November treat for fans of Kate Bush

Posted by: Richard Dane on 05 October 2018

Well, it finally looks like the entire Kate Bush catalogue has been remastered and is being re-released in November.  What's more, everything will be available on vinyl as well as on CD.

James Guthrie did the remastering alongside KB.  Apart from that, there doesn't seem to be any more detail, particularly with regard to the vinyl releases.

I have everything of Kate Bush's releases on vinyl and CD already, but still I'm tempted, especially by the last box of 12" and rarities.  It could get a bit expensive though...

Posted on: 18 December 2018 by Clive B

I so hate printed liners, especially when there's so much static that when trying to remove the discs the sleeve sticks to the disc and scrapes one side. I fail to understand why the record companies do that, especially when they're promoting a new 'state of the art' remastering on 180g vinyl. Revenue is more important than quality it seems.

Posted on: 19 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Richard Dane posted:

Over the past week I've had change to listen to the new vinyl LP reissues of The Hounds of Love...

...and the Sensual World;

As is now pretty much the norm, the artwork reproduction is nice and sharp but contrast is increased. On both sleeves you lose a bit of the warmth to the images and also some of the detail within the dark background on the cover The Sensual World. Otherwise it's mostly good news, with nice repros of the lyric printed inners.  Only shame is that the LPs come inside the printed inners, with no ant-static lining.  It would have been nicer to stick with the black ant-static inners used elsewhere and have them alongside the printed card inners. Still, it's a minor niggle and I had some new ant-static inners standing by.

As for the albums, well HOL sees the "Special Single Mix" of The Big Sky, which sounds slightly out of place - I'm not entirely sure why it was decided to alter the album like this.  The mix sounds much more compressed than the rest of the album.  I'm not a fan.  Then again, with this album, I tend to go straight to side two anyway, and here the reissue is really good. It's almost a week since I did a quick comparison with my original copy, but overall I think I gave the nod to the reissue - at least on side two, that is. 

As for The Sensual World, it's a difficult album for me; it took me a while to warm to the album when it was first released.  It's nice - in parts - but just a bit dull compared to The Dreaming or even Never For Ever. It's an excellent album by any standards, but I guess I was just a little bit disappointed after so many fantastic albums. Again, I tend to mostly listen to side two these days. And the sound quality was bit of a step backwards too.  The reissue doesn't exactly cure it of its problems.  The sound can be a bit stark and there's some hardness in places that tips over to almost sibilance.  I probably need to do a proper comparison against my original and also the CD. Somewhat symbolically, this was the last KB album I bought as an original on vinyl, until the release of Aerial. I'll get to that one in due course...

I've not opened the set containing these yet or played Never for Ever / The Dreaming.

I was over the moon with the HiRes downloads of most of these albums, but I keep coming back to vinyl and was very pleased when I listened to The Kick Inside - Kate's voice was far clearer/more nuanced, instruments generally had better timbre especially piano, and I heard sax notes and quieter phrases I could swear I've never heard before in The Saxophone Song.  Many songs seemed to move along more rhythmically which was already a strong point for many of them.  I honestly can't remember if my copy was possibly secondhand - I certainly never owned the original.  I can still recall getting a cheap Alba mono radio cassette recorder in the 70's and recording The Man with The Child In His Eyes at my grandmother's house one Sunday - I used to play that cassette over and over late at night, and can remember often hearing the local policeman walking down the street on his beat.  How times have changed.  I ought to try and find that tape as there were some cracking singles in the chart then.  Airport by The Motors also sticks in my mind.

I'd written more detailed thoughts on the vinyl as a reply but lost the post due to a crash or power failure the other day.  I think I did wonder if there was a touch of sibilance on side 2.

Oddly, I found Lionheart more of a mixed bag - I've always loved songs on this album for warm rich strings and just a sumptuous sound - many seemed a lot leaner/cleaner but also seemed to have lost something compared to my older copies, deep string sections in particular just didn't seem as emotive and a tad sterile, the mental foot tapping was missing.

Busy time of year, so need to progress to some of the others.

The Hounds of Love as I think I mentioned before was when I really got a bit hooked on Kate's music and back catalogue, though as much as I loved synths/electronica in the late 70s/80s, the move to more electronic instruments also seemed to coincide with a feeling that recording quality had somehow got worse, and Hounds, The Red Shoes, The Sensual World just didn't tick the boxes the way the first 4 albums did from an audiophile viewpoint when I got my first decent turntables in the 80s and 90s.  Up until then I'd largely used cassette as my source in University until a fellow student asked if I'd mind looking after his Pink Triangle based system over the summer break - that was a real turning point.

I never found The Red Shoes an album I could play through, as there were some rather too commercial sounding tracks for me.  The Sensual World was also difficult - I found great songs interspersed with ones I'd rather skip, and I've always preferred listening to whole albums.  The HiRes download for The Sensual World has made me revisit it and I enjoy it much more, perhaps it's the remaster or the original vinyl was poor.  Will have to see how the vinyl sounds.

Posted on: 19 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Steve O posted:
Loki posted:
Steve O posted:

Has anyone listened to the remaster of Aerial yet? Is it true Rolf Harris has been removed and replaced by her son Bertie? ...

Just wish Before The Dawn was remastered - I hate that recording.

 

History cannot and should not be erased, otherwise we are lying to ourselves.

Not really sure what you mean by this Loki - removing Rolf Harris or remastering Before The Dawn. If it's removing Rolf Harris I agree with you, if it's a vote against remastering Before The Dawn I don't. 

I now know through ownership that the remaster has Rolf Harris removed. Not entirely sure as to how I feel about it other than to say it sounds strikingly odd when listening. Only time will tell if I get used to the difference. 

As a side-note my copy had to be returned as side 4 had a pressing fault. The others have been nigh on perfection in every way. Thanks for the input on my question everyone.

I've been listening to the HiRes download from Qobuz, and I'll confess I always found The Painter's musings a bit twee even with Rolf doing them, but the new vocals are quite difficult to enjoy simply as they're not what you're expecting to hear.

I've always been fascinated by our memory for the subtle nuances in music, and how we simply know if it sounds different  to an originally heard version - there is no way I could write out the detail for a song but I intuitively know what should be coming next when I listen to a song again.  

This is particularly true for classical I find - the first version of a work I really enjoy and listen to again and again, somehow seems to become the gold standard for me on an aesthetic level - other versions may be regarded as definitive interpretations but as they sound different I may not like them as much even if lauded as technically better by the pundits.  

Posted on: 20 December 2018 by Premmyboy

I played Dreaming from the box set yesterday. It seemed to me that side 2 was much louder than side 1. Unless I was Dreaming! Anybody else notice this? Very nice Pressing though and decent sound quality.

Played side1 Of Never For Ever and that sounded very good although on one track there was a bit of vinyl noise and crackling.

Posted on: 20 December 2018 by Johnrtaylor

Just noticed the remastered box sets and individual albums are now available for streaming at Tidal and Qobuz. Starting to listen to the first one now, hopefully somebody who has the CDís can give a comparison in sound quality.

Posted on: 20 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Johnrtaylor posted:

Just noticed the remastered box sets and individual albums are now available for streaming at Tidal and Qobuz. Starting to listen to the first one now, hopefully somebody who has the CDís can give a comparison in sound quality.

Are you sure John?  If I go to Qobuz web pages the remasters list for purchased download only.

The older album versions are available to stream for me.

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Johnrtaylor

I am probably going to look like an idiot, but the individual albums and Box Sets were there in Tidal and Qobuz last night, and I was playing them from Tidal. This morning they have disappeared from both streaming services and if I go into ROON they are still showing in my library but they when you try and play the tracks a message is displayed saying the tracks are not currently available on Tidal. To say I am disappointed is an understatement, as I only got to listen to The Kick Inside remaster last night. I have tried to load a Roon screenshot showing the 2018 remastered albums and box sets, but it would appear I can only do this if I use a picture hosting website.

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Johnrtaylor

 Worked out how to use Flickr, so below is a screenshot of Roon showing the Kate Bush Remasters that were playable last night through Tidal, but today have disappeared from Tidal and are now unplayable in Roon

 

 

Naim

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Johnrtaylor

I have just done a google search "tidal kate bush remastered" and the albums are found here http://tidal.com/browse/artist/8957, if that doesn't work try the search and login to Tidal and they play. Hope it works for you, but they have disappeared from the app, I have emailed Tidal support.

 Screenshot 2018-12-21 at 11.30.44

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Johnrtaylor

Click on Play in Tidal and the Tidal App opens and the album is there playable!! Something strange is going on!!

 Screenshot 2018-12-21 at 11.44.49

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by count.d

I'm behind with these reissues. I've bought the first two boxsets and only played The Kick Inside. It sounds great. Perfectly quiet, flat pressing and very sweet mastering. Nice.

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Richard Dane

And I just received my replacement copy of Never For Ever today.  Just in time for Christmas.

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Richard Dane posted:

And I just received my replacement copy of Never For Ever today.  Just in time for Christmas.

Did the supplier replace a single LP from a set?  If so good to hear as I wondered about buying the sets in case one disc was bad, you could potentially get the box replaced with two or more with flaws.

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Johnrtaylor posted:

Click on Play in Tidal and the Tidal App opens and the album is there playable!! Something strange is going on!!

 Screenshot 2018-12-21 at 11.44.49

If it works, then great!

Is this CD quality or better in Tidal?

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Alley Cat

I still find this mesmerising:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shV-tT8cY-A

..this too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcGaDlGPBsk

 

Posted on: 21 December 2018 by Richard Dane
Alley Cat posted:
Richard Dane posted:

And I just received my replacement copy of Never For Ever today.  Just in time for Christmas.

Did the supplier replace a single LP from a set?  If so good to hear as I wondered about buying the sets in case one disc was bad, you could potentially get the box replaced with two or more with flaws.

I bought all bar the last box as individual albums.  I didn't see the point in ordering the others as box sets as they were more expensive that way for no appreciable benefit other than the box itself.

Posted on: 22 December 2018 by count.d

Listened to Lionheart last night. Richard nicely sums up every album, so nothing to add, except another perfect pressing with no pops and sounds wonderful.