Author Topic: The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?  (Read 3037 times)

U2Joshua

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The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?
« on: October 22, 2018, 07:34:01 PM »
Much in the same vein as Don's article detailing the many masterings of The Joshua Tree in the 1980's (https://www.u2songs.com/news/the_joshua_tree_and_jvc), and the resultant victor being the JVC release, I wonder if there are standouts for any of the other early album releases? In particular, I'm most interested in The Unforgettable Fire. Why? Because it's my favorite among the early albums, and I think it is, on the whole, no audiophile's feast for the ears. It's just a badly mastered record in my opinion.

That in mind, I would love to find that a rare pressing has an alternate mastering that is better than the rest. Anyone out there have any insights or thoughts to lend?

p.s. naturally, I'm not the first person to ask this question: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/u2-unforgettable-fire-best-version-on-cd.256663/

Here's what all I've currently got in my collection:
  • 1990, Island Records, Inc., [US, 422-822 898-2] {5" CD}
  • 19??, Island Records, Inc. [EU. 822 898-5] {DCC}
  • 1995, MFSL, [US, UDCD 624] {5" CD}
  • 2009, Universal-Island Records Limited., [US, B0013367-00] {5" CD}
  • 2017, Island Records, [JP, UICI-9058] {5" SHM-CD}
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 07:40:07 PM by U2Joshua »

God, Part II

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Re: The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 11:16:22 AM »
Between the MFSL gold disc (which features the most extended version of "4th of July") and the recent Edge-approved remaster from 2009, I don't think you're going to find any releases with sonics superior to those. I agree that pretty much all of U2's catalog up to (but not including) ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKS 1 sound a bit tamped down compared to remasters of most other artists' material, even much older recordings. Now whether that's because the latter have been brick-walled, so they seem to sound better--brighter, punchier, heavier and harder--when they're actually compromising some of the audio's dynamics, or just because U2 had a long history of bad mastering, I really couldn't say. But even with the recent remaster of ACHTUNG BABY, I want "Zoo Station" and "The Fly" to punch me in the face harder than they do.

Aaron

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Re: The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »
Much in the same vein as Don's article detailing the many masterings of The Joshua Tree in the 1980's (https://www.u2songs.com/news/the_joshua_tree_and_jvc), and the resultant victor being the JVC release, I wonder if there are standouts for any of the other early album releases? In particular, I'm most interested in The Unforgettable Fire. Why? Because it's my favorite among the early albums, and I think it is, on the whole, no audiophile's feast for the ears. It's just a badly mastered record in my opinion.

That in mind, I would love to find that a rare pressing has an alternate mastering that is better than the rest. Anyone out there have any insights or thoughts to lend?

p.s. naturally, I'm not the first person to ask this question: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/u2-unforgettable-fire-best-version-on-cd.256663/

Here's what all I've currently got in my collection:
  • 1990, Island Records, Inc., [US, 422-822 898-2] {5" CD}
  • 19??, Island Records, Inc. [EU. 822 898-5] {DCC}
  • 1995, MFSL, [US, UDCD 624] {5" CD}
  • 2009, Universal-Island Records Limited., [US, B0013367-00] {5" CD}
  • 2017, Island Records, [JP, UICI-9058] {5" SHM-CD}

Currently in My Collection if you need something specific and it pops up on the list...

12-Inch:
France, 822 898-1
UK, U25
UK, 1782416 (Remastered)
USA, 90231-1

5-Inch CD:
Australia, D 53132
Canada, CID 102 / 314 548 872-2 (1993 Pressing)
Canada, CID 102 (1993 Pressing)
Canada, CID 102 (1990 Pressing)
Canada, CIXD 102 (1989 Pressing)
Canada, CIXD 102 (1988 Pressing)
Canada, CID-102 (1990 Pressing)
Canada, CID-102 (1987 Pressing)
Canada, CID-102 (2004 Pressing)
Canada, CCID-102 (1993, Columbia House)
Canada, CCID-102 (Disque America Pressing)
Canada, CCID-102 (DIDX Pressing)
France, IMCD 236 (Non PMCD)
France, IMCD 236 (PMCD)
Germany, 601 194-222 (Sanyo Japan Pressing)
Japan, P24D-10052
Japan, P35D-20002
Japan, PHCR-4837
Japan, PHCR-4705
Japan, UICY-9711
Japan, UICY-6567
UK, CID102 (Nimbus Pressing)
USA, 422-822 898-2 (39! Pressing)
USA, 422-822 898-2 (03@ Pressing)
USA, 422-822 898-2 (07@ Pressing)
USA, 7 90231-2 (06% Pressing)
USA, A2-90231 (DIDX Pressing)
USA, UDCD 624 (Zomax, Gold Mobile Fidelity)
USA, 7 90231-2 (Pressing from Japan - burgundy text)
USA, 7 90231-2 (Pressing from Japan - orange text)
USA, 7 90231-2 (Victor Company from Japan)
USA, B0013367-00, USA Remaster Box
USA, B0013366-02, USA Remaster CDx2
Europe, 2701403, Europe Remaster CDx2

I didn't list cassettes as I generally find those annoying to transfer.

U2Joshua

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Re: The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 02:54:01 PM »
Awesome!  Thanks, guys.

@Aaron, do any of your U.S. releases match the following description,

"...original West German pressing for the US market with matrix # 822 898-2 01 * and a line on the CD that says MADE IN W. GERMANY BY POLYGRAM"

According to one passionate reviewer on Steve Hoffman, he says this is the one to have  :o

morgan1098

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Re: The Unforgettable Fire - best mastering(s)?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 10:26:24 AM »
Awesome!  Thanks, guys.

@Aaron, do any of your U.S. releases match the following description,

"...original West German pressing for the US market with matrix # 822 898-2 01 * and a line on the CD that says MADE IN W. GERMANY BY POLYGRAM"

According to one passionate reviewer on Steve Hoffman, he says this is the one to have  :o

I've been looking for that West Germany one for a while now, primarily for collectible purposes. But I really think the 2009 remaster by the Edge is probably the best we're going to get. I have some early Japan and US masterings, and the MFSL, but the 2009 is the best IMO.