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A question of protocol: When is it okay to remix a classic?
Old 21st February 2011
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changeng's Avatar
A question of protocol: When is it okay to remix a classic?

After getting the new Radiohead release (and liking it as a soundscape), I got a hankering for actual SONGS and I downloaded "Message from The Country" from The Move - an old favorite growing up that I haven't heard in many many years.

It has been remastered since my old vinyl copy and apparently, outside of overall cleaning it up a twitch, it's the same mix. Anyone familiar with The Move and Roy Wood in general can attest to the fact that Roy (God love 'em) as brilliant as he is, had a habit of making his vocals sound AWFUL. Besides often singing out of his natural range, he had a habit of recording and/or mixing himself to sound extremely tinny, pushing his vocals near distortion. For me, this kills some GLORIOUS tracks. The man has been Knighted, fer pete sake. He's good.

SO THE ESTHETIC QUESTION: *IF* the re-issuing company has access to the multitracks of a classic album, where something as important as the vocals are hard to listen to, is it acceptable to re-mix the record so that the original vocals are more palatable to the listener? AND what if the artist does not wish to have it remixed, only remastered? Would you see this as violating the artist's rights, even if it means improving the sound of the record in general?
Old 21st February 2011
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FireMoon's Avatar
Roy Wood is a Brummie same as Ozzy Osbourne, at times that tinny, i take it you mean the tendency towards nasality is actually part of his natural voice. It's derived from his accent and slips through into some of the diction of his singing voice. Jeff Lynne being another Brummie has the same twang if you listen to songs like the ELO's Showdown.... listen to how he enunciates the phrase... "And it's rainin all over the world."

Only a Brummie would phrase the word rainin with the short clipped no g and end lift on the n and get away with it in the context of a vocal line.
Old 21st February 2011
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Sk106's Avatar

I would see a later mix of a previous record as a commission, to you from the artist/recordcompany/copyrightholder. If they don't ask of you to do it, then don't.

Whenever I hear a remade song from the past, remixed or "boom-tse boom-tse"-fied or whatever, my senses ask me what was wrong with the original? Instead of messing up past classics, create new classics
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