why no super deluxe reissues? The only albums I have are the Phillips collections of singles (Gold Vault ones and More Hits), partly because I'd run into them a lot and found some really sharp condition examples. Oh, just remembered I do have the 'Genuine Imitation Gazette' LP, a concept album of sorts... it might be a good place for a label to start on an as good as can be got quality reissue if it has to be albums.
     
  23. scotpagel

    scotpagel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, Az
    I have my dad's Phillips greatest hits vol 1 and 2 Nd they sound like crap (not because they are worn). My Rhino greatest gits is my go to but
     
  24. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Again, what is the official statement on the masters? What exactly is extant? Sessions masters? Album safety masters? etc.
     
  25. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Wow! Cool. I'll try to track down a copy. If I can afford it. ;)
     
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