Shades Of Deep Purple – Some theories about the mastertape and my conclusion

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by sathvyre, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. IR66

    IR66 Active Member

    Location:
    OREGON
    Was the label called Passport,I had one and I could actually hear clicks and pops on it, and apart from that sounded terrible.
     
  2. jstger6969

    jstger6969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    And we have a winner!!! they were terrible!
     
  3. dzjc

    dzjc Forum Resident

    OP: that was quite an awesome dissertation. Kudos to you!
     
  4. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Hello to all vinyl lovers ! I'm a member of the SH forum for quite a while ago but had not much activity! I'm fascinated by threads like this one and I'd like to share with you my input about the "Shades of Deep Purple" master tape question. Recently I acquired both the "Purple Passages" compilation double vinyl 1972 LP's (original US print WB) and the UK Harvest 1978 version of the album (that with the horrible sleeve art with the guitar), both in VG++ condition. I found the "Passages" at a local Athens second hand record shop for only 9 euros, while I bought the 1978 release of SODP from Discogs (20 euros incl. p+p). This way I could compare the common tracks with my extremely modest system (A refurbished 1989 Dual 505-3 turntable with Ortofon OM cartridge and a Tonar elliptical stylus). I made needledrops of both of them using as phono preamp a homemade one, based on Rod Elliot's excellent 06 design with Burr Brown OPA2134 op-amps, and as ADC I used a Lexicon Alpha external sound interface. The needle drops were done at Lexicon's maximum resolution (48KHz/24bit), using Vinyl Studio and Lexicon's ASIO drivers. I listened to the high definition needledrops carefully with my pair of AudioTechnica 40x headphones and here's my own thoughts about the subject: The original OP's theory in my opinion is absolutely spot on! The common tracks in discussion are "And The Address", "Hush", "Hey Joe" and "Mandrake Root". First of all, the "Passages" tracks exhibit much less tape hiss than the UK 1978 LP and also their clarity, transients and separation are far superb (taking in mind that SODP is not an example of a fine recording). For example, Jon Lord's hammond on "Passages" sounds so vivid with full bodied sound, rich in harmonics, or Ian Paice's cowbell at "And the Address", on UK 1978 LP sounds dull,while on "Passages" is clear and well defined. But a major question is "what happened to Hey Joe's ending". Yes, indeed, I heard exactly what OP heard on my UK 1978 LP. At approximately 6:38-39 point (on my needledrop), the sound tonality changes and becomes "lo-fi", almost like changing from FM to AM! The transition is not abrupt but gradual (with the lo fi portion fading in). Clicks and pops are audible as well as the rumble of the motor of the turntable used back then to make this pasted "needledrop" ending (probably some old fashioned turntable with idler wheel drive). Of course, as all of you already know, the "Passages" "Hey Joe" track misses the extended ending.
    Based on these findings, my thoughts about the master tape of SODP are these: The band took with them, at United States in 1968 the "master tape" stereo mix...but what stereo mix? In my opinion the original stereo mix, that one DP brought with them never had the "steps/slamming door" ending! This ending, according to my theory, was pasted by Tetragrammaton, in the US, and with this one they cut the LP masters for the 1968 US release. Meanwhile in the UK, a few months later, Parlophone finally decided to release the album in the UK...but there was a problem: all they had was a dub of the original master tape, of course without the extended ending (this was made in the US) - and they didn't bothered to make a new stereo mix using the multitracks, which they had still in possession. So a decision was made, at least for the UK Parlophone LP, to have exactly the same content like the US one. So, they got a US Tetragrammaton LP, neddledroped it. pasted the needledrop to their dub (by making a new second generation dub - which is more probable to me, judging by the more pronounced tape hiss - and the fade-in transition), and... voila! Back in the US, after the collapse of Tetragrammaton, probably the whereabouts of the locally created "steps/slamming door" version where "lost" in the huge archives of Warner Bros. They still had in hand, though, the unaltered master tape, the one brought there by the band, and they used it for the 1972 "Passages" compilation. Dubs of the same tape where used for other WB affiliated releases of the SODP album in other countries, all of them missing the extended ending.
    To summarize: 1) The Parlophone UK LP was not a needledrop (as the OP later revised his initial theory) , but made by a second generation dub of the original master tape (this one made just before band's departure for the US), missing of course the extended ending (which was pasted clumsily from a needledrop), 2) The extended ending tape used only for the original Tetragrammaton release, and then resurfaced again at the 2000 remaster, of course after locating again this tape at the vast WB archives). Probably a dub of this tape (with many drop outs, as already noted by the OP) was used for the 1989 Japanese CD. Oddly enough, the 2014 vinyl reissue again misses the extended ending!
    I think also that "Passages" compilation is the only affordable and secure way to get an idea of how the original Tetragrammaton release sounded. (I say "secure", because all we know how many counterfeit "Tetragrammaton" LPs are lurking on Discogs and second hand record shops.)
    These were my thoughts about the SODP master tape issue! Feel free to comment and of course correct any mistakes I've may made!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
    PyroMessiah, dpv2008, Bill and 2 others like this.
  5. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    A small correction about the summary of my theory: At least the 1977 UK Harvest Heritage series version is not a needledrop (YEX 689/690 runout matrixes - unfortunately mine is not the Harry T. Moss cut) (also corrected the release year - it's not 1978 as wrote previously)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  6. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your contribution!

    One friendly suggestion, if I may: use paragraph breaks in order to make your text easier on the eyes of your readers.
     
  7. kelhard

    kelhard Forum Resident

    Creative Sounds, and their later sub-labels like Power Sound 2000. Also Passport reissued these circa 1987-88.. Passport used the old side 1 of Taliesyn from the Creative Sounds vinyl, for crying out loud. Passport also added reverb to the end of "Chasing Shadows". When Power Sound released their CD's, they copied the Passport CD's. Awful.. But those old Creative Sound Lp's and cassettes have a soft place in my heart as that is how I first heard those albums.
     
  8. kelhard

    kelhard Forum Resident

    Would kill to hear your transfer!!!!

     
  9. kelhard

    kelhard Forum Resident

    Has anyone compared the hi-res version from HD Tracks? First off, no footsteps ending, but no dropout in "I'm So Glad.

    Also has anyone noticed a huge "THUMP" in the left hand channel (around 1:50) of "I'm So Glad"? I heard it on the Japan Warner CD, also heard it on a rip of a mint UK pressing from Pbthal. The 2003 stereo remix attempts to "repair" that thump (somewhat sloppily). Its even there on the Peter Mew remaster, so it may be a glitch right in the master tape. (Anyone with a 1st press Tetragrammaton wish to check it out?)

    Also on the HD Tracks, the "thump" is still there, but softened.
     
  10. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac Thread Starter

    Location:
    Europe
    I will check soon. I have the original Tetragrammaton LP and the 1989 Japan CD...is it also on the Japan CD (Forever Young Series) ???
     
  11. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Hello again and thank you for the suggestions!! As for "I'm so glad", I confirm the "thump" sound at 1:50! it's clearly audible on the left channel on my 1977 Harvest Heritage SODP copy! There are also other tape (or wax cutting - who knows) dropouts in various places (either sudden volume loss or strange "chirping" sounds)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  12. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Location:
    New Zack Island
    I have a German pressing of Shades (Odeon, maybe first press), purple US vinyl (Tetragrammaton) and the 2000 remaster CD.
    From what I've read here the purple vinyl apparently isn't official but the 2000 remaster from the CD was used.
    The footsteps are on that LP. Didn't know there are masters/releases out there without the SFX after 'Hey Joe'.
     
  13. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Yes there are in fact three versions of Hey Joe: one without the "steps/slamming door ending", one with it (original Tetragrammaton and few others) and one with the extended ending crudely pasted from a low quality source (UK releases mainly) (the common knowledge is that it'is a needledrop probably from the original Tetragrammaton US release)
     
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  14. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Location:
    New Zack Island
    Just re-checked what I set into my Discogs collection a while ago. The German pressing I have is from early 1969 (second press then).
    And surprisingly the purple vinyl by Tetragrammaton (released in 2006) isn't noted as being an unofficial release there.
     
  15. Jae

    Jae Senior Member

    The Australian LP originated from UK -1/-1 lacquers so is the same as the first UK release.
     
  16. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Another thing to note there: The SODP tracks from "Passages" have well balanced L-R channels, especially in the case of "And The Address", while the UK Harvest version has the L channel lower. Here's another question (I'm sure some of the more experienced guys here, many of them professionals will know much better): What was the standard procedure regarding mastering back then? The band took with them individual reels of the stereo mixes, like the 30ips "Hey Joe" 4 track stereo mix reel now resting at EMI archives, or they took a 15ips reel (or reels) containing all the tracks, ready to be used for the cutting lathe?
    What's this reel in storage in UK, dated 11/5/68? First generation stereo mix of "Hey Joe"? Is the 2014 remaster (which lacks the extended ending) a direct transfer from this tape reel? If yes, then two other tapes created with the extended end, one for Tetragrammaton and one for the first pair of UK stampers. Tthe UK one a copy of the US tape? both dubbed simultaneously or at the end the early UK stampers are made from a needledrop? - if they did so, they used a really high end, for 1968 standards, turntable with moving magnet cartridge, a quite new technological feature for the late 60's. Shure marketed their first MM cartridge in 1964, and Ortofon started producing MM cartridges in 1969. I highly doubt, if the early UK stampers were made with a needledrop of US release, that they used a back then more common ceramic cartridge/stylus, because the sound fidelity is exceptional, and UK and US versions sound so similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  17. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    According to Wikipedia, the recording sessions started on May 11 1968, at Pye studios, and lasted only a couple of days (in fact 18 hours, as Nick Simper told in an interview). Everything was done in a rush to catch the tight release deadlines! While the band recorded, with no time for rehearsing (according to N. Simper, most of the tracks were done on 1st take), the sound engineering team produced the stereo mixes from the multitracks! This also explains the raw sound quality and the almost lack of production values (again N. Simper is a bit sarcastic about D. Lawrence's capability as a producer....) So this 30ips reel, dated 11/5/68 , with high probability , is THE original 1st generation 4 track stereo mix! And if this one hasn't the extended ending, then my theory is correct! The remaining part is to determine where the extended outro was added, in UK or in the US? If Sathvyre's findings, that the first UK version is a needledrop, are correct, then the US origin of the extended ending is more than probable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  18. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    To make the issue a bit more complicated, the audible male voice at the extended ending has a very distinct British accent. So was this recorded in UK? Or recorded in US by one of DP? Edwards? D. Lawrence?

    For your pleasure a nice photo of Pye Studios mixing console during the 60's:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  19. evarlam

    evarlam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Today i received my NM copy of the DP compilation "The Singles - A's & B's", which is the original 1978 release, cut by Harry T. Moss (his initials HTM are clearly visible on the dead wax). This compilation has 2 tracks from "SODP", "Hush" and "One More Rainy Day". Immediately when listened to my needledrops, it was evident that H.T. Moss had used a far superior quality tape source for both tracks than that used for the same era Harvest release (the one with the ugly guitar cover). The tracks, as cut by H.T. Moss, have much more clarity and definition, comparable with those on US "Passages" compilation, much less tape hiss, and I'm sure this is not only a result of his mastering capabilities (in fact the MK2 tracks of this compilation are slightly less defined than the album ones - maybe for those he used a higher generation tape dub). But there's a glitch: at the end of "Hush", a huge tape dropout is audible, the audio literally dives! Despite this quite severe tape dropout, it seems that in UK , in 1978 they had a superb tape source for SODP, which for sure it was not a needledrop!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020

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