The Miles Davis album-by-album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KevinP, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. eeglug

    eeglug Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
  2. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    There are 3 mixes. Blu spec is the original lp mix. The Columbia fatboy cd is an early 90s inferior remix. The SRCS is another remix, with additional material not found elsewhere - percussion solos and applause at the end of the sets.

    There is no "Japan" mix - original US and Jap (and European for Agartha) LPs have the same mix.

    Above applies for both Agartha and Pangaea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  3. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    So the first remix was done in the early 90s? All LP issues before that contain the same original mix?
     
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  4. ether-bored

    ether-bored Forum Resident

    i'd love to hear your (or anyones') thoughts on the blu-spec 2 issues. i've been curious for some time about them. i have 2 issues currently, my favorite of which are the 2006 mini lp's from the 'original jacket' series (sicp-1230/1 and sicp-1232/3).
     
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  5. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Yes indeed. Masterings may differ but same mixes.
     
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  6. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    What about the 50DP CD pressings of these albums that also state remixed.
     
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  7. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I have had, for a few years now, the Blu-Spec CD2 issues of both titles. I then picked up the 4MWB pressings of each. Finally, I found a clean copy of the US white label promo of Agharta for $20!

    My favorite way to listen, for sound quality, is the Blu-Spec CD2. I've just spent some time comparing the first minute of Agharta across each of these. The Blu-Spec CD2 has the most defined bass, the tightest and most prominent drums, and the fullest treble extension. There's a fat chord that Miles plays on keys at approximately the 1:00 minute mark and holds for several seconds. This chord has the greatest harmonic richness on the Blu-Spec CD2. On the 4MWB, it's barely there, suggesting to me that they might have used a different mix; the chord on the Blu-Spec CD2 will knock you back in your seat, but on the 4MWB it's buried. It's also prominent on the US white label promo, but with less harmonic complexity and treble extension.

    The 4MWB, still, is not a bad option for this title. It's less defined than the Blu-Spec CD2, but I wouldn't describe it as murky, overall. It just suffers a bit by comparison. It was pressed at United, although like other Sony titles I've had from that plant, this is one of their better jobs and I can't say anything negative about the pressing quality. They used generic labels, which is lame, especially considering the quality job they did with the rest of the packaging, including a Staughton tip-on gatefold jacket that replicates the original Japanese art. (Though part of me suspects they used a US mix; surely the album was cut from a digital file sent to United from Sony).

    The US white label promo is pretty sweet. It sounds like a record cut in 1976, for better and for worse. It's a little dark, slightly murky, but very listenable. I'm thrilled to find a clean copy for as little as I did. You better believe that I snatched it right off the shelf, despite already owning multiple copies. I contemplated selling it, but I think this has quickly become my favorite way to listen on vinyl.

    I also have the 4MWB pressing of Pangaea, but I need to finish rocking Agharta before I turn to it.
     
  8. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert Thread Starter

    Location:
    Wellington , NZ
    The very first CD pressings of these, if I'm not mistaken, are from Japan for the Japanese market, 1985 I think. Don't have the matrix number handy, but they're in white fatboys. I'm guessing these are the original LP mixes. Can anyone conform this?
     
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  9. Yesternow

    Yesternow Forum pResident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Since he started the "directions in music" journey, Miles was ahead of his band. I believe that a lot of times only he knew what he wanted to achieve.

    Luckily for him he had the best guys around to play with him. You can fell the exploratory sound thru out his "electric" records. We all gained that those players embarked on that journey with a very small map on their hands. Getting lost and finding new paths sounded great.

    But that day in Osaka the band finally caught up with Miles. That is what I feel when I play the first track of Agartha.

    They sound so professional and 100% sure of what they were playing. They were in control. The surprise factor was gone but there was now place for enjoyment. They were finally enjoying the sound that Miles imagined.

    (Just a personal opinion)
     
  10. Musicisthebest

    Musicisthebest Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    The Blu-Spec CD2 versions are the best I've heard, offering (relative) clarity & great insight into the music but I've not heard the 2006 mini lps...................
     
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  11. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Definitely not the original LP mixes. Remixed by Tomoo Suzuki.
    X~86-3-31 I-7-21
    Agharta 50DP-237 11 +++++ / 50DP-238 11 +++++
    Pangaea 50DP-239 11 +++++ / 50DP-240 11 +++++
     
  12. xybert

    xybert Forum Resident

    Thanks for doing this. I've had the Columbia fat-boys since forever, and i guess i like the albums enough but they've never been close to being favourites. I'd read a lot over the years about superior sounding versions being out there but i never really bothered to investigate.

    My hot take is that, all three versions sound different, and for me there's no one version that's a clean sweep; some sound better on some clips than others. In general the non-Columbias sound better on the quieter samples, on some of the samples were it's getting hectic i preferred the Columbia. If i was buying these albums and had to make a call based on the samples i'd probably go for the Blu-Spec.
     
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  13. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, this is OK but in 20 years I'm going to make them all lose their minds!
     
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  14. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    I have the blu-spec discs too
    It's hard to imagine there would be better sounding
    versions

    These just sound so lively and engaging
     
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  15. Yesternow

    Yesternow Forum pResident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Tadanori Yokoo
    "Yokoo’s design for Lotus, a live album by Santana recorded in Japan became highly popular. The imagery used on Lotus was given a new incarnation in Miles Davis’ Agharta double LP.
    Having seen Yokoo’s work for Santana, Davis asked Yokoo to create album artwork that extended these themes. Interestingly, the album design for Lotus is actually about the mythical subterranean utopia known as Agharta, while the album cover for Davis’ album is an oddball mashup of the eponymous hollow world/Middle Earth utopia, with allusions to the lost city of Atlantis, UFOs, and Afrofuturism.

    The cover shows two women, perched on the edge of a jungle with a megalopolis splayed out in the background. The gatefold sleeve within the album explains Yokoo’s visuals in detail:

    During various periods in history the supermen of Agharta came to the surface of Earth to teach the human race how to live together in peace and save us from wars, catastrophe, and destruction. The apparent sighting of several flying saucers soon after the bombing of Hiroshima may represent one visitation. The UFO shown here symbolizes a similar connection."
     
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  16. eeglug

    eeglug Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Ha, I agree...all versions have pluses and minuses. The Columbia gets the most kicking for being the runt of the litter but I think there are some positives about it.
     
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  17. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    More photos here:
    Miles Davis - Agharta
     
  18. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Oh yes, "Prelude" is as good of an example as any of just what that band was capable of. To me the music they made still seems ahead of its time 43 years later.
    Yeah, "Prelude" and "Mayisha" (which I really like) are the real keepers on Agharta. I've probably heard better versions of "Right Off", "Ife" and "For Dave" floating around on bootlegs (as an aside, though, the music Miles' mid 70's band made does not translate well to audience sourced recordings!:laugh: You need the soundboard recordings...)
    You can hear Miles having even more of an off night on the January 22 '75 Tokyo soundboard. The rest of the band is decent but for Miles there seemed to be a missed connection between his brain, lips and fingers on the night.
    The long "Gondwana" section on Pangaea is the real keeper on the album. Hell, about three quarters of the way through the band actually starts playing something that kind of resembles jazz!:D
     
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  19. Kevin Davis

    Kevin Davis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    Reading over this thread the last couple days inspired me to pull out some electric Miles and, perhaps somewhat randomly, I went straight for "Pangaea," which I figured I hadn't played for a while and was probably due for some time in the CD player. I really like both discs but at the moment I'm inclined to agree with you about the hypnotic, slow-burning "Gondwana" side -- after side one's violent pummeling, it has a sort of exhausted "one more for the road" feel to it (especially knowing now as we do that once it's done, Miles rides off into the sunset for a while).

    For me electric Miles -- and especially electric Miles this late into the game -- is rarely about what Miles himself is doing. Whether he's "on" or not, I feel like during this period he defaults to a lot of the same pet phrases and musical tics that are really just another color to the music (this is a distinct difference from his work in, say, the '50's, where I hang on his every note as a soloist). He really becomes more and more Ellingtonian during these years, marginalized as a soloist by some of his sidemen (perhaps deliberately), but far more present as a guiding hand over the proceedings.
     
  20. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    He loved him madly, indeed.
     
  21. fredhammersmith

    fredhammersmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    So this would be the release/mix/mastering u guys rave about?

    Miles Davis - Agharta
     
  22. Arkay_East

    Arkay_East Forum Resident

    Location:
    ATX
    I can tell that my copy is the mix
    Interesting. Now I'm definitely sticking w my copy! I can spend the money on another Miles album instead :cool:
     
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  23. Musicisthebest

    Musicisthebest Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Yes
     
  24. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Can someone post DR values of the Blu-Spec CDs? I want to know if they are compressed or not.
     
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  25. Musicisthebest

    Musicisthebest Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Using Discogs as as a source & looking at the Japanese CDs only

    The track Gondwanda on Pangaea has the following lengths

    1985 - 46:51
    1990 - 49:42
    1996 - 49:42
    2001 - 49:42
    2001 - 49:42 (Paper sleeve)
    2006 - 47:05 (DSD mastered)
    2009 - 47:05 (Blu-Spec)
    2013 - 47:05 (Blu-Spec CD2)

    This suggests to me that both the Blu-Spec CDs are based on the DSD remaster.
     
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