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:
    In your mind
    To be fair, I said just a little noise reduction, which I feel is badly needed for some of the Phillips' masters. The early VJ masters, surprisingly, would sound fine without it.

    I'm certainly not bashing Bill Inglot. His work in preserving music of 50's, 60's, and 70's is incalculable in my humble opinion.
     
  2. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Use noise reduction you dull the room ambiance and transients. This material is what it is, It has enough issues. We don't need it sounding any worse than it is. Be fortunate there is any tape sources at all. Some material there's not even that to work from. Yes, sometimes, the best reissue engineers have had to work from is original 45 RPM singles from the era. Not every master survived or was usable.
     
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  3. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    As was mentioned already....if we're talking session masters, they're long gone. They were trashed when Bell Sound went out of business.

    Even some of the 45's are tricky when it comes to proper versions. The first mastering of C'MON MARIANNE was almost grunge.....it was amazing. It was withdrawn and replaced with a limper-than-limp fold of the stereo, and the original mix hasn't been heard from since. Hunt down the first pressing!
     
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  4. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Many people forget that when the Beatles arrived in America, the Four Seasons were the top American group. I would say that by late 1964, the Beach Boys took over. It's interesting that both were essentially harmony vocal groups
     
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  5. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    I'm afraid that this is a subjective matter of choice. If extraneous noise intrudes too heavily on the music, then I feel there is no other choice then use some degree of noise reduction, regardless of what some purists think. As you said, we have to make do with what we got.
     
  6. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Yeah, I can remember playing 45's by all three and driving my little sisters crazy as who was best the best group!
     
  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    What new technology can make these sound any better? Use more NR or use NR, the room sound and ambiance disappears, the transients are dulled, and sonics get blurred together. Too many reissue engineers can't accept this. Only so much you can do with these sources. This was a "This was the best sources we have, this is the best we can do with them" job. Only so much can be done when your source material is less than ideal. I don't care how skilled the reissue engineer is. These are not audiophile recordings, no amount of wishing ever will make them into that. They are what they are. The best you and I can get is near mint original 45 RPM and LP discs from when the recordings are new, played back on the correct stylus profiles. Hint, they're not line contacts or Shibatas either. The only possible hope we might have for Four Seasons better source tapes, might be in the UK Philips/Universal Music Vaults or EMI's vaults there for Vee-Jay material, those archives may have better sources to some degree or tapes in better condition. or other foreign licensees. But they'll be dubs of the original masters, but they might be better preserved than some of what is in US tape archives. Bill Inglot did the best job he could with what he had to work from. Even our host would likely agree with that.
     
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  8. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    It is too bad that nearly all Four Seasons reissues use the stereo mixes. The separation is terrible compared to the mono mix, in every case.
     
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  9. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    They probably preferred The Monkees
     
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  10. VeeFan64

    VeeFan64 A 60s Music Kind of Guy

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Do you have a dub? Can you provide sample comparisons? Would be cool to hear the difference.
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    A matter of preference, maybe, but if it was not transferred from a wax cylinder or a 78 rpm disc, it generally hurts more than it helps.
     
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  12. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Well, one did absolutely love Davy Jones! :laugh:
     
  13. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    Here's the correct 45 version/mix.

     
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  14. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Well gents, you've convinced me that no multi track masters exist in good condition that could be remixed and mastered, yielding a an audiophile grade best of compilation.

    However, I find it beyond reason that Bill Inglot would not want another crack at transferring and mastering the Four Seasons material today, if Messrs.' Valli and Gaudio provided the funds to do so. Progress doesn't just depend on upgrades in technology. Progress also depends on money.
     
  15. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    Yep. That's the one!
     
  16. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    I have no problems with de-clicked vinyl, if that's all that's available. Better to hear music then feeling like you're riding on a train. But you're right, preference is the correct word.
     
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    That's the real deal. Bob Crewe once told me that they did something like 5 bounce-downs on that song to get it all in.
     
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  18. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    The intro to "C'mon Marianne" is where the Doors got the intro to "Touch Me."
     
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  19. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    Bob Crewe. A genius on the level of Phil Specter. He just never got the acclaim he deserved, sadly. :( RIP Bob.
     
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  20. Chris C

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

    Location:
    Ohio
    Bill Inglot probably got the most out of the "Genuine Imitation Life Gazette" album on CD, as it currently stands, but I would more than welcome a "hands-on" remastering by Steve Hoffman, without any hesitation! He could calm down a lot of the "balance" of that brilliant album (one of my all-time personal favorites) and make it sound a bit more grounded and warm. I agree with others that The Four Seasons albums as a whole, are really nothing all that special, outside of the "Gazette" album. Outside of comps and the "Gazette" album, most of their albums just seem so thrown together, like a big old mess and they can often be brutal to sit through!
     
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  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    One day in 1962 it was a holiday and my mom was kindly taking me to Exposition Park to look at the dinosaurs in our old 1954 Buick Century. In those days little kids were allowed to sit in the front seat (without seat belts!) I was flipping around the radio dial (first time I ever did that) and landed on (by accident) KRLA and they were playing SHERRY by the Four Seasons. Well, I was hooked. When we got home I found KRLA on my little transistor radio and that was it for me, rock & roll was born in my mind. So, the song has a true place in my heart.

    I spent 15 bucks a few years ago getting a new old stock first VEE JAY 45 pressing from Val Shively and when I played it, WOW. I had not heard the actual mono hit version since the 1960s. Sounded amazing and (of course) the fade was longer. I called Val and got CANDY GIRL, WALK LIKE A MAN and BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY on Vee Jay first press 45's as well. Beautiful mono mixes. Stuff like DAWN I already have on 45.

    I urge you (if you have the dough) to get a few of these. They really sound great. Why pay 5 bucks for a trashed, mildewed copy? Spend more and get a minty original from Val or another trusted seller.

    Hard to listen to the stereo mixes after that.
     
  22. VeeFan64

    VeeFan64 A 60s Music Kind of Guy

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Definitely hit and miss - but there's always a few really good album tracks on each one. I especially like the Rag Doll album - absolutely no filler except for the last cut, the theme to "On Broadway Tonight". The two essential Four Seasons albums that aren't Greatest Hits or Best Ofs are definitely Rag Doll and The Gazette - but if you like them you'll probably want to hunt everything down.

    Although I wasn't alive then, I firmly hold the belief that the greatest run of singles in 1964 was not by The Beatles, nor The Beach Boys...but by The Four Seasons.

    Dawn (released late December 1963 - ha!)
    Ronnie
    Rag Doll
    Save It For Me
    Big Man In Town

    Hell, that's not the best singles run of 1964, that's the best singles run EVER.
     
  23. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Do you think that the version on the Edizione D'Oro CD us a different mix? It surely sounds a lot different, but I would attribute that to mastering differences.
     
  24. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    When it comes to the 60s output, there are a few odds mixes to be had here and there.

    Of course the remixes on Edizone are the first that come to mind. I believe it's there where you also get the alternate lead vocal for TELL IT TO THE RAIN (if it's not there, then it's definitely on the Longrines Symphonette 4-LP set).

    The original stereo issue of the VJ Golden Hits LP contains the only alternate stereo mixes you'll ever hear of any of the VJ hits. 2 cuts (SHERRY and another which I forgot) are mixed with the music track straight up center and the vocals in each channel--very similar to some of the Beach Boys early stereo cuts. Sadly, though, there is some weird flanging going on due to (what I'm guessing were) phase cancellation issues, so they're kind of a mess.

    The rest of the stereo LP is lousy, too. Some mono cuts are sprinkled in, and some of the tracks are actually mastered horribly slow. It's a good album as a rarity (*any* stereo VJ is), but it's far from audiophile, which is odd because VJ stereo could sound heavenly (think of some of the Dee Clark or Jerry Butler stuff. Hell, even the stereo copy of INTRODUCING THE BEATLES sounds great!)
     
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  25. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    The copy of the CD that I heard was the fold when it came to MARIANNE. That was what I was specifically hunting for the CD for.

    The original 45 mix is truly a lost mix.
     

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