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----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> Not to minimize the importance of what you state, there is, perhaps,
> another side to this discussion.
>
> Continuing your example, Motown handed off LP album XYZ123 for
> manufacturing. At least preserving the best copy of that master that
> changed hands in the sense of the release for manufacturing is a good
> thing. Much better than finding a scratched up LP at the Salvation Army!
>
> I think at some point, when we're preserving commercial releases, we need
> to be content with preserving the final vision that went to manufacturing.
> The reason is that is what the entire artistic and production team agreed
> to as the "final product."
>
> If we want to trace back pieces, that is wonderful, but sometimes that
> metadata is hazy. I don't think that diminishes the value of the final
> product, although having this metadata makes the final product more
> interesting, at least to some people.
>
> Just my two cents.
>
> For another two cents, one can start going crazy by finding variants on a
> selection. For example, the single release of a song may be a different
mix
> from the album release. But, these are two separate "releases" -- changing
> of hands from production to manufacturing.
The problem is that ever since multi-track recording became standard (and
even
before--see below) there is no definitive and final commercial version
of a recording, at least as long as the tracks still exist! You can have a
hit song, and then later have a "dance remix" intended for a different
market.
To each of the two (or more?) demographics, the version/mix they heard
was the definitive version. There might be censored versions intended for
airplay, or different market-specific lyrics for sale in different
communities, or "long" and "short" versions...or what have you!

To further complicate things, multi-track technology allows an original
recording to be one (or two if stereo) tracks, and then anything...effects,
other voices, additional instrumentation...can be added to a mixed version
reissued but under the same title and credits. In fact, this might be said
to date as far back as the "electric" versions of Caruso, where existing
acoustic Caruso recordings were combined with a newly recorded orchestral
backing!
Steven C. Barr