Harsh, but right on the money Wilson overrated in my book.
No turntable operative at the moment, so I compared the Qobuz streamed versions of this track, and you’re dead right. One of those genuinely WOW moments at hearing this at the time has rather become OK, but not in the same league.
I then (and still am) played my rip of the Mobile Fidelity CD. It’s still the best sound quality I’ve ever heard from a CD.
I hadn’t noticed it either, but comparing the SW mix with my remastered CD (Joe Gastwirt, 1994?) does show it up. I might have to fire up the Sondek tomorrow, and listen to the original LP.
Pleased that I was not imagining the missing ‘WOW’ moment as Nick so aptly describes it. Your comments have made me wonder even more exactly what was wrong with the original recordings that Steve Wilson felt he could improve on.
As already said, the mix is clean, with a well balanced bass, mid range & treble although overall, too quiet in my view. He just seems to have missed the vital elements that make the music exiting. The whole thing sounding a touch sterile. I find it hard to imagine that he would choose his mix over the original in a blind test.
I can’t knock it too much as my observations are all based on a direct comparison of a single track. I will need to compare other tracks with my near 50 year old original vinyl copies.
Maybe that SW is a guitarist, and would favour guitar and bass over keyboards? I commented earlier how he really brought Squire’s bass to the fore. But the missing impact of Banks’ keyboards first few chords into YIND is obvious when it’s pointed out; you were certainly not imagining it.
Not sure what state your 50 year old copy of TYA is in, but mine of same vintage was played for many years on a rotary chisel! (I have a feeling it was the second album I bought after The Beach Boys “Greatest Hits” - Gawd, are we gettin’ old”)
Tony Kaye would be a bit upset too
It’s still there but just not as loud as it should be, thereby losing impact.
My copy is in good condition, as are all my albums. I didn’t take special care of them but didn’t abuse them either. Straight back into sleeves as soon as removed from TT.
Only a very few were played on anything less than a, decent, Garrard TT.
See here for my hi Fi history -
I haver never cleaned an LP but did have, what I now consider, the good foresight to put all my albums in antistatic inner sleeves from purchase, which have brilliantly stood the test of time with some having remained undisturbed in their sleeves, stored upright in a cupboard, for 20 years or more.
I recommend anyone interested in remixes of classic albums to listen to Bob Lefsetz’ podcast interview with Steven Wilson.
It’s been a while, but my recollection is that:
SW remixes in stereo as a step in process of creating the surround mix, and they started releasing them by popular demand
He makes very little money from these mixes because they don’t sell very many copies so budgets are tight, and he would do it for nothing if there was no money (who wouldn’t want to play with the master tapes of their favourite albums)
He tries to mix in stereo as closely as possible to the original but the notes are often missing and many of the people around, back in the day, are no longer available
The one to get is Aqualung because it was originally mixed on a faulty machine with the tape out of alignment
I would also add that these deluxe editions usually include hi-res flat transfers and stereo mixes , as well as surround remixes and bonus tracks, plus often excellent liner notes. Most are not prohibitively expense, so taking all of this into account, what’s not to like? I wish Genesis would take the same approach, rather then replacing the original masters with Nick Davis’s efforts.
Again, the podcast is quite interesting, regardless of opinions on SW’s own musical achievements.
What Keith said.
The original Atlantic vinyl release in the UK was a tough act to follow. It’s one of the best mass produced, high street sold, LPs I ever bought. No CD came close until MFSL nailed it. To my ears the SW effort is better still.
Not his remixes. The whole point of a remix is that it sounds different. If you are familiar with the original it is going to strike you oddly. I only like a few of Wilson’s reimagined efforts because to me, most of his remixes subtract vital elements from the originals that I know and love.
The reason I personally rate the SW catalogue is because of the flat transfers. With a couple of exceptions they are outstanding. As far as The Yes Album goes, Wilson’s remixes sound awful to me. But his flat transfer is the best version of this album I have at the moment.
Most of the discussion seems to be about TYA. The whole project going up to TFTO contains a huge body of material, all of it superb in places, including some remixes that to my ears sound better than the originals - but not many.
I would be wary of downloading them. They may be fine but the labels have a habit of messing up stuff post production. The DVD/BD boxes contain the right stuff for sure (except Aqualung).
I hope all is well with you. Your 252 is still providing entertainment and enjoyment here
I’m a big fan of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, but I rarely listen to his classic album remixes (except Aqualung) and his surround mixes are too much for me. I prefer the more subtle approach, whereas he literally surrounds you with music. You need a really good system with matching speakers all around to match the stereo system. Ours is perfectly fine for TV and movies but suffers in comparison to the stereo with music.
We are doing well. We hope your and yours are likewise. It’s so good to know that our pre lives in a home that appreciates it. We were sorry to see it go because of all the enjoyment it brought us, but when opportunity knocks…
I also think there just isn’t enough of Steve Wilson to go round. He should be cloned. Our Soundbar/Sub does a nice job for the telly and can throw sounds about a bit, but bleeding edge it ain’t. We have no interest in that direction past basic fitness for purpose and have never attempted to sample any surround mixes. Most of the concert music we watch on DVD/BD/Freeview is so badly recorded and compressed that it wouldn’t make any difference anyway.
All the best.
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