DCC Archive The Who: MCA 1st editions vs. MFSL vs. MCA remixes

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Holy Zoo, Sep 26, 2001.

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  1. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    In another thread:

    Well what do you know! I had no idea Steve mastered the MCA Who catalog (or did he just do WN and Tommy?). I presume these would be the 1985-era CD issues?

    I only have the remixed WN from a few years ago - can anyone comment on the sound from the original CD as compared with the recent remix?

    Indeed, has anyone done a three-way comparison between the '85 era MCA, the '97 remix, and the MFSL cd?

    I realize that the MFSL Tommy is from a master that Pete had in his possession that was an alternate mix, but I still think it would be interesting to compare the sonics of the three releases.

    Last, and this isn't a Who question: is there a "Steve Hoffman FAQ" out there, that lists all the cd's Steve has mastered over the years?

    Thanks!

    [ September 26, 2001: Message edited by: Holy Zoo ]
     
  2. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    The only Who CDs Steve did were Who's Next (GREAT disc), Who's Missing (good for the most part), and Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy (varies - some good, some bad). All the other MCA discs were done by - who knows...

    Keep in mind that there are many different versions of Who's Next, all with the same catalog number. There's the original version (bad, I believe), Steve's, and at least one more (not bad, but not as good as Steve's). Good luck trying to find an original good one - you're better off picking up the Canadian reissue. Other than a small pop in WGFA, it's pretty much perfect.

    As for comparisons, the remix ('95) and MoFi are almost, if not totally, identical. Clearly the come from the same digital master. I don't know if MoFi did any "mastering" or not - I don't hear any. The remix has some nasty noise reduction in places to start with. Behind Blue Eyes is just *cold*. I'd say there's no better CD issue than Steve's...

    As far as Tommy goes...I like the 1993 MCA the best, although it's probably a tad harsh in the high end. The MoFi (other than the alt mix of Eyesight) sounds pretty similar, but IMO not quite as good. I don't like the remix - I guess the sound quality is fine (other than lots of digital clicks), but some of the feel of the original is lost.

    The All Music guide lists quite a few of the CDs Steve has done, but the problem is it only lists those where he had credit. He went uncredited on a *lot* of MCA releases - like Who's Next.
     
  3. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Thanks Luke!

    So lets say someone had the patience to track down the Steve remaster - say, hunting around the used cd stores. Is there any physical sign to look for on the cd?

    Also, I noticed this page (found via google)

    Who's Next
    1971 - Original Album Release.
    1984 - CD Re-Issue (US-MCA, UK-Polydor).
    1990 - 24k Gold CD Release (US-Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab).
    1995 - CD Re-Master, +7 Bonus Tracks & Extended Liner Notes (US-MCA, UK-Polydor).
    1995 - Audiophile 24k Gold CD Release  (US-MCA).
    1999 - 24k Gold CD Re-release (US- Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab).
    2000 - Limited edition release, comes in miniature cardboard LP cover (Japan-Polydor).
    http://hometown.aol.com/whoboots/Discography.htm

    So... this site says that MoFi released Who's Next *twice*??
     
  4. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    More google finds, from: http://www.vintagerock.com/hoffman.html

     
  5. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Quoth Holy Zoo
    There probably is (something on the inner ring), but I've never seen a copy, nor has anyone I know. Steve hasn't found his copy...

    That's incorrect. The only version MoFi ever did was the 1999 one.

    Keep in mind the "1984" date is misleading - MCA did several versions over the years, all with the same cat number (MCAD 37217).

    FWIW, the MCA gold disc sucks. Way too bright and filled with noise reduction. So much for "audiophile"...
     
  6. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    As far as Steve's quote goes - I'm pretty sure a number of copies *did* get out before Steve did his version. I know my buddy (who turned me on to the Canadian disc in the first place) said he heard a version in the early/mid-80s that was terrible. I can only assume this was the "pre-Steve" version...
     
  7. Richard

    Richard New Member

    Only one MoFi WN cd - the '99 Gain 2. Don't ever remember a vinyl either. Thought the way to distinguish Steve's version was from the cat.# on the case - MCABD..... instead of MCAD..... At least I hope that is true 'cos that is what I got from A&B Sound up in Canada. At any rate it sure sounds a whole lot better -really clean with vinyl-like bass timbres.

    richard
     
  8. Ben

    Ben New Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    You can snag the Canadian "Hoffman" Who's Next for about $12.00US at www.hmv.com

    It's also on eBay for about the same price...

    Luke knows the Catalogue # and how to find it...

    Best,

    Ben [​IMG]
     
  9. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    The Steve Hoffman mastered Who's Next (when he was at MCA) is * MCABD 37217 * and was the stock issue up here in Canada for many years. It is still readily available - probably because of automatic reordering systems - and it goes for $9.99 to $14.99 Canadian while the remaster starts at $18.99. Yet I fully expect it to disappear one day....

    PS: On a lark I picked up the new remaster - wow, Steve's edition just blows it away. Ahh well, "a fool and his money are soon parted".

    [ September 26, 2001: Message edited by: Gary ]
     
  10. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, MCABD is the correct prefix for the Canadian version, but MCAD is correct for the the US one. The problem is there are at least 3 different mastering jobs using the MCAD prefix, so it's impossible to tell which is which by just looking at the case.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Hey Holy Zoo,
    If you are really serious about Steves version of "Who's Next" I have a few sealed copies of it. I'll sell you one for $10.00 plus postage. Email me if interested.demon@iprism.com [​IMG]

    [ September 26, 2001: Message edited by: Dave ]
     
  12. Richard

    Richard New Member

    Do we know how many different mastering versions went out under that Canadian MCABD prefix? Was it just one - Steve's? Or was it a similar situation to the U.S. prefix, MCAD, which covered the 3 or more different masterings?
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Richard,
    Up here (Canada) Steves version is the only one to use the MCABD letters the others are like the US. realease MCAD. [​IMG]
     
  14. Sergio Ruz

    Sergio Ruz Forum Resident

    A great thread, especially since yesterday I received a small package from HMV with assorted Canadian goodies, including the now fabled Who's Next (and sooo cheap! Unbelievable!).
    The difference between Steve Hoffman's master on the Canadian CD and my old Jon Ghastly remix/remaster version can be heard even in strictly mid fi systems. Just comparing the dull sounding piano notes at the start of Baba O'Riley in the remaster, to the clean, bright reproduction in Steve's version, makes a case for hating everything that involves noise reduction.
    It's a shame that I'm a fan of the pricey MCA/Universal "Deluxe editions", because I won't be buying the new Live at Leeds two CD set anytime soon (or anything involving Jon Ghastly, for that matter. He's right up there with Peter Mew-tilator in the bad guys dept...)
     
  15. Richard

    Richard New Member

    Dave - thanks. I seem to remember when I ordered from A&B Sound that they had the U.S. MCAD..... in addition to the Canadian MCABD..... listed (plus the various remasters). Great sound + great price = great bargain! :D
     
  16. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It's funny you mention the piano in Baba. I think that's the *one* thing that sounds better/clearer on the remix. The original mix has it kind of squashed and compressed, while the remix has a more open and natural sound.

    Of course, everything else on the remix is crap, IMO, but...
     
  17. wes

    wes Forum Resident

    I wouldn't call everything else on the remix crap. I think Keith Moons drum set just rips on the Live at Leeds, Who's next remixes. They mock the **** out of the original mixes. .....

    Over all though, I like the original mix of Who's Next, but I wouldn't say the remix sucks. I've heard worse remixes.
    The remix is faster sounding. More in your face.
    Just my two cents.

    -Wes

    :cool:
     
  18. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    Just ordereded the fabled Steve Hoffman mastered Who's Next from HMV. I own bothe the MCA remaster and the MFSL version (which do sound very similar). Can't wait to hear what all the fuss is about.
     
  19. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, for one thing, keep in mind that half of WN was *not* remixed - simply "remastered". Bargain, Song Is Over, Gettin In Tune and WGFA are all original mixes. The main difference with the remxied tracks is the drums have a bit more treble added to them - the levels are pretty much the same.

    IMO the drums are way too loud on the LAL remix. I like the levels on the boot better...
     
  20. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Hey Dave! Well.. I placed a bid on one on ebay, so if I lose that, I'll give ya a buzz!

    thanks!
     
  21. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, keep mind hmv.com has copies for under $10 including shipping - no need for eBay!
     
  22. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Yeah no kidding that's dirt cheap! It's no big deal go for Luke's thread. I can wait patiently until they're discontinued. Good luke on ebay Zoo. [​IMG]
     
  23. wes

    wes Forum Resident

     
  24. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    In an interview in ICE magazine, Astley said that Baba O'Riley, My Wife, Love Ain't for Keeping, and Goin' Mobile were remixed and that the rest were not. Luke has pointed out that in spite of what Astley said, Behind Blue Eyes also is apparently remixed, based on subtle mix differences which he's noticed. That leaves the four you listed above as original mixes.

    WGFA definitely is not remixed on the Who's Next reissue. Later on when they released "My Generation: the Very Best of the Who" Astley (again speaking in ICE) made a big deal about the fact that they had located the WGFA multitracks and finally had been able to remix it.
     
  25. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    Give the props to David Goodwin. AFAIK, he was the first one to point out that BBE was remixed, while others were denying it.
     
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