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Thread: Genesis "new stereo mixes"

  1. #1

    Genesis "new stereo mixes"

    I know I'm super late for this train, but I was listening to Nursery Cryme on Spotify & picked up on noticeable differences from the original recordings. When I took a closer look, I saw the new stereo mix label.

    Can I assume these new mixes are almost universally hated? Maybe. Maybe not. But *I* was disappointed.

  2. #2
    The newer mixes may be technically superior for all I know, but I guess I'm too hidebound to adjust to them. Where did the layered lushness of the keyboards disappear to in the coda to Entangled? What happened to the lovely backing vocals in the last verse of Your Own Special Way? Etc.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Luckie View Post
    Where did the layered lushness of the keyboards disappear to in the coda to Entangled? What happened to the lovely backing vocals in the last verse of Your Own Special Way? Etc.
    Or Mike's strong plucking on the bass strings during the last few measures of Fountain of Salmacis??

  4. #4
    (aka timmybass69) timmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckie View Post
    The newer mixes may be technically superior for all I know, but I guess I'm too hidebound to adjust to them. Where did the layered lushness of the keyboards disappear to in the coda to Entangled? What happened to the lovely backing vocals in the last verse of Your Own Special Way? Etc.
    And why in the hell is there so much compression on the drums?
    "Why is it when these great Prog guys get together, they always want to make a Journey album?"
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  5. #5
    When they were first released, most people here were... less than overjoyed, myself included. None of the perceived shortcomings of the original mixes were really improved, and some songs were ruined. And of course there was the compression and the EQ'ing...

  6. #6
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    I never bought them because I knew I would never adjust to them. Reading all the comments here and elsewhere did not change my mind.
    I used to go on the band's forum a lot back then and there were many enthusiastic comments from fans claiming they now could hear things that I had always heard in the original mixes. It made me realise that some people need every instrument to be way up in the mix to actually hear what's going on.

  7. #7
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    I really can't get my head around how anybody could really prefer the way these stereo remixes sound over the originals. I do think the loud, shrill mastering was part of the problem (the 'Entangled' botch aside I guess tapes could have gone astray for the other omissions). I dug out Duke again recently and I just couldn't handle how loud it was. This is Genesis, a band who always placed emphasis on dynamics in their music.

    However, in all honesty, I bought them for all the extras, which were plentiful and well worth having (the Gabriel box- the only box I bought, rather than separate titles- had quite long interviews about each album, and also gave us the mythical Jackson Tapes for the first time). Although even here, with the archive contents, they didn't exactly use optimum material.

  8. #8
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    The Gabriel-era remixes are cool precisely because they are different from the original mixes. That’s the whole point of a remix, innit? The 1976-81 remixes do suffer from excessive compression, but I still get a kick out of them (except for Trick, which was slaughtered on the loudness altar).

    Anyone who wants to have the original mixes on CD can still obtain them for a reasonable price, albeit secondhand.
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  9. #9
    Member ombasan's Avatar
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    I must listen to these someday, especially Entangled. I only ever listened to the 5.1 mixes in these box sets, and these are good to my ears (though naturally different to the originals).

  10. #10
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by at least 100 dead View Post
    The Gabriel-era remixes are cool precisely because they are different from the original mixes. That’s the whole point of a remix, innit? The 1976-81 remixes do suffer from excessive compression, but I still get a kick out of them (except for Trick, which was slaughtered on the loudness altar).

    Anyone who wants to have the original mixes on CD can still obtain them for a reasonable price, albeit secondhand.
    The first remix box was TOT thru ABACAB. And was trashed by critics wrt the stereo mixes. I thought the 5.1s were excellent though. The 2nd box was the Gabriel years starting with Trespass and was given praise for the stereo mixes. The 2nd box was awesome IMO, especially Trespass, NC and Foxtrot which sounded like shit on vinyl, improved on CD, but really great on 5.1 HD. If one never wants to a piece of music different, why go to concerts. Good music isn't tied to one instantiation of performance.
    “[They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.”

  11. #11
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    I've generally enjoyed the Gabriel era box, worts and all. I have the old vinyl if I ever need to revisit the originals. It's nice to hear the songs with more clarity, albeit too much compression & volume.
    Of this batch, Selling England's mix is most similar to the original, I think, with Foxtrot being the most "improved" (if you're into remixes, that is). The Lamb is a mixed bag; it's truly an "alternate version" with lots of pluses and minuses.
    I think the remixing is one issue (you're into it or not, depending on your tastes), but the mastering of these boxes is the other, bigger issue. The mastering is too loud (maybe even to the point of clipping) and, in the case of the late 70s box, unbelievably shrill EQ. Duke is the worst offender, IMO, and with so much compression on the drum kit (or is it the whole mix?) as to be distracting.

    I've never bothered with the 80s box, however.

    Have we ever collected a comprehensive list here on PE of the omissions in these remixes?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I really can't get my head around how anybody could really prefer the way these stereo remixes sound over the originals. I do think the loud, shrill mastering was part of the problem (the 'Entangled' botch aside I guess tapes could have gone astray for the other omissions). I dug out Duke again recently and I just couldn't handle how loud it was. This is Genesis, a band who always placed emphasis on dynamics in their music.

    However, in all honesty, I bought them for all the extras, which were plentiful and well worth having (the Gabriel box- the only box I bought, rather than separate titles- had quite long interviews about each album, and also gave us the mythical Jackson Tapes for the first time). Although even here, with the archive contents, they didn't exactly use optimum material.
    For those of us that have the tendency to listen at lower levels, the new mixes are generally an improvement. Yes, that is not the definitive way to FULLY enjoy the music, but it is acceptable to me for the sake of my hearing. When I really want to hear them loud, I go with the 5.1 DTS or SACD mixes. I wasn't aware of the issues with the guitar parts at the end of Entangled. I may have to compare the original CD release to the latest "remaster/remix".

  13. #13
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    As one of the fortunate few who during the now-legendary Amazon glitch got the box for 15 bucks, I can definitely say I've gotten 15 bucks worth of enjoyment out of it.

  14. #14
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    The 2nd box was the Gabriel years starting with Trespass and was given praise for the stereo mixes. The 2nd box was awesome IMO, especially Trespass, NC and Foxtrot which sounded like shit on vinyl, improved on CD, but really great on 5.1 HD.
    I have no problem with the 5.1 and the CDs. The albums sound better than ever, IMO. But try listening to the stereo mixes on the DVDs sometime. They sound like they were engineered by an insane chimpanzee.

  15. #15
    Remixing and remastering Genesis albums reminds me of the proverb - "Never try to make a happy baby happier." On many occasions during infatuated listenings to these albums I mused about if they were just a little bit better recorded. How excited I was to hear the remixes! But once I did, something became very clear to me - In their original versions, there is virtually no recorded music in the world more simply listenable than Genesis from Foxtrot up through Abacab. It would take a production genius on a much higher level than a Steven Wilson to improve on them.

    Good things about the box sets -
    - The Jackson Tapes. Still not available in any other form, right?
    - Trespass is pretty neat and captured a lot of the beauty of the original while enhancing clarity. Stagnation is probably the single best surround mix in any of the sets. Visions of Angels is pretty great too.
    - The Lamb with the slide show. The Lamb surround mix is fun. Also, if you play vinyl while the video is playing, it still syncs up fine.
    - The interview documentaries are the most extensive body of firsthand knowledge about these albums in any form as far as I can tell.

    I can't think of a single good thing to say about the remixes on the 1976-1981 box set. In particular, they have some of the very worst drum mixing I've ever heard (on some of the greatest drumming ever). But some of the video extras are still nice.

    What we need is meticulously executed high definition flat transfers of the best original Genesis masters. And we need them BAD.

  16. #16
    I recently had a hankering to listen to The Lamb. My car CD player refused to play the remixed version from the box set (which I've only played once, and ripped to my computer.....the car is old and the CD player has been giving me problems). I remembered that I still had the ATCO CD of the album I bought back in 1990. It played that one. My God does it sound horrible! I'm assuming it was just a straight transfer of the original mix to CD (AAD, I think), so it's not surprising. The only thing I noticed that was different was that the quiet parts were actually quiet, and the loud parts quite loud. Dynamics. I know this is possible to do in the digital age, but why do so few albums actually do it?

    Anyway, I only have the 70's PG era box, and I think it sounds great compared to my old CD's. I only have two that were remasters, Nursery Cryme and Selling England. With the former, I think the box set is an improvement, with the latter, I can't really tell the difference. Trespass was a revelation though, so much better than the original CD. The Lamb I guess is better than my old ATCO CD but something still bothers me about the sound of that album. Despite all the overdubbing, I still like the live version on the Archive Box best, sound wise anyway. I've never heard the Lamb on vinyl. All the others, except Trespass, I first heard on vinyl. I still prefer the box set versions of them. I do agree though, that sometimes the separation of the instruments takes a bit away from the fullness of the sound, and of course it would be nice to hear real dynamics (which I don't think is too bad on the box set remixes, but could have been so much better).

    Frankly, I've always preferred PG Genesis live recordings. I like all the versions of the songs on Genesis Live better than their album counterparts in any version (vinyl, CD, remastered, remixed/remastered, etc.).

    I also have never had anything approaching an audiophile system to listen to music on, so my opinions should be taken with that in mind. I have had a number of friends who had amazing audio systems they spend a good amount of time, money and research putting together and it was easy to hear the difference. Though even with those, I thought CD's sounded better than most vinyl, or at least no different, but that's just me. My ears have probably been ruined by loud music listening and playing in bands for many years, so I'm certainly no expert, that's for sure.

    I've never heard the post Gabriel box set, so I can't comment at all on that. My copies of Trick and W&W are remasters released before that box set came out, and they sound pretty good to me (I only ever heard Trick on vinyl, and that only once, so I can't really say if I hear any difference).

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by infandous View Post
    Frankly, I've always preferred PG Genesis live recordings. I like all the versions of the songs on Genesis Live better than their album counterparts in any version (vinyl, CD, remastered, remixed/remastered, etc.).

    I also have never had anything approaching an audiophile system to listen to music on, so my opinions should be taken with that in mind.

    The same with me. I'm not an audiophile and also prefer live Genesis and for a long time the only way I listen to them pre W&W. This is a band that can make even "Invisible Touch" sound decent if live!

  18. #18
    I think it's time to put an end to all of this. I was fairly pleased with the "definitive remasters' from years ago (especially W&W). Where does it stop?

  19. #19
    Blame nick Davis...I prefer the original charisma CDs..they sound more like vinyl

  20. #20
    You know, I didn't buy any of the "definitive remasters", except from the Phil period. I was quite happy with the Peter-era releases. They just sound like cleaned up vinyl.

  21. #21
    The "definitive remasters" from the early\mid 90s were all quite heavily no-noised(at least for the Gabriel\Hackett era stuff i heard) Trespass especially was butchered.Some of the others were a bit better, but the older british cd's were better and closer to the original vinyl.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by infandous View Post
    I remembered that I still had the ATCO CD of the album I bought back in 1990. It played that one. My God does it sound horrible! I'm assuming it was just a straight transfer of the original mix to CD
    I would not assume that at all. Many (most?) early CDs were mastered just like vinyl, but not unlike most vinyl pressings, the engineers weren't always credited.

    I think CD#1 of the original Lamb on Atco (Virgin/Charisma's UK release was the same in this case) sounds pretty damned good (certainly the best CD mastering). CD#2 is way too bright. My guess is that somebody put some tinny EQ on that or didn't playback the tapes right or something. Way too much treble.

    As I've said for quite a few years about this album, one can pick up a minty German Charisma LP for about $20. The sound on this as good as I've heard. Better even than the original UK LP and certainly better than the Classic reissue. However, ANY vinyl copy will lay ANY CD version to waste, IMO.

  23. #23
    I bought Nursery Crymes and listened with an open mind about 3 years ago....

    People call it music, but all I heard was a joke. How in the hell did they convince a label to release that stuff? I'm a prog fan from Circa 1972. But Nursery Crymes is gawd awful. No wonder Rolling stone was so anti-prog. With stuff like this coming out, why would anyone say otherwise?
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  24. #24
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I bought Nursery Crymes and listened with an open mind about 3 years ago....

    People call it music, but all I heard was a joke. How in the hell did they convince a label to release that stuff? I'm a prog fan from Circa 1972. But Nursery Crymes is gawd awful. No wonder Rolling stone was so anti-prog. With stuff like this coming out, why would anyone say otherwise?
    Wow...In my opinion, the best Progressive Rock album of all time, bar none. But then, I don't usually agree with your takes. Btw, it's Nursery Cryme. No "s."
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  25. #25
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    Nursery Cryme and Trick are the only flawless Genesis albums (IMO).
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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