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Stefan Wood

Exile on Main Street remaster

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I'm curious about this release -- I've heard mixed reviews of the two cd set. Has anyone bought it? Opinions?

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Haven't heard this new set yet, but I've been told that the remastering is very "modern": loud, with squashed dynamics. If that's correct, I'm not going to buy it.

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Though I'm not one to care about these things usually, that sounds like something that would turn me off. The most-recent Virgin mastering sounds great to me-- flat and muddy, which is what the album calls for.

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I'm curious about this release -- I've heard mixed reviews of the two cd set. Has anyone bought it? Opinions?

I've just bought the basic version ( not the deluxe version with bonus cuts ). Sounds pretty good to me. Some of the grungy layers have been removed so it's as clear as it can be, given the limitations of the original recording. The bottom end has also been improved.

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I bought the "Deluxe" version with the bonus cuts, it also come with a booklet that has some decent photos from the recording sessions in France, no text to speak of. I didn't really like the sound of the new version, the vocals have definitely been pushed forward in the mix, as colinmce mentions above the earlier, (from the mid 90's, I think) Virgin mastering is much better, although I haven't a/b'd the 2 versions extensively, that's for other people on this board to do. :g :g :g

As for the bonus tracks, well since I heard this was going to be released I was pretty excited about them, however I didn't read all that much of the pre release hype, but I did see something where Keith said they had added bits of guitar to some of them. :rfr :rfr :rfr When you actually hear them though it's obvious that the vocals on most of them have been added on/overdubbed as well and they are a bit weird. Not so much sounding like someone doing an immpression of Mick Jagger, but it's more like Mick Jagger doing an impression of Mick Jagger, trying to sound like he did 30 years ago. The songs themselves are decent enough but you wouldn't trade anything on the original album for any of them, at least I wouldn't.

All in all if you have the Virgin re-master stick with it, you're not missing all that much and that's coming from someone who absolutely adores Exile.

Now, as for the 2 disc re-issue of "Raw Power", that is totally worth getting, it's the way you remember it, ragged but righteous.

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I stopped by Newbury Comics at lunch to nib around and they said they were all sold out across the board, stores, warehouse etc of the "deluxe". Flew off the shelves I was told. Target is selling an exclusive "just the extras" on a single disc for anyone who needs them.

best bet - iTunes has a free video download of "Plundered My Soul". Well worth the money - as I used to like looking at all them little pics on the gatefold a waaay back.

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All in all if you have the Virgin re-master stick with it, you're not missing all that much and that's coming from someone who absolutely adores Exile.

An alternate solution (at least for U.S. board members, sorry Cliff) would be to keep the Virgin, and then purchase the additional tracks separately on the standalone disc at Target.

Edited by Aggie87

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All in all if you have the Virgin re-master stick with it, you're not missing all that much and that's coming from someone who absolutely adores Exile.

An alternate solution (at least for U.S. board members, sorry Cliff) would be to keep the Virgin, and then purchase the additional tracks separately on the standalone disc at Target.

Yes, that would be a good solution as the booklet is nothing to write home about either.

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I read this review a couple of days ago and it turned me off.

Wow, I didn't know they got Mick Taylor back in again as well. :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:

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I read this review a couple of days ago and it turned me off.

Thanks for posting that review. I'll probably pick up the new remaster eventually, but I'm in no hurry. I thought the Virgin CD sounded pretty bad (quite muddy), so the new issue is much needed. However, the vinyl copy I have has a lot of life to it. To my ears the LP is the classic sound, with the vibrancy and "grit" that most associate with those sessions. Great stuff all around, though.

It is cool that they invited Taylor to do some overdubs. I have no idea how sound his chops are these days, but they can't be worse than Ron Wood's at this stage. I'm hoping they can do each other a favor and invite Taylor back into the band. I'd even buy an overpriced ticket to see those shows.

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I heard a bit today...I love it. I should get another chance to hear it this weekend.

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I don't have the new one but I think the vinyl sounds great.

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I read this review a couple of days ago and it turned me off.

Thanks for posting that review. I'll probably pick up the new remaster eventually, but I'm in no hurry. I thought the Virgin CD sounded pretty bad (quite muddy), so the new issue is much needed. However, the vinyl copy I have has a lot of life to it. To my ears the LP is the classic sound, with the vibrancy and "grit" that most associate with those sessions. Great stuff all around, though.

It is cool that they invited Taylor to do some overdubs. I have no idea how sound his chops are these days, but they can't be worse than Ron Wood's at this stage. I'm hoping they can do each other a favor and invite Taylor back into the band. I'd even buy an overpriced ticket to see those shows.

Mick Taylor was supposed to play a concert in Dallas this week, but the concert was cancelled because he was hospitalized.

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I picked up the 2 disc Deluxe this Wednesday.

Its LOUD!!!

The muddy sound has been removed, I am hearing the piano parts and back up singers better than ever before (hearing lots of new things actually which is fun and I know this album very well, almost part of my DNA) with lots of clarity. But there's no depth or soundstage whatsoever - and the guitars seem less defined. Not horrible but one dimensional. A different experience for sure.

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I picked up the 2 disc Deluxe this Wednesday.

Its LOUD!!!

The muddy sound has been removed, I am hearing the piano parts and back up singers better than ever before (hearing lots of new things actually which is fun and I know this album very well, almost part of my DNA) with lots of clarity. But there's no depth or soundstage whatsoever - and the guitars seem less defined. Not horrible but one dimensional. A different experience for sure.

So what I was told is correct: maximum compression/no dynamics left/loud/boosted higher frequencies. No thanks, I'll stick with my early Japanese issue and the Virgin remaster from the 1990s.

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I dig the extras, and will probably just go the Target route. Nothing on the disc holds a candle to anything on EXILE, but by finally completing these songs perhaps the Stones will remember they were once an awesome band, get Taylor back in the fold (at least in the studio) and conquer the world again.

A man can dream.....

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I picked up the 2 disc Deluxe this Wednesday.

Its LOUD!!!

The muddy sound has been removed, I am hearing the piano parts and back up singers better than ever before (hearing lots of new things actually which is fun and I know this album very well, almost part of my DNA) with lots of clarity. But there's no depth or soundstage whatsoever - and the guitars seem less defined. Not horrible but one dimensional. A different experience for sure.

So what I was told is correct: maximum compression/no dynamics left/loud/boosted higher frequencies. No thanks, I'll stick with my early Japanese issue and the Virgin remaster from the 1990s.

Not so much compressed but heavily e.q'd. Everything is dry but a little too upfront. Improvement over the original CBS CD from the 80's but not the original US vinyl. Never heard the 94 Virgin so I can't compare it to that. Not as good as last years Beatles remasters thats for sure.

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I picked up the 2 disc Deluxe this Wednesday.

Its LOUD!!!

The muddy sound has been removed, I am hearing the piano parts and back up singers better than ever before (hearing lots of new things actually which is fun and I know this album very well, almost part of my DNA) with lots of clarity. But there's no depth or soundstage whatsoever - and the guitars seem less defined. Not horrible but one dimensional. A different experience for sure.

So what I was told is correct: maximum compression/no dynamics left/loud/boosted higher frequencies. No thanks, I'll stick with my early Japanese issue and the Virgin remaster from the 1990s.

Not so much compressed but heavily e.q'd. Everything is dry but a little too upfront. Improvement over the original CBS CD from the 80's but not the original US vinyl. Never heard the 94 Virgin so I can't compare it to that. Not as good as last years Beatles remasters thats for sure.

If it's one-dimensional, without depth and, as others have told me, without dynamics, there must be a lot of added compression. Anyway, as I said I'll pass.

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One of the Hoffman bots sums it up nicely:

Post by Emberglow :

After comparing this release of Exile on Main St with the CBS and the Virgin releases, I consider this one to be like when they take a classic old movie and Pan & Scan it for TV. They've used a limiter and boosted the volume so that the quieter parts are easier to hear without the louder parts being distorted. They've EQed it so that Mick's voice is much easier to hear, yet the same EQ doesn't work for Keith's vocals. Sure, it makes this great album much more accessible to a whole new audience and you can easily hear the lyrics but the whole thing really does sound shıte when you try to play it loud. I'm keeping my copy in the car and will continue to use the CBS and/or Virgin for home listening.

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Well, I don't have the prior versions anymore so I will pick this up in some version. The AMG review wasn't that bad; sounds like they were just wishing it had been true to the original premise.

Edited by Brad

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One of the Hoffman bots sums it up nicely:

Post by Emberglow :

After comparing this release of Exile on Main St with the CBS and the Virgin releases, I consider this one to be like when they take a classic old movie and Pan & Scan it for TV. They've used a limiter and boosted the volume so that the quieter parts are easier to hear without the louder parts being distorted. They've EQed it so that Mick's voice is much easier to hear, yet the same EQ doesn't work for Keith's vocals. Sure, it makes this great album much more accessible to a whole new audience and you can easily hear the lyrics but the whole thing really does sound shıte when you try to play it loud. I'm keeping my copy in the car and will continue to use the CBS and/or Virgin for home listening.

That's an excellent explanation of how this new version sounds, thanks for posting it so us normals don't have to go th the Hoffman Board. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It can also be summed up this way, the new version just sounds wrong. :w :w :w

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Some of the reviews on Amazon are, as usual, quite funny/interesting, somebody calling himself "RoboGoon, Mastering Guy" has even made a helpful graph.

51yIx1B%2BXJL.jpg

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Some of the reviews on Amazon are, as usual, quite funny/interesting, somebody calling himself "RoboGoon, Mastering Guy" has even made a helpful graph.

51yIx1B%2BXJL.jpg

The yellow graph is from the original CD release, the grey one from the new remaster. Compared to the former, the latter shows added compression and limiting - it's what some would call "brickwalled": loud and no dynamics left.

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I ripped mine to itunes and traded my copy back to the record store. Its only value is for the bonus stuff and for Ipod listening during a noisy commute or in a gym.

Sadly the graph above is the way of the future for new recordings.

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I bought the extras disc at Target and had no plans to buy the remaster. That is, until I heard the alternate take of "Soul Survivor." This take is nothing more than the instrumental track we all know and love with Keef slurring different lyrics over it. When it started, I noticed two things:

1) the clear separation of the instruments

2) details I'd never heard before

These two things are THE two reasons I'm such a sucker for remasters (and also likely makes me the antichrist for audiophiles everywhere).

Now, as much as I love EXILE, it's not as big a part of my life as much as, say, folks who've had the album since day one. I can appreciate their frustration with the cleaned-up sound: I get it that part of this album's greatness lies in its sloppiness. But hearing the clarity of this one track makes me want to hear the rest of the album in this way!

So yeah, I'll probably get the remaster now. And I'll probably love it as much as I enjoy the sloppy old vinyl. Hopefully, when the audio armageddon comes, those fighting on the anti-loudness side will have mercy on me and forgive me my obsessions and curiosities. ;)

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