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Remasters of the First 6 Star Wars Soundtracks now available (Shawn Murphy / Disney Records 2018)


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The Phantom Menace arrived today. I've only had a chance to briefly A/B the first two tracks (Main Title/The Arrival at Naboo and Duel of the Fates) against the 1999 release, but my first impressions

Have now listened through all 6 of these. Quite a mixed bag. I guess calling them "remastered" is a bit of a misnomer; more like "reconstructed".

 

One of my biggest issues with this set is not so much the sound quality (of the PT at least), but the takes that were used to assemble it all. I don't know if Shawn Murphy and co. just don't have as sharp of hearing as Williams when it comes to orchestral performance quality,  or what—if they do, then they willfully overlooked several noticeable flubs in the takes they chose to use, for some reason unbeknownst to me. For example, the trumpet blip at 4:17 in "Passage Through the Planet Core". Or how about the French horn at 2:18 in "The Sith Spacecraft and the Droid Battle".

 

These are errors that weren't even present on the original 1999 TPM OST album. So it just seems like a one-step-forward-two-steps-back situation to me—sure, the sound quality is better, but the performance quality is worse. I guess it all depends on if the listener cares more about minor improvements on sound quality than they do about missed notes, but for me it can be hard to ignore audible mistakes. After listening to these takes, it feels like Williams chose his original 1999 takes with good reason—those takes should have been the ones used again.

 

Also, 3:14 in "Star Wars and the Revenge of the Sith" is quite possibly one of the worst crossfade editing jobs I've ever heard. Far inferior to the original 2005 album; what were they thinking?!

 

OT is about as I expected; they're older recordings so only so much can be done with them. I would rather if Disney had a pro orchestra (like the New York Philharmonic with David Newman, from this past year—phenomenal and way better than even the OST performances) rerecord the complete scores, and release those as the new "definitive" recordings. But really, we're about to the end of the line with what can actually be done to improve those original OT recordings, I'm thinking. I'd be more keen at this stage to hear a completely new, state-of-the-art recording of the scores with a top notch orchestra.

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6 hours ago, Locrius said:

they're older recordings so only so much can be done with them

 

Have you heard CE3K? The Cowboys? The non-Rome cues of Ben-Hur? The STAR WARS (ANH bleugh) 97 version?

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On 7/14/2018 at 6:52 PM, Loert said:

Listening to "The Asteroid Field" now...sounds like it's being played in a cathedral lol.

You just need to listen to it 3 seconds and start realizing that something went terribly wrong... How could anyone give the approval to release it like this?!

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Started buying these on CD today. 2 for £10 at HMV so not much to loose.

 

Listening to Empire is so frustrating. I'm almost certain that it's down to mixing or mastering errors though rather than damage to the recordings. The Asteroid Field is a mess of excess reverb and weird mixing yeah, but what we can hear during the track is absolutely clear and sounds like it is in great condition. Someone just cocked up and it amazes me that it wasn't caught before release.

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Just stick with the Sony releases of the OSTs. They sound uncharacteristically good for Sony Star Wars releases and they are the original intended Williams album presentations, not slapped together Disney immitations. However, the prequels are cool for alternate versions and mixes. I enjoy the punchier sound of II and III. They really come alive compared to the original mixes, which were quite muddy.

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4 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

Do you have tracks that illustrate this? You know me and the Attack of the Clones score.

 

Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant is revelatory in terms of audio clarity.

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Just now, crumbs said:

That's pretty obviously all these releases are, even if they fucked up the mastering.

 

At least they scanned all the elements in high definition. 

Yes, the sessions are safe at least.

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On 7/29/2018 at 5:42 AM, Jurassic Shark said:

When it comes to the original album programs of the OT, I prefer the original CD releases from the 80s.

 

The problem with that, is you only have the "promo" program of ESB.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I apologise is this was made clear in previous posts, but is it settled which TESB tracks should be deleted from this release since they sound awful?

 

From what I've read, it sounds like:

 

Asteroid Field

Battle in the Snow

Hyperspace

 

Are the rest of the tracks sounding great or did I miss any? 

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48 minutes ago, MrJosh said:

I apologise is this was made clear in previous posts, but is it settled which TESB tracks should be deleted from this release since they sound awful?

 

From what I've read, it sounds like:

 

Asteroid Field

Battle in the Snow

Hyperspace

 

Are the rest of the tracks sounding great or did I miss any? 

 

Just stick with Sony's digital reissue.

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1 hour ago, Holko said:

It is, and possibly the best one in this collection along with Return of the Jedi. The one problem I have is TIE Fighter Attack lost some of its crisp punch.

That wont matter to me. My original cd is 33 years old and is deteriorating. Many of my 1985 to 1990 cds are developing pin holes.

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2 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

That wont matter to me. My original cd is 33 years old and is deteriorating. Many of my 1985 to 1990 cds are developing pin holes.

 

I have a spare copy of the original 2CD release (from the 80s) of Star Wars in very good condition, and I can sell it to you for a decent price. PM if you're interested.

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1 hour ago, JoeinAR said:

That wont matter to me. My original cd is 33 years old and is deteriorating. Many of my 1985 to 1990 cds are developing pin holes.

 

The only one of mine that's happened to is my 1986 copy of The Phantom of the Opera and it still plays without a problem.

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3 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

I have a question: Why does everyone buy these CDs, although they do not offer anything new and are clearly inferior to all former releases?

Becaus for 20 years it was my Star Wars soundtrack. 

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8 hours ago, Holko said:

It is, and possibly the best one in this collection along with Return of the Jedi. The one problem I have is TIE Fighter Attack lost some of its crisp punch.

The Prequel remasters are brilliant, if you hadn't picked up the original sets, you'd be remiss to pass up these.

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The remastered OT is not inferior to previous releases. Jedi sounds the best it ever had; SW too, though I'm still having a tough call deciding between this one or the 93 Anthology; Empire sounds mostly bad, with a few tracks sounding good and even fewer sounding the best they ever had.

 

Not buying those because I'm perfectly happy with the streaming versions. And I have the original vinyls too, so no reason to double dip. Only expanded releases will see my credit card number.

 

Here my babies:

28616809_1637691396347827_8361246045558600847_o.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I recently joined Tidal and have been listening to these in "Master" quality. Tidal's high-res master streaming generally sounds fantastic but my god, the HISS on Attack of the Clones is impossible to ignore. I didn't hear it so much on the Spotify stream but in lossless it's as clear if not more so than on the original CD pressing.

 

There are times, like after the DotF statement in Return to Tatooine where it becomes louder than the actual music for a few moments before settling back in to a still very audible background noise.

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No one as compared the content of these remasterings, track by track, second per second yet?

 

LIke I pointed it out before in ANH, some sections have been resynced, or they used alt takes, that's clear.

 

No one did the exercice yet?

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