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Anniversary Box Sets: Which One Is Best?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by newvillefan, Jul 7, 2017.

Which One Is Best?

  1. 30th Anniversary

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. 35th Anniversary

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. 40th Anniversary

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Again, I really think the remixing started for a whole different reason, and even Richard has commented to me personally that this was really more about improving the quality of the mixes. Let's not forget that he wasn't exactly in the greatest shape or frame of mind when the album was originally mixed. So, like with a lot of this stuff, not to mention a huge bump in technology, there was a lot more that could be done with the mixes as the years went on as far as catching things that were missed initially either due to time constraint, or just downright oversight. He started remixing a majority of the tracks back in '90, and then finished what he had to around '96 in order to complete that set.

    As far as An Old Fashioned Christmas, I personally have never been bothered by any of the mixes on that album. It definitely sounded more superior than Portrait did, right down to the way it was recorded, never mind the mixes themselves, so that's most likely the way Richard saw it as well.

    With regard to the conflicting reasons floating around about whether or not Richard remixed everything because of a bad 2-channel master on the originals, or simply because he wanted a better quality on the mixes altogether, my guess is that BOTH are probably true, as he always tends to answer things seemingly with conflict, but in the end, both ended up being true. We know the 2-channel was damaged, even though it was technically all mixed onto an "improved" series of tape. I also know through first-hand conversation with Richard that he wanted better mixes on the stuff - which I'm sure he did! The original mixes certainly could have been made better, and that's what he did with most everything related to their catalog in this regard, whether or not we like the way certain remixes may have turned out. His goal since Karen died has been to present everything in the best way possible as technology has continued to advance and permit.
     
    newvillefan, GaryAlan and Murray like this.
  2. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    ^^^
    Thanks for that detailed response Chris! It answers a lot of my questions.

    I personally enjoy many of Richard's remixed tracks, particularly on compilations, but I'm firmly of the opinion that he should have left the original album releases alone. If a whole lot of fans didn't feel this way, the Remastered Classics series would never have existed - they were a response to fan disappointment / outrage at the original CDs, some of which included remixes and single versions. All most of us ever wanted is to hear the albums the way we remembered them - the sound that we fell in love with originally - it didn't matter if it was technically "inferior" to what modern technology could provide.

    Nostalgia is powerful, especially at Christmas. For so many of us, it wouldn't be Christmas without "Christmas Portrait". We see it as a masterpiece - and no one should be messing with a masterpiece. I never once listened to CP, thinking "oh, this could be improved, or that could sound better" - I was too wrapped up in enjoying the experience, savouring every syllable coming out of Karen's mouth.

    I find the remixed CP to be so jarring, especially the copious amount of reverb on Karen's vocals. I just can't listen to it. Thank goodness that the Germans released the original mix on CD, without Richard's permission! It took me a long time to track down a copy, and it cost a lot, but was worth every penny.
     
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Never once--ever since first hear in 1978--have I listened to the Original
    Christmas Portrait LP,
    and thought that anything on it was short of perfect.
    It never needed anything--added or subtracted.
    Perhaps Richard's regret at so little involvement in that 1978 project is, yet,
    another reason he felt the need to do anything whatsoever to those original tracks.
    Leave that one--the original Christmas Portrait-- alone !
    I guarantee that I have never re-listened to
    cd "The Special Edition" in its entirety !
    A travesty it is !


    Oh, on the topic of Box Sets: Have the 30th and 40th. Both great, first is best !
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  4. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Tom are you sure your UK single of MCD is the 1978 mix? I also have the UK Christmas Single CD and MCD is taken from the Special Edition Christmas Portrait, it even states that on the back cover 395 173-4/2 and that catalog # references back to the Special Edition CP issued in the UK.
     
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    My UK Christmas Card vinyl single contains the 1978 mix of MCD. That and the version contained on the Special Edition Christmas Portrait are one and the same mix aren't they?
     
  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    They are.
     
  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    As far as I can tell it is the 1978 version. And I was just checking the CRR and there have only been 4 mixes of MCD --- the 1970 single version, the 1978 CP version, the 1992 Time-Life version and the 2004 SACD version. And when I compare it to the 45's of MCD, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Christmas Song from the 70's, all 3 of those 45's have the 1970 version (Christmas Song was released in 1977 in support of the first Christmas special, so the 78 versions didn't exist for that single, where MCD was the B-side). And I've got the Time-Life CD, and with the DX-7 the 1992 version has a very different sound to it from the 1970 and 1978 versions. In a way, I actually prefer the 1992 version with the DX-7 (in stereo) as it gives the song a fresh, timeless sound to it, whereas the original mono piano kind of gives both the 70 and 78 version a dated sound.
     
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I can't stand the 1992 version, he ruined the song by replacing the piano track with the DX-7. The distortion on the song is also really noticeable. How he signed that off is beyond me.
     
  9. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    EMI "Abbey Road" Studios London were used in the summer of 1984 to complete a number of recordings for the album "An Old Fashioned Christmas" including the song "Little Alter Boy". That must have logistically presented a lot of problems. Anyone know why "Abbey Road" was chosen?
     
  10. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    That 92 Time Life version is so bad, everything about it is wrong. I pretty much like that Richard went and remixed what he did but this is one in my opinion he got wrong. Even the very end with that classic ending lost the magic of the original.
     
    newvillefan likes this.
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I think your thinking of the reverb on Karen's voice. If you think the CP disc from the Christmas Collection is bad for reverb, the 1992 MCD has about 100 times more.
     
  12. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member

    I don't have any of these-sadly, but just looked on eBay.

    They have a 40th and a couple of 30th but no 35th.

    Interesting though, one of the 30th pictures Ticket and the other one shows Offering.

    Jonathan
     
  13. OFFERING was the cover used in the 35th:

    [​IMG]
     
    Chris Mills likes this.
  14. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member

    So they either mislabeled or switched out.
     
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I have the 30th And the 40th Sets,
    both replicate the
    original 1969 Album
    ... Offering ....

    Neither set replicates Offering's later repackaged LP Ticket To Ride.
     
    Chris May likes this.
  16. I only own one of these sets (the 40th!) so That's what I had to vote for. However, I really kinda want that 35th. I need :help:
     
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    For those who have both the
    30th and 35th Sets,
    Is the Booklet the same for both ?
    I especially like the endnotes of the booklet, which features the
    Studio Sheets for some of those songs--they show that....
    there is a lot going on in a Carpenters' song !
     

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