Linda's favorite digital versions of all Black Sabbath albums

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by blacksabbathrainbow, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac

    What about reducing the bass range on your amplifier....??? ;)
  2. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Aww for fox sake. Ugh. That kind of thing has happened to me a couple of times too. I feel your pain.
  3. That's terrible. I hope you can return it without too much of a loss.
  4. Dissidence

    Dissidence Forum Dissident

    So, the Vertigo 832 700-2 CD (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) is becoming a dangerous mystery ... or pure legend ...

    I love this album, this masterpiece to death: The main riff of SBS is the alpha and omega of all stoner bands. Help!

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
    sathvyre likes this.
  5. For anyone who's missed it: Technical Ecstasy "Super Deluxe Edition" is due in October - and will in all likeliness again include a widely circulated, lossy-sourced live recording. According to the information available so far, most of the other bonus tracks will apparently be stereo remixes - except for "It's Alright", the bonus version of which will reportedly be in mono. Sigh...
    BLACK SABBATH To Release 5LP And 4CD Super Deluxe Editions Of Technical Ecstasy Album In October
    BLACK SABBATH - Technical Ecstasy box coming October 2021.
  6. el supernautico

    el supernautico A traveller of both, time and space

    Hi Linda,
    After being enabled to hear a decent vinyl rip of Sabotage, I realized how "dark" my up-until-then-favoured 2009 mastering is.
    I also noticed that (due to the dark sound?) the synths during "Thrill Of It All" (starting at around 3.00) don't "enhance" the guitar, but more kind of rival them - I mean, they're just too prominent in that mastering than I guess they should be (at least much more prominent than on the vinyl rip;)). My observations bothered me so much that I started comparing again with the following conclusion:
    The 1987 WB is closest to vinyl and quite bright, but very dynamic and crisp - I completey agree with you here.:)
    What I don't agree with is your opinion of the 2nd side being brighter than the 1st:
    I understand one can easily get this impression when comparing "Hole In The Sky" with "Thrill Of It All", but these two songs feature heavily different arrangements: The former is a full-bloodied, loud Sabbath rocker (almost too conventional for my tastes, I rarely am into a shuffle), and the other is a rather "airy" composition, toying around with space and effects...
    When comparing "Megalomania" with the heavier parts of "The Writ" (or "Thrill Of It All", doesn't matter), then the tonal similarity is really there, at least IMO.
    So, I really think the impression of a brighter sounding side B is only because of the songs themselves:
    Side A: Besides a short acoustic piece, all just heavy rockers (although sophisticated).
    Side B: Very colourful with 2 complex, prog-ish pieces, a choir piece(!) and a synth-popper.

    I don't want to rule out I might be wrong, and there are multiple examples of different masterings for albums' sides A and B in the history of rock (and pop:D), but I don't think the 1987 WB fell victim to that.
    I also (again) read myself through the "Black Sabbath Sabotage CD Versions" thread and am aware of the surrounding circumstances (very interesting, BTW), but I still don't think we have a faulty side B transfer here.
    What there is (and there's no denying) is that glitch in "Am I Going Insane" at around 0.45 which is not present in other masterings - what a pitty!

    One other favorite there was the 1986 Castle with pre-emphasis:
    Comparing it to the 1987 WB, you can hear the tape coming from a poorer source (and thus reflecting the story of the mishmash of sent tapes from USA to UK). It sounds more fat than the WB, yes, but I'm not willing to take inferior fidelity in case I don't have to.:D

    Then, there's the 2009 mastering which is from better sources and (asides from the "darkness") a fairly pleasant listen.
    But I don't think it represents the album as intended and therefore not my favorite anymore.

    The 2021 mastering (which I finally got to hear in adequate fashion) might be OK for the car, but is too compressed and mid-sy for my tastes. Not as bad as the other new Sabbath masterings, but simply not good enough for my demands.:cool:

    My new favourite mastering is the 1987 WB with -very- slightly enhanced lower- and similarly reduced high frequencies.

    Well, just wanted to tell, that's all. Thumbs up for your most precious efforts again, Linda!:righton:
  7. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Has anyone ever grafted ‘Blow On A Jug’ onto the end of ‘The Writ’ from the 1987 WB cd?
  8. el supernautico

    el supernautico A traveller of both, time and space

    Of course I did!:laugh:
    Paulette and blacksabbathrainbow like this.
  9. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Ahh, but side 2 on that Castle CD is :love:
    kevin5brown likes this.
  10. simonux

    simonux Custom Title

    Which is better MoR ? Warner Rhino or 2014 Sanctuary ?
  11. If the 2014 Sanctuary is a repress of the 2009 Sanctuary with the Pearce mastering, that's the Redbook version preferred by most people here. But the 2016 Rhino is also pretty good IMO. My favorite one is the SACD.
    simonux likes this.
  12. Seems not necessary.:) I just listened, and it sounds very good to me. I guess it just took me a little time to adjust to it, because I have listened so often to the Vertigo CD in the past and got used to its sound.
    sathvyre likes this.
  13. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    At the risk of blowing @Claus mind I just wanted to ask @blacksabbathrainbow a question

    I hope this isn’t too much of a threadcrap but I didn’t want to just start a whole thread entitled I like Rainbow more than Deep Purple

    But apropos of the above, Linda do you prefer Ranbow to Deep Purple

    I guessing you do just going in your forum name, unless of course it has some other meaning so I don’t hope I offend you by asking

    I’ve been listening to Down To Earth on repeat the past few hours as background to playing Returnal on PS5

    I’ve always love the album, but it actually made me realised what an absolute classic it is. I know Rainbow fans will always list Rising as the best album, which is probably is. But Down to Earth mixes poppy tracks with heavier numbers cleverly pleasing old fans but making it acceptable to newer fans brought in by the two hit singles

    The first four Rainbow albums are all fantastic with rising and down to Earth being 5 Star classics and the other two 4 Star great albums

    I wonder what you think about Rainbow? Or any other members come to that

    Or do you actually think I should just start a thread on this.

    I’d probably get lots of abuse by Purple fans, which wouldn’t actually bother me as I have thick skin
    Paulette and blacksabbathrainbow like this.
  14. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    No, you won't get abuse from Purple fans. Yes, that sounds like an idea for a different thread.

    Let's keep this one Sabbath-releases-centric.
    blacksabbathrainbow and hutchguv like this.
  15. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Analog or bust.

    I grafted it on to my '86 Castle hybrid. Even increased the volume a smidge too. :hide: :D
  16. I agree this topic is for another thread, but the short answer is: yes, I prefer Rainbow over Purple, though that's mostly because Rising is one of my favorite albums of all times.
    hutchguv likes this.
  17. Thank you very much as always for you thorough analysis and valuable comments.

    Your observations regarding the different arrangements and this tonalities of e.g. "Hole In The Sky" vs. "Thrill Of It All" and your suggestion that such differences are the reason why I perceive side B as brighter than side A are very interesting. I will definitely try it out and focus on other, better comparable tracks next time I have a close listen.

    When you're referring to the original Castle CD as using a "poorer source", are you referring to both sides of the album, rather than only side A (which clearly suffers from tape damage)?

    I am looking forward to your next take on Technical Ecstasy, after listening to the vinyl-rip. ;)
    hutchguv likes this.
  18. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    I will be forever grateful to this site, and Linda specifically for highlighting the greatness of the Warners Sabotage cd :cheers:
  19. el supernautico

    el supernautico A traveller of both, time and space

    Hi Linda,
    sorry for my poor choice of words with putting it as "poorer source", don't remember where I was at when I wrote it...
    While I indeed meant a poorer sounding source material, the more accurate wording would be "higher generation transfers". I have no proof of that, but it would fit with the album being made in the US and a copy being sent to the UK (the mishmash I mentioned in my post). So, I didn't mean the tape damage, but the overall sonic quality - in consequence, on the album's both sides.

    As for Technical Ecstasy, I must say that album has really grown on me during the last few weeks! It's a far cry from doomy, monolithic stuff like "Snowblind" or "Into The Void", but I have found many of the compositions to be really engaging, daring and successfull! I don't want to go onto detail, but compared to "Never Say Die", the band still sounds totally convincing and willing to give their best.
    I think it's not regarded so high because it didn't sit well with fans and/or critic expectations, but IMO, "Technical Ecstasy" still shows Sabbath in their prime.
    They might have stretched the envelope too far with it, but I think there are absolutely no signs of being tired or uninspired within.
  20. Thank you again.

    Based on what I've read and heard, it seems far from clear to me that only a copy tape of Sabotage was sent to the UK. Yes, the album was cut at Sterling, but that's all we seem to know for sure. I don't see why the original tapes couldn't have been sent to the UK afterwards, especially given that the 2009 CD, a UK release, does sound like it is from the best available source.

    Even if the 1986 Castle was made from higher gen tapes (if so, I don't hear that on side B), that doesn't prove that the original master tapes weren't located in the UK; instead, it would merely suggest that the master tapes were not used for the 1986 CDs, which would be far from unusual for a CD release at that time.

    And why "mishmash" anyway? The only mishmash I am aware of are the Wicked World tapes where the superior copy is definitely located in the US.

    Regardless, I'll definitely revisit Sabotage ASAP in order to compare side A and B again.
  21. I wouldn't go as far as claiming TE shows them in their prime, but I definitely agree there's a lot to enjoy on it.
    Gus Tomato likes this.
  22. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    I’ve recently discovered the benefits of using MP3 Gain on my iTunes. What a great little software tool!

    Because of the brickwalled mastering of a lot of modern CDs I couldn’t have any EQ settings enabled on my iPod Classic (‘13’ sounded absolutely atrocious!). I can now reduce the volume and remove the clipping that spoils these albums.
    I realise the damage had already been done in the mastering, but the MP3 Gain software definitely helps take the harshness out of the tracks.

    I ended up using it on my Castle ‘86 Vol 4 - using ‘track gain’ to normalise every track to approximately the same volume, cos that album was all over the shop volume-wise.

    ‘13’, and ‘The Devil You Know’ now sound a lot better and I can finally add a bit of EQ. Happy days!!
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.

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