The Hollies Greatest Hits - the best sonics?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by sbroache, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    You know, guyz, Ron is a member here and I'm sure this is hurting his feelings.

    Disagreements about music are fine here, but let's not cut off our feet to spite our head. Rather than lose Ron as a member, can't we figure out a way to constructively criticize something in a less nasty way? You might ask Ron his thoughts on why he did something a certain way rather than just bitch.

    I know Ron is a sensitive guy and he is just like me in the fact that armchair criticism of our work HURTS. It might sound silly to you but after working on a single project for months, living with the music day after day, literally raising the dead, having someone toss it off like so much crap is very hard to take. We never get used to it, since the only reason we do what we do is so that YOU get a chance to hear something that otherwise would be lost forever.

    Ron is also like me in that he falls in love with his "subject" while he's working on a project. He goes the extra mile every time. Whether he (or I) please everyone all the time isn't really important. It's that, if Ron or the other good guys like Bill Inglot were NOT involved, most reissues would really, really suck big time and many worthy artists would never see the light of day again.

    Can we try and get Ron to stay here with us?

    JDeanB, Billo and wwright like this.
  2. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Well said Boss! Thoughts for all us to be mindful of...

    Bob :)
  3. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    Steve - Hear, here!
  4. billh

    billh Forum Resident

    Orange County, CA
    I'd just like to add my 2 cents for whatever it's worth. Ron, if you're reading this I enjoy your stories and I really appreciate the fact that you answered one of my questions a while back. And, I added up all my CD's with your name on them. You come in third, after Bill Inglot and Steve Hoffman, so you can see I appreciate your work, too.
  5. olsen

    olsen Forum Resident

    los angeles
    It's funny, this business of artists. I made a big stink in another thread about some George Martin Beatles remixes. For me, they were successful. The sound was different, but old Geo got the moves right. Yet y'all cut him to shreads. Ron F does great work but he was asleep at the wheel in this instance. "Look Thru Any Window" had some pushy harmonies that I guess he'd never heard, so the remix misses the hit's impact. I don't want him to question his work, just to know when maybe he's missed something.
  6. olsen

    olsen Forum Resident

    los angeles
    I reread my posts and have to apologise to all. I way overstated my point, in a High Fidelity/Jack Black "this sucks!" kind of way. I should stress I'm a fan of R.F's stuff (the Sinatra collection, please.) But the mix difference occurred at my favorite Hollies moment. Naturally. When I first heard it I hit the roof. Mr Hoffman is right tho, I should have just asked why this occurred. And I didn't mean to start a pile-on where everyone would pull out their own moments to bitch over. Sorry Ron!
  7. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    Well, i'm the guy who brought Ronnie here, and I'll speak with him. I think Ronnie DOES understand that all of us here are passionate music junkies and no one means any disrespect when they say that dont dig some of the remixes. They are just intensely passionate about the music. You cant please everybody, its impossible.

    I think we'll see Ron back here. C'mon Ronnie.......I need to ask you about Ron Richards and why Bobby Eliots drums on the Hollies multis sound like gunshots!!!!
  8. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    Over the past two years or so that I have participated in this board, I have noticed a tendency of many participants to crap on commonly available, remastered versions of certain artists' recordings, expressing a preference for earlier versions that have long since gone out of print and are accordingly next to impossible to obtain without selling the car. Yeah, that version of Sticky Fingers that was out for 6 weeks in Chile cuts the hell out of the Virgin CD. Go track it down. Looks like we have a few stamp collectors here that would prefer to sit and gaze at a single upside down biplane stamp than buy a book of new ones and just get their letters to the addressees. Different strokes.

    A perfect example of this phenomenon is the recent soiling here of the quality of the Ron Furmanek-mastered 3 CD Hollies 30th Anniversary Collection. All I can say is this: I've got 60s British vinyl (Linn table), I've got US, British and French CDs and, yes, I've got the mythical and (go figure) out of print British All the Hits and More 2 CD set from the dawn of the Digital Age. I keep going back to Ron's collection: the stereo mixes are a revelation and it features great tracks I can't find anywhere else. It's clear that he gave it a LOT of attention and care tracking down the tapes. He deserves better from the likes of us, not out of kindness, but out of appreciation and respect.

    Think before you push that send button.
    jamesmaya and wwright like this.
  9. olsen

    olsen Forum Resident

    los angeles
    I'm not going to refrain from pointing out errors, when they happen. But better we all just have our debates like adults (writes 50 times: "I will try to do better in the future").
  10. JohnT

    JohnT Senior Member

    I've picked up several of Ron F's EMI collector series after learning about him here. They are a welcome part of my library and I seek more.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Didn't work but let's try and keep this in mind..
  12. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Southern England
    The Hollies sixties stereo mixes for EMI at the time were often 'afterthoughts' compared to the mono versions - hence errors like in stereo on 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' were only corrected on the mono versions and that 'go to mono' moment on stereo 'I Can't Let Go' appears to have been a quick patch up job presumably due to some issue on the stereo version

    Back in the sixties the second, third and fourth Hollies UK albums were only released in mono originally over 1964-66 with stereo versions issued by EMI later over 1967-69 - in two cases as 'budget LPs' - so back then stereo was clearly not given as much prominence as mono which probably explains why those albums and even 'Evolution' in 1967 had that very basic: 'vocals and a lone instrument on one channel / most instruments on the other channel' stereo that EMI / Universal now dislike hence 'The Clarke Hicks Nash Years' CD set has that chunk of mono tracks over 1964 to 1966 plus the 1967 Evolution tracks and some singles (even 'Sorry Suzanne' as late as early 1969 still had a very basic stereo sound on 'Hollies Greatest vol 2' issued in the UK early in 1972)

    so with sixties EMI attitude re stereo back then.... plus todays EMI / Universal view re that basic sixties stereo sound we need to bear these points in mind re record company attitudes and requirements then and now before - or instead of - taking any 'accusing' attitude towards guys like Ron Furmanek working years later to try to get as strong and more presentable stereo sound as possible from vintage recordings whilst remaining as true as possible to what the artist intended back then

    whatever these guys do you can guarantee that someone won't like it or approve but the answer is IF it isn't what you like then stick with the originals and don't 'blast' someone who has worked hard to present tracks in a updated quality sound that others may appreciate

    I welcome tastefully and carefully remixed versions of classic recordings and certainly would NOT 'shoot the messenger' here as clearly much work has gone into both attempting to modernise the stereo sound of the original recordings beyond that very basic sixties low priority often quickly done by EMI staff engineers stereo mixing that often applied in those days (without either producer or artists present on occasions - and do bear in mind back then the general view was that it was 'only pop music' !)

    plus it can only help the continuing profile of classic artists if their work is carefully updated with care and any technical limitations of the past that can be corrected are duly done

    Also bear in mind maybe the artist or the record company might be specifically instructing the guy doing the work what they require - so he is not always doing what he might choose but what they want done

    - some Hollies fans were angry when the acoustic guitar disappeared from a new remix of 'I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top' on a later compilation ....however I believe that The Hollies themselves wanted that remix !

    The Hollies and Graham Nash clearly were pleased with Ron Furmanek's past work for them and I understood from reading a Hollies tour booklet that Ron was working on a further archive project for them which hopefully will surface in the not too distant future (??)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  13. Joe Fornarotto

    Joe Fornarotto Senior Member

    New Jersey
    I always find it interesting how all the complaints with Ron's work on the Hollies points to his mix on "Look Through Any Window", but never a positive response to all the other first time stereo tracks we got with that set. And finally getting a great sounding solo in stereo on "I Can't Let Go".
    If only we could get the same care Ron put into his projects and get decent remasters of each album without all the noise reduction
    used on re-issues they've put out time and time again.

    I'm going to guess 90% of the recent 3 box sets contain previous masterings and a hodge podge of mono and stereo mixes all from
    previously issued consistency at all on those sets. And I'm pretty sure some collections even used altered/narrowed
    versions of Ron's remixes....Another missed opportunity to issue the Hollies entire catalog in really nice sound.

    Here's hoping Ron's latest project on the Hollies gets issued soon.
    JDeanB and Bill like this.
  14. olsen

    olsen Forum Resident

    los angeles
    “Look Through Any Window” stereo doesn’t have quite the sublime vocal harmony blend that the mono version does. Sadly I was one of those who faulted Mr F for this. But at the time Ron DM’ed me personally to explain that this was a stereo mix that was already sitting in the Hollies archives. He didn’t actually create that mix.

    I’m sorry that my own lack of sophistication led me to join the unruly chorus. In my defense I was only fifty five years old at the time. Much maturing left to do!
    S. P. Honeybunch likes this.
  15. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    My pick would be 20 Golden Greats.
    rockerreds and Instant Karma like this.
  16. Joe Fornarotto

    Joe Fornarotto Senior Member

    New Jersey
    olsen, I can assure you my post was not directed at you. There was a long line of comments about that mix....
    As others have stated before, most of us are very passionate about the music we listen to and what we grew up with.
    I have had my own opinions about the way things have been re-issued over the years. And they were not always good.

    I hope you have the 20 Golden Greats CD (for the stereo mix) and "All The Hits And More" (for the mono mix) of Look Through Any
    Window. Both are well mastered and contain original mono & stereo mixes....if not, both are worth picking up if you are a Hollies fan.
  17. Michael Chavez

    Michael Chavez Forum Resident

    this thread is 15 years old?

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