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Tom Petty catalog high-res remasters

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Yes I saw this. Cue debate. I just got a record player for my birthday, and, pulling out Albert King, Little Feat, Leon Russell and Richard Thompson, I can confirm that nostalgia is what it used to be in this case. It's amazing how we have got used to poor quality, first with cds, and then with mp3. I love music on the go but bring back the quality, yes.

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Are you aware of the loudness wars? I've read a small bit about it, seems that they produce music that at the base level is so loud that it eliminates nuance and can even be tiring on the ears. I think the origin supposedly lies in wanting songs to be louder on the radio (?) and maybe something to do with music being played on smaller devices, ear plugs etc.

 

From the tiny reading I've done, I certainly think it's terrible to do that and can understand why the old records sound so good.

 

My understanding was that the Mudcrutch album was done in the older classic style, so if you want to hear it louder, you turn up the volume and still hear teh subtleties in the music.

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That's good news!

 

Does anybody else get this message when selecting Highway Companion: 
"This product is not currently available due to region restrictions."

 

Edit:

I opened hdtracks.com via US proxy, it's available there. Wonder what kind of issue that is. Probably because WBR Germany holds the right to that album...

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Cool stuff! 

 

Kudos to people like Neil Young and TP for being into these things. How true that hi-res does matter. Whole generations now, have been fed compressed music and are in deep space of ignorance in terms of real sound. It's very cool that vinyl has gotten back in style in recent years and that hi-res digital formats are now finally starting to show.

 

I suppose the question now is what type of equipment you'll need to do these formats justice. As long as an upper scale, advance level yet normal home sound system will be sufficient then it's all good. If people are gonna have to buy new types of hi-tech players (like Pono) to enjoy the difference compared to their current shitty mp3s or half-*ssed CDs, then that's another matter. Might still be worth it though, mind you. We are talking major quality! One thing's for sure - if you think your phone, your ipad or your computer speakers will handle this, you are in for a disappointment.

 

Personally, as someone deeply attached to vinyl - I already have the majority of the TP catalogue on 33rpm and 45rpm - these hi-res files don't feel quite as necessary. The difference won't be that breathtaking. Other than the obvious possibility to be able to take files with you in a way you really can't with vinyl. And then again.. we are back to the issue of equipment. Either way - making all this music available in its' full glory to new generations of fans (and old generations that perhaps have missed it too) is a great and wonderful thing!

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Personally, as someone deeply attached to vinyl - I already have the majority of the TP catalogue on 33rpm and 45rpm - these hi-res files don't feel quite as necessary. The difference won't be that breathtaking. Other than the obvious possibility to be able to take files with you in a way you really can't with vinyl. And then again.. we are back to the issue of equipment. Either way - making all this music available in its' full glory to new generations of fans (and old generations that perhaps have missed it too) is a great and wonderful thing!

That will be an interesting thing to see - whether the comeback of vinyl will render such hi-res formats unnecessary or not. Because those who dig good sound listen to their vinyl lps and those who don't give a s*** keep sticking to their mp3s...

Maybe hi-res is for 90s guys like me who missed out on the good old analog sound and for whom mp3s are just not the real thing...

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^ Yes, it is a paradox, isn't it. Interesting indeed.

I just figure the future holds people who, while living in tiny spaces with scarse shelfing possibilities and perhaps not always keen on spending time and energy to hunt down and attend an undeniably delicate collection of vinyls, might still be interested in their music sounding good. At least one would hope so. :)

After all, mp3 was a compromise, compressed to the extent only to make music digitally transferable at all in the infant age of the internets*. That's no longer neccessary. Consider this: Why send physical letters - when you can send an email or a text message - unless you are a fan of the feeling, the paper, the smell (eh?) or the handwriting? The message will get thru faster digitally, right? Sunday delivery too. The equivalent of an mp3 then - to let the analogy run it's mad cause - would be sending a message that is fast but has pieces of words missing. Needless to say a different and sad thing and something that should be made obsolete as soon as tech allows.

Then - even when the digital music commonly available is top notch, hi-res and well sounding - there will still be people that cares for the artefact, but I'd say that is another matter.

-----

* Thanks to George W Bush for the beauty of that word. Unless he was already aware of the existence of darknet, other multiple shadow nets or dimensions, it was quite a poetical thing to say for it's day. Or shall I say things. :D

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The more I think about it, the more I believe the way people listen to music will diversify even more in the future. Maybe there will be a mainstream of people who only listen to mp3 because they don't need physical media and enjoy carrying around a whole library of music around the globe with them. Hell, even I like to go running or traveling by train with my iPod. But there will also be different kinds of niches for the vinyl lovers or those who enjoy hi-res, BluRay audio or whatever... and maybe there won't even be a mainstream but all kinds of different stuff... who knows.

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^

Yes.. but eh.. why even keep mp3 as a standard? When future technology makes them obsolete? Isn't the whole point with hi-res music on files and/or streaming like this, that it's at the same time high quality AND portable/universally accessible? Diversity between people who prefer physical formats and people who don't, will always be happening, but that's another matter, eh? Up until recently such choice has really been equal to choosing between hi quality and low quality. Now hi-res files kinda resets that notion, which is kinda the point. At least that's how I understand this issue. If future people will keep listening to crappy mp3s when hi-res sound is as easy and far better, that's beyond me. Why drink sour milk, when there's fresh stuff for grabs?

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I bought a few of these new remasters and I have to say I am impressed.

To me, the most important upgrade isn't because it's 24bit/96khz compared to 16bit/44khz a CD offers. The biggest factor is dynamic compression. Albums such as Echo, Last DJ and Highway Companion have never sounded as good as this before, because they were plagued by dynamic compression. Take a look at the data at http://dr.loudness-war.info/ and you'll see what I mean.

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You're very welcome!

 

Some more thoughts:

- I don't know whether that remaster of Mojo was really necessary, since it has been available in 24bit/48khz before

- It's unfortunate that the extra tracks from the Pack Up The Plantation LP (namely You Got Lucky and I Need To Know) aren't included, although they are listed on the photos of the master tapes that are included with the download

- They could have included bonus tracks (B-sides!) with these downloads, such as Sweet William or Girl On LSD

- She's The One is still missing from the HD catalogue as well as Greatest Hits, which includes Mary Jane and Something In The Air

- There are no extensive liner notes included, just a .pdf that contains the cover, photos of the respective master tapes, plus a short note by Ryan Ulyate which is identical on every album

- "Hello CD listeners..." is included on Full Moon Fever

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That will be an interesting thing to see - whether the comeback of vinyl will render such hi-res formats unnecessary or not. Because those who dig good sound listen to their vinyl lps and those who don't give a s*** keep sticking to their mp3s...

Maybe hi-res is for 90s guys like me who missed out on the good old analog sound and for whom mp3s are just not the real thing...

The new high res releases are mostly direct transfers from the first generation masters created when the records were recorded. (There are a couple where the first gen master tapes were unusable). There is little to no compression at the mastering stage, and as Ulyate states, the intent is for you to hear the recordings as they sounded in the studio control room.

I bought Hard Promises, and the recording that followed (can't think of name right now, You Got Lucky is on it) and the last DJ.

Hard Promises and its successor are really special, in particular if you listen with a good set of headphones. Lots of detail never heard before, it's really a great pleasure to listen. The Last DJ sound "hard" to me. Likely the way it was tracked and the tone of the songs, but the sonics are very good.

I have to admit, I really prefer any of the recordings that Stanley was on.

I hope that Petty keeps supporting Hi Res. I'm hope he does more 5.1 releases as he did with Damn the Torpedos and Hypnotic Eye. They sound REAL good

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I wonder if missing bonus tracks will be included with a future deluxe Bly-Ray release. Also missing are the bonus tracks from Highway Companion. I'm hopeful for a deluxe reissue similar to DTT with all the b-sides and outtakes from the album.

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I'm hopeful for a deluxe reissue similar to DTT with all the b-sides and outtakes from the album.

Yes, that would be the way to reissue all the albums really. If at all, in physical shape. I guess they must have accidentally put DTT out before they realized how much smarter it would have been to release the remaster sound first like this, as the album only, only later to release the delux stacked version.. that way get the real fans to pay an additional time....... ah, sweet bastard logic. The name of the game is: 'how many times will they pay?' One bone at the time..

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- "Hello CD listeners..." is included on Full Moon Fever

:D and that is not unimportant, I've come to realize. I love that bit myself, as a sign of times if nothing else, but barely none of the frequent reissues over the years have cared to preserve it. Kudos!

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Having all the albums re-issued on BluRay, with the original mixes and new 5.1 mixes plus B-sides, outtakes and live tracks from the respective periods - well that would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen, I think. It would be much more expensive and time consuming to create such deluxe editions than to simply remaster the original albums and offer them as downloads. From a commercial point of view, I guess they made the most reasonable decision here. I don't think that BluRay-Audio is selling well, the Mojo BD has been out of print for a while I think.

I just hope that a) a bunch of people will buy those new remasters, that might convince them to put out some more deluxe editions and B) that we will see that planned deluxe release of Wildflowers soon.

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^ well, yes.

As for "live tracks from the respective periods", I personally think it's less necessary to spend time and enery on such in this case.Always fun with live stuff, but beside there always being a discussion if it's better to release full shows or separate tracks (Anthology- HCC compilation- or bonus track- style) and to what extent they have picked the best tracks/dates for when either of the last two mentioned methods been choosen.. besides all that, I personally think live stuff is better treated separately, in whatever format. I'd say a focus on studio recordings, the creative process of writing and recording - a focus on material, released or otherwise that is, is a better focus. (That said, I'd love more live releases too, preferably full shows, that are SOO much better and more interesting listen than separate tracks..)

And -- even if the idea of physical releases (BR-A, CD, DVD, vinyl or whatever) is abandoned eventually - due to it being too expensive to produce or distribute or whatever the argument - then, why not just add outtakes and demos of choice (stuff that is considered worthy of official release) as bonus tracks with hi-res bundles like these then? Or even better - why not somehow simply sell separate delux files packages/bundles like "Complete TP&TH b-sides 1976-2016" or "Outtakes and demos of the 70s" (insert 80s, 90s, 00s etc). I mean, just put stuff out as files, for fan and collector value and for time and money saving, and for fun. (As if fun really had anything to do with it!)

At the end of the day.. perhaps the sales of "the same old stuff" won't be too impressive (won't convince anyone, so to speak) no matter how good the hi res sound. I mean, I think most core fans, like me, have three or four or five issues of all their albums already. In order to add a fifth or sixth or seventh edition, then good sound would be more of a precondition, something to be taken for granted, while what would matter would be something extra, something else. In fact.. perhaps many fans feel like I do, tired of buying the same album over and over and thus would prefer to be able to buy whatever rarities separately. Perhaps that is what would increase sales even more. My guess is that the first time buyers of a stacked deluxe set is few anyway.. But then again.. repackaging is how they do business, isn't it.

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Considering how much the sales of records (CDs, actually) is in decline, I doubt there will even be any more future releases of full back catalogs like we've known in the past ("The Remaster Series" or whatever). I hate the thought that everything will only be released as a download, but I fear that's exactly what's going to happen. Download and vinyl. Especially now that there's even audiophile downloads.

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