How do Elton John CDs on Polydor compare?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Andrew T., Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Andrew T.

    Andrew T. Out of the Vein Thread Starter

    I've noticed that the general consensus here is that the '80s MCA and DJM CDs represent the best issues of Elton John's '70s output, while the 1995 Gus Dudgeon Rocket/Island remasters are the worst.

    However, I haven't heard much about the Polydor series of CDs from the early '90s that came out after the MCA CDs and before the remasters. How do these compare with the MCA, DJM, and Rocket/Island CD issues? I've noticed that most of the Polydor CDs carry the same 800 000-series catalog numbers as the DJM discs.
  2. JWB

    JWB New Member

    Here's what I've been able to figure out so far about the Polydors:

    Empty Sky - same as DJM
    Elton John - unique mastering
    Tumbleweed Connection - same as DJM
    Madman Across The Water - same as MCA (DJM unknown)
    Honky Chateu - same as DJM
    Don't Shoot Me... - same as MCA (DJM unknown)
    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - same as both MCA and DJM
    Captain Fantastic - same as DJM
  3. Ryan

    Ryan That would be telling

    New England
    I like the Polydors on the whole...nice if you don't want to spring for MFSL discs (too late for me) though I still keep "Elton John" and "Madman" handy (until I get the DCC for the latter)
    McLover likes this.
  4. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    Great work!
    I just got turned on to a DJM EJ, there tough too find. Glad I don't 'need' all of them!
    Soooooooooooo, you don't hear any difference between MCA, DJM, or Polydor releases of GYBR? WoW! I don't need the single or two disc version, the W.G. or Japan version, anyone can pickup any one of these and be 'happy' with silver CD sound? If so, great!
  5. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    The Polydors are actually remasters and sound brighter (on my system, of course) than the MCA's.

    I think they are better than the newest remasters.

    Interesting! I can actually check this one out as I know someone who has a DJM! :)
  6. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    He actually found out that they are all digitally identical.

    (I hope he allows me to speak for him.) But I don't know if he has also checked the earlier two-disc Polydor release.
  7. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
    So how are the DJMs and the MCAs different?
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Great thread, as I always wondered about those Polydor discs too.
  9. colinu

    colinu I'm not lazy, I'm energy saving!

    What about the Polydor Greatest Hits/Greatest Hits Volume 2?
  10. JWB

    JWB New Member

    Guys...I didn't do the comparisons myself. Other people did. I'm just relaying the information. :)

    If it says they're the "same"...that means digitally identical. I can't explain how they're different. I only have one copy of each and they're all MFSL or Polydor!
  11. Andrew, you're in luck.

    This topic was extensively discussed in December of 2002. David R. Modney is the resident Elton John expert. Check out his thread.

    Here's what David had compiled in terms of any differences between the DJM, MCA, Polydor CDs.

    "Empty Sky" - DJM and Polydor the same. MCA different.

    "Elton John" - DJM, MCA and Polydor all different.

    "Tumbleweed Connection" - DJM and Polydor the same. MCA different.

    "11-17-70" - I only own the Polydor - not tested yet.

    "Madman Across The Water" - Don't own the DJM. MCA and Polydor the

    "Honky Chateau" - DJM and Polydor the same. MCA different.

    "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player" - Don't own the DJM. MCA and Polydor the same.

    "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - DJM, MCA and Polydor (single disc) all the same.

    "Caribou" - Don't own any.

    "Capt. Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy" - Don't own the DJM. MCA and Polydor different.

    "Rock of The Westies" - Don't own any.

    GH 1 - didn't fully test.
    GH 2 - didn't fully test.
    SOONERFAN likes this.
  12. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    I've heard most of the MCAs and DJMs which are identical in sound (best ones). The Polydors are much brighter and the Rockets are bright and compressed.
  13. :confused: Look at David's list. It shows the MCD CDs are different on Empty Sky, Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection and Honkey Chateau,
    Maybe not. According to David's research, many of the Polydor CDs are clones of the original U.K. DJM CDs. So, how could the Polydor discs be brighter?

    Here are some more shorter threads on the subject.

    Quick Elton DJM tidbit (Nov. 2004)

    FS: Elton John W. German DJM CD of "Empty Sky" (January, 2004)

    Elton DJM's have arrived...and we have an amazing surprise! (December, 2002)

    Elton - More release comparisons/tests (December 2002)
  14. JWB

    JWB New Member

    Thanks to Miike for finding those links. I was too lazy. :)
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    As I recall, the Polydor version of Greatest Hits Volume 2 does not have "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". It's currently available on Greatest Hits 1976-1986 on the MCA label, though.
  16. Nobby

    Nobby Forum Resident

    Birmingham, UK
    17 -11 - 70 had slightly different mixes for the US and UK (as well as a different title!) on vinyl.
    After the DJ intro one version had a big crowd "woo-hoo" the other didn't!?

    I had to buy my CD copy on import from the US, so it's possible that it wasn't issued in the UK.

    I also remember it being very difficult to get a UK Greatest Hits vol 2 - mine's a US version.

    Anyone know?
  17. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    United States
    Gotta be careful with the Polydor issues. There were two. The first batch was from hell, with massive NR applied. The second batch was more like the MCA CDs or used the same MCA masters.

    I, for one, like the Rocket remasters, even if they are a bit bright. They still can't get the correct full-length 45 single version of "Philadelphia Freedom" right, though.
    McLover likes this.
  18. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    The Polydor GH #2 is NR'd to hell......

  19. DanK

    DanK Forum Resident

    San Anselmo CA USA
    So that's the one to get.
  20. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    United States
    Yeah! I never took a CD back to a store so fast in my life! They didn't want to give me my money back so I put up a big scene until they at least let me make an exchange.

    In 1992. or whenever it was, no avarage person had a clue that a CD could sound so bad! I had a hard time convincing the store how bad it was.

    The Polydors came out at a time when using NR was becoming popular again, after initial disasters with Those old Original Sound and Priority compilation CDs from the mid-80s.
  21. JWB

    JWB New Member

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Right!
  22. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Depends on your perspective, obviously. I quite like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Plus, I like the sound of the original MCA version of Greatest Hits Volume 2.
    dalem5467 likes this.
  23. DanK

    DanK Forum Resident

    San Anselmo CA USA
    Yeah, you and every early 70's radio programming director; it was as ubiquitous as <gag>Dream Weaver</gag>. To me it was an insidious earworm and I've just been re-infected. ACK!

  24. JorgeGvb

    JorgeGvb Forum Resident

    Virginia Beach
    Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word is also missing. These two songs were replaced with Tiny Dancer and I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford).
  25. ACK!

    ACK! Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    Anybody know who remastered GHVII(original). I was fortunate enough to grab one of those within the first year of getting a CD player. Still got it!

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