Elton John on cd-best sound questions

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by thebeatles67, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. thebeatles67

    thebeatles67 Forum Resident In Memoriam Thread Starter

    I've read a lot of threads over the course of last few days on Elton's classic period and I'd like to ask your opinion of the absolute best sounding redbook cds.

    Should I ignore all US cd pressings--original and remasters?

    Go for the UK or German DJM presssings?

    Any unusual pressings like the longer version of "Sixty Years On" to be aware of?

    Any tidbits appreciated.

    Mike
     
  2. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    The threads you have read offer you good advice.

    But, I will try to answer your questions listed above.

    No, you should not ignore all US CD original pressings.

    If you can afford it, you may want to find the MFSL Ultradisc I Japan gold discs for the four that exist "Tumbleweed Connection", "Madman Across The Water", "Honky Chateau" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

    As for MCA, you want to find "MCA Japan For US" CD first pressings. Best sound and full packaging. They have "DIDX" supplemental numbers to help you spot them. These include "Tumbleweed Connection", "Madman Across The Water", "Don't Shoot Me", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Caribou". "Captain Fantastic" also has one but not with full packaging. The other MCA original issues vary from good to fair to poor.

    The Polydor 1992 pressings in most instances resemble the DJM and are passable for any original ones you do not find. "Rare Masters" came out at this time and it has all the bonus tracks from the next pressings in one place so no need to get the later ones for that reason.

    The Rocket/Island 1996 pressings are unique masterings with bonus tracks that vary depending on the mood Gus Dudgeon was in the day he did them. The live albums "11-17-70" and "Here And There" are remixed and remastered. Some here like them and some do not but both have more tracks so those are the two out of these pressings you may want to get.

    Except for "Empty Sky" and "Elton John" most UK and West Germany DJM original pressings sound the same. You may want the UK for "Empty Sky" since it is different sound and the only one with full packaging. You may want the UK for "Elton John" since it is different sound and has the shorter version of "Sixty Years On". The longer version is on the West Germany one but that version is also on "...To Be Continued" if you have it.

    I think for the rest either the UK or West Germany DJM original pressings are the same.
     
  3. nesboy43

    nesboy43 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Dont forget the 2008 Deluxe versions of Elton John and Tumbleweed Connection, sound fantastic and they both have a bonus disc of demos and live performances.
     
  4. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    Yes, I forgot to mention that. There is also a "Captain Fantastic" Deluxe Edition with a great bonus live disc.
     
  5. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Don't forget the SACD editions.

    Elton is one of the only artists who is actually not just remastered, but reMIXED. For instance, if you can find "The Superior Sound of Elton John" it's quite nice. Also if you can find "The Fox" I quite like it. I sold "Rare Masters" eventually-I'm a huge Elton fan but after a while, I dunno, I sold it.

    So anyway, you can't really just compare the sound, because the remixes make the performances a bit different. I'll agree the DIDX MCAs were pretty good. I like the "cleaner" recent remixes onto SACD but that's a very personal preference. The DVDA of Yellow Brick is not to everyone's taste, though I think Greg Penny's mix is cool.
    (some interview stuff here
    http://www.recordproduction.com/greg-penny.htm
     
  6. Tank

    Tank New Member

    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Or if he goes with MFSL discs, he could just get the UDII MFSL's made in the US. Since they are the same thing anyway.
     
    Malina likes this.
  7. fitzysbuna

    fitzysbuna Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    To be Continued set is excellant!
     
    Terry likes this.
  8. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    Thank you for finding one sentence you could criticize. I was attempting to tell the op the most valuable items he should look for in completing his collection.

    The I series are the original issue, Japan issue, contain the original MCA label stamp and not the inaccurate Mercury stamp (instead of Polydor which was the eventual reissue label) and will get him more money if he sells it on the collectors market. But, you are right, they are exactly the same.
     
  9. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    Agreed - one of my favorite boxsets!
     
  10. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    A lot of the MCAs sound great, as do the DJMs. As to which for which title, the older threads can help with that. One thing I will say is that the MFSLs aren't worth your time or your money.
     
  11. thebeatles67

    thebeatles67 Forum Resident In Memoriam Thread Starter

    I have never owned the 2008 two cd Deluxe Editions of the 2nd (Black Lp) or Tumbleweed but after reading a few reviews I ordered these tonight--what is the opinion on these stacked up against the MFSL (btw I own all 4 Elton MFSL I's) and all the SACDs (which don't seem to be a fav here on the 2 channel playback) Thanks.

    Mike
     
  12. fitzysbuna

    fitzysbuna Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    what does your songs mastered by steve hoffman look like ?
     
  13. Blue Collar Man

    Blue Collar Man Active Member

    Location:
    Paradise Theater
    You could say that but you would be wrong.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I think the MFSL gold CDs are excellent and are well worth tracking down. They generally are easy to find and are not too expensive. Madman Across the Water may be the exception since it only exists as an Ultradisc pressed in Japan.

    The above said, the original MCA and DJM CDs are also good. As an example, if you don't want to spend a lot of money for the gold CD, the U.K. DJM CD of Honky Chateau is excellent. However, it is harder to find than the gold CD.

    I have several of the '95 remastered CDs and don't really like them. They aren't as warm and natural as the earlier MCA and DJM CDs. I also don't like the 2003 SACDs, as I find them to be too loud and bright. The SHM-SACD of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is much better than the 2003 SACD, in my opinion. However, the SHM-SACD is not as warm as the MFSL gold CD. For me, the ideal SACD would be a blend of the resolution of the SHM-SACD and the warmth of the MFSL gold CD.
     
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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I've been meaning to get Rare Masters, although I have many of the '95 remasters. It would be nice to have all those extras on one disc.

    I've often wondered if this box set were worth having. So you like it in terms of mastering and content?
     
  16. fitzysbuna

    fitzysbuna Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    in terms of content not complete! needs a vol 2! in terms of mastering yes it is great!
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Thanks. I see it's out of print now, so I will probably stick with the album CDs.
     
  18. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    I'm not a big fan of the MFSL versions. A bit flat, or on the contrary, smiley-faced, depending on the titles.

    To me, the UK, JPN and W.German DJM CDs are the best-sounding versions. Smooth, punchy, and very dynamic.

    The SACDs are fun for the 5.1 mixes. The stereo layers can be super-bright.
     
    marcb, George P and kiddo4 like this.
  19. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    I like the Ploydor CDs. They sound good, to me anyway, and the inserts are nice. I have had most of the MCA versions also. The box set sounds great and so does Rare Masters.

    Pat
     
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  20. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Well, if you'd really read all those threads you might not be asking these questions ;)

    No, you should not ignore U.S. cds. In some cases the U.S. MCAs are identical to DJM dics, and in some of the cases where they are different some people prefer the MCA to the DJM. Also, note that the U.S. Polydor cds are all DJM clones. So as long as you avoid the Rocket "Classic Years" remasters with bonus tracks, buying U.S. cds is cheap easy and likely to sound just fine.
     
  21. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Which MFSL versions do you find either flat or smiley faced? I'd say that HC, GBYBR and TC are fanastic. One might prefer the DJMs, sure, but the MFSLs are very much worth tracking down. Many of the cuts on these are demo-worthy for sure.
     
  22. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    IIRC (I made these comparisons a couple of years ago), GYBR and Château were "smiley-faced" (just a bit too much treble and bass for me), and Madman and Tumbleweed were uninvolving. Not sure I actually heard Tumbleweed, hardly one of my favorite albums.

    For the prices the MFSL command, I feel the DJM CDs are a better bang for the buck.
     
    George P likes this.
  23. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    That's a big :agree: on all counts.
     
    Col likes this.
  24. thebeatles67

    thebeatles67 Forum Resident In Memoriam Thread Starter

     
  25. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
     

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