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Thread: First four Gentle Giant albums - which versions??

  1. #1

    First four Gentle Giant albums - which versions??

    So I recently purchased 3 GG re-issues that have come out through a company called Eastworld. Haven't had a chance to listen to them yet but they look horrible! The colours in the artwork are all heavily saturated and the company clearly hasn't taken any care with the reproduction of the artwork. Some may say this is secondary to the music and of course it is but I do appreciate a well rounded package. And let's face, it's not that hard to take a bit of care.

    I know there are a number of pressings of the first four albums and so I wondered which ones are considered the best? I have just ordered the Alucard editions of Three Friends and Octopus through Amazon so I'm hoping they've done a good job with them.

  2. #2
    There is a recent thread about this, but I would go for Repertoire records.

    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...t=gentle+giant
    Last edited by Zeuhlmate; 12-11-2012 at 09:49 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus74 View Post
    So I recently purchased 3 GG re-issues that have come out through a company called Eastworld. Haven't had a chance to listen to them yet but they look horrible! The colours in the artwork are all heavily saturated and the company clearly hasn't taken any care with the reproduction of the artwork. Some may say this is secondary to the music and of course it is but I do appreciate a well rounded package. And let's face, it's not that hard to take a bit of care.

    I know there are a number of pressings of the first four albums and so I wondered which ones are considered the best? I have just ordered the Alucard editions of Three Friends and Octopus through Amazon so I'm hoping they've done a good job with them.
    Maybe you should give some reference points for other Giant CDs yhou have that you think sound good?

    Personally, I think the Octopus SHM-SACD is stunning, but it's not mastered bright and treble heavy like a lot of people seem to enjoy, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it knowing nothing about your taste.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus74 View Post
    a company called Eastworld
    Never heard of any GG issues on a label like that. (Never heard of the label at all, actually.) Are they legit?

  5. #5
    VINYL !!!!!

  6. #6
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I have the Repertoire versions (which is for Octopus unfortunately with the Dean cover >> prefer the US version), except for 3F, which is the Line version (but with the real artwork)

    I'm fine with them...

    Except for IAGH, I have made a CD-r compilation of the rest of their albums, with roughly 50-60% of Interview on it...
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dedatolo View Post
    VINYL !!!!!
    Except for the Octopus SHM-SACD, this is very good advice. The first three albums have never had a CD issue to compare with how they sounded on the best vinyl pressings.

    Speaking of vinyl, has anyone heard that 180 gram version of ATT that is out from that company in Canada? Apparently mastered flat from hi-res digital files made from the master tape.

  8. #8
    GG and ATT - the Vertigo/Repetoire versions
    TF and IAGH - the Alucard versions.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Except for the Octopus SHM-SACD, this is very good advice. The first three albums have never had a CD issue to compare with how they sounded on the best vinyl pressings.

    Speaking of vinyl, has anyone heard that 180 gram version of ATT that is out from that company in Canada? Apparently mastered flat from hi-res digital files made from the master tape.
    Jeff,is this in 5.1 or just good old stereo?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarr73729 View Post
    GG and ATT - the Vertigo/Repetoire versions
    TF and IAGH - the Alucard versions.
    Repertoire vesrion of TF is excellent. IAGH is fifth GG album...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Except for the Octopus SHM-SACD, this is very good advice.
    Agreed. Octopus SHM sounds amazingly bad.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Repertoire vesrion of TF is excellent. IAGH is fifth GG album...
    My error, but the Alucard release of 'Octopus' is equally good, and I'm also fortunate enough to have the SACD too.

    In general, for CDs, the Alucards are the best available for the GGs they have rights too. The earliest two releases, as I said above, are best served by the Vertigo/Repetoire releases, and the later releases by the recent boxed set.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Except for the Octopus SHM-SACD, this is very good advice.
    Agreed. Octopus SHM sounds amazingly bad.
    Then you disagree, actually (If not the Octopus SHM is something else than Octopus SHM-SACD). What Jeff said was that the Octopus SHM-SACD sounds very good and is the only cd that is an alternative to an original vinyl.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dedatolo View Post
    VINYL !!!!!
    Absolutely vinyl!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by aplodon View Post
    Then you disagree, actually (If not the Octopus SHM is something else than Octopus SHM-SACD). What Jeff said was that the Octopus SHM-SACD sounds very good and is the only cd that is an alternative to an original vinyl.
    Yes, sure, thank you. I was mistaken in definition, but not in valuation) I have many CD versions of GG - and I can tell that SHMCD Octopus is the worst of all Octopuses I own. Infra bass all over, that drownes the right sound.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Yes, sure, thank you. I was mistaken in definition, but not in valuation) I have many CD versions of GG - and I can tell that SHMCD Octopus is the worst of all Octopuses I own. Infra bass all over, that drownes the right sound.
    I am speaking of the SHM-SACD, not the SHM CD. Totally different thing. Universal JPN finally did some great mastering on some of their SACDs and Octopus is tremendous. Most everything they have ever done before that on CD had snazzy packaging and terrible sound; including most SHM CDs. Their first reissue of Octopus on SHM in a jewelcase was the same old mastering that had been around since Line did it in like 1989, but I have read that they did another SHM in a mini lp sleeve with horrible mastering.

    Anyway ... the SHM-SACDs are nothing to do with SHM CDs.
    Last edited by JeffCarney; 12-13-2012 at 02:33 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rand Kelly View Post
    Jeff,is this in 5.1 or just good old stereo?
    Stereo.

  18. #18
    Go for the new special editions which will be released on a remote island near Jamaica this April. I believe the Yes Cruise is making a stop there, commandeered by Captain Downes...

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Most everything they have ever done before that on CD had snazzy packaging and terrible sound; including most SHM CDs. Their first reissue of Octopus on SHM in a jewelcase was the same old mastering that had been around since Line did it in like 1989, but I have read that they did another SHM in a mini lp sleeve with horrible mastering.
    I see. My first four GG SHMCDs are jewelcase, and I much prefer Rep-Vertigo edition - I have them all. I have even pirates editions, some of them are very good.

  20. #20
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    I compared the new Eastworld Octopus to the Alucard last night and the Eastworld is horribly bright. Mastered by one Gert Van Hoeyen who did the Thin Lizzy remasters I believe. What I had trouble discerning however is the resolution. It did sound really clean. The Alucard is supposed to be from the master tape but I'm not 100% sure of that. Alucard only had the rights to release Octopus and TF in the US, so, did they just use a copy tape here or did they actually have the original master from the UK? Jeff? Any ideas? The Eastworlds are licensed from Universal. I agree with the OP on the art and package quality... bare bones, except they do have picture discs. There is a small essay in the first album booklet but none in AtT or Octopus. Also Octopus is the only one that gives a mastering credit. I assume GVH did the first two but who knows for sure?! And why was TF left out? I also have the recent BGO reissue of the first two albums and they do sound pretty good I think. Haven't had a chance yet to compare them to the Eastworlds.
    Last edited by Dok; 12-14-2012 at 12:13 AM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Dok View Post
    I compared the new Eastworld Octopus to the Alucard last night and the Eastworld is horribly bright. Mastered by one Gert Van Hoeyen who did the Thin Lizzy remasters I believe. What I had trouble discerning however is the resolution. It did sound really clean. The Alucard is supposed to be from the master tape but I'm not 100% sure of that. Alucard only had the rights to release Octopus and TF in the US, so, did they just use a copy tape here or did they actually have the original master from the UK? Jeff? Any ideas? The Eastworlds are licensed from Universal. I agree with the OP on the art and package quality... bare bones, except they do have picture discs. There is a small essay in the first album booklet but none in AtT or Octopus. Also Octopus is the only one that gives a mastering credit. I assume GVH did the first two but who knows for sure?! And why was TF left out? I also have the recent BGO reissue of the first two albums and they do sound pretty good I think. Haven't had a chance yet to compare them to the Eastworlds.
    Gert Van Hoeyen is still active?

    That sounds like it might have been a mastering credit that carried over from the old Vertigo CDs, because he did those.

    As regards the "resolution" I really don't know without hearing it.

  22. #22
    I got them from Burning Shed so I assume they are legit

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    I am speaking of the SHM-SACD, not the SHM CD. Totally different thing.
    Yep. I had the latest Octopus SHM-CD when I bought the SHM-SACD. The Octopus SHM-SACD is one of the best sounding SACDs I have and rivals well cut vinyl. Warm yet clear, detailed yet dynamic. Fine mastering job. The SHM-CD in comparison sounds like the boomy, jacked-up compressed mess that it is. I sold it and good riddance.

    As for the first three titles:

    The vinyl suggestions are good, however, original UK vinyl came out on Vertigo swirls, and you could get a decent used car for the prices they command in near mint condition. The later pressings may be OK, though. The first album did not come out in the US on vinyl at all, I have AtT on US Vertigo and it sounds decent enough. I have also just got TF on US Columbia (which, confusingly, has the same sleeve art as the UK release of the s/t) , but have not heard it yet.

    As for CDs - I have Repertoire digipaks of the s/t and TF mastered by EROC in Germany. They are tonally OK, but sound very 'dense'. Apparently they were mastered with quite a bit of digital wizardry. They are listenable, but I don't like them much. EROC is said to have done a great job on Repertoire's AtT, but I don't have it as it is out of print and seems very hard to get hold of.

    Hope it helps...
    Last edited by oregonalex; 12-15-2012 at 07:45 PM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by oregonalex View Post
    Yep. I had the latest Octopus SHM-CD when I bought the SHM-SACD. The Octopus SHM-SACD is one of the best sounding SACDs I have and rivals well cut vinyl. Warm yet clear, detailed yet dynamic. Fine mastering job. The SHM-CD in comparison sounds like the boomy, jacked-up compressed mess that it is. I sold it and good riddance.

    As for the first three titles:

    The vinyl suggestions are good, however, original UK vinyl came out on Vertigo swirls, and you could get a decent used car for the prices they command in near mint condition. The later pressings may be OK, though. The first album did not come out in the US on vinyl at all, I have AtT on US Vertigo and it sounds decent enough. I have also just got TF on US Columbia (which, confusingly, has the same sleeve art as the UK release of the s/t) , but have not heard it yet.

    As for CDs - I have Repertoire digipaks of the s/t and TF mastered by EROC in Germany. They are tonally OK, but sound very 'dense'. Apparently they were mastered with quite a bit of digital wizardry. They are listenable, but I don't like them much. EROC is said to have done a great job on Repertoire's AtT, but I don't have it as it is out of print and seems very hard to get hold of.

    Hope it helps...
    Later vinyl pressings should be fine, not to mention German or other pressings besides the UK versions. And even if somebody insists on UK cuts, I'm quite sure all of the first four albums were repressed by Vertigo on the Spaceship label. Those shouldn't be very expensive.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Later vinyl pressings should be fine, not to mention German or other pressings besides the UK versions. And even if somebody insists on UK cuts, I'm quite sure all of the first four albums were repressed by Vertigo on the Spaceship label. Those shouldn't be very expensive.
    Indeed. At one time I had both versions of OCTopus (uk vertigo spiral and spaceship) and there is no difference in sound. I had a Canadian press of AtT and it sounded very good compared to its UK counterpart. I have the LINE cd of TF which sounds good, but never had the vinyl to compare with.

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