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Customer Review

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic album from a wonderful band but a very disappointing overly compressed sound., 30 Oct. 2009
This review is from: One Step Beyond.... (30th anniversary deluxe edition) (Audio CD)
Well the new reissues start here and being a long time madness fan i thought i'd try this new release to see how it fared.
The first madness album one step beyond was the beginning of the nutty boys and the building block for the classic madness sound,and it's great that the bands back catalogue is being released again after the end of the virgin deal.
Overall on paper its a well priced package with 2 cds,the first containing the album and some promo videos and the second cd with the john peel sessions and a host of bonus tracks including the work rest and play ep some demos including monsieur barso's version of my girl and other gems.
The booklet included is ok too,maybe not as good as it could have been but it's still a nice extra for the set.
So great value for money then...well yes and no.
If you are new to the band then it is a worthwhile purchase as it may well be the first time that you have been able to buy any of the back catalogue and so in this instance without spending a lot more it's a good deal,but If you are a madness fan as i am then you will have either the vinyl version or a cd version already as this was included in the box set entitled "The lot" or just the single cd and many of the bonus tracks have been released in some form or another before but having said that having them all on this set together is a great idea.
However this is probably the worst sounding version of the album to date as unfortunately just like many other bands remasters before it's just to loud.
From the moment i put the cd in and heard chas utter those imortal first lines "Hey you,dont watch that watch this" i knew it was another noisy needlessly compressed modern cd,and compared to either the vinyl,single cd release or the box set release this is nowhere near the quality of any of those.
Gone is the organic classic madness sound replaced by a very brittle and cold sounding cd,and for this reason if you are a true fan then i would not recommend this release if you have a good collection of the bands material already.
I'm not saying it isn't a great way to start your madness collection because it is a nice and very good value set but if you heard the orginals or the other releases then boy you are missing out on how the band should sound.
So for the the casual or new fan then its a good starter package,if you are a fan i wouldn't bother,and so for that it's only worth a disappointing 3 stars.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Oct 2009 22:43:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Oct 2009 22:50:32 GMT
Paul Rodgers says:
Hi mate, gotta say I've not experienced any of the problems you've had with sound. Can you give a few examples of songs and particular parts that sound brittle and cold please? What sort of equipment are you using to listen to the album? It sounds fine on my PC and in my car. I've listened to it repeatedly and can't fault it sound-wise. To me it sounds crisp and fresh and bursting with the youthful energy the band put into making it.

Does it sound brittle compared to Norton Folgate? Yes, undoubtedly. Does it sound like a poor One Step Beyond...? Not to me.

Incidentally you refer to 'The Lot' Box set of albums. That has some of the most appalling re-masters I've ever heard by any band. Compare Mrs Hutchinson in the box set to the vinyl. You'll find Barso's piano top line is almost totally lost in a fug of noise on the CD. There's nothing on this One Step Beyond... re-master that I can hear that suggests the problems you've complained about, but not actually provided any examples of.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2009 01:22:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Oct 2009 01:25:09 GMT
It's not parts that sound brittle and cold it's the whole set that's the problem.
I listen to my music primarily with pro monitors and if a cd is good it sounds good,if it's mastered badly and too loud it sounds poor.
I ran the cd through my wave editor as i was curious as to how loud it was after i had put the cd on and was blasted with noise so after i had ripped it to flac i did this and it's way way to loud.
Every track clips and goes way over a normal safe listening level which should be -89.0,in fact some tracks peak at -10.5 db more than it should which is just unacceptable.
You may think it's fine and that's cool,but there are plenty of people who know just how bad this can be.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and i fully respect yours too.
Yes you are right this will sound ok in the pc or the car but listen to it properly especially with a half decent pair of earphones and you will probably go deaf.
Anyway if you are enjoying it cool,me i'll take the originals everytime and this im getting rid of,and as far as comparing it to the norton cd well that was just as bad,even worse with distortion in parts and mastered to brickwall levels, Compared to the last album "wonderful" which was exceptionally well produced and mastered there is a massive difference,but these days not may people seem to care about quality anymore and until that happens the trend will continue.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2009 10:44:41 GMT
D. Lewis says:
I had the new version of the album on my separates system whilst I was doing the painting on Saturday.
It was by no means unlistenable but on closer inspection there was a sense of that noisiness that comes from compression (which seems to be rife on modern remasters today).
System:- Naim CDX cd player/ Naim SuperNait amp/ Dynaudio 1.8ii floorstanding loudspeakers.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2009 15:26:21 GMT
Very true,yes its fine to listen to in the background but to enjoy it fully its a no go.
Its quite surprising how many big names fall into this problem,in fact i often wonder if half the time the bands actually hear the cds.
It's laughable sometimes when a perfomer or band oversee a particular remaster project and it comes out sounding rubbish and they say it's the way it should have sounded!, Makes me wonder if all the years has sent them deaf as it would certainly account for the poor sound.
Either way madness have been around long enough and should make sure the product sounds good, Don't get me wrong i love the band and always will but they should know better.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2009 20:54:02 GMT
The Lost Golfer is spot on re the sound quality of this cd. I've bought other Union Square re-masters and this seems to be almost an in-house trait with them. Wish I'd kept my original vinyl and LP12 Sondek!

Posted on 6 Dec 2009 21:20:13 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 6 Dec 2009 21:20:27 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2010 19:28:04 GMT
Dee Geedee says:
Agreed - this remaster is sonic agony! Someone needs to dump their plug-ins and get some nice gear!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2010 14:39:05 GMT
The Lost Golfer said: "Every track clips and goes way over a normal safe listening level which should be -89.0,in fact some tracks peak at -10.5 db more than it should which is just unacceptable."

I wonder if you could you clarify this for me please: I understand dB measurement, but not what you said! A normal safe listening level is set by the person listening to the disc and has nothing to do with mastering. Maybe I missed something, can you enlighten me? Even better - post some screen grabs in the pictures section so I can see what you saw (and the scales you were using.)


- Mike

Posted on 18 Apr 2010 20:08:40 BDT
NickyK says:
I'm glad I'm not the only one to find it sounding shrill. I don't know much about all the stuff that does the rounds about compression etc but this reissue sounds pretty terrible. Very thin sounding, trebley and where on earth is the bass? I've gone back to listening to the previous issue. Sounds lovely and warm comapred to this. Very sad.
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