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Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: August 3, 2019 06:07

Quote
Rocky Dijon
Quote
Elmo Lewis
Quote
Rocky Dijon
Undercover of the Night: 10/10
She Was Hot: 10/10
Tie You Up: 10/10
Wanna Hold You: 10/10
Feel On, Baby: 10/10
Too Much Blood: 6/10
Pretty Beat Up: 6/10
Too Tough: 9/10
All the Way Down: 10/10
It Must Be Hell: 9/10

Rocky, I respect your knowledge of the Stones, but you just rated Side One of UC as a perfect Stones side.......confused smiley

You're right. I was too kind to Wanna Hold You. It should be 9/10.

Oh. So now it's UNDER COVER, eh? When did they change the title to 2 words?


If we were to take how we rate songs on an album as their position in their discography a lot of people's ratings might be considerably different. Rating songs within the context of an album can seem misleading... but it can also reveal how well the songs work on an album... in its context.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: August 3, 2019 07:05

That's an important distinction to make regarding context for scoring.

As for the album title, it's UNDERCOVER. That said, if you look at the bright yellow sticker over the smiling blue girl's breasts, it does appear to be written as two words. The spine of the LP, cassette, vinyl are one word. It's things like this that cause sectarianism.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Date: August 3, 2019 07:55

Quote
Rocky Dijon
That's an important distinction to make regarding context for scoring.

As for the album title, it's UNDERCOVER. That said, if you look at the bright yellow sticker over the smiling blue girl's breasts, it does appear to be written as two words. The spine of the LP, cassette, vinyl are one word. It's things like this that cause sectarianism.

It's the same on the CD album "logo". Two words printed on the CD...

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: August 7, 2019 05:55

Quote
Spud
I'm a bit on the fence with B2B.
Some of it I like a lot...but some of it leaves me a bit cold.

It's more adventurous than both VL and ABB ...but somehow not as listenable as either.
[Maybe because it's very much a Mick or Keith album ...rather than a Mick and Keith album ?]

But, On the whole, I think it's a lot better than many of its detractors would have us believe.

Saint, OOC, and Thief are great...that's it.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: August 9, 2019 11:07

It's gotten really hard to find a decent link to the naked chick they covered up for the LP cover.


Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: August 9, 2019 11:10

There should be a reissue of U with the naked woman for the cover - it would sell fantastically.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: August 11, 2019 04:13

When the original LP was about to be released it was advertised as coming with peel-off stickers. When the album actually came out there were no peel-off stickers, of course. I don't know if the peel-off sticker thing was just another promotion gag to raise sales or if such a version had actually been envisaged.

Back then it reminded me of the fuzz that had been made over the cover of the Zep's In Through The Out Door. Promotion had it that the cover would change its colour under moisture. A German music mag (I believe it was Sounds) then revealed that the cover indeed change its colour - when you pee on it. I never peed on my copy so I never found out ... winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-08-11 08:51 by doitywoik.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 11, 2019 05:18

Thought for sure there were stickers on Undercover...have a vague memory of unsticking/unveiling, but maybe I'm wrong?
Having not listened to my vinyl copy since '83/'84, I'll have to go through the collection tomorrow and see what I can find.

As for Zep - the inner sleeve did change color, but the results were so lame and silly it wasn't worth the bother.



Also, I think there were seven different covers for it, or maybe it was seven different sleeves?
And not sure why it was wrapped in a brown paper cover...maybe to hide the seven different designs?
Anyhow, the worst Zeppelin album of all of them...they should have wrapped it in toilet paper and flushed it.

_____________________________________________________________
Rip this joint, gonna save your soul, round and round and round we go......

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: August 11, 2019 09:02

Not sure if it was six or seven, but your're right about the different covers. Wrapped in a brown paper sleeve.

As for Undercover, could it be that the album came with peel-off stickers in some parts of the world but not others? Or just a limited number of copies had the stickers?

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 11, 2019 09:09

Quote
doitywoik
Not sure if it was six or seven, but your're right about the different covers. Wrapped in a brown paper sleeve.

As for Undercover, could it be that the album came with peel-off stickers in some parts of the world but not others? Or just a limited number of copies had the stickers?

Did a quick search and found this old thread - Undercover (Sticker-Cover)

Quote
electricmud
Only the US-version had the sticker cover.Germany had the standard version like all other countries.

Mystery solved. thumbs up

_____________________________________________________________
Rip this joint, gonna save your soul, round and round and round we go......

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: jp.M ()
Date: August 11, 2019 10:53

...not easy to remove well the stickers...!

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: August 11, 2019 16:03

Quote
Hairball
Quote
doitywoik
Not sure if it was six or seven, but your're right about the different covers. Wrapped in a brown paper sleeve.

As for Undercover, could it be that the album came with peel-off stickers in some parts of the world but not others? Or just a limited number of copies had the stickers?

Did a quick search and found this old thread - Undercover (Sticker-Cover)

Quote
electricmud
Only the US-version had the sticker cover.Germany had the standard version like all other countries.

Mystery solved. thumbs up

Thanks Hairball!

Sadly this kind of cover gimmicks is largely gone since the beginning of the CD era (and with streaming/downloads anyway).

Re: ALBUM TALK: Undercover
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: August 11, 2019 23:33

Quote
GasLightStreet
Quote
Rocky Dijon
Quote
Elmo Lewis
Quote
Rocky Dijon
Undercover of the Night: 10/10
She Was Hot: 10/10
Tie You Up: 10/10
Wanna Hold You: 10/10
Feel On, Baby: 10/10
Too Much Blood: 6/10
Pretty Beat Up: 6/10
Too Tough: 9/10
All the Way Down: 10/10
It Must Be Hell: 9/10

Rocky, I respect your knowledge of the Stones, but you just rated Side One of UC as a perfect Stones side.......confused smiley

You're right. I was too kind to Wanna Hold You. It should be 9/10.

Oh. So now it's UNDER COVER, eh? When did they change the title to 2 words?


If we were to take how we rate songs on an album as their position in their discography a lot of people's ratings might be considerably different. Rating songs within the context of an album can seem misleading... but it can also reveal how well the songs work on an album... in its context.

If that doesn't grind your gears enough, people sometimes use the acronym UCOTN for the title track.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-08-11 23:34 by ryanpow.

Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Norbert ()
Date: November 11, 2021 09:15

What's the best sounding version of "Undercover" ? - no matter if vinyl or CD...
I've got the CBS and the Virgin CDs...
Please share your ideas!

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ironbelly ()
Date: November 11, 2021 11:26

In redbook CDDA format the following options exist:
1. Late 1983 - early 1984. The 1st edition by Toshiba-EMI 'black triangle' CD [CP35-3087] (Japan only) and RSR-EMI [CDP 7 46024 2] (Japan for Europe). Track 04-Wanna Hold You is presented as a short LP version (3:16).
The linage is unknown, but most probably flat transfer of the original LP master tape was made without any excessive mastering tricks. This is nice, warm sounding CD. A typical example of well done early days Japanese CDs. Nowadays 'black triangle' version is pricey on the secondary market. European version is not that expensive and not that hard to find.
Official DR value: DR13 (hope users of this forum will not start moaning about the fact Dynamic Range value was listed here winking smiley)
2. Late 1986 CBS CD. It was in print till 1993 and was mass produced. No matter catalog number and country of origin it came with the very same mastering made by Ted Jensen. This time they used different tape (Track 04-Wanna Hold You is 3:52). CBS version is a bit quiet with respect to Toshiba-EMI version but it also has 'smiley' type of equalizing (boost in low and high frequency ranges) with respect to the previous one. (I can post a plot from audio analysis software to explain this if the guys who 'feel the music' with their hearts would not object winking smiley). This is another nice sounding CD on its own rights.
Official DR value: DR14
3. 1994 Virgin version mastered by Robert Ludwig. This was in press until 2009. CDs from different parts of the world came with the same mastering. Apparently, Mr. Ludwig did not invest a lot in this album. It seems that he started with the same tape that was used for CBS CD. The only changes are slight compression and level shift for the whole CD + (maybe) cosmetic equalizing for several tracks. For example, Undercover and She Was Hot share the same equalizing choices both for CBS and Virgin. But those tracks are louder on Virgin CD. Essentially, CBS and Virgin CDs are the same material but Virgin sounds a bit more aggressive.
Official DR value: DR13
3. Universal remaster 2009 (still in print). This one was mastered by Stephen Marcussen and generally is not welcome. The CD is very loud and compressed. It is hard to tell what master tape was used for this one, but it looks that it was the same tape as for CBS and Virgin + a lot of damage was added in digital department. Equalizing choices for this one is 'smiley' too, but different from CBS and Virgin. Stay away from this one.
Official DR value: DR8
4. SHM-CDs prepared from DSD flat transferred from UK original master tapes. There were three editions in Japan SHM-platinum CD [UICY-40072] and SHM-CD [UICY-76357] in 2014 and re-issue SHM-CD [UICY-79248] in 2020. These were downsampled from 2011 SACD. Please be aware that there were other SHM-CDs that came with inferior 2009 mastering.
Here we have:
Tape research: Mick McKenna
Mastering:
DSD flat transferred from UK original master tapes by Mick McKenna and Richard Whittaker at FX Copyroom, London, in 2011
Edited in DSD by Masaru Tkagi (SIProject) at Sunrise Studios, Tokyo, in 2011
176.4kHz/24bit transferred from DSD by Yumetoki Suzuki at Universal Music Studios, Tokyo, in 2014
HR (High Resolution) cutting from 176.4kHz/24bit at Victor Creative Media, in 2014
This version, essentially, repeats the 1st Toshiba-EMI (with short version of Track 04-Wanna Hold You). SHM-CDs have almost the same tonality and volume as that 1st edition but take advantage of modern technologies. SHM-CD sounds better than EMI-Toshiba version, it has more clear sound. However, this can be a point of discussion. This transfer has a small 'smile' equalizing profile but the boosts are not that big, comparing to CBS and Virgin. It is also slightly more compressed comparing to the Toshiba-EMI, CBS and Virgin versions.
The other thing to be pointed out is this new flat transfer is slightly out of sync (out of pitch) with respect to other editions. It seems that on some stage the tape machine was very slightly off speed. It is not that critical for an average listener but can drive crazy a person with perfect hearing.
SHM-CD [UICY-79248] is currently the only good sounding version that is still in print. One can consider this version as the best one in redbook CDDA format. It is reasonably priced too, about 21€ on cdjapan before shipping and taxes.
Official DR value: DR12

If you have CBS and Virgin CDs you are OK. If you want something slightly different - try to find on secondary market old EMI CD or head for Japanese SHM-CD. But do not expect day and night differences in sound quality.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 2021-11-11 19:17 by ironbelly.

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Norbert ()
Date: November 11, 2021 14:06

Thanks a lot for this detailed information!

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: November 11, 2021 15:59

Yes, thanks for the detail. And not to make you 'work' any harder, but are these stats the same for any of the vinyl releases contemporary or otherwise to these CD releases?

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ironbelly ()
Date: November 11, 2021 16:25

Quote
treaclefingers
Yes, thanks for the detail. And not to make you 'work' any harder, but are these stats the same for any of the vinyl releases contemporary or otherwise to these CD releases?
Sorry, I am not in vinyl mastering. So, no help on this topic from my side.

Apparently, Toshiba-EMI and new SHM-CD came from the master tape that was used for production of the initial LP pressing in 1983.

Also, LP from the recent 2018 Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971-2016 seems to come from the master that was used to produce Japanese SHM-SACD in 2011 and SHM-CDs in 2014 and 2020. I.e. those DSD flat transfers from original master tapes. But LP version (if you'll check, for example, pbthal's needledrop) is less loud comparing to SHM-CD.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2021-11-11 16:27 by ironbelly.

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ProfessorWolf ()
Date: November 11, 2021 17:47

ironbelly i wonder if you could start a page for us looking to collect cds of the best quality that goes into the same detail the you just went thru with undercover except with the rest of there catalogue detailing each of the masterings
or point me in the direction where this list already exists
it be very useful for a lot of us getting more serious about our stones cd collections

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Jimmy C ()
Date: November 11, 2021 19:30

Any idea what version above is streaming on Apple Music in their "Apple Digital Master" and "Lossless" format?

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Norbert ()
Date: November 11, 2021 19:30

Quote
ProfessorWolf
ironbelly i wonder if you could start a page for us looking to collect cds of the best quality that goes into the same detail the you just went thru with undercover except with the rest of there catalogue detailing each of the masterings
or point me in the direction where this list already exists
it be very useful for a lot of us getting more serious about our stones cd collections

I second that! - You've already provided so much most valuable information for us collectors!!! It's really highly appreciated!
Love your work!
CrazyMama

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ironbelly ()
Date: November 11, 2021 20:42

ProfessorWolf, Norbert
I am fat and lazy winking smiley. Such a site requires a lot of work. The funny thing - most of that work is already done somewhere else. You just need to dig a bit.

Although the CD catalog of The Rolling Stones is an unholy mess, there are a few simple tips and tricks to pick up the best sounding versions. But still, sometimes you will need to pick on album-by-album or track-by-track basis.

For Decca/London period:
SACD-hybrid remasters from 2002 (sometimes they are called gold CDs) in digipacks or post-2006 single layer redbook only CDs in jewel cases generally are considered the best sounding. These were mastered by Bob Ludwig for 40th anniversary ABKCO re-issue program. SACD-hybrids are out of print and can be expensive. The list is here:


Second to those are old West German London CDs from early – to mid 80s. Ten out of 17 CDs were prepared using flat transfers made by MFSL (at least this is widely spread knowledge). They are different from 2002 remasters because no additional work apart of flat transfer was done (for better or worse). Some of them contain wide stereo mixes unavailable elsewhere. Those London CDs were re-issued multiple times. Some were issued in no less than 20 variants of booklet- CD label combinations. But that story is for ‘advanced’ collectors. There are Japanese counterparts to those discs, for example, P25L 25031 - P25L 25050 series. Those are similar (but sometimes different sounding with respect) to West German. These are not extremely rare but could be overpriced on secondary market.

For those who loves mono versions – 2016 In Mono box. It is good, also mastered by Ludwig. But it is out of print. Ebay and similar platforms are floated with Chinese counterfeits. They are bit-to-bit clones of the official release and can be cheap.

Stay away from so called old ABKCO editions (those with "Digitally Remastered from Original Master Recordings" on the bottom of the cover). Most of them are awful.

Details can be checked here
[www.lukpac.org]
This is outdated work but still good reference site. Luke used to pop up here and is regular on Steve Hoffman’s Music Forum. You can track down the updates in his posts over there.

For Rolling Stones Records period
Virgin remasters from 1994 (for 1971-1991 albums) are universally considered as the best sounding option. However, several opportunists (me included) found them a bit harsh and aggressive. You need to try and compare by yourself. On positive side – you can get those discs easy, and they present the best sound quality for a penny.

Users with good systems and thick wallets head either for Japanese 2011 SHM-SACD discs prepared from flat transfers from original UK tapes or for their downsampled to CDDA format counterparts SHM-platinum or SHM-CDs. Most of those (apart the recent re-issues from 2020) are out of print and could be rather pricey and hard to get. CD list is here (2011 SACD editions are not listed).

SHM-Platinum CD, 2013-2015, out of print
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-40011 4988005788368
EOMS UICY-40001 4988005782113
GHS UICY-40021 4988005791726
IORR UICY-40031 4988005798343
BAB UICY-40022 4988005791733
LYL UICY-40032/3 4988005798350
SG UICY-40012 4988005788375
ER UICY-40062 4988005816580
TY UICY-40002 4988005782120
SL UICY-40052 4988005811578
UC UICY-40072 4988005825520
DW UICY-40067 4988005821058
SW UICY-40162 4988031125410
FP UICY-40163 4988031125427

SHM-CD (limited mini-vinyl replica, 2013-2015, out of print)
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-75886 4988005788467
EOMS UICY-75762 4988005782212
GHS UICY-75931 4988005791825
IORR UICY-76017 4988005798442
BAB UICY-75932 4988005791832
LYL UICY-76018 4988005798459
SG UICY-75887 4988005788474
ER UICY-76160 4988005816634
TY UICY-75763 4988005782229
SL UICY-76096 4988005811677
UC UICY-76357 4988005825575
DW UICY-76214 4988005821102
SW UICY-77613 4988031125434
FP UICY-77614 4988031125441

SHM-CD, 2020 re-issue
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-79241 4988031397541
EOMS UICY-79242 4988031397558
IORR UICY-79243 4988031397565
BAB UICY-79244 4988031397572
SG UICY-79245 4988031397589
ER UICY-79246 4988031397596
TY UICY-79247 4988031397619
UC UICY-79248 4988031397619
DW UICY-79249 4988031397626
SW UICY-79250 4988031397633
VL UICY-79251 4988031397640
BTB UICY-79252 4988031397657
ABB UICY-79253 4988031397664
BAL UICY-79254 4988031397671
Here GHS is absent (replaced on the marked by Giles Martin’s 2020 remaster) and from VL till ABB inferior 2009 brickwalled remaster was used.

Old CBS CDs are mixed bag. Actually, from Black And Blue till Steel Wheels they contain the quite similar digital material as Virgin CDs. But CBS CDs are less compressed, while show the same tonality/EQ choices. I found those sound better than Virgins (to some extend). At least they left more room to be cranked up. From Sticky Fingers to IORR the discs are kind of ‘dull and muffed’. But still, they are warm sounding.

Stay away from 2009 remaster (and recent remasters too). Those are good only for ‘nomad listening experience’ in public transport, or in the car, or on earbuds during jogging. Here one can hear more details because extensive compression makes everything loud and upfront, even if the record is not well mastered form audiophile point of view.

Pray there was no old Japanese ‘black triangle’ CD or West German-for-USA ‘target’ CD edition for particular album. No matter what master tape was used, there always be a person with a claim that it is a CD with an ultimate mastering (in three out of four existing cases that person, probably, will be not that far from truth. But the burden on the wallet will be almost unbearable).

Send 10 dollars to the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California, and pray twice there was no Japanese limited mini-vinyl replica edition with a bonus track and a special OBI. This one will be the winner of sound quality instantly. Because OBI adds at least two units to Dynamic Range and mini-vinyl paper jacket another two. At least I was told so by a collector of Japanese rarities winking smiley.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2021-11-11 21:03 by ironbelly.

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Nikkei ()
Date: November 11, 2021 20:56

No matter how detailed you get it always comes down to the conventional wisdom that CBS is a bit quiet, Virgin the middle ground, Universal loud and compressed and you can also look for a japanese version. That's for every album

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ironbelly ()
Date: November 11, 2021 21:05

Quote
Nikkei
No matter how detailed you get it always comes down to the conventional wisdom that CBS is a bit quiet, Virgin the middle ground, Universal loud and compressed and you can also look for a japanese version. That's for every album
Yes. This is true. But most of Japanese versions are digital clones to other editions. Unless, they got something special, like in the case of flat transfers.

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: MrEcho ()
Date: November 12, 2021 02:10

Quote
Norbert
What's the best sounding version of "Undercover" ? - no matter if vinyl or CD...
I've got the CBS and the Virgin CDs...
Please share your ideas!

First German pressing on LP: [www.discogs.com]

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ProfessorWolf ()
Date: November 12, 2021 04:06

Quote
ironbelly
ProfessorWolf, Norbert
I am fat and lazy winking smiley. Such a site requires a lot of work. The funny thing - most of that work is already done somewhere else. You just need to dig a bit.

Although the CD catalog of The Rolling Stones is an unholy mess, there are a few simple tips and tricks to pick up the best sounding versions. But still, sometimes you will need to pick on album-by-album or track-by-track basis.

For Decca/London period:
SACD-hybrid remasters from 2002 (sometimes they are called gold CDs) in digipacks or post-2006 single layer redbook only CDs in jewel cases generally are considered the best sounding. These were mastered by Bob Ludwig for 40th anniversary ABKCO re-issue program. SACD-hybrids are out of print and can be expensive. The list is here:


Second to those are old West German London CDs from early – to mid 80s. Ten out of 17 CDs were prepared using flat transfers made by MFSL (at least this is widely spread knowledge). They are different from 2002 remasters because no additional work apart of flat transfer was done (for better or worse). Some of them contain wide stereo mixes unavailable elsewhere. Those London CDs were re-issued multiple times. Some were issued in no less than 20 variants of booklet- CD label combinations. But that story is for ‘advanced’ collectors. There are Japanese counterparts to those discs, for example, P25L 25031 - P25L 25050 series. Those are similar (but sometimes different sounding with respect) to West German. These are not extremely rare but could be overpriced on secondary market.

For those who loves mono versions – 2016 In Mono box. It is good, also mastered by Ludwig. But it is out of print. Ebay and similar platforms are floated with Chinese counterfeits. They are bit-to-bit clones of the official release and can be cheap.

Stay away from so called old ABKCO editions (those with "Digitally Remastered from Original Master Recordings" on the bottom of the cover). Most of them are awful.

Details can be checked here
[www.lukpac.org]
This is outdated work but still good reference site. Luke used to pop up here and is regular on Steve Hoffman’s Music Forum. You can track down the updates in his posts over there.

For Rolling Stones Records period
Virgin remasters from 1994 (for 1971-1991 albums) are universally considered as the best sounding option. However, several opportunists (me included) found them a bit harsh and aggressive. You need to try and compare by yourself. On positive side – you can get those discs easy, and they present the best sound quality for a penny.

Users with good systems and thick wallets head either for Japanese 2011 SHM-SACD discs prepared from flat transfers from original UK tapes or for their downsampled to CDDA format counterparts SHM-platinum or SHM-CDs. Most of those (apart the recent re-issues from 2020) are out of print and could be rather pricey and hard to get. CD list is here (2011 SACD editions are not listed).

SHM-Platinum CD, 2013-2015, out of print
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-40011 4988005788368
EOMS UICY-40001 4988005782113
GHS UICY-40021 4988005791726
IORR UICY-40031 4988005798343
BAB UICY-40022 4988005791733
LYL UICY-40032/3 4988005798350
SG UICY-40012 4988005788375
ER UICY-40062 4988005816580
TY UICY-40002 4988005782120
SL UICY-40052 4988005811578
UC UICY-40072 4988005825520
DW UICY-40067 4988005821058
SW UICY-40162 4988031125410
FP UICY-40163 4988031125427

SHM-CD (limited mini-vinyl replica, 2013-2015, out of print)
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-75886 4988005788467
EOMS UICY-75762 4988005782212
GHS UICY-75931 4988005791825
IORR UICY-76017 4988005798442
BAB UICY-75932 4988005791832
LYL UICY-76018 4988005798459
SG UICY-75887 4988005788474
ER UICY-76160 4988005816634
TY UICY-75763 4988005782229
SL UICY-76096 4988005811677
UC UICY-76357 4988005825575
DW UICY-76214 4988005821102
SW UICY-77613 4988031125434
FP UICY-77614 4988031125441

SHM-CD, 2020 re-issue
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-79241 4988031397541
EOMS UICY-79242 4988031397558
IORR UICY-79243 4988031397565
BAB UICY-79244 4988031397572
SG UICY-79245 4988031397589
ER UICY-79246 4988031397596
TY UICY-79247 4988031397619
UC UICY-79248 4988031397619
DW UICY-79249 4988031397626
SW UICY-79250 4988031397633
VL UICY-79251 4988031397640
BTB UICY-79252 4988031397657
ABB UICY-79253 4988031397664
BAL UICY-79254 4988031397671
Here GHS is absent (replaced on the marked by Giles Martin’s 2020 remaster) and from VL till ABB inferior 2009 brickwalled remaster was used.

Old CBS CDs are mixed bag. Actually, from Black And Blue till Steel Wheels they contain the quite similar digital material as Virgin CDs. But CBS CDs are less compressed, while show the same tonality/EQ choices. I found those sound better than Virgins (to some extend). At least they left more room to be cranked up. From Sticky Fingers to IORR the discs are kind of ‘dull and muffed’. But still, they are warm sounding.

Stay away from 2009 remaster (and recent remasters too). Those are good only for ‘nomad listening experience’ in public transport, or in the car, or on earbuds during jogging. Here one can hear more details because extensive compression makes everything loud and upfront, even if the record is not well mastered form audiophile point of view.

Pray there was no old Japanese ‘black triangle’ CD or West German-for-USA ‘target’ CD edition for particular album. No matter what master tape was used, there always be a person with a claim that it is a CD with an ultimate mastering (in three out of four existing cases that person, probably, will be not that far from truth. But the burden on the wallet will be almost unbearable).

Send 10 dollars to the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California, and pray twice there was no Japanese limited mini-vinyl replica edition with a bonus track and a special OBI. This one will be the winner of sound quality instantly. Because OBI adds at least two units to Dynamic Range and mini-vinyl paper jacket another two. At least I was told so by a collector of Japanese rarities winking smiley.

yes thank you just what i needed to know i will reference your post in the future if i need to look up something
perfect general guide

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Irix ()
Date: November 12, 2021 13:00

Quote
Jimmy C

Any idea what version above is streaming on Apple Music in their "Apple Digital Master" and "Lossless" format?

Probably the brickwalled 2009 Remaster, since it says: (P) 2012 Promotone B.V. -- [Music.Apple.com] .

You can test it by yourself: if all instruments in the Stones-Track have the same volume-level and a low dynamic range - then they're the brickwalled 2009 Remaster.

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Irix ()
Date: November 12, 2021 13:15

Quote
ironbelly

SACD-hybrid remasters from 2002

For those who loves mono versions – 2016 In Mono box.

If you wanna have the maximum sound-quality, then use the SACD-Layer of the 2002 remasters and/or the DSD-Version of the 2016 Mono-Box (which was available only in the North-American Download-Store of Acoustic Sounds).

The 2011 Flat-Transfers on Japanese SACDs of the Studio-Albums 1971-1986 provide also the maximum sound-quality (detail), although the Flat-Transfers can sometimes sound a bit flat and could use a bit of Equalizing (EQ).

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: Norbert ()
Date: November 12, 2021 15:00

Quote
ironbelly
ProfessorWolf, Norbert
I am fat and lazy winking smiley. Such a site requires a lot of work. The funny thing - most of that work is already done somewhere else. You just need to dig a bit.

Although the CD catalog of The Rolling Stones is an unholy mess, there are a few simple tips and tricks to pick up the best sounding versions. But still, sometimes you will need to pick on album-by-album or track-by-track basis.

For Decca/London period:
SACD-hybrid remasters from 2002 (sometimes they are called gold CDs) in digipacks or post-2006 single layer redbook only CDs in jewel cases generally are considered the best sounding. These were mastered by Bob Ludwig for 40th anniversary ABKCO re-issue program. SACD-hybrids are out of print and can be expensive. The list is here:


Second to those are old West German London CDs from early – to mid 80s. Ten out of 17 CDs were prepared using flat transfers made by MFSL (at least this is widely spread knowledge). They are different from 2002 remasters because no additional work apart of flat transfer was done (for better or worse). Some of them contain wide stereo mixes unavailable elsewhere. Those London CDs were re-issued multiple times. Some were issued in no less than 20 variants of booklet- CD label combinations. But that story is for ‘advanced’ collectors. There are Japanese counterparts to those discs, for example, P25L 25031 - P25L 25050 series. Those are similar (but sometimes different sounding with respect) to West German. These are not extremely rare but could be overpriced on secondary market.

For those who loves mono versions – 2016 In Mono box. It is good, also mastered by Ludwig. But it is out of print. Ebay and similar platforms are floated with Chinese counterfeits. They are bit-to-bit clones of the official release and can be cheap.

Stay away from so called old ABKCO editions (those with "Digitally Remastered from Original Master Recordings" on the bottom of the cover). Most of them are awful.

Details can be checked here
[www.lukpac.org]
This is outdated work but still good reference site. Luke used to pop up here and is regular on Steve Hoffman’s Music Forum. You can track down the updates in his posts over there.

For Rolling Stones Records period
Virgin remasters from 1994 (for 1971-1991 albums) are universally considered as the best sounding option. However, several opportunists (me included) found them a bit harsh and aggressive. You need to try and compare by yourself. On positive side – you can get those discs easy, and they present the best sound quality for a penny.

Users with good systems and thick wallets head either for Japanese 2011 SHM-SACD discs prepared from flat transfers from original UK tapes or for their downsampled to CDDA format counterparts SHM-platinum or SHM-CDs. Most of those (apart the recent re-issues from 2020) are out of print and could be rather pricey and hard to get. CD list is here (2011 SACD editions are not listed).

SHM-Platinum CD, 2013-2015, out of print
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-40011 4988005788368
EOMS UICY-40001 4988005782113
GHS UICY-40021 4988005791726
IORR UICY-40031 4988005798343
BAB UICY-40022 4988005791733
LYL UICY-40032/3 4988005798350
SG UICY-40012 4988005788375
ER UICY-40062 4988005816580
TY UICY-40002 4988005782120
SL UICY-40052 4988005811578
UC UICY-40072 4988005825520
DW UICY-40067 4988005821058
SW UICY-40162 4988031125410
FP UICY-40163 4988031125427

SHM-CD (limited mini-vinyl replica, 2013-2015, out of print)
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-75886 4988005788467
EOMS UICY-75762 4988005782212
GHS UICY-75931 4988005791825
IORR UICY-76017 4988005798442
BAB UICY-75932 4988005791832
LYL UICY-76018 4988005798459
SG UICY-75887 4988005788474
ER UICY-76160 4988005816634
TY UICY-75763 4988005782229
SL UICY-76096 4988005811677
UC UICY-76357 4988005825575
DW UICY-76214 4988005821102
SW UICY-77613 4988031125434
FP UICY-77614 4988031125441

SHM-CD, 2020 re-issue
Name Catalog EAN
SF UICY-79241 4988031397541
EOMS UICY-79242 4988031397558
IORR UICY-79243 4988031397565
BAB UICY-79244 4988031397572
SG UICY-79245 4988031397589
ER UICY-79246 4988031397596
TY UICY-79247 4988031397619
UC UICY-79248 4988031397619
DW UICY-79249 4988031397626
SW UICY-79250 4988031397633
VL UICY-79251 4988031397640
BTB UICY-79252 4988031397657
ABB UICY-79253 4988031397664
BAL UICY-79254 4988031397671
Here GHS is absent (replaced on the marked by Giles Martin’s 2020 remaster) and from VL till ABB inferior 2009 brickwalled remaster was used.

Old CBS CDs are mixed bag. Actually, from Black And Blue till Steel Wheels they contain the quite similar digital material as Virgin CDs. But CBS CDs are less compressed, while show the same tonality/EQ choices. I found those sound better than Virgins (to some extend). At least they left more room to be cranked up. From Sticky Fingers to IORR the discs are kind of ‘dull and muffed’. But still, they are warm sounding.

Stay away from 2009 remaster (and recent remasters too). Those are good only for ‘nomad listening experience’ in public transport, or in the car, or on earbuds during jogging. Here one can hear more details because extensive compression makes everything loud and upfront, even if the record is not well mastered form audiophile point of view.

Pray there was no old Japanese ‘black triangle’ CD or West German-for-USA ‘target’ CD edition for particular album. No matter what master tape was used, there always be a person with a claim that it is a CD with an ultimate mastering (in three out of four existing cases that person, probably, will be not that far from truth. But the burden on the wallet will be almost unbearable).

Send 10 dollars to the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California, and pray twice there was no Japanese limited mini-vinyl replica edition with a bonus track and a special OBI. This one will be the winner of sound quality instantly. Because OBI adds at least two units to Dynamic Range and mini-vinyl paper jacket another two. At least I was told so by a collector of Japanese rarities winking smiley.

That's just the information that I've been looking for! Thank you so much!
And winter's here and the time is right for browsing at the fairs, boy;
well, actually I've got quite a few already...;-)

Re: Undercover - best sounding version?
Posted by: ironbelly ()
Date: November 12, 2021 15:29

ProfessorWolf, Norbert
You are welcome

Irix is absolutely right about SACD versions. If you are OK with SACD format and have access to streaming solutions try to find those HD versions. Otherwise, you will have a lot of fun tracking down the physical product on ebay and in record stores.

The list of 2002 SACD-hybrids is presented above. There were also Japanese only single layer SACD editions. But they are rare creatures, cost a lot and are hard to find outside Japan. 2002 SACD-hybrids that were in EU and USA are not that rare. I believe with a bit of luck you can find those below 15€ apiece for a single disc.

Here is complete list of Japanese only SACDs and SHM-CDs that came with flat transfer. Please be careful, there are cheaper Japanese SHM-CDs that came with 2009 Polydor/Universal remaster, the brickwalled one. So stick to the catalog numbers from this list to be sure you are getting the right disc/version.

Again, only 2020 re-issue is currently in print and can be ordered from cdjapan. The other are out of print and mostly sold out. You will need to track them down on the secondary market and (probably) pay a lot, especially for SACDs and live albums that were issued/sold in limited quantities.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2021-11-12 15:40 by ironbelly.

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