Wednesday, July 14, 2004

"Hello and Welcome" / "Remastering"

Hello and welcome to radioKRUD - I suppose it's best to provide a quick intro as for what drove me to do my own musicblogging...

I had been reading my friends' list on LiveJournal, and one of the particular people whose journal I followed had been posting a song or three every few days. I downloaded each song she posted, adding them to a particular playlist of just the songs she had posted, and after a while I noticed that I really grew to like most of the songs I had found out about from her. I'd buy the albums of some of the bands she had posted songs from, and started keeping an eye out for more material from many of the artists. Eventually I got around to asking her one day where she found out about these songs, and one of her sources she pointed me towards was The Tofu Hut. I started to poke around and realized that I myself did a little bit of musicblogging occasionally since I liked to post various songs in my own journal and type up a short blurb about each - I just tried to share different types of songs I myself enjoyed, hoping that it might help others find new artists that they'd enjoy as well.

At the same time that I was discovering other musicblogs, soul sides posted a brief article titled (get this) "So You Want to Start an Audioblog"! What serendipity! I was toying with the idea of starting my own musicblog, and here was the kick in the butt to get me started. I'll be joined shortly by two of my friends who were also keen on sharing other songs that they happened to enjoy as well, so there ought to be a diverse selection of tunes coming through here in due time. radioKRUD is going to be going under some fixing up over the next few days as well as we finish getting things straightened out over here, so bear with us.

So, now that that's out of the way, on to the songs! Today I'd like to make a case against remastering - for the most part, remastering is a good thing! It helps songs sound cleaner (to me, at least - others with ears more golden than mine may take offense at the slightest bit of sound-sanitizing), etc etc. Well, recently I'd taken to listening to old Frank Zappa tunes - most notably his "Crusing with Ruben & the Jets"... Zappa was heavily influenced by old doo-wop music, and I myself tend to prefer his songs like this or his instrumentals over some of his more raunchier material, but I digress...

As you can see on the album's page on amazon.com, the cd's recieved rather mixed reviews. In the time that I listened to the songs from the album, they were all recorded from the original vinyl version. Eventually I couldn't stand it any longer and wanted to get my hands on a copy of the album so I'd have a better quality version of "Jelly Roll Gum Drop", and was I dismayed to hear that the cd remastered version of the song sounded sloppy, as if the Mothers were out of sync and recording in a tile room with all the echo. I suppose that I'll eventually get used to it, but it's going to take a while. While the remaster was done and approved by FZ himself, I personally think he missed the mark with it as the quality of the material in the remastered version has gone greatly downhill. All I can say is it's a good thing I kept the mp3s ripped from the original album! I'll let you decide for yourself which sounds better...

"Jelly Roll Gum Drop" (album version) - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
"Jelly Roll Gum Drop" (cd version) - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments... thanks again!

4 Comments:

At 7/14/2004 04:20:00 AM, Blogger John said...

I agree that the pre-mastered Mothers sound has a real... something going on that the later fixeruppers just don't have. Wish _I_ had mp3's of Freak Out, oldschool style.

Good luck with the musicbloggin'; I'm always excited to see new blood!

 
At 7/14/2004 12:13:00 PM, Blogger MC Glenn said...

Gee, thanks John! Now I've got a warm 'n fuzzy feeling inside... :D

 
At 7/14/2004 02:40:00 PM, Blogger megs said...

This reminds me why I like having every possible version of my favorite artist's albums. Some remasterings just take the life out of a song, like here. I really like Zappa's doo-wop, myself. He's aces at taking on different song styles and stripping them down to their essence WHILE slightly making fun of them.

 
At 7/18/2004 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Lee said...

It's not that remastering is a bad thing...if it's done right, it can be wonderful. Unfortunately, when "We're Only in it" and "Ruben" were released on CD for the first time, Frank went back and re-recorded new bass guitar and drum parts (in 1987!) for those albums, because he didn't like the original sounds. The fans revolted and eventually, "We're Only In it" got re-released in 1995 on CD with the original vinyl mix. However, "Ruben" didn't get so lucky...the CD mix is the same re-recorded one, while you can only get the original mix from the original vinyl.

Personally, I'm a bigger fan of his instrumental work as well...always thought his lyrics post 1970 were stupid.

 

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