SH Spotlight Old Polydor CD "Strange Brew-The Very Best Of Cream" mastered by Dennis Drake. Best sound, cheap!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Hudson Yards
    In effect the Drakes sounds good to him but "The master tape sounds exactly like it was recorded in the towel room at a golf course. Under blankets, covered in tar."

    For me that makes sense one can like a mastering but still think a recording is not optimal.

    OK, next...


    SH: "If you want to hear the master without futzing, get the MoFi Gold CD. I love it, I can do my own tweaking. For those of you who would probably HATE that sound (I'd say 90% of you), any other version will have more punch."

    So you are in the 90% he mentions. Seems clear cut to me.

    As for myself I now prefer the 2013 SHM-CD [and now the 2016 SHM-SACD] over the MFSL guess I'm in the 90% as well. Although it's very close on the mono. The Drake I have is also nice, but now I reach for the SHM - also the Drake's do not have the mono.
    Lucidae likes this.
  2. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    You know, its a strange phenom when people on this forum seemingly answer posts directed at our host. Are you his spokesperson? way weird.

    This was originally a thread about the better masterings of Creams recordings.

    Somehow it fell into a critique of how it was recorded and mixed.

    It's really comical that mastering engineers and so called audiophiles can crap on the efforts of someone like Tom Dowd. He was a pioneer and genius in music recording. The tracking and mix of Disreali Gears was great., especially considering that he had to deal with Clapton and Bruce insisting on recording at ear splitting spl's. This was not something that Dowd of any other recorders had dealt with previously

    Dowd doesnt get near enough credit for capturing the new "sound" of Cream.

    Back to the origin of the OP, Drake did a great job of getting it on CD.
  3. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    I'm not a big compilation fan, so I recently picked up all the Dennis Drake mastered Cream CD's for some good prices. I use to have these originally, but gave them away to friends of mine when I "drank the cool-aid "and purchased the most recent remastered series. It's good to have these again so I can rediscover how good these really were.

    I have taken the bait so many times on all these remastered CD sets. Not only with Cream, but the original Jimi Hendrix CD's as well. Whenever I find original mid to late 1980's CD 's(of any band I like) for cheap, I pick them up now. I have back all those original CD's that I gave away to friends when a new remaster would come out.

    I always give them to friends as gifts. I can't stomach selling music that I paid a lot of money for pennies on the dollar. The Karma means more to me than money.
    qwerty likes this.
  4. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD

    Same, and for anyone who's considering hunting down the OOP MFSL CD, I say don't bother - the SHM-CD is a cheaper and arguably better alternative.
  5. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Hudson Yards
    Congrat's for breaking free of the "remaster treadmill". Many of us were also on that nasty little ride for a long time.
  6. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    I am sure that Steve's opinion is based on his experience on being a professional sound person. My opinion on this subject is that it nice to have some kind of guidance, but I let my own ears do the deciding. Everyone likes something different and we all have different sound systems that can play a huge part.

    I don't discount anyone's critique of of sound quality, but when it come right down to it, I trust my own ears(however bad they may be) on what I think sounds good. It may be completely different from Steve's or any other forum members opinion, but that's the way it is.
    gorangers and misterjones like this.
  7. hoggydoggy

    hoggydoggy Forum Resident

    Got my copy of this CD today - the European one, listed here,

    Cream (2) - Strange Brew - The Very Best Of Cream »

    Features the Dennis Drake mastering credit and matches up on the UPC .

    Great-sounding CD (shame about the static on Badge, but it IS very slight), although a quiet one - I haven't run it through EAC, but I'd be surprised if we're seeing any 100% peaks on this particular version.

    Anyway, a pretty fab purchase, for £1.99 on eBay!
  8. Sidewinder43

    Sidewinder43 Forum Resident

    Pasadena, TX
    Got mine this week. One of the best $1.99 purchases that I've ever made. Hard to believe how great it sounds. I've been listening to these tracks for up to 50 years and heard subtleties that I never noticed before.

    Thanks for the tip, Steve, and thanks for the great mastering job, Dennis.
    hi_watt likes this.
  9. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    Do the tracks on Strange Brew sound the same as those on the individual Drake CDs, or did he do something special when he created the compilation?
    George P likes this.
  10. Gardo

    Gardo Forum Resident

    Got mine over the weekend at Amoeba Music. I'm betting someone there reads the Forum, as they had about six copies stacked up in the eye-level rack. :) My copy is made in USA, Matrix 811 639-2 01 (then the little symbol that looks like the Bluetooth symbol). Is this a PDO pressing? It's aluminum all the way to the center hole. I don't see any manufacturer info on the disc, booklet, or back liner.

    Other info: booklet credits Dennis Drake. Back liner says AAD. Has bar code 0 422-811639-2 0. Catalog number is printed in very small type right underneath UPC. At the bottom left of the box with the track listing, in the yellow area, 0704 is printed.

    Sounds great! Thanks, Dennis and thanks, Steve!

    P.S. My EAC peak levels match the preferred version, which always "gives me an enormous sense of well-being." :)
    SonicZone, Robert C and George P like this.
  11. aussievinyl

    aussievinyl Appreciator Of Creative Expression

    Was going to buy on Ebay after reading this, then there it was today for $4 at the thrift shop. Aussie Polydor DISCTRONICS pressing, with a misspelling on the back tray for Track 11, entitled TALES OF BRAVE ULYSEES.
    Bernard hansen and qwerty like this.
  12. Listening to the Dennis Drake as we speak. Very engaging listen. I got it free at a yard sale, from a guy packing in for the day. Carried one box to his door for him, he thanked me, told me to grab any cd in the box I wanted for free. I bought four others for the cause, but happy to have this one.
    davers and Paul P. like this.
  13. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Chicago, il
    Picked up a copy of this for 50cents yesterday. It's a BMG music service copy, but with the Dennis Drake mastering credit and manufactured in the US. Sounds really good, for Cream.

    Glad to have seen this thread earlier, or I would probably have just passed it up.
    hi_watt and Bernard hansen like this.
  14. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Forum Resident

    Steve, you should do a highlighted CD each month.
    grandegi, mgb70, AlienRendel and 5 others like this.
  15. Headfone

    Headfone Forum Resident

    Just picked this up for $5.00. After listening, my conclusion is that I like it very much. Perhaps the best I've heard the "Wheels Of Fire" tracks sound. SWLABR even has nice blend, cohesiveness and punch.
  16. stillrockin

    stillrockin Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    Sorry to go way way off the topic here but what Elton John compilation on Polygram was mastered by Dennis Drake?
  17. stingraex2000

    stingraex2000 Forum Resident

    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Thanks Steve for pointing this one out. Finally grabbed one and lovin it.
  18. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    I have this disc. Got it from a CD club way back when. Haven't listened to it for years, maybe 25.
  19. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Senior Member

    Mudwest, CA
    It was a 2-cd promo that Polygram put out in 1990 of early-period Elton John / Bernie Taupin songs.

    stillrockin likes this.
  20. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    For those sensitive to small print, here's the track listing.

    Disc one
    1. Your Song - 4:00
    2. Take Me To The Pilot - 3:44
    3. Sixty Years On - 4:33
    4. Border Song - 3:19
    5. The King Must Die - 5:09
    6. Bad Side Of The Moon - 3:05
    7. Come Down In Time - 3:25
    8. Country Comfort - 5:08
    9. Where To Now St. Peter? - 4:12
    10. Amoreena - 4:57
    11. Talking Old Soldiers - 4:06
    12. Burn Down The Mission - 6:21
    13. Friends - 2:20
    14. Tiny Dancer - 6:12
    15. Levon - 5:37
    16. Madman Across The Water - 5:22

    Disc two
    1. Indian Sunset - 6:45
    2. Honky Cat - 5:12
    3. Rocket Man - 4:40
    4. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters - 5:00
    5. Daniel - 3:52
    6. Teacher I Need You - 4:08
    7. Blues For Baby And Me - 5:38
    8. Have Mercy On The Criminal - 5:55
    9. Crocodile Rock - 3:56
    10. Candle In The Wind - 3:41
    11. Bennie And The Jets - 5:10
    12. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - 3:13
    13. Sweet Painted Lady - 3:52
    14. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)- 4:50
    15. Roy Rogers - 4:10
    16. Harmony - 2:49
  21. hi_watt

    hi_watt Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA
    I've been waiting to find this Cream c.d. since I found this thread awhile back. Finally found a copy for a dollar, and must say that I'm impressed with the sonics. Thanks for the heads up Steve.
    AlienRendel likes this.
  22. Although not listed as such, this disc actually features the longer version of "Sixty Years On" (4:57), which is also on "To Be Continued" and the West German DJM "Elton John" CD.
    jamesmaya likes this.
  23. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Montrose, CO
    This thread floated back to the first page last week, I read it, ran down a copy on eBay, received it several days ago and just finished listening to it.

    My copy is pristine, not a sign of wear. Cost was 1.99 + 3.00 shipping. And yes, it sounds very nice. Thanks to our forum host for alerting us to this affordable, audiophile copy.
  24. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    1060 W. Addison
    Partially off topic, but I recently picked up what looked like an original US CD of New York Dolls s/t (as far as I can tell it is still in print with that mastering), and I frankly wasn’t really expecting a whole lot from it audio wise, just interested in the music. Ten seconds in I was immediately struck with how good it sounded, so I immediately started flipping through the liner notes and luckily they had who mastered it, Dennis Drake; so it then made sense.

    This one has finally solidified for me that Dennis Drake absolutely nails cymbals. They always sound so darn good, and I can’t think of many others who consistently get such nice natural tones from cymbals on CD.
    hi_watt likes this.
  25. jerrygene

    jerrygene Forum Resident

    New York
    Still like my Blind Faith as well.

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