Reissues / Remasters


#1

Getting into a band’s back catalog well beyond their active years, do you prefer to listen to the supposed “enhanced” remastered versions (with obligatory bonus tracks) or the original?

Made a playlist of The Triffids albums and removed all of the additional/bonus tracks released on the remasters. Doing this always seems to have a massive positive affect on my enjoyment of a playlist / album.

Anyone got any examples of remasters / reissues that are a marked improvement on the original?


#2

A lot of the early Bowie stuff sounds much better remastered. I think it’s true of the 60s in general. Those early 60s stereo mixes were awful. Obviously the mono versions are superior. But were until recently pretty rare


#3

hate when there’s some guff tacked onto the end of an album, just wanna hear it as it was intended and unless the original was particularly bad, remasters are just for the die-hards innit.


#4

Personally prefer reissues as i like to get the ‘whole story’ of an album through bsides/outtakes etc. Some bands thrive from the inclusion of Bsides into their albums (Suede, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, Smiths, Galaxie 500) also like buying an LP and getting an additional side of material not on the CD (Sufjan - Michigan for example)


#5

This is pretty much my take on it also.


#6

The obvious answer is ‘it depends’. As to remasters, some are a disaster (i.e. The last set of New Order reissues) but many are brilliant- that’s particularly the case when records that were mixed for vinyl originally are properly remastered for CD/digital. Sometimes this can make the records come alive again - two recent examples of records I have had for years sounding completely new and fresh and wonderful on remasters are the recent versions of The Associates albums (especially The Affectionate Punch) and the fantastic Big Star box set Keep An Eye on The Sky.

I would always prefer to have the ‘extra tracks’ on a separate disc so the original album stays as intended. I normally don’t find them much more than a curiosity and don’t often listen to them that much. There are some wonderful exceptions- Keep an Eye on the Sky is an example where the demos, alternative mixes etc are often a revelation. My favourite ever is the reissue of Prefab Sprout’s Steve McQueen which has an extra disc where Paddy McAloon records new solo versions of almost the whole album, his voice wonderfully altered by 20 odd years of hard living. The album suddenly has a whole new dimension to it.


#7

I hate when one or two songs are added to the end of it unless it’s a very obvious set of b sides, like the delux editions of some of those Sonic Youth albums.

Can only really consider remasters on a case by case basis though. Whereas some manage to add depth and clarity, others just compress it to fuck and make the peaks constant and very loud. Struggling to think of examples for either at the moment.


#8

if there’s LOADS of bonus tracks, like an extra disc or whatever, i’ll ignore them unless i’m a fan and/or have actually bought it. if there’s only a couple and i’m listening for the first time i may or not listen to them depending on whether i can be bothered to keep going beyond the original runtime. if it’s a non album single it might be worth a listen. if it’s tagged as “[Bonus Track]” on Spotify i’ll probably ignore it so as to not make my last.fm look shit


#9

Love Steve McQueen. Is it worth getting for the remaster if i already have it, a worthwhile upgrade?


#10

But originals are sometimes hard to find. So much has been remastered and often the remasters become more prevalent then the originals. You actively have to hunt them sometimes.


#11

Definitely prefer to get a load of bonus stuff, often hidden gems that can turn out to be favourites, also find charm in demos and alternate takes, as long as all the original tracklisting is there I can’t understand why anyone would object to having more.

In terms of sound quality anything mastered from the mid 90s onwards really doesn’t need remastering


#12

I mean technically transferring a vinyl to CD is remastering and plenty of the original transfers were badly done losing dynamic range. Then by the mid 90s there was a fashion of making things as loud as possible. Unless you are listening to original vinyl prints there is some level of remastering from the original prints. Which is why you get special sets for bands like 13th floor elevators had re-releases actually making things closer to the original release then what was available in CD formats at the time.

Lets face it most people on here while not actively looking for a remaster they dont actively search for originals, or even masters that attempt to be as close to the original as possible.


#13

Would be good if people could post on here what they regard as the best Remasters and which ones you should leave the fuck alone.
I recently bought some Kraftwerk remasters (specifically Trans Europe Express) and i remember a load of people saying it was a shit remaster and to stick with the original.


#14

Loop’s remasters are a fair bit better than the original CD pressings. Heaven’s End actually has bass now.

Otherwise, yeah it generally depends on the reissues we’re talking about. Biggest pet peeve is when a reissue series has a bunch of extras… but is missing quite a few b-sides. Not even like live tracks or remixes or some pointless shit, but actual songs. Echo & the Bunnymen’s reissues were like that.


#15

What if, like some of The Triffids remasters, some of the bonus/added tracks are threaded through the original track list?


#16

yeah Beggars-era Fall albums are like that. in that case i’ll most likely just listen to it all. which i think is what i did with the one Triffids album i’ve listened to properly


#17

Absolutely if you can get the two disc reissue. The remaster is excellent and the bonus disc is a revelation


#18

The reissue of In The Pines is superb - the extra tracks are just as good as the songs on the original album and really add to it.


#19

What’s the most recent release to be remastered (rather than reissued)? Are they doing it with 10 Year Anniversary releases still?

Always seems weird to me that modern albums get remastered when there surely can’t of been noticeable enhancements in recording technology.


#20

I’m going to go back and listen to the reissues once I get a feel for the albums (as close to) as they were when first released. A bit of an experiment to see if the additions are worthwhile. I’m sure there are some crackers in there that will add to