Saturday, January 3, 2009

Remaster This!!!

Yes, CD remasters/reissues are a complete money-milking & fan-bilking scam, along the lines of "spring training" jerseys and school textbooks. Yes, they usually sound better. Yes, I buy 'em up like size 4 diapers.

We've been treated to re-releases with brain-melting improvements in fidelity & clarity (Van Halen, Police, AC/DC), as well as packages with fascinating liner notes & goodies (Byrds, Stones, Bowie) in the last fifteen years or so. Sometimes we're lucky enough to get great sound and great re-packaging (The Who!), or even untold riches of outtakes and alternate versions (Fleetwood Mac, Stooges) as well. And I haven't even gotten to the box sets...

But what's left?! Surely there exist releases out there in dire need of phonic and phashion makeovers...

1. Double Nickels on the Dime - The Minutemen
Not that it sounds that bad at all, but wouldn't it be worth it for just a c.h.'s worth of improvement?! This one deserves a lot more than it got from SST- not that hard to picture this one done up right.

2. Husker Du catalog
While we're at it, throw all of these bitches on the barbie!! I've already had my eardrums slit open from Zen Arcade, but let's go for complete annihilation, no?!

3. Any classic rap albums
This one's a total no-brainer. Use the Paid in Full double CD as a template if you don't get it. I mean, with all the 12" tracks and remixes out there... we could whip together 2-CD and 3-CD sets faster that you can say bozack.

4. Breaking Atoms - Main Source
This one's separate from (3) because it needs a lot more than bonus tracks and a new booklet. Sorta like saying John Merrick could've used a nose job. One of the great records ever, but the CD sounds like the mastering engineer dropped the DAT in a glass of orange juice. And we know it doesn't really sound like that. There's a Japanese import out there, but f*ck that.

5. Daylight Again - Crosby, Stills & Nash
I was ready to unleash the genius of my "Southern Cross" sample on the listening public when I made the mistake of trying to "tweak" my loops with some better source material. The remaster gives one the feeling that one's listening to a great-sounding CD being played in the next-door apartment. Atlantic's pulled some nasty tricks before (the Genesis re-up booklets), but this one came straight outta D. Crosby's bong (or possibly ass). Also one of the worst album covers of all time.

1 comment:

spacejace said...

can't fix those Husker Du's yo. Not with remastering, remixing, re-'anything'...only way would be for band to re-record. And you know, the band seems to LIKE these recordings and sounds. Honestly though, over half of their catalog (including their earlier "classics") is pretty much impossible to listen to all the way through. I love this band, but the only records I can eve listen to all the way through are the last three - which are great (and underrated).