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Wings Over America - Remastered At Last,
This review is from: Wings Over America (Audio CD)
The mid 1980's were not a particularly good time for CD hungry Beatlefans. The actual Beatle recordings would not appear on CD until 1987, and the solo Beatle product avaivalbe was limited, at best. Paul McCartney, who was under contract with Columbia Records at the time, was fortunate enough to see much of his solo catalog released on CD before most Lennon, Harrison, & Starr material was remastered for the "new" digital medium. One of the first Macca CD's Columbia released was a 2 disc version of "Wings Over America." Beatlefans were initially overjoyed to have 2 CD's of McCartney's best "live" solo and Beatles material. Many, however, were disappointed to find that the sound quality left something to be desired.
When Paul took his catalog back to Capitol several years later, the hope was that new remastering would improve the muddy, hissy sound quality of Columbia's releases. Unfortunately, on Capitol's new "Wings Over America," there was little to no improvement. By the early 1990's, Parlophone/EMI in Europe again remastered Paul's solo catalog, and for the first time, there was finally dramatic improvement over the earlier 2 sets of reissues. However, a new "Wings Over America" was inexplicably left out of the "Paul McCartney Collection" catalog.
That's all been remedied by the title's entry into EMI Japan's recent "deluxe" McCartney remasters, which present his catalog in replica LP sleeves and remarkable sound. "Wings Over America" has returned to its' album format, and is now spread out over 3 CD's. The sound is clear, bright, and a major improvement over the earlier CD incarnations. The original album graphics (including a great mini-poster) are included, making this the definitive CD edition of his greatest "officially released" live work. If only Capitol would catch on here in the states and give Paul McCartney's underrated solo catalog the respect it deserves, perhaps one wouldn't have to spend nearly $80 on the third pressing of this title. Since it looks like that may never happen, this Japanese import is more than worth the investment. All of the new Japanese remasters are worth checking out, but this one is essential for McCartney and Beatles fans.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 4, 2013 1:55:53 AM PDT
Jonathan Stiles says:
I don't know how to take this review because the 1993/4 McCartney remasters you praise were mostly horrid. They employed noise-reduction which deadened the music. Hiss is present on 1970's analogue recordings. If you try to remove the hiss, you also remove the "air" that brings the music to life. Noise reduction takes away the hiss but leaves the music dead and sterile. It flattens the signal and sucks out the life. The old Columbia set from the mid-1980's sounds great, hiss and all.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2013 9:45:36 AM PST
This is neither a criticism of you or the original review, but is it really worth paying an extra $80 to get 8 bonus audio tracks and a dvd of WOTW plus a some books over the standard issue?? If you're going to do a super deluxe edition, then either charge a reasonable price that reflects the audio contents or do a King Crimson and put some value into it with more discs.
Posted on Jan 2, 2014 10:59:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2014 11:14:54 PM PST
Andrew Furst says:
Note that this reviewer is talking about a 1999 Toshiba/EMI limited edition Japanese 3CD version that was issued as a "mini LP" album replica, exactly duplicating the order/track listing of the original 3LP album. Thus the "improved/remastered" sound quality about which he writes is not comparable to either the old EMI 2CD releases (or the standard Japanese 2CD release), OR the current 2013 remaster, deluxe or standard edition. Amazon should separate out these reviews, because there are now many versions of "Wings Over America".
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2014 12:53:19 PM PDT
Maxim Chumak says:
Actually Japanese 1999 mini-LP set used the same data as late 80's 2CD issue. There's no difference in sound at all. It was only divided into 3 cds to match the original 3LP set! BTW, Columbia 2CD issue is the most complete version of this album as all other CD issues edited out a lot of cheering reducing total running time of the original by 1,5 minutes.
Posted on Oct 4, 2014 2:05:16 AM PDT
Those remasters of the early 1990s were horrible! I only picked up those that had tracks I thought I'd never see otherwise. I still have my Columbia discs. The deluxe set here is way too expensive for what you get. It's mostly books and souvenir materials from the tour. Not bad, but how often will you look at that? I handled the Ram, and the other sets exactly ONCE so far! I am holding out for a below $100 threshold.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2014 9:05:20 AM PST
This is directed to Amazon. I've got an expensive ACCURATE sound system - it will expose a poor quality recording. Why does Amazon have a Deluxe review as the first review for the STANDARD recording. I just ordered the standard CD and if it turns out to be a terrible engineering job I'm going to be pretty ticked off. I just had to send "The Stones Hot Rocks" back because of recording quality.
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