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Bowie General > The Width Of A Circle - 2CD & EP versions

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neilwilkesPosted at 2021-05-31 12:26:35(3 wks ago) (Bowie General / The Width Of A Circle - 2CD & EP versions)


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Playing the CD right now as I write this, and the cleanup job that Tony did for the 5th Feb 1070 Paris Theatre show is a lot better than I had hoped for after reading that the source was not what you could call optimal. It's also extremely pleasing that Tony has left in all the chat between the songs as well because the humour shines through & far too many live releases omit this sort of stuff, which is a real shame. Great job all round to my ears, even though you can hear the tape flutter on a few occasions it can - and should - be ignored until & unless the original tapes ever surface (which seems highly unlikely to me)

The second CD is also very good too.
'Pierrot In Turquoise' sounds as if it is taken from an acetate, but the versions are quite different to the usual ones we know - 'When I Live My Dream' is very different, and 'Threepenny Pierrot' is an early rendering of what became 'London Bye Ta-Ta' so it's good to actually have these in full.

I'm not 100% convinced by the remasters of 'The Singles' at this point. My big concern (and this is especially apparent on 'The Prettiest Star (alternate mix) is that the bass is lumpy & boomy - you can hear it on parts of both the 'London Bye Ta-Ta' versions as well as 'Memory Of A Free Festival' and 'Holy Holy' where certain bass notes just leap out of the speakers. It's the same mistake that was made on the recent remaster of the 'Space Oddity' album to my ears. It makes the low end lumpy.

The Hype's Andy Ferris BBC Radio session is another one where I am yet to be convinced the remastering is up to scratch too - again we have the dreadfully lumpy bass, and I am sure I have much better sounding versions but cannot be 100% certain at this point so I'll go have a check & amend this later.

The 2020 mixes section is really very good though. Tony has done a superb job updating these, and whilst I personally prefer the Spiders take on 'Holy Holy' the 2020 mix is a vast improvement on the original, especially when played in the 24/96 version from the 4 track EP release - although that release was welcome it does raise 2 questions for me:
1 - Why only 4 tracks? Why not include the remix of 'All The Madmen' in high resolution, as it would have been mixed by Tony?
2 - Why is there no 24/96 version of the whole album?
I checked on HDTracks, and there are a lot of items there only at Red Book resolution - WHY? It is not as if making downloads available costs Parlophone a penny.

So overall a well worthwhile release, and it is money well spent - but the questions still remain.

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paulybaulsDonatedPosted at 2021-05-31 15:08:07(3 wks ago) (Bowie General / The Width Of A Circle - 2CD & EP versions)


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Perhaps diminishing returns on some content?

The disc 1 BBC audio doesn't have a lot going on over 10-11kHz apart from noise so not really any point there. The looking glass murders tracks are the same.

The rest of disc 2 could have been hi-res IMO unless most of the transfers were done in 16/44.1 originally.

The only real odd one out is ATMM single version.

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neilwilkesPosted at 2021-06-02 16:23:28(2 wks ago) (Bowie General / The Width Of A Circle - 2CD & EP versions)


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paulybauls wrote:

Perhaps diminishing returns on some content?The disc 1 BBC audio doesn't have a lot going on over 10-11kHz apart from noise so not really any point there. The looking glass murders tracks are the same.The rest of disc 2 could have been hi-res IMO unless most of the transfers were done in 16/44.1 originally.The only real odd one out is ATMM single version.

All good points.
Disc 1 we know is a cassette recording from the radio broadcast so will be limited in frequency content, and it sounds as if the first on CD2 are from acetate or vinyl too.

The transfers for the rest would all have been 24/96, as professional transfer services would not use anything less and Tony would absolutely have mixed at 24/96. It's significant that even the new HDTracks (who are no longer what they once were) only show this in CD resolution, although Tidal are apparently offering this (and 5/6 of the BLA) in what they call 'Master' quality but I am yet to verify what is actually there.

One thing I will say is that there is more to high resolution than frequency content too. I would be happy to go into detail but it would get kinda geeky & technical so folks may not be interested but if you are please drop me a PM and if enough seem to want me to bore the pants off them I will happily oblige!

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