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EXCLUSIVE: Remixing Tears For Fears and the stereo channel saga

surround_tff

SDE Editor Paul Sinclair worked on the forthcoming reissue of Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair. In this feature he exclusively lifts the lid of some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into remastering the album and talks to Steven Wilson about the remixing process…


The newly announced Tears For Fears reissue of Songs From The Big Chair will include a 2014 Stereo Mix as well as a new 5.1 surround sound remix. Although the 5.1 mix has got everyone very excited (understandably), the stereo remix is worth talking about because there are some aspects to this remix that may not be at first apparent.

The main thing to consider is that the last four tracks on the album (I Believe, Broken, Head Over Heels and Listen) all cross-fade into each other. Back in 1985 in the pre-digital editing era, two analogue machines would have played back the stereo masters while dubbing onto a third machine to create the cross-fade. What that means is that every issue of Songs From The Big Chair up until this point has contained ‘second generation’ versions of the tracks in question.

For the 2014 stereo remix (and the 5.1 mix) the original 1984 analogue multitrack tapes were transferred to digital in high resolution (96kHz / 24 bit) at Abbey Road studios. The multi-track sessions varied from 24 track, 48 track, and –  in the case of Mothers Talk –  72 track (3 x 24 track tapes synchronised).

Steven Wilson, who was responsible for both of the 2014 remixes, describes the process: “Once the tapes were re-synchronised and transferred, I worked to match the original stereo mixes, recreating instrument balances, stereo positioning, equalisation, compression, reverbs, delays, etc. These remixes were regularly run past Roland for feedback, and went through several versions until we were happy that they were as faithful to the original album mixes as possible. Only at this point were the mixes expanded from stereo to 5.1.”

So on the 2014 Stereo remix I Believe, Head Over Heels and Listen are two generations better than what was used to master the original album (back one step to the stereo analogue masters and then another step back to the multi tracks). Everything else (i.e. the tracks not crossfaded) are one generation better (stereo masters to multi-tracks). Broken is a special case because despite an extensive search, the original multi-track tapes could not be found. So for the 2014 stereo mix, the original stereo masters (prior to being copied to the second-generation compiled album master) were used, making that track also a generation better than what was used on the original.

Of course the lack of multi-track tapes for Broken had an impact on the 5.1 mix. Steven Wilson explains the workaround: “The original stereo masters were processed through Penteo stereo to surround up-mixer software in order to create pseudo surround versions.  These were then inserted into the album sequence to maintain the 5.1 playback flow.”

Despite that little forced compromise with the 5.1 mix, every track on Songs From The Big Chair is at least one generation ‘fresher’ on the surround version and the 2014 stereo mix, which is an exciting prospect for fans. (Both these mixes are on DVD and blu-ray – the version on CD 1 (in the box and deluxe edition) remains a remastered version using the original analogue tapes).

It should be pointed out that Steven Wilson doesn’t consider the new mix to necessarily ‘better’ than the original though: “It’s a matter of taste whether it sounds better than the original mix,” he says. “More clarity in places perhaps, but the original mix is great and definitive, so I would say the new mix just sounds different, not better. However, one thing that does differ very slightly to the original is that I backed off some of the extreme use of reverb on some mix elements.  The trend in the mid 80’s was definitely to have everything bathed in massive arena-sized reverbs, and I certainly have not changed that approach or the overall sound world of the album, which is supposed to sound huge and epic after all.  It’s more a subtle tweak that just gives the impression of the instruments and vocals being slightly more present or “up front” in places.”

The 5.1 mix can be found on the forthcoming super deluxe edition box of Songs From The Big Chair as well as the standalone blu-ray. Both those formats also contain the 2014 Stereo Mix which is additionally exclusively available via Universal’s online store as a limited edition vinyl pressing.

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl_2014_SW_Mix

A vinyl version of the 2014 Stereo MIx is available exclusively through the Universal Music online store

Another issue that I was aware of, before the project even began, was the fact that the stereo image (the left and right channels) were supposedly reversed on the 1999 and 2005 reissues of Songs From The Big Chair when compared to the original UK vinyl. These have long considered to be ‘wrong’ by the uber-fans that concern themselves with the finer details. The 1998 Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs audiophile CD pressing had a reputation for being the only reissue to get the channels ‘right’ by maintaining the stereo image as it was on the original LP. An easy way to tell the difference is that on the original record the percussion (i.e. metallic chimes) at the beginning of Shout go from right to left. On subsequent Universal reissues they go from left to right. Anyway, I mentioned this to Andy Walter who was remastering the CD element of the Songs From The Big Chair reissue and he advised that the master tapes have a hand written note on them pointing out that the channels are reversed on the tape and therefore should be reversed again to get them back to how they should be. Trouble was, the tape played the Shout percussion right to left, which at the time we thought was CORRECT, therefore if we followed the instruction to reverse them, surely they’d be ‘wrong’? Arghh!!!

sftbc_tape1

Note on the original analogue master (in red) advising of reversed stereo image

I asked Steven Wilson what he thought and his opinion was that most mixers would have mixed the metal chimes from left to right so he was dubious about the fact that right to left was correct. Thankfully, as he was liaising regularly with Roland [Orzabal] at that point, discussing the new stereo and 5.1 remix, we had an easy way to check with an authority. Roland told us that since Jerry Marotta is right handed, the toms on The Working Hour would have been mixed “low tom on the left and high tom on the right”. Lo and behold the original LP is the reverse of this. If there was any further doubt Steven Wilson also checked with the original producer Chris Hughes who confirmed categorically that the metal chimes should go from left to right. That information effectively proved that the original UK vinyl pressing is incorrect – the stereo image is the wrong way round which is why the master tape has the 1998 Jon Astley note (see above) stating that it should be reversed. That instruction was either not followed for the MFSL CD or as is more likely they used different tape sources (Head Over Heels on the MFSL runs slightly longer than the standard album version which means that cannot have used the same tapes ).

So the mystery of the stereo image has been solved once and for all. The 2014 remaster and the 2014 stereo mix correctly reverse the channels when compared to the original vinyl release which – incredibly – is incorrect. The MFSL is also incorrect so its reputation for being the only ‘correct’ version now lies in tatters!

Songs From The Big Chair is reissued on 10 November 2014.

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TFF_SongsFromBigChair_3D

6-disc super deluxe edition box set

D

2CD Deluxe Edition

TFF_BigChair_SuperAudio_sde

Blu-ray Audio

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl

Vinyl Edition

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl_2014_SW_Mix

2014 Stereo Mix on vinyl

Track listing

DISC ONE

  • 01. SHOUT : 6:31
  • 02. THE WORKING HOUR : 6:29
  • 03. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:09
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 5:04
  • 05. I BELIEVE : 4:54
  • 06. BROKEN : 2:38
  • 07. HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:02
  • 08. LISTEN : 6:54

Bonus tracks 

  • 09. THE BIG CHAIR : 3:20
  • 10. EMPIRE BUILDING : 2:41
  • 11. THE MARAUDERS : 4:13
  • 12. BROKEN REVISITED : 5:15
  • 13. THE CONFLICT : 4:02
  • 14. THE WORKING HOUR – Piano Version : 2:08
  • 15. PHARAOHS : 03:42
  • 16. WHEN IN LOVE WITH A BLIND MAN : 2:22
  • 17. SEA SONG : 3:51 

DISC TWO – Edited Songs From The Big Chair (this is second CD in the 2CD deluxe)

  • 01. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:49
  • 02. MOTHERS TALK – Single Version : 3:53
  • 03. SHOUT – Single Version : 5:58
  • 04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Single Version : 4:14
  • 05. HEAD OVER HEELS – Remix : 4:15
  • 06. I BELIEVE (A Soulful Re-Recording) : 4:39
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD : 4:30
  • 08. THE WAY YOU ARE – Short Version : 4:21
  • 09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix : 4:14
  • 10. SHOUT – U.S. Single Version : 4:51
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD – Running Version : 4:30
  • 12. HEAD OVER HEELS – Radio Version : 4.20
  • 13. MOTHERS TALK – Video Version : 4:14
  • 14. SHOUT – Short Version : 4:03
  • 15. LISTEN – Clean Intro : 6:52
  • 15. INTERVIEW WITH CURT & ROLAND : 7:35

DISC THREE – Remixed Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

  • 01. THE WAY YOU ARE – Extended Version : 7:37
  • 02. MOTHERS TALK – Extended Version : 6:18
  • 03. SHOUT – Extended Remix Version : 7:40
  • 04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Extended Version : 5:40
  • 05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS / BROKEN – Preacher Mix : 8:00
  • 06. MOTHERS TALK – Beat Of The Drum Mix : 8:54
  • 07. SHOUT – U.S. Remix : 8:02
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Urban Mix : 6:06
  • 09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix alternate : 4:12
  • 10. SHOUT – Dub : 6:49
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Instrumental : 4:21
  • 12. SHOUT – Acappella : 5:02

DISC FOUR – Unreleased Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

  • 01. HEAD OVER HEELS : 4:14 Richard Skinner Session
  • 02. THE WORKING HOUR : 6:06 Richard Skinner Session
  • 03. BROKEN : 3:19 Richard Skinner Session
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 4:05 Live At Massey Hall
  • 05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:01 Live At Massey Hall
  • 06. MEMORIES FADE : 6:50 Live At Massey Hall
  • 07. THE WORKING HOUR : 7:31 Live At Massey Hall
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:19 Live At Massey Hall
  • 09. SHOUT : 7:50 Live At Massey Hall
  • 10. MOTHERS TALK – Early Mix / Instrumental : 4:39
  • 11. THE WAY YOU ARE – Early Mix : 4:25
  • 12. BROKEN – Early Mix : 5:38
  • 13. SHOUT – Early Mix : 5:08
  • 14. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Alternate Single Version: 4.20

DISC FIVE (DVD-A)

5.1 and Stereo mix

  • SHOUT : 6:32
  • THE WORKING HOUR : 6:31
  • EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:11
  • MOTHERS TALK : 5:10
  • I BELIEVE : 4:54
  • BROKEN : 2:38
  • HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:20
  • LISTEN : 6:49

DISC SIX (DVD-V) (exclusive to box)

Documentary

  • 01. SCENES FROM THE BIG CHAIR – Documentary : 1:14:43
  • 02. INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER CHRIS HUGHES : 35:00

Promos

  • 03. THE WAY YOU ARE – Music Video : 3:57
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK – Alternative UK Video : 4:00
  • 05..MOTHERS TALK – Music Video : 4.49
  • 06. SHOUT – Music Video : 6:31
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Music Video : 4:52
  • 08. HEAD OVER HEELS – Music Video : 4:26
  • 09. I BELIEVE – Music Video : 4:45
  • 10. MOTHERS TALK – US Mix – Music Video : 4:52
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD – Music Video : 4:52

 BBC TV Appearances

  • 03. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:11 Top Of The Pops
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 3:48 Top Of The Pops
  • 05. MOTHERS TALK : 3:51 Top Of The Pops
  • 06. SHOUT : 4:20 Top Of The Pops
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:08 Wogan
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 3.35 Top Of The Pops
  • 09. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 3.45 Top Of The Pops
  • 10. THE WORKING HOUR : 4:28 Wogan

TFF_SongsFromBigChair_3D

6-disc super deluxe edition box set

D

2CD Deluxe Edition

TFF_BigChair_SuperAudio_sde

Blu-ray Audio

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl

Vinyl Edition

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl_2014_SW_Mix

2014 Stereo Mix on vinyl

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81 responses to EXCLUSIVE: Remixing Tears For Fears and the stereo channel saga

  1. Nice article, thank you :-)

    • Dave Cochrane says:

      Doesn’t make sense. A right-handed drummer soul have the low tom on the RIGHT, not the left (the hats would be on the left).

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Let’s not get back into that! :) The band and the producer independently confirmed how it *should* sound, so I think, that is basically it.

      • Julian H says:

        “Doesn’t make sense. A right-handed drummer soul have the low tom on the RIGHT, not the left (the hats would be on the left).”

        The music is meant to come from the FRONT as in a concert. So if you’re facing a drummer who’s got his low tom on the RIGHT, it will come from the LEFT to your ears. Alright? ;-)

        On “Secret World Live in Paris”, the chimes in the intro to “Shout” clearly go from left to right so that’s how it should be.

        However, I have some doubts whether ALL of the tracks are really reversed. Mothers Talk had been out for months and the album master is the same mix as on the regular single, whereas Head over Heels was remixed for its single release. Only Shout and EWTRTW were released around the same time as the album and could therefore be ‘wrong’ in all their versions. My guess is that only the first 3 tracks are reversed… :-p

  2. Paul Rymer says:

    Superb, fascinating reading, looking forward to this release.

    I have a Malaysian CD called “The Remixes” which includes both versions of “…Run The World”, but I’ve had several people say it’s not official (it seems to be to me). Do you know (or anyone else) anything about it?

  3. CJ Feeney says:

    So let’s be clear. The correct two channel mix is on DVD, Blu-ray and Vinyl. The original incorrect mix is on CD1 of the various editions. Is that right?

    Thanks forvzuch an in depth article. The more I read from Steve Wilson, the more I like him. He seems to have a great respect for the music as originally recorded over and above stamping some style of his own on things.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      All the versions of the album in the box and across the various formats are now correct in terms of the stereo image. However they are the reverse of the original vinyl which as the article explains is correct because the original 1985 UK vinyl is wrong.

      • CJ Feeney says:

        Thanks for the clarification. I still haven’t made my mind up as to how big an edition I “need” but it will certainly be an informed decision when I make it!

  4. pookie says:

    This is a great and complete re-release and “boxed” version of a crucial 80s album. I’d be very curious to see what Tears for Fears intends to do with “Seeds of Love” from 1989. A complete Santa Barbara concert (at least on 2CD) would be justice done to the fabulous tour back then.

  5. Baward says:

    Interesting stuff. I always thought the metal chimes were Fairlight, so thanks for putting me right!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      ‘Metal chimes’ was actually how Chris Hughes described them. They probably were a sound in a Fairlight to be honest…

  6. Gerd says:

    The German 7″ of “Shout” was running 4.51, but I think it was just Fading out at the beginning of the guitar solo, so no reason to put it on?

  7. William says:

    Steven Wilson is an absolute genius and a thoroughly decent chap and this project could not be in safer hands

  8. Metal Mickey says:

    Somehow I love the idea that the original album vinyl stereo was wrong… at the risk of going too far down the rabbit hole, does this mean that the single edits were wrong too?

  9. ZoetMB says:

    I’m not claiming that the cross-fade information is incorrect, but back when I was a recording engineer, if I was mixing a cross-fade, the cross-fade itself would obviously be a copy, but then I would cut it back into the previous generation. So only the cross-fade itself would be a generation down.

    Even on something like a syndicated radio show, if the beginning of the show had a music bed, I would mix that, then cut it back into the original tape.

    Obviously, in order to do this without listeners noticing any transition, the levels have to match perfectly, the tape decks have to be perfectly calibrated and the tape heads all have to be in perfect azimuth.

    • Jeff Knowler says:

      Yes, I concur. It seems inconceivable that they would have gone down a whole generation for the *entire* length of a song, and would have almost certainly just spliced in the crossfade at the desired points.

      Also, to be picky for a mo, if the original vinyl is how we heard the album for the first 15+ years of its life, who is to say the left-right image is really “wrong”? And, just to add confusion further, the US remix AND Dub of Shout (on various different releases) also have the percussion going from right to left. Were the American mixes “mastered” incorrectly, despite (presumably) being mastered at different times, from different tape sources?

      Great article nonetheless!!

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Hey Jeff – you might have a point re crossfades, I guess that’s entirely possible/quite likely.

        In terms of the stereo image… a decision had to be made and I feel like we put as much effort as anyone ever has into trying to get it ‘right’ including discussing with artist and original producer. I think the various singles US and UK are basically all over the place with no consistency.

  10. Boaz Halachmi says:

    Universal offer 6 pounds off when you buy a bundle of the box+ The limited edition 2014 mix vinyl. But with the shipping costs it is the most expansive option. It is cheaper to buy the box at Amazon and the vinyl at Universal.

  11. Don says:

    In a day when so many “deluxe editions” are thrown together using vinyl rips, incorrect mixes, etc., it was downright HEARTWARMING to read about how Chris Hughes, Roland Orzabal, and so many of the original team members were consulted for this, especially when it comes to the mysterious left/right stereo channel issue. Thanks to everyone involved for their due diligence in making sure this release is the highest quality!!!!

  12. Don says:

    So, whats the difference between the 2 vinyl versions being released this time around? There is the one from Amazon and the one from the Universal store. Other than the cover color, are the mixes different?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes. The coloured one contains the brand new 2014 stereo mix. The standard one contains the old mix remastered.

  13. Will says:

    Fantastic information. Thanks so much for the detail.
    You’ve probably wiped 100 quid off the MFSL ebay prices of SFTBC though :-)

  14. Rob says:

    Paul –

    Nice, in depth article. I’m curious, when you mention that the multi-tracks for “Broken” are missing, are you referring to the first half (the studio version), the second half (the live version) or both?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Both!!

      • Julian H says:

        That’s strange. As I understand, the live version of “Broken” comes from the Hammersmith concert on “In My Mind’s Eye”, right? So does that mean the multitracks for this concert are also lost? I had hoped that one day we might see the full concert without the video effects and remixed into 5.1, but if that’s the case that will obvsiouly not be possible.
        As for the studio version, what about the tracks used for the “Preacher Mix”? Are they also missing?
        Still interested in how it will sound, but it’s kinda sad that one of the best TFF tracks wasn’t taken care of more thoroughly. Not your fault of course!

  15. Roland says:

    Yes Paul, can we make it very clear?

    On the new regular and the exclusive Vinyl is the new Stereo-Mix 2014
    by Steven Wilson?

    Only the artwork is different? Or any other differences?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      No the ‘regular’ new vinyl is the remastered original mix, not the 2014 Remix.

      There is only one 2014 Stereo remix and that is by Steven Wilson. That can be found in three places:

      1. Super Deluxe box set on DVD-A/V
      2. Standalone Blu-ray Audio (Pure Audio) and
      3. On the limited edition vinyl with the turquoise/green cover that’s only available direct from universal.

  16. Richard says:

    In defense of MOFI, their Silver Line doesn’t use Original Master Tapes. Although, the box clearly states to reverse the track. I’m disappointed that MOFI team didn’t catch this error. The first reason is why I didn’t buy this on vinyl. On all their SilverLine issues the tape wasn’t asked for, missing, or wasn’t intended to be an Original Master Recording .
    I was annoyed that Every Picture Tells A Story was an Original Master on Cd; not on vinyl?

  17. Steve Burke says:

    The MOFI Silver Series of this uses a tape copy of the UK master according to MOFI. They are pretty good at identifying source material when asked.

    Paul, awesome article, thanks so much for sharing all this with people who enjoy geeking out on this stuff as much as you clearly do. \m/ \m/

  18. SimonP says:

    So, was the original CD the right way round then, or the same as the vinyl? Annoyingly, I gave mine away when the remaster came out in ’99, so I can’t check.

    Also, while we’re on this subject, there’s a scathing review on Amazon of the Hurting box set that mentions the channels being reversed on it. Is that correct?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The original CD was the same as the original vinyl – i.e. Wrong. Will look into The Hurting but didn’t think there was any issues with the channels.

      • SimonP says:

        It’s the only 1 star review on there. I quote:

        “People into the minutiae may be interested to know that the polarity is also opposite to the 1999 edition.”

        • Julian H says:

          Reversed polarity is not the same as reversed channels. On some tracks off The Hurting (not all I believe) the waveforms are “mirrored” upside-down compared to the 1999 remaster. I’m not sure whether that is actually audible.

          • SimonP says:

            Giving a brilliant album 1 star isn’t very nice, though, is it? Having a beef with the people that made the discs shouldn’t mean the album gets marked down. It’s no different to people who give one star reviews because Amazon took 2 weeks to deliver their item…

          • Mike the Fish says:

            @Simon – it is a review of the product – the product is faulty and the product manufacturers refused to fix it. That is a valid review, if you’ve read it you don’t agree with it, that’s fine.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Personally I don’t think a TINY glitch in one channel of one song in a four disc box set constitutes a ‘faulty product’ or even a ‘defective disc’.

            My view would be you look at what’s great about a product and then you look at what is disappointing and make a judgement on that. Knock a star off for the glitch and the odd error by all means but because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean I would jump from five stars to one.

            If there is a typo in the booklet of the new Songs From The Big Chair (hopefully there isn’t!) does that mean you will rate it as one star until Universal agree to reprint?! Because it’s ‘faulty’.

            No one and nothing in life is perfect.

        • Mike the Fish says:

          That was me. It’s not a scathing review, and says quite clearly in the first sentence why the review was put down to one star. The inverted polarity is not a criticism, let alone a scathing one. It is merely an observation that some people find important. I’m actually not that bothered. I’m not sure how I found out, but it was likely to do with putting both the tracks into audio software to switch between the two when listening.

          Scathing? You’ve got to be kidding!

          • Mike the Fish says:

            …thinking about it, that was only in comparison to the 1999 edition. I don’t even know if that one was correct – it’s just an observation.

  19. Mark says:

    Here’s hoping a Seeds of Love special version is next in line and will happen!

  20. Alessandro says:

    “I mentioned this to Andy Walter”.

    Andy Walter made the awful remasters for “Duran Duran”, “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” and Spandau Ballet’s “Journeys To Glory”. Now I’m very worried. I’ll keep the old deluxe edition until I read good feedback for the new set.

  21. Mark T says:

    Ordering the 6 disc box set from Amazon UK is about $20 less than ordering from Amazon (US). Will the DVDs be the same (Region 0) and play in any DVD player, or will the UK order be in PAL format , and the US in NTSC?

  22. ISAIAS CARVALHO says:

    Wow, we all know that SFTBC super deluxe box set edition wasn’t even released yet and I’m sure that we, hard die TFF fans, can’t hardly wait for the next one, Seed Of Love box set. According to the liner notes from the 1999 remaster reissue of Seeds, as far as I understood, Roland worked very hard on many songs for a long time until he got happy with and the album was finaly released. With this in mind I strongly wish the Seeds box brings all these early verions as well as all the B’s, all the 7″ versions, all the 12″ versions , all the instrumental versions, promo versions and everything that can be included to do this box the most complete as possible. Going some steps further is there any plan for Elemental album box set?

    I really wish to have Paul Sinclair to answer this.

  23. Julian H says:

    Paul,
    very interesting article here. Nice to see much consideration going into the new mixes. However, as mentioned above, is it also going into the regular remaster? (i.e. are the dynamics intact and compression kept to a reasonable amount?)
    Julian

  24. Julian H says:

    Another geeky comment here…
    There are also crossfades on Side 1! “Shout” fades into “The Working Hour” and “The Working Hour” fades into “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (although especially the latter is very quiet and almost inaudible). I hope Steven noticed that and the flow is also maintained on Side 1…

    • Julian H says:

      @Paul

      Would you mind addressing this? You wrote about “the tracks non-crossfaded” but there’s only one track non-crossfaded and that is “Mothers Talk”.

  25. Leemer says:

    Really cool interview! It wouldn’t be the first time that a record was mastered wrong. Sadly not everyone has the wherewithal of Neil Young or is as obsessively conscientious. Neil Young kept his mastering failure from the public, storing them in a shed and he ended up using the 200,000 copies of Comes A Time as barn roof shingles.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/19/neil-young-albums-barn-roof_n_4994546.html

    or if you prefer from Uncut
    http://www.uncut.co.uk/neil-young-bought-200000-copies-of-comes-a-time-to-use-as-a-barn-roof-news

  26. Friso Pas says:

    Loved the article. Thanks Paul, to let us also in on the more technical details. I love that stuff.

  27. Dave Richards says:

    Paul
    We need you to be at the helm of the ABC Lexicon of Love boxset (which I am sure is just around the corner…)
    :-)

    • Steven Roberts says:

      Abso-bloody-lutely. If EVER an album deserved a 5.1 blu ray/everything thrown in super deluxe box set it is Lexicon of Love….

  28. John says:

    Oh boy, I’m seeing remastering engineer names that give me the shivers. Jon Astley is notorious for some of the worst/loudest/compressed CD’s in history, and Andy Walter is the guy who destroyed the Duran Duran remastering in 2010. Oh, and the Spandau Ballet deluxe set too. Approach with caution.

    • Julian H says:

      I can’t believe that it could get any worse than the Astley remaster (1999) but even if, I’ve still got the 2006 deluxe edition.

    • Mike the Fish says:

      I think that’s an exageration. I don’t think Jon Astley had anything to do with Death Magnetic. He did do the 1999 released remaster, which is why his note is on the tape.

  29. Chris Straub says:

    Very interesting article. I am certainly looking forward to the arrival of the deluxe edition. I must say, though, I’ve never understood the concern about reversal of the stereo image. Maybe it’s just becuause I tend to wander around a bit while listening to music, but I can’t imagine even noticing. Does everyone always face the same direction when listening to music? In the worst case scenario you could always turn around or put the headphones on the opposite way. (Before people get upset…Yeah, I know it’s about doing things right whether they really matter or not. That IS important.)

  30. gary C says:

    I do hope this all works out. The price is a bit of a steal, but I do insist everything sounds good. I am more interested in a decent remastered album this time around than all the panic over missing remixes, and I cannot understand the affection for the RUN redux of EWTRTW, unless of course you actually got off your arse that day and raised some money.
    On The Seeds of Love, its quite removed from the invention of SFTBC. A victim of 80’s excess (3 years recording, multiple producers, familiar story), the album tracks were nowhere near as strong as those on the previous 2 albums. I also feel that the rockist leanings came to the fore more and more, and we ended up with an AOR band, rather than a band still on the cutting edge. Bands evolve of course, chase different markets, it’s no biggie. I just didn’t like the new direction.

  31. JuzzyB says:

    Would love to hear Badman’s Song and Swords and Knives in 5.1, though.

  32. Griffin says:

    @Paul S., many thanks for this very interesting “inside” story!

    The price for the 6-disc box isn’t cheap! I was only interested in the various mixes of the singles/album tracks! But since I can’t get those other than from this box I still had pre-ordered it. I’m sure this box will be turned out fine (Paul S. was involved in this project)! I believe everybody deserves a chance! Perhaps those people had made some “bad” remastering! Maybe they have learned from their previous mistake(s)! Once you have listened to this box & you still don’t like the remastering you always can re-sell it online (ebay or other sites)!

  33. Frank says:

    Paul please tell us – is the new Andy walter remastering as worse as his previous “work” on Spandau and duran albums ?

    • Jason says:

      This is a good question. I’m curious, too, how the Andy Walter remastering will sound. I would hate having a great deluxe box like this one to only get ruined by horrible mastering. Too bad that Steve Rooke couldn’t have been used to do the mastering. I love his work, and I think that his mastering is what many people (those who are trying to avoid the loudness wars) would be looking for. Let’s just hope that Andy doesn’t mess up the sound like those awful Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran “remasters”. Yikes! Those were probably the loudest and worst remasters that I’ve ever come across.

  34. Mik says:

    Excellent article, Paul!
    It’s a shame that they are not using the new Steve Wilson stereo remix for the 2CD edition, as some years ago it was released as such.
    At least they should release both mixes (original and 2014 remix) for the deluxe edition, otherwise (apart from the box set) I can’t see the point in this mega-format re-release…

    • Julian H says:

      The point? Surround mix, promo videos, all the 7″ and 12″ variations, live tracks, demos/early mixes, informative booklet….enough points for me!

  35. Mark says:

    Will the Wilson mix be available via ITUNES as I’m not equipped for 5.1 or vinyl.

    • Mark says:

      I have ordered the box and will rip the bluray apart to get a cd version in any case, but it<s a hassle. It reminds me of the days that CDs had exclusive tracks to get people to buy into CDs and now they're doing the same to get people going back….I agree with some here that the Wilson mix should have been on a CD in the deluxe box; not a deal breaker…just an annoyance.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I haven’t heard of this happening, but I guess it’s a possibility at some point.

  36. WilliamC says:

    I agree William, Steve Wilson is a such a gent. And really can’t we just get him to oversee all remastering for everyone from now on in.

  37. Jose says:

    Paul, congratulations for fantastic job! I remember that I’ve read in 1987/1988 that Tears for Fears had abandoned a project because the songs were sounded very similar to “SFTBC” album. So they decided to start all over again and finally released “TSOL” in 1989. If it’ true, is there any possibility for that previous unreleased material recorded during the gap after SFTBC and before TSOL to be release next year on the “TSOL” Super Deluxe version? I believe that every fan would like to know and listen what was created during that gap and understand what were the steps that the guys took from SFTBC to TSOL

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks. I don’t know how much truth there is in the ‘whole-album-of-abandoned-material’ rumours. Clearly there was a false start of sorts… Obviously we would do our best to include as much interesting material as possible to a deluxe SOL but it would be very much up to the band whether they wanted certain material to see the light of day.

      • Julian H says:

        “There were more record company tears and fears as the band dropped songs, did more precision rejigging. and yet another deadline was missed.”

        I’m sure they are not referring to the b-sides because they sound in no way like something that could have even considered album tracks. Speaking of which, here’s some comments on “Suicide Ranks”:
        “It was during the frustration of the initial sessions of ‘Seeds Of Love'; we were working on the fifteenth version of a song called ‘Rhythm Of Life’ which later turned up on the Oleta Adams record; that this song was born. The drum track had been originally programmed for ‘Rhythm’, Chris (Hughes) was playing a prophet bass sound, Ian (Stanley) was playing pizzicato strings, Dave Bascombe on mellotron, and myself on a detuned electric piano; we just started jamming and what you hear is how it came out. I had always intended to record this song properly but somehow the original jam says it all.”

        -Roland

        “Every once in a while i listen to the “Suicide Jam” tapes and dream of making a whole album this under-produced. There’s more where this came from.”

        -Chris Hughes

  38. Pingback:Tears for Fears: Mega-Boxset zum 30. Jubiläum von “Songs from the Big Chair”

  39. Jose says:

    So what I’ve read almost 30 years ago seems to be true. They must have lots of interesting materials recorded during that gap (1986-1988) that have never been revealed before and apparently the guys have similar intentions to reveal those recordings to the world somehow. It would be a fantastic opportunity to all TFF fans to relive the old times with inedit tracks from the greatest and most creative era of the band. Paul, I have just bought the SFTBC box and you did a awesome job although you can do even better on the TSOL box. Please, take a special attention to this inedit material and you will be able to produce not just a great compilation of remixes, versions and demos of the same nice tracks but you will reveal to the world and us TFF fans a totally new album with inedit tracks. Congratulations again!

  40. Rich says:

    Listened to the Blu Ray last night – and on the 5.1 surround mix, the metal ‘chimes’ go from right to left – the wrong way.

    The 2.0 is now what we know to be correct – left to right.

    Anyone know if this is deliberate, or are you messing with our minds?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      What you haven’t pointed out is that they go from right to left BEHIND YOU in the rear channels. If you turn around you’ll find the left to right is respected ;)

      But seriously there is no ‘wrong’ way for a brand new Steven Wilson surround mix – he can put them metal chimes wherever he likes :) He’s respected the original in his 2014 Stereo Mix, but anything goes with the 5.1

  41. Dave Kaple says:

    I agree P, damm well please where he puts it in the 5.1 mix is fair game

  42. Jason Warnock says:

    Last 3 tracks all second and third and so on generations just to get the entire mix done? This really sounds like an OFFENSE to me. We had digital mix by 1985 and crossfading have been done since before this. The last 3 tracks never stood as “poorer” or “weaker” than the first tracks in the album. But reading this, I start to question if this is not a speculation to make people run and buy the entire expensive boxset, a marketing strategy.

  43. Jose says:

    Hello Paul! Can you tell us any news about about the release of “The Seeds of Love” Superdeluxe edition? Any “unreleased song” of that time gap between Songs From The Big Chair and The Seeds Of Love? Any idea about the release date? Thank you in advance.

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