Very Very Best Of!!

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Originally posted by adidasman:
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Originally posted by finnbliss:
I'm not finding this album released with the bonus DVD in the US. What's on the DVD? Can someone help me out with a link?
Thanks!!
As far as I know, there isn't a US release with the DVD in a format that'll play on most US DVD players. The copy I have is from Australia, and has the DVD in PAL; luckily, I have a DVD player that'll handle PAL discs. Most won't, though.


Every DVD player I've ever own (probably purchased at walmart or Best Buy) has played PAL DVDs and I've never intentionally looked for one that did. It could be a strange coincidence but it does make it seem like US DVD players that play Pal are not as hard to come by as one might think.
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Originally posted by Paināporo:
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Originally posted by adidasman:
quote:
Originally posted by finnbliss:
I'm not finding this album released with the bonus DVD in the US. What's on the DVD? Can someone help me out with a link?
Thanks!!
As far as I know, there isn't a US release with the DVD in a format that'll play on most US DVD players. The copy I have is from Australia, and has the DVD in PAL; luckily, I have a DVD player that'll handle PAL discs. Most won't, though.


Every DVD player I've ever own (probably purchased at walmart or Best Buy) has played PAL DVDs and I've never intentionally looked for one that did. It could be a strange coincidence but it does make it seem like US DVD players that play Pal are not as hard to come by as one might think.
We have three DVD players in our house. Two Sonys bought at Best Buy and a GoVideo. The GoVideo is the only one that'll play PAL discs. Trust me, I've tried.
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
Oh, and by the by - no sign of significant remastering on Very Very. Same versions as before.


That seems to conflict with other reports in this thread. Even Jaffaman said some amount of remastering has been done. I'm getting my copy tomorrow and look forward to giving it a thorough listen.
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
Oh, and by the by - no sign of significant remastering on Very Very. Same versions as before.


The mastering is different to the standard album masterings but I haven't compared it to that used on Recurring Dream (which itself used remasters).
quote:
Originally posted by Paul H:
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
Oh, and by the by - no sign of significant remastering on Very Very. Same versions as before.


The mastering is different to the standard album masterings but I haven't compared it to that used on Recurring Dream (which itself used remasters).


Recurring Dream did not "remaster", it just adjusted volume levels.
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Originally posted by Paināporo:
quote:
Originally posted by Paul H:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by adidasman:
Oh, and by the by - no sign of significant remastering on Very Very. Same versions as before.


The mastering is different to the standard album masterings but I haven't compared it to that used on Recurring Dream (which itself used remasters).
You know, I've only listened once all the way through - I could be wrong. I went back again on a couple of songs, and the songs do seem to sound a trifle different; not a major change, but more bass "oomph" and a slightly different sound overall. (A bit like the new Beatles remasters in that regard.) I was basically going by the liner notes, I guess, and there's no mention of remastering that I could see. I found myself wondering how the stuff from Intriguer would have fit on a compilation like this; the ToE songs sound particularly great to my ears, especially Don't Stop Now, mixed in with the older tunes. I hate to say this, but I don't think the Intriguer stuff would hold up as well.
You're almost making me want to shell out my hard-earned shekels for a copy of Very Very. I'm still desisting, but the thought of hearing Don't Stop Now amidst remastered older tunes is mouth-watering. For now, though, I'll continue to rely on my trusty iPod to produce a version of that thrill.
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Originally posted by Watney Sideburns:
You're almost making me want to shell out my hard-earned shekels for a copy of Very Very. I'm still desisting, but the thought of hearing Don't Stop Now amidst remastered older tunes is mouth-watering. For now, though, I'll continue to rely on my trusty iPod to produce a version of that thrill.
I just did a bit of compare-and-contrast on my less-than-audiophile home system, and the Very Very versions are louder (natch) and definitely have more bottom-end presence. It's really noticeable on the older stuff (a nice bit of rumble running through When You Come, for example), but even things like the aforementioned Don't Stop Now and Pour le Monde sound better, fuller, clearer. I'd say that, unless it's a choice between Very Very and food or mortgage payment or something, it might be worth a few shekels.
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Originally posted by Paināporo:
Of course, I think they really nailed the mix for "Pour Le Monde" when the remixed it for radio release. That mix blows the album mix away. I wish they would have used that on the Very Very collection; though I haven't heard it yet, I doubt they did.
I was hoping the same thing, Painaporo; I've not heard the Clearmountain mix yet. Did they shorten it when they remixed it for radio? The track is 5:09 on Very Very (same as on the LP), which seems long for a radio remix.
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Originally posted by adidasman:
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Originally posted by Paināporo:
Of course, I think they really nailed the mix for "Pour Le Monde" when the remixed it for radio release. That mix blows the album mix away. I wish they would have used that on the Very Very collection; though I haven't heard it yet, I doubt they did.
I was hoping the same thing, Painaporo; I've not heard the Clearmountain mix yet. Did they shorten it when they remixed it for radio? The track is 5:09 on Very Very (same as on the LP), which seems long for a radio remix.


The PLM radio mix clocks in at 5:02 so maybe a quicker fade out but no edits. One of the things I love about the radio remix is the way it handles the opening drum fill. It's got more complexity to it than the "thud, thud" drum fill on the studio version.
There is an edit of the Radio Remix that was also on the promo.

Re, the mastering on Very Very: I've not actually played the CD yet (been buried in Lennon's remasters) but I compared the waveforms of three tracks sampled from VVB and the originals and, apart from increased volumes, there also appears to be very obvious limiting. There's far less dynamic range on VVB which could explain why adidasman hears more bottom.
Of course not all remixes are equal. The "She Called Up" radio remix was terrible. Perhaps the most over compressed thing ever released by a Finn Brother.

There was a "Distant Sun" radio remix too that wasn't near as good as the album mix. The "Private Universe" mix, however, did add some interesting elements to the song (both the radio remix and the Afterglow remix for that matter).
Can anyone answer the questions I asked several pages back which is:

WILL THIS REMASTERING HAVE ANY IMPACT IF YOU ONLY HAVE A MEDIOCRE MIDI HIFI LIKE MINE?????

WILL IT SOUND ANY BETTER THAN RECURRING DREAM??

Sorry to shout, but I'm desperating hoping you techie types will hear/read this over all your jargonising Wink and answer the question of an ignorant tech moron fan like me.
quote:
Originally posted by Kittybear:
Can anyone answer the questions I asked several pages back which is:

WILL THIS REMASTERING HAVE ANY IMPACT IF YOU ONLY HAVE A MEDIOCRE MIDI HIFI LIKE MINE?????

WILL IT SOUND ANY BETTER THAN RECURRING DREAM??

Sorry to shout, but I'm desperating hoping you techie types will hear/read this over all your jargonising Wink and answer the question of an ignorant tech moron fan like me.


Haven't heard it yet. Getting my copy tonight when I pick up my friend from the airport (he's flying in from Aus). However, judging by what other say, you will NOT notice a significant difference.
quote:
Originally posted by Paināporo:
quote:
Originally posted by Kittybear:
Can anyone answer the questions I asked several pages back which is:

WILL THIS REMASTERING HAVE ANY IMPACT IF YOU ONLY HAVE A MEDIOCRE MIDI HIFI LIKE MINE?????

WILL IT SOUND ANY BETTER THAN RECURRING DREAM??

Sorry to shout, but I'm desperating hoping you techie types will hear/read this over all your jargonising Wink and answer the question of an ignorant tech moron fan like me.


Haven't heard it yet. Getting my copy tonight when I pick up my friend from the airport (he's flying in from Aus). However, judging by what other say, you will NOT notice a significant difference.
I don't know. Now that I've listened to it at home on my low-tech gear, it does sound a fair amount better to me. (Not as good as that PLM radio remix, though. Oh, my. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.) My first listen was in the car, so i leapt to an erroneous conclusion. I'll be curious to hear painaporo's opinion on the subject.
quote:
Originally posted by Kittybear:
Can anyone answer the questions I asked several pages back which is:

WILL THIS REMASTERING HAVE ANY IMPACT IF YOU ONLY HAVE A MEDIOCRE MIDI HIFI LIKE MINE?????

WILL IT SOUND ANY BETTER THAN RECURRING DREAM??

Sorry to shout, but I'm desperating hoping you techie types will hear/read this over all your jargonising Wink and answer the question of an ignorant tech moron fan like me.


Sorry for not answering, KB. I must have missed your post. The honest answer is that no-one will be able to tell you. It depends on a whole bunch of factors:

How/when/where you listen to your music - if you have it on in the background while doing other things (entertaining/feeding/clearing up after kids) you might not. Similarly, if you use an old portable CD player that only has one speaker (or maybe two really close together) you may not.

If you spend "quality time" with your hi-fi (no matter how good or bad) you probably will.

My guess is that you WILL notice a difference. The pre-1996 songs will sound louder. Whether that's a good or bad thing will depend on your taste and your system. Whether you think the difference is worth it depends on how much you listen to music and how you listen to it.

Here's a good guage: if you can, try comparing something on Afterglow with a CD single, say Dr Livingstone from the Four Seasons CD single. If you don't have any singles, try comparing something from Recurring Dream with something from an original CD, say Better Be Home Soon.

You should notice that both Afterglow and RD sound louder. You may also think they sound clearer.

Another question: do you ever sit down and listen to a whole album (or most of one) in one go? If you do, have a listen to Time On Earth or Everyone Is Here. Afterward (or even during) you may find that, even though you enjoy the songs, you start to get tired of hearing it, maybe a bit irritated, maybe your ears start to feel a bit fatigued. Sounds odd, but it's true.

If you notice these things, you're likely to notice a difference with VVB. If you don't, if the songs on Temple Of Low Men sound exactly the same to you on that CD and on Recurring Dream, I'll wager that you'd not notice any difference.

(Finally, I'll bet your midi hifi isn't nearly as mediocre as you think it is. I use a, relatively, modest system - at least, it ain't the thousand pounds type systems some have.)

I know some people feel intimidated by the jargon and technical side and worry they're somehow "wrong" or "stupid". It's a shame because no-one's taste is "wrong" and no-one should feel ashamed asking questions. But if you don't feel confident discussing this stuff PM me and we'll chat offline. I can send you some files you can compare etc.
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Originally posted by Half-Full:
Hmmm HMV Canada has The Very Very Best of Crowded House on sale: 2 for $20. Does this mean nobody is buying?
The single disc is on sale on Amazon US for $7.99. It means they want to sell some (thus getting it onto the charts, thus selling more CDs), not that no one is buying. I bought the new Sufjan Stevens at the same price. Must we always be gloom-and-doom about CH record sales these days???
quote:
Originally posted by Paul H:
quote:
Originally posted by Kittybear:
Can anyone answer the questions I asked several pages back which is:

WILL THIS REMASTERING HAVE ANY IMPACT IF YOU ONLY HAVE A MEDIOCRE MIDI HIFI LIKE MINE?????

WILL IT SOUND ANY BETTER THAN RECURRING DREAM??

Sorry to shout, but I'm desperating hoping you techie types will hear/read this over all your jargonising Wink and answer the question of an ignorant tech moron fan like me.




(Finally, I'll bet your midi hifi isn't nearly as mediocre as you think it is. I use a, relatively, modest system - at least, it ain't the thousand pounds type systems some have.)

I know some people feel intimidated by the jargon and technical side and worry they're somehow "wrong" or "stupid". It's a shame because no-one's taste is "wrong" and no-one should feel ashamed asking questions. But if you don't feel confident discussing this stuff PM me and we'll chat offline. I can send you some files you can compare etc.



Well said Paul
Well, I've listened to a couple tracks now from the 2CD collection and what I've heard is NOT GOOD. In fact, it is bad. Little or nothing has been done in the way of "remastering". The songs are more compressed and louder. So loud in fact that when I listen to "Weather With You" it actually sounds distorted (especially if you pay attention to Tim's vocal line, for example, on "walking round the room singing stormy weather").

I've compared these new versions to the Classic Masters collection that was released back in 2004(ish?) by Capitol in the US and the Classic Masters versions are a thousand times better. They are crisp, clear, and slightly more compressed but not to the point of distortion (because that would defeat the point!). If all the Crowded House albums were "remastered" to this "quality" then I would certainly NOT buy them.

In all honesty, if the Very Very collection had actually been digitally remastered then they would have promoted it as such. Since they didn't, and the packaging says nothing about remastering, I'm pretty sure all they did was run the songs through a compressor to increase and equalize volume levels. This, combined with a DVD of videos that have been severely cropped from their original aspect ratio makes this whole collection of rather questionable quality.

I know the purpose of this collection is to entice new fans and not to satisfy long time fans, but still, it could have been done much better. Instead, it really does feel like EMI cashing in. =(

I'll keep listening, and I hope to check out the wave forms for more comparison, but as far as I'm concerned the distortion is there and I can hear it clearly. Does anybody else hear it?
I've not noticed the distortion yet - but, as you said, you'd have to assume that they'd be trumpeting the fact that the discs are remastered if, indeed, they are. That's why my initial assumption was that they aren't. There's surely more bottom end, and they're louder, but I also think they sound muddier - especially the older songs. The little sparkly bits don't seem to jump out as much. The ToE stuff sounds better to me, but that may be because those tracks were already compressed like crazy and thus sound like their old selves, just louder. I'm not nearly as picky as some on this forum, and I've not gotten into waveform analysis or any of that, so I'm just reacting viscerally - but louder can be deceptive, in that it sounds fuller and "bigger." Turning it up would, in many cases, accomplish the same thing, and without the loss of clarity or dynamic range.
I don't know. I keep listening to Very Very, trying to hear errant distortion or other audio problems, and it sounds pretty good overall to me. Still a bit muddy in spots, as I think the low end is eating up some of the midrange stuff, but I've got Hole In The River on now, and it's thumping along quite nicely. Perhaps I just don't know any better. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I'm naive, but isn't it unlikely that an audio engineer is going to master something so hot that it's clipping? I mean, I see so many posts on here about that kind of thing, with impressive waveforms and complex analysis of said waveforms. But don't the guys who work on this stuff get paid to make it sound good? And isn't digital distortion about as non-musical a sound as there is? So why would the guys producing the discs allow there to be distortion? Is QC that bad? I have to say that I sometimes think some of you (I'm not naming names) are so anti-compression that you hear things that aren't there. (I've listened to EIH many times, for example, and I've never felt the kind of aural fatigue some of you talk about.) Yes, I get the fact that compression and limiting can strip the music of dynamic range; that's inarguable. But to suggest that it's all criminally distorted seems unlikely to me. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I have been recording and producing my own stuff for many years - I think I have some idea about what distortion sounds like. Whatever. The labels, all of them, are out to get CH. It's obvious. They make the CDs sound terrible, they don't market the albums, they bungle one thing after another. And Neil and the guys just roll over and allow it to happen, apparently - either blissfully ignorant or too busy counting their money to notice. Sorry, but I find that hard to fathom.
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
I don't know. I keep listening to Very Very, trying to hear errant distortion or other audio problems, and it sounds pretty good overall to me. Still a bit muddy in spots, as I think the low end is eating up some of the midrange stuff, but I've got Hole In The River on now, and it's thumping along quite nicely. Perhaps I just don't know any better. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I'm naive, but isn't it unlikely that an audio engineer is going to master something so hot that it's clipping? I mean, I see so many posts on here about that kind of thing, with impressive waveforms and complex analysis of said waveforms. But don't the guys who work on this stuff get paid to make it sound good? And isn't digital distortion about as non-musical a sound as there is? So why would the guys producing the discs allow there to be distortion? Is QC that bad? I have to say that I sometimes think some of you (I'm not naming names) are so anti-compression that you hear things that aren't there. (I've listened to EIH many times, for example, and I've never felt the kind of aural fatigue some of you talk about.) Yes, I get the fact that compression and limiting can strip the music of dynamic range; that's inarguable. But to suggest that it's all criminally distorted seems unlikely to me. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I have been recording and producing my own stuff for many years - I think I have some idea about what distortion sounds like. Whatever. The labels, all of them, are out to get CH. It's obvious. They make the CDs sound terrible, they don't market the albums, they bungle one thing after another. And Neil and the guys just roll over and allow it to happen, apparently - either blissfully ignorant or too busy counting their money to notice. Sorry, but I find that hard to fathom.


All you need to do is read the extensive wikipedia page on the Loudness Wars to know that this is a real and significant problem in pop music. I know it seems stupid to think that musicians and record labels would release poor quality music but you have to understand the incentives and reasoning behind doing it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

...And I should add that when I created the So. Pacific Radio Gothic collection (see Neil Finn forum for more info)I had to specifically go out and purchase additional UK singles because the Try Whistling This bonus disc is so compressed that the songs are full of digital distortion. Thankfully all but two of those tracks were available on other releases. For whatever reason, the UK singles for TWT were *not* over compressed and sound great. The idea that someone was paid to compile the TWT bonus disc and made it sound terrible is just stupid but that's what happened.
Interesting stuff - and probably true, at least in many cases. If guys like Dylan and Macca have no control over this trend (or have given in to its inevitability), I suppose believing that CH have no say in how the records are mastered makes sense. I know that, on a CD of my stuff I did last year, the disc's peak levels were as hot as most commercial releases - but it sounded much quieter, because I didn't compress it when I mixed and mastered it. Hence it doesn't sound as "professional" as it might. It's so weird; you'd think guys like Bob Ludwig would have the clout to say, "Nope. Not gonna do that." But I guess he has to work, too.
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
you'd think guys like Bob Ludwig would have the clout to say, "Nope. Not gonna do that." But I guess he has to work, too.


Thing is, you have to remember that musicians aren't engineers. The act of getting sound down on tape (or onto disc) and then mixing it and mastering it isn't always something bands themselves get into.

Also, beyond the recording and (sometimes) mixing processes, bands don't tend to listen to their own music for fun. Too much like bringing the day job home, I'd imagine.

So two things: 1) "loud" music sounds better to many on smaller equipment, especially mp3 players when used where there's lots of ambient noise, 2) artists aren't audiophiles.

And yeah, engineers do have to work too. Sure, some will go "niche" like Steve Hoffman and Barry Diament, and only work on projects where they get to control how the music sounds, but these are often archive projects, limited runs on boutique labels that command a relatively high premium. You just need to check out a forum like steve.hoffman.tv to get an idea of just how much gets done to music that isn't what you'd call "textbook".

Obviously, this is all a matter of taste so I don't think there's a "right" or "wrong" view. Certainly, I wouldn't suggest anyone was "wrong" if they like the sound of VVB. But I've had a listen and, quite frankly, I prefer the sound of the original albums for EVERY song bar, possibly, those off Time On Earth. That's just how it sounds to my ears.

I will also say that cropping the videos to make them "widescreen" is truly unconscionable. I just don't understand the logic. I just don't believe that watching a 16:9 image on a widescreen TV is in any way bad. Chopping off material to make the remaining image bigger is, frankly, crazy. It would be like lopping off the first and last 5 seconds of every song in order to get an extra one on a CD.

Bottom line: if I want to watch the videos I'll pick Dreaming: The Videos (although, of course, EMI handily left Instinct off that collection). If I want to listen to the songs, I'll go to the trouble of making a compilation from the original albums.

And yeah, if EMI are considering "remastering" the original albums to sound like this, they'll be the first CH releases I've ever passed on. So there Smiler
Good points all, Paul H. It always amazed me that CH sent their stuff off to Bob Clearmountain to mix, without their input; every band I've ever been in, we always wanted to be there to offer input (which usually amounted to "Turn me up!", of course). I must say, though, that the one real project I did with a top producer was the one time we were shooed out, only to be let back in to hear the final mix. And it sounded brilliant. I haven't watched the videos yet - gotta get upstairs to use the one DVD player that'll play PAL - but I'm sad to hear they chopped them up. Why not leave them be and let the user alter the cropping if he/she desires? Strange. When you see inexplicable things like this occurring, you wonder if anyone at the labels is actually a music fan...
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
Good points all, Paul H. It always amazed me that CH sent their stuff off to Bob Clearmountain to mix, without their input;


Not true..in the Together Alone press video, the band are shown watching Bob work (I remember a shot of Mark in his pajamas rocking out as Bob mixed). Apparently he didn't do everything they had envisioned, but they were apparently happy enough with the results. Or else I'm sure they would have sent it back (Neil has demonstrated a willingness to do this several times, with EIH and Time on Earth).
quote:
Originally posted by slowpogo:
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
Good points all, Paul H. It always amazed me that CH sent their stuff off to Bob Clearmountain to mix, without their input;


Not true..in the Together Alone press video, the band are shown watching Bob work (I remember a shot of Mark in his pajamas rocking out as Bob mixed). Apparently he didn't do everything they had envisioned, but they were apparently happy enough with the results. Or else I'm sure they would have sent it back (Neil has demonstrated a willingness to do this several times, with EIH and Time on Earth).
I kinda remember that shot, too, now that you mention it - but what always sticks out, of course, is Neil saying that they put lots of exotic sounds on TA and Clearmountain took them all off. That shot could have been them listening to the final mixes, though; they may not have had much, if anything, to do with the mixes. In any case, it always seemed to me that they gave Clearmountain a great deal of freedom in terms of his mixes.
Just flipped through the DVD. The only video that wasn't cropped was "Don't Dream It's Over", which is important because if they had cropped it you wouldn't be able to read all the text that scrolls along the bottom. Unfortunately, several other videos also have text ("Mean to Me" and "It's Only Natural") which is now illegible basically ruining the experience of watching the video.

In addition to the terrible cropping, the video quality is horrible. I know these videos weren't shot in HD or anything but it's clear that whoever transferred the videos for this DVD did it on the cheap.

The only good thing I can say is that the videos for "Don't Stop Now" and "She Called Up" look great (and were probably shot in widescreen and therefore not cropped).

Not sure why the audio for Neil's Aria Award performance of "Better Be Home Soon" sounds so bad either.

Blah, this whole collection is just blah.
Apparently the Aria Award performance video came from the Aria's own archive and was the best source available.

Also, CH management rejected the original mastering job done on "Very Very Best" because it was too loud and distorted. So what you've got is better than it almost was!
quote:
Originally posted by Jaffaman:
Apparently the Aria Award performance video came from the Aria's own archive and was the best source available.

Also, CH management rejected the original mastering job done on "Very Very Best" because it was too loud and distorted. So what you've got is better than it almost was!


Well I guess that settles that. Whoever presented this release to CH management for approval (the record company?) wanted to release something even louder and more distorted than what we got! Has the world gone insane? Should I be thankful that I got to purchase something only slightly distorted? Why should anybody have to put up with any distortion? What's the point of having all this fancy technology if we're just gonna use it to make music sound worse?

Sorry, that was a lot of questions. They were rhetorical.
quote:
Also, CH management rejected the original mastering job done on "Very Very Best" because it was too loud and distorted. So what you've got is better than it almost was!



So was Bob Clearmountain tasked with the original remastering of "The Very Very Best Of" J-Man? or has it always been an EMI Project. You know ..Smacked Ass .. Not Happy .. Do it again scenario.?

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