Friday, January 16, 2009

Remaster Disasters II

I recently compiled a mix of Brian Eno's "vocal" albums for a musically challenged friend of mine. Of the four (yeah, there's others that could qualify but let's just go with Warm Jets, Tiger Mtn, Green World and B&AS) records, I own the Astralwerks remasters of the latter two. Haven't listened to 'em even close as much as my original copies, but they sound pretty decent on initial listens (don't even get me started on the crappy digi-pak packaging-- they come in these fucked up plastic sheaths that are absolutely impossible to open... I almost sliced my hand open with a boxcutter in a rabid dash to hear "Spider and I" one stoney night).

Yesterday I discovered a horrific glitch on the Another Green World remaster. I was half asleep on the 2 train and checking out the Eno mix I gave my buddy when I suddenly shot to attention in my seat. I had missed my stop and was at Lenox and 135th! Kidding... I jumped up because of what I heard on my headphones.

When you've heard a song nine million times and, without warning, you hear something different, it's a jarring experience. I remember hearing "For What It's Worth" by BS as a kid in my dad's car with only the left channel working, and totally freaking out. I've also thrown several fits in mastering labs when... whatever.

So "Everything Merges With the Night" comes on, and damned if the first line of the song isn't completely gone! Now, botched or altered fades on remastered CDs are fairly commonplace, but this ain't no botched or altered fade. This is an entire line (a great one, and an opening one!) missing. How the fuck? Who the fuck? What the fuck?

I'm writing a letter to Astralwerks. I wrote a letter to Atlantic Records when I was in high school about their generally shoddy work, but that didn't get me far. I might have an in this time, as I have a song on an old Astralwerks comp that I never even got a copy of. The jerks owe me big time.

So if Another Green World gets re-re-released sometime soon, thank yours truly. Oh, and listen real carefully for "Rosalie... I've been waiting all evening."

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