Roland's favorite CD versions of Deep Purple albums

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by rjstauber, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    I've been wanting to post my favorite CD versions of many albums for a long time, and I decided that I would do this by starting a new thread for each artist.

    As I am not a big fan of remasters, and since I really consider compression the worst thing in CD mastering, most of my personal recommendations will not be a remastered version. Since I haven't heard all CD versions of all albums, my preferences might change as I find even better versions for some albums (I am hoping that this thread and the contribution of other forum members might point me and others to alternative versions).

    Of course, we all now that preferences are a very subjective issue, so feel free to disagree with my assessment.

    I want to start this thread series with one of my favorite bands, Deep Purple.

    1. Shades of Deep Purple
    My favorite version is the first Japanese pressing in the Forever Young series (20P2-2601). The remastered CD version is no-noised. The original European EMI version is also not bad, but I do like the Japanese Warner Bros. better.

    2. Book of Taliesyn
    My favorite version is the first Japanese pressing in the Forever Young series (20P2-2602). The remastered CD version is no-noised. The original European EMI version is also not bad, but I do like the Japanese Warner Bros. better.

    3. Deep Purple
    My favorite version (so far) is the first Japanese pressing in the Forever Young series (WPCP-4015). The remastered CD version is no-noised. I haven't heard the original European EMI version, but I would expect the same result as with the first two albums (I could be wrong, though).

    (I haven't checked into Concerto for Group and Orchestra yet)

    4. Deep Purple in Rock
    I do like the early European EMI version best (UK or Holland are the same, I had them both). This version has the intro to Speed King (which is not on the US or Japanese Warner Bros. versions). I never heard the early Japanese version, but Owasi (progmog) confirmed that the EMI sounds better. The remaster sounds really bad in my opinion, and the early EMI CD is much better. Still, it is not an audiophile recording, and I really wish Steve Hoffman could get his hands on the master tapes to get the best possible result. Until then, the original EMI is a good choice.

    5. Fireball
    I do like the early European EMI version best (WG, UK or Holland are the same, I had them). This version has Demon's Eye as the third track and not Strange Kind of Woman (I prefer the UK track listing since that is what I grew up with, plus SKOW is available on other CD's). The EMI sounds quite a bit better than the early Japanese CD. The remaster is not totally awful and has some nice bonus tracks plus great artwork, but the original EMI still sounds much better.

    6. Machine Head
    My favorite digital version is the DVD-A which really sounds awesome and very close to the original vinyl. As far as redbook goes, I do like the early Japanese pressings best (first pressing = 32XD-564 and second pressing = 20P2-2605 have identical mastering). The original US Warner Bros. CD is very very close to the early Japanese version, the difference is very minimal. I also had the original EMI CD, and I clearly like the Warner Bros. version better, although the early EMI is also quite good. The remaster is nice for the remixed album and the bonus track, but it is no-noised and compressed. I am also not a big fan of the SACD. I am only comparing 2-channel versions for DVD-A and SACD.

    7. Made in Japan
    No doubt, the DCC gold version is best. Besides that, the early Japanese pressing and the original Warner Bros. CD version are also quite good. The 25th Anniversary Edition does not sound very good in my opinion. You only need it for the encores (2nd disc), if at all.

    8. Who Do We Think We Are
    Of course, the gold Audio Fidelity mastered by Steve Hoffman is my favorite. The remaster (which isn't too bad on its own) is nice for the bonus material. I never bothered with the original EMI or Warner Bros. version since I have the AF disc.

    9. Burn
    My favorite versions are the early Japanese pressings (first pressing and second pressing = 20P2-2608 have identical mastering). The original US Warner Bros. CD is very very close to the early Japanese version, the difference is very minimal. I also had the original EMI CD, and I clearly like the Warner Bros. version better. I also had the 1996 Japanese remaster by Lee Herschberg. At first I thought it sounded better (more presence, more bass), but a longer listening revealed that it was simply smiley-EQ'd (it is not compressed however). the Japanese gold CD also has this Lee Herschberg mastering. I also have the remaster (without copy-control, UK version), but I don't like it very much. Overall, none of the CD versions is really great, and this album could really use the SH treatment. I remember the vinyl sounding much better.

    10. Stormbringer
    I do have the early EMI version (UK or Holland have the same mastering) and also the first Japanese pressing (20P2-2609). Both sound very good to me. The first four songs have reversed channels between these two versions (see separate thread). I personally like the EMI better, it sounds a little more relaxed and musical to me. Owais (progmog) told me that he prefers the Japanese version, which has a little more presence. I would recommend both versions, and I will definitely keep both (the Japanese version has much nicer artwork). I also had the 1996 Lee Herschberg remaster which sounded awful. I have no expectations regarding the soon-to-be-released remaster, I am certain it will not sound as good as the original CD versions, which actually sound great. I never heard the Metal Blade version either, but I would be very surprised if it is better than the EMI.

    11. Come Taste the Band
    I do have the first Japanese pressing (20P2-2610), and it sounds quite good. It's been a very long time since I compared it to the EMI CD, and back then I slightly preferred the Japanese version, but I remember the difference I heard back then (with much less educated ears) as being quite small. i might have to get an early EMI version just to do another shoot-out.

    I think I will stop here for the moment. I might come back to the other albums at a later point.

    Roland
     
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  2. progmog

    progmog Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Great idea, assessing an artist's/band's catalogue in one place rather than having to trawl through countless threads and posts :righton:
     
  3. eelkiller

    eelkiller Squashed dynamically

    Roland,

    Can you explain why you prefer the Japan 20P2 versions of "Shades" and "Book Of.."
     
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  4. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Barry,

    they just sound a tad warmer and fuller to me. Not shure how to describe it correctly in words. I do like the EMI versions better than the remasters, but the first Japanese pressings just top them.

    Still, all versions don't sound as good as they could when I compare them to the two tracks Steve Hoffman mastered as bonus tracks for the "Live on the BBC" SACD.

    I wish Steve could do all three Deep Purple albums the right way, or at least a 75 min dedicated SACD compilation on Audio Fidelity would have been nice.

    Roland
     
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  5. Buzzz

    Buzzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    back here on Earth
    Yes, it's kind of sad that even though Peter Mew had access to the master for the first time on the 2000 version of Shades, his mastering job is topped by several of the needle drops that were on the market before then (though certainly not any of the US ones).
     
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  6. Oyama

    Oyama Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Roland, if you could also provide the catalog numbers on those early European EMI discs, that would be great!
     
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  7. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Are you sure those were needle drops?

    At first I thought my Japanese CD and the EMI CD were needledrops, because they have some clicks which sort of sound like this, but then I realized that the clicks are at the same position for two completely different masterings (Japanese WB and European EMI), so I think these clicks are probably on the master tape and were edited out by Peter Mew

    For example, there is a quite prominent click at around 0:07 into Help! and another one (less prominent) at 0:06. These sound like vinyl clicks, but I don't think they are. There were some other ones, but I don't remember where they were exactly.

    Roland
     
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  8. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    I only have them for In Rock and Fireball.

    In Rock:
    CDP 7 46239 2

    Fireball:
    CDP 7 46240 2

    Roland
     
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  9. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    What is your opinion of the EMI CD "The Singles A's & B's"?
     
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  10. eelkiller

    eelkiller Squashed dynamically

    Cortesy of Roland :D I have:

    Book Of Taliesyn CDP 792408 2
    Shades Of Deep Purple CDP 792407 2
     
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  11. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Hello Andreas,

    I do have the early version which only has songs until the Fireball album.

    The catalog number is: EMI CDM 7 90939 2

    This album contains the best versions (I have heard so far) of the following songs:

    Emmaretta
    Hallelujah
    Black Night
    Speed King
    (this is a different version, sounds very close to the "Piano" version which was a bonus track on the remastered "Deep Purple In Rock" album)
    I'm Alone

    I have a feeling these songs could still sound a little better, but we would probably need SH to get a hold of the original tapes and do this compilation like only he does compilations - the right way (going back to the original masters for each song).

    The other songs are already available in mostly slightly better versions on other albums.

    Of course, it also contains the single version of April which sounds quite good. The sound is close to the Japanese Deep Purple (III) album which has the full version. the Japanese is still a tiny bit better, but it's not a huge difference.

    I have never heard the extended Singles A's and B's CD with the different artwork. I don't know what it sounds like and if it has been remastered (in a bad meaning, i.e. no-noised, compressed, etc.).

    Did anybody ever compare the two different EMI CD versions of Singles A's and B's (original and extended)?

    Roland
     
  12. Oyama

    Oyama Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Thank you, Roland! If you by any chance run into any other early European EMI versions of Fireball & Deep Purple in Rock, I'll gladly buy them off you. :)



    :thumbsup:

    I also picked up Stormbringer CDP 7 91084 2 from Roland and I'm enjoying it very much.
     
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  13. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    I'll keep my eyes open.


    Doesn't that one sound nice? I was surprised that it took so long for the CD to sell when I had it up in the Classifieds. Maybe a lot of people don't like the album too much, but I actually think it's a great record. I do like Glenn Hughes a lot.

    Roland
     
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  14. Buzzz

    Buzzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    back here on Earth
    The liner notes in the reissue stated that EMI's "master" (used for prior releases) was, in fact, a vinyl dub. Apparently, because the debut sold far more in America than England, the real master was at some point (and rather shortsightedly in retrospect) shipped to America. When Tetragrammaton, the US label, went belly up in the early 70's, the master disappeared. In the late 90's, with the help of the band's fan club, the real master was located in the hands of a collector and restored to EMI. The 2000 release was the first to make use of it.
     
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  15. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Location:
    Riverside, CT
    The Japanese mini-LP replica sleeve versions of STORMBRINGER and COME TASTE THE BAND released earlier this year on Warner Bros. sound really, really good, as do the 1990 Metal Blade Records versions.
     
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  16. dbz

    dbz Bolinhead.

    Location:
    Live At Leeds (UK)
    I disagree with this as far as Come taste the Band is concerned. I did a shoot out with the Forever Young issue(20P2-2610) and the mini LP cd and there is a huge difference in sound quality. The Mini Lp is harsh, loud and compressed. The Forever Young issue is the ONLY way to hear this recording. Granted, its quieter but it is smoother. The difference is like listenning to a Black faced DSOTM(non TO) compared to a silver faced EMI swindon disc..its that noticable:thumbsup:

    As a result I haven't bothered buying any of the other mini LP issues and will search out these earlier pressing as recommended by Roland. Great work by the way Roland.

    I did a comparison way back in 1991/2 with the Fame EMI release vs Forever Young of CTTB and I have no doubt that the Forever Young release is THE ONE to have. It is the only way to go! It Sparkles, it breathes and it sounds awesome even at high volumes. I would even say that it is in a league with stuff like the 35DP-4 Wish You Were Here...its that good( relatively speaking)
     
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  17. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    As far as I know, the mini-LP versions use the 1996 Lee Herschberg mastering (I could be wrong). If that is the case, then I can only say that I did not like the way the Lee Herschberg mastering of Stormbringer sounded.

    To me, the early EMI version sounds so nice that I really doubt any other version will beat it (besides the Japanese Forever Young series, which is also nice).

    Roland
     
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  18. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for the nice comment!

    And also for the info on the early EMI vs. Forever Young series CTTB. I won't bother getting the EMI version then and will close that book on what the best version of that album is.

    Roland
     
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  19. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot for that info, very interesting. Is that for all three of the early albums or only for "Shades of Deep Purple"?

    Roland
     
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  20. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    Here are a couple more albums of which I found the following versions to be my favorite ones:

    12. Last Concert in Japan
    My favorite version is the first Japanese pressing in the Forever Young series (WPCP-4018). This CD sounds really great and quite a bit better than the later 2-CD set "This Time Around: Live in Tokyo 1975". Of course, the 2-CD set has the complete show, which I like quite a bit (and I consider it essential for Mk. 4 fans), but the shared tracks sound quite a bit better on the original album (Japanese CD version).

    13. Power House
    Again, my favorite version is the first Japanese pressing in the Forever Young series (WPCP-4019). I like this album a lot. It has the other three tracks from the "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" concert (Hush, Wring That Neck, Child in Time). It also has three non-album tracks, Painted Horse, Cry Free and Black Night (live). All these tracks appear on this CD in their best sounding digital version.

    Roland
     
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  21. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Well then I'm glad I've held on to this one even though all the tracks have subsequently appeared on various reissues. I've always liked this little collection. It holds together quite nicely for a collection of odds and ends.
     
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  22. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Roland,

    Thanks for your work here. Well, I guess it probably wasn't *really* work though, eh?

    I got the Spitfire remasters of the MkI band some years ago and was not too excited about them. However, I like a number of the bonus tracks: both the out-takes & BBC sessions, and particularly like 'Playground' which is credited as a 'remixed outtake' from the Taliesyn LP.

    Are the Spitfires the only source for these tracks or are there 'better' versions tacked onto the better CDs?
     
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  23. b8375629

    b8375629 New Member

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.
    I actually felt the opposite and thought the Spitfire reissue of Shades Of... to be an improvement over the muffled old EMI CD.

    I haven't heard the Japanese "Forever Young" versions Roland was talking about, but I suspect the prices for them on ebay will be outrageous. :shake:
     
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  24. rjstauber

    rjstauber Senior Member Thread Starter

    They're usually not that bad. Depending on condition somewhere between $20 and $30. Mint with OBI can be a little more.

    Roland
     
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  25. dbz

    dbz Bolinhead.

    Location:
    Live At Leeds (UK)
    Playground was first released on the vinyl The Anthology in 1985 (ish). I believe you can find it on the Box set Listen Learn Read On. Roland will be able to tell you how it sounds judging by his avatar
     

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