ELP Fanfare Box Set (With 5.1 Surround Mixes on Blu-Ray) Coming Soon!

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jimfisheye

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ELP's catalog is in a sorry state! At the same time, we have some gems and more than we get from a lot of other very deserving bands. Some Steve Wilson remixes even! This should all be... finished, frankly!

The two SW remixes sound like first drafts. (This is what I'd expect from the likes of SW in a first draft anyway.) If not first drafts, they're at least not his normal perfect final draft work. Short of a final round of mixing from his hand, these could easily be framed very well with competent mastering. (Something else apparently in short supply in the industry in general! The "competent" part.)
They're still pretty great as is of course. There's this trick mastering engineers hate to have you know about (Is that how the click bait thing goes?): The volume control! :D

That first BSS remix is a little hyped in approach. For one of those it's actually a pretty decent mix. It is not included in this new box.

The Jakko Jaznik remixes are bluntly unfinished disaster messes. I don't know what's up with this guy... The more messed up mixes with his name on them still sound more like what was going to be a serious approach on the mix was started but yanked out of his hands unfinished and with some really awkward 'work in progress' elements never meant to be heard as they sit at the moment. As opposed to that earlier intentionally hyped mix or some of the intentional ambient surround mixes or upmixes.

His unfinished BSS remix is not salvageable with any kind of restoration mastering. Parts of the album shine a bit though! Again, this sounds like the beginning work of a serious mix attempt.

Trilogy... I have a hard time accepting that the multitrack was THIS damaged to where the mix flaws were unavoidable. This was their first 16 track recording and they went nuts with overdubs and orchestrating these songs. So... that awkward vocal reverb is really baked into the lead vocal track on the multitrack?! (Just one example.) Well, it obviously wasn't in the original mix! I think it's just a poor clumsy mix and there's nothing wrong with the multitrack. And this album could be remixed in surround just fine. I guess we'll never know?

And then the one they DID try to release in surround back in the day - the Welcome Back... live set. They even ONLY mixed it in surround and released it folded down for the stereo version. So this quad master is apparently lost and we only have very very manufacturing flawed Q8 copies (that are rare to find at that). At least I finally found a copy that could be cleaned up and restored fairly decently. And that gratuitous live pan happy on the keyboards mix makes a lot more sense in original quad!

If I could dig that up, the label sure should be able to do similar. Then at least get a solid mastering engineer involved to go over everything. Upmix those lost tracks from the first album. (Or just leave them in original stereo in front L/R. Jeeze, come on now!) Get a real remix going for BSS. It's only their biggest album... Then Trilogy. Put a little effort in cleaning up Welcome Back... and get the actual surround released album back in print officially.
 

SHB

300 Club - QQ All-Star
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Messages
336
ELP's catalog is in a sorry state! At the same time, we have some gems and more than we get from a lot of other very deserving bands. Some Steve Wilson remixes even! This should all be... finished, frankly!

The two SW remixes sound like first drafts. (This is what I'd expect from the likes of SW in a first draft anyway.) If not first drafts, they're at least not his normal perfect final draft work. Short of a final round of mixing from his hand, these could easily be framed very well with competent mastering. (Something else apparently in short supply in the industry in general! The "competent" part.)
They're still pretty great as is of course. There's this trick mastering engineers hate to have you know about (Is that how the click bait thing goes?): The volume control! :D

That first BSS remix is a little hyped in approach. For one of those it's actually a pretty decent mix. It is not included in this new box.

The Jakko Jaznik remixes are bluntly unfinished disaster messes. I don't know what's up with this guy... The more messed up mixes with his name on them still sound more like what was going to be a serious approach on the mix was started but yanked out of his hands unfinished and with some really awkward 'work in progress' elements never meant to be heard as they sit at the moment. As opposed to that earlier intentionally hyped mix or some of the intentional ambient surround mixes or upmixes.

His unfinished BSS remix is not salvageable with any kind of restoration mastering. Parts of the album shine a bit though! Again, this sounds like the beginning work of a serious mix attempt.

Trilogy... I have a hard time accepting that the multitrack was THIS damaged to where the mix flaws were unavoidable. This was their first 16 track recording and they went nuts with overdubs and orchestrating these songs. So... that awkward vocal reverb is really baked into the lead vocal track on the multitrack?! (Just one example.) Well, it obviously wasn't in the original mix! I think it's just a poor clumsy mix and there's nothing wrong with the multitrack. And this album could be remixed in surround just fine. I guess we'll never know?

And then the one they DID try to release in surround back in the day - the Welcome Back... live set. They even ONLY mixed it in surround and released it folded down for the stereo version. So this quad master is apparently lost and we only have very very manufacturing flawed Q8 copies (that are rare to find at that). At least I finally found a copy that could be cleaned up and restored fairly decently. And that gratuitous live pan happy on the keyboards mix makes a lot more sense in original quad!

If I could dig that up, the label sure should be able to do similar. Then at least get a solid mastering engineer involved to go over everything. Upmix those lost tracks from the first album. (Or just leave them in original stereo in front L/R. Jeeze, come on now!) Get a real remix going for BSS. It's only their biggest album... Then Trilogy. Put a little effort in cleaning up Welcome Back... and get the actual surround released album back in print officially.
I totally agree. Doesn’t Carl have any say? I think it would be great if Mark Powell can get a hold of the catalog and get Stephen Tayler involved with the remixes. I think Esoteric would do a classy job with their catalog. Real respectable like!
 

sjcorne

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I totally agree. Doesn’t Carl have any say?
Both Wilson and Jaksyzk have said that there was a general lack of participation and interest in the remixes from the surviving band members, and ultimately came to regret working on the ELP catalog.

Back in 2017, Carl didn't exactly give SW's remix of the debut album a ringing endorsement:
The new mixes of the first album and Tarkus were done in 2012. Can you tell me how ELP came to work with Steven Wilson?

Steven Wilson had created a bit of a name for himself here in England, coming from the band Porcupine Tree. We heard some stuff that he was doing. He was very, very good and very, very keen on what was going on in his certain area, as it were. We were approached by the record company: would we like to have the remixes done by someone outside the group? So we said, “Look, the music’s great anyway; whatever anyone does to it, you know, it’s going to be one opinion against another opinion. It might be good, it might be average, it might be ok. Who knows?”

I mean, it was great music to start off with so, literally, all you could do is make it better or ruin it. Or just produce something which is pretty much the same as the original. But we thought we’d give it a go. When [the first one] came back, we were … ok with it. It wasn’t … it didn’t light us up. It was good; there’s no doubt about that. But as I said, it was good anyway, so this was just a different good, if you see what I mean. So we decided we’d have another go, and that’s how it worked, really. We were very casual about it.
From a 2019 interview with Jakko:
Talk about your experience working on the surround remixes for Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery.

Steven Wilson didn't want to do any more ELP albums, so he recommended me. I said, "Yeah, sure." That turned out to be a poisoned chalice, not because I had any interaction with the band, because I didn't.
 

SHB

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Thanks for posting these. Lack of participation- that’s too bad.
 

J. PUPSTER

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CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
Both Wilson and Jaksyzk have said that there was a general lack of participation and interest in the remixes from the surviving band members, and ultimately came to regret working on the ELP catalog.

Back in 2017, Carl didn't exactly give SW's remix of the debut album a ringing endorsement:


From a 2019 interview with Jakko:
"casual" about it - huh, very unusual statement from ol' Carl :unsure:
Maybe all the ultra loud live shows they did rattled their noggins; their show I saw in the mid 70's was the loudest I've ever been to.
 
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