Genesis - My takes on some different mixes and looking for CD master recommendations?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BitterMinnows, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    Hello everyone! This is my first post here, and a long one it is.

    Since I've been into Genesis for a few years now after having checked out "Watcher Of The Skies" and proceeding to pretty much binge most of their Gabriel and immediately post-Gabriel catalogue on YouTube, I thought I might go and actually get the albums.

    I find that for most of the Gabriel-era albums, I quite like the 2007/2008 Nick Davis remixes (which, as I found out are much reviled among fans), with the exception of Foxtrot maybe. I'll explain.

    For me it goes like this (Not to be taken too seriously as it's mostly preference!):

    Trespass - The Nick Davis version wins it for sure at the moment, I listened to both a rip of the original Charisma pink scroll press on YouTube, as well as the official uploads of what I'm assuming is the DE mix, as it sounds different, but doesn't have the shorter track lengths I'd imagine the MCA CD would due to its early fade-outs. I'm not much a fan of either, the pink scroll sounds very muffled and rough to me, though as I've seen others say in some threads here, Trespass may not have been the cleanest recorded album in the first place, which is fair. The DE version (or what I'm assuming is the DE version at least) sounds clearer, but I'm not as big a fan of how the instruments sit in it compared to the Nick Davis version. There are things that aren't there in the DE that I hear in the Nick Davis one, and I also prefer the 'megaphone' effect on Gabriel's vocals in "The Knife" vs. the sort of Robotic sounding one in the other two ("Some of you are going to die, martyrs of course, to the freedom that I shall proviiiiide"). I'm also willing to accept that part of it may be bias as the Nick Davis version was the only one I was familiar with for a long time, whilst I'd heard the other versions of the following albums side by side. In any case, not being happy with other versions I could find, the Nick Davis version was what I ended up getting recently. Despite all the negativity thrown at Nick Davis' work, I think the Gabriel albums are better for it (and some people seem to agree- at least on Trespass being the one good Davis mix).

    Nursery Cryme - Nick Davis for me. Sort of the same situation here. Listened to a pink scroll rip, and thought it sounded terrible. Gabriel's vocals make him sound like he's in the next room, and the whole thing was rather muddy sounding. Prior to hearing the pink scroll recently, I'd been exposed to both the Nick Davis version and the DE version of NC. Both are on YouTube, with the Davis version labelled as the 'New Stereo Remix.' Clearer than the pink scroll, the DE is an improvement but still a little muddy sounding to me compared to the ND version. I like that I can hear the vocals better in Davis's version, and the clearer drums. I bought this version digitally but I'm planning to get this version on CD unless there's a different press out there that sounds better (Throw me any recommendations! I'll explain more later).

    Foxtrot - It gets a little interesting here. I'm split between the Nick Davis version, which was my first Genesis experience, and the original mix on the American CAS 1058 vinyl LP from 1972 I have (Large Mad Hatter Labels). These sound very close to me, differing vocal takes aside (they aren't too glaringly different to me, it isn't so unlike hearing different live versions of a song, and both sound fine to my ears). I listen to both interchangeably. I guess the one thing that leans me slightly toward the original mix (and possibly hunting for the 1985 V/C Nimbus disc or Zal's Atlantic CD) is this one bit in 'Watcher' during the "From life alone.." segment- I hear two layered/overdubbed guitars from Hackett here in the original whereas in the Davis version only one of them is there. Not too bad, but it's a bit that makes the original a little better for me. However, the original Foxtrot does of course, contain that rather infamous tape speed error before Apocalypse in 9/8. Now, on my record, it doesn't sound too bad since it spins a little fast- the slower section actually plays at normal pitch (but the rest of the record is a sminch higher). However, hearing what I assume is someone's rip of an old CD press on YouTube, the error is a little distracting. It's noticeably lower pitched to me, and that kind of throws me off. So I remain a little unsure of which version I will get. Should I just get an early press, and fix the error when I rip the CD?

    Selling England By The Pound - Another one where I could listen to either here, but the Nick Davis version suits my taste just a little bit better. This is the one I bought.

    The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - So far, I've only heard two versions. The Nick Davis version was my first exposure, then I heard the V/C Nimbus via a rip on YouTube. I'll say that I do find it disappointing that certain transitions weren't carried over into the Davis versions, like the crossfade between The Lamb and Broadway Melody of 1974, for example - or that certain sound effects were removed (Ahem, that ripping sound from Colony of Slippermen). I do however, again prefer the Nick Davis version here for clarity- and I know it might upset some people, but I don't really like the 'Enossified' vocals in Back in NYC too much, in my opinion at least the clean ones in the ND sound just a bit better. It's probably just preference though, maybe given time I might like it, things grow on you sometimes. I'm planning to get the Davis version.

    A Trick Of The Tail - Here we go! The four-piece albums. I actually am not a fan of the Davis version here, believe it or not! I thought I was, but when I listened to the tracks labelled '2007 remaster,' the keyboards were way further up front than I remembered. I remember the bass pedals in 'Dance' and 'Squonk' being strong, but not as much as this, it was like they were turned way up. It turns out, the version I knew, and the one I prefer, is (I think) the DE- as it's also on YouTube, without the remaster label. I think it sounds so much better, mixwise, and I like the little touches that are in it which the Davis version lacks- using "Entangled" as an example. In the DE, Phil's voice has a phasey sort of effect over it, and at the end of certain lines there's an echo ("Freudian slumber empty of sound... sound... sound... "). It isn't really there in the Davis version, or at least not as prominently. The non-remaster sounds better to me, and after seeing much praise for it here on this forum, I've ordered a copy of the US Atco 38101-2 press (JP for USA)! I'm looking forward to hearing it.

    Wind & Wuthering - This is where it gets tricky. I've heard a lot of tell that says there isn't really a good version of 'Wind' out there, especially not on CD. The best I've heard of is either the V/C Nimbus or the Made by Sanyo Atco disc. Maybe a little praise for the DE, noise reduction aside. So far, I've not heard much good about the Nick Davis version, but it's the only one I can find, and I currently think it sounds okay. However, with how bad people say the Davis versions of the Phil Records are, and how an old version was the winner for 'Trick', I'm wondering if there's an old press of Wind that might sound better. Which leads me to this:

    Which are your favorite versions of these Genesis albums? Are there any you'd recommend me to get? If so I'd love to hear samples! I'm trying to pit them all against each other and see which sounds best to me (looking for CD versions mainly), and I'm also curious to hear your opinions!
    denesis, dav-here and anduandi like this.
  2. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States

    So, an update on my opinion. I spent some more time listening to the V/C Nimbus and Nick Davis versions of The Lamb side-by-side and I've come to realize that like I said with Foxtrot and Selling England, I could listen to either version really. I've found that I like how different songs (or elements of songs) are handled on the different mixes, for different reasons.

    These were the two standout examples:

    Back In N.Y.C. - I like both about the same, though on the V/C Nimbus (Original Mix), I like that the piano is mixed louder during the second verse or so (the bit around "You say I must be crazy, cause I don't care who I hit"). In the new version by Nick Davis, however (as I said before), I prefer the slightly less distorted vocals during the "As I cuddle the porcupine" sections.

    The Colony Of Slippermen - Having that tearing sound effect during "A Visit To The Doktor" gives the original mix a bit of an edge- it's a nice touch. But I also think the song doesn't suffer too much without it in the new version. The clearer vocals and drums also help.

    Ulimately, if I find one of the new presses, or an older one, like the V/C Nimbus or another, I might get either. Or Maybe both! We'll see. Any thoughts?
  3. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    There is plenty of information on the forum about variations in the early CDs ... I have the V/C Nimbus releases and I'm happy with them.

    The Jethro Tull and King Crimson reissues do this right ... high-res, surround, remixed stereo, and remastered original mix. We always need the original mix especially in cases (like the Nick Davis remixes) where they don't really attempt to replicate the original. So I think Genesis fans will want both the original mixes and the remixes - unless they hate the remixes so much they never want to listen to them!

    c-eling and sound chaser like this.
  4. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    I have the Canadian original CD release of Trick of the Tail, which sounds brilliant, and an old German “sunrays”. Both sound wonderful.
    fishyboots and rcsrich like this.
  5. Carlox

    Carlox Forum Resident

    About the "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", i have two versions: the Nick Davis remixes and the Definitive Edition Remaster . I never had the original version.
    My favourite is the Definitive Edition Remaster (even with the no-noise reduction...).
    danielbravo likes this.
  6. motionoftheocean

    motionoftheocean Senior Member

    Circus Maximus
    been listening to Genesis for a few decades now, especially the Gabriel material. I've probably played Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme and Selling England by the Pound especially several hundred times each. if I'm going with digital on those albums, it's strictly the early Virgin and Charisma pressings. and the same goes for the remainder of the Gabriel material and those early Collins-fronted albums. the remixes are just too awkward and succeed at little else but being "more" for the sake of being more.
  7. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

  8. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Glad you enjoy the remixes- they're an interesting listen, but too compressed for my taste. I just spent the last few months aquiring original pressings of most of their albums and am very happy with them. The Early CDs thread is the best source of info on the early pressings I've found.
    danielbravo, DiabloG and c-eling like this.
  9. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    FWIW, if there were good digital masterings of the Davis mixes, I’d probably pick them for their entire 70’a catalog. I feel like most of the remixes were viewed positively, particularly the Gabriel years, they were all just killed in mastering.
    Carlox likes this.
  10. Celebrated Summer

    Celebrated Summer Forum Resident

    I was unhappy with the way Steve Hackett's guitar leads came across on "Supper's Ready" in the CD remix, which I think is from 2007.

    When playing this song, I revert to my Charisma vinyl. Yes, it's muddy and yes it sounds like it's "filtered through an old sock" (as someone once said), but the oddness of sound is what added to the allure of this music.
  11. Geordiepete

    Geordiepete Tippet tyer

    I think an old sock would be more airy, letting the music breath better; new socks would muffle more. ;)
    rcsrich likes this.
  12. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    I have the same as you basically - The Canadian Atco and US Atco are the same, and I absolutely love mine! I just listened to it recently, love how the bass pedals and keyboards sound, the drums and guitars are nice and lively as well! Great version of 'Trick'.
    vinyl diehard likes this.
  13. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    That's one way to look at it, I hadn't considered it. I guess the reason I stick with the Davis versions is just that I think the additional elements being brought out/made clearer add to the sound.

    At least right now; I'm getting an Austrian V/C DADC Picture Disc release of Foxtrot in the mail sometime soon, so I'll be able to A/B/C it against my CAS 1058 LP and the Nick Davis mix on CD.

    I'm hoping to get a chance to A/B all of them, I'm curious to see if there are versions that might sound better or at least good to me.
  14. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    I can't think of a big difference in the sound there, thanks for bringing that up actually! I know I do like Hackett's sound on my original vinyl a lot, I'm going to compare the sound to the Davis version now, and I'll remember this too when I get my V/C press on CD, so I can compare them.
  15. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States

    So I just received the Austrian Foxtrot V/C picture disc press by DADC and, oh boy it is good. Safe to say that the great things I've heard about this first CD release of Foxtrot are absolutely true. Sure, the first half-second or so of Watcher is missing (I think I remember someone mentioning that in a thread somewhere), but it's negligible compared to how clear and strong everything sounds. The bass tone is great- deep and punchy, and the drums come in absolutely thunderously sometimes- like that roll at the end of Watcher Of The Skies- it was right there in front. Honestly, it's like hearing the album again for the first time. I could probably still listen to the Nick Davis version, but based on the listen I had today, this one stomps it.

    Soon I'll also be A/B'ing Wind & Wuthering- comparing the Nick Davis version and the DE (which my library has), and I'll post about that in time.
    C6H12O6, fishyboots and DiabloG like this.
  16. fishyboots

    fishyboots Forum Resident

    Austin, TX. U.S.A.
    What is the matrix # of your Canadian pressed cd?
    : )
  17. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States

    I've just acquired the '94 DE of Wind from my local library to compare it to the Nick Davis version which is available on streaming, and maybe it's because I'm not as familiar with this album as the others, but I can't hear too much of a difference here. Both sound alright, I may end up getting either. I have yet to hear the Sanyo Atco or the V/C- two discs I've seen praised a bit here when Wind is discussed.
  18. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Welcome to the forum, and welcome to Genesis fandom!
    danielbravo and mark winstanley like this.
  19. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
    I highly recommend the Sanyo (Atco)...It still can be found cheap and sounds better than the Davis and DE (to my ears).
    jp312 and c-eling like this.
  20. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

    Probably the best we're going to get for this 'not very good' recording. Funny Doc, I gifted my old Sanyo a few years ago (casual Genesis fan), found another at my local last year. Guess it was meant to be in the collection :laugh:
    Dr. Funk and George P like this.
  21. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
    I agree...the recording sounds rather thin as with my US vinyl. It's interesting how inconsistent Genesis can be with their production.
    c-eling likes this.
  22. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    I'm keeping an eye on one that might be the Sanyo on eBay! Just got to hear back from the seller, then I'll know for sure. I'd like to get either the Sanyo for Atco or the Nimbus, since those seem to be the most well-regarded presses.

    The DE is passable, as is the Davis version, but with how much the V/C Foxtrot surprised me, and the V/C of The Lamb as well, you're probably right about the Sanyo being the best. Only time will tell!
  23. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
  24. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
    I remember plunking down a gift card at Borders Books for the Davis remixes of Trick, Wind, and Three...this was around 2009 and I had read somewhere (maybe SHF?) that they were excellent sounding.

    I knew right away these were not my cup of tea...they sounded too compressed and harsh to my ears. Therefore, I never went any further with the Davis versions.

    I have such a hodgepodge of Genesis cd's...mostly early Atlantic and Atco and some mid 90's DE's sprinkled about.

    Before this obnoxious pandemic, I found a nearly perfect Atco (Japan for US) in a smooth sided case of Trick for $5. A Trick Of The Tail may be their best recorded album in regards to production.

    Many thanks to @Diablo Griffin for making it easy on the rest of us.
    rcsrich and DiabloG like this.
  25. jp312

    jp312 Forum Resident

    Agreed. It could use a bit of a bass boost (as with most other versions), but once that's in place, it sounds pretty nice to me.
    Dr. Funk likes this.

Share This Page