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Old 07.01.2019, 12:23 PM   #1
brednjam1
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Does anyone know if the Sonic Youth LP Sister on Goofin Records is the same pressing as the ORG version? I've seen people say this but I'd like to know for sure (if that's possible).

Also, does anyone know if all of the Sonic Youth 4 LP deluxe box sets (Daydream Nation, Goo, Dirty) mastered from the original tapes?

Thanks!
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Old 07.01.2019, 03:26 PM   #2
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The Goofin' Sister comes from the same metalwork as the ORG pressing (the ORG matrix number is crossed out) but was presumably made at a different time. They're both pressed by Pallas.
Couldn't swear to the lineage of the deluxe sets, but I'd be surprised if they weren't remastered from source.
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Old 07.01.2019, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! Do you know how I can find out for certain about the deluxe sets?
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Old 07.02.2019, 02:21 AM   #4
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It's not available on sy.com anymore, but I pulled this from archive.org. Unfortunately only 1 picture was available.

(I'm relieved they got these reissues out of the way before the Universal fires - who knows what was lost (it sounds like even Universal may not know...) but I wouldn't get my hopes up for any "Jet Set" or "Washing Machine" deluxe editions...)


Compiling Goo Deluxe

Here are some notes SY engineer Aaron Mullan wrote about compiling goo...

We started compiling the ‘Goo’ deluxe edition as soon ‘Dirty’ deluxe was out of our hands. To start, Steve made a draft of a track list which we would spend the next two years or so revising. Before it was over I had searched and re-searched the Echo Canyon tape vault, the 100-plus page printout of the SY holdings at the Universal vault, and hundreds of cassettes, and even after that we found more tapes sitting at Wharton Tiers’ studio.

Remastering the original album was the first step (we wanted to make sure the remastered audio would also be available for the ‘Corporate Ghost’ DVD.) I understand some people think that ‘re-mastered’ is some bogus sales gimmick, and maybe I won’t convince anyone otherwise who thinks so. But to my mind, the late-70’s to mid-90’s are sort of a dark period of album mastering. That’s when everything started to go digital- even LP cutting. There are tons of hypotheses about why records from this time sound the way they do- one of my favorites is that excessive cocaine use had ruined the engineers’ ability to hear treble frequencies. Maybe true, but the biggest difference is that over time people have learned how to build and operate better digital equipment. So it was time to re-master.

Obviously not every remastering job is an improvement. We must have listened to at least five fully mastered versions of the album until the band was satisfied that the original analog tapes were being properly represented. Hearing the album this way is pretty freaking cool: the drums and guitars have been sort of de-clouded (better-clocked and better-converted, technically) and this leaves more room for bass, returning the correct balance of the mix.

While reference CD’s of the new mastering were being made, listened to, and commented on, we were sorting out bonus tracks. The demo version of the complete album which had been previously bootlegged, and which many people have long preferred to the album proper, was an obvious thing to include. The sound of the released versions of the demos had always been a bummer. Thurston pointed out that the bootleg disks of the demos sounded better than the band’s own version which they released through the (now-defunct) Sonic Death Fan Club. So we dug out the original mix DAT and checked that out. It was better than the Fan Club CD. Then we dug out the 1/2” multitracks, and were totally blown away by the sounds Jim Waters had captured on the original tape. Stripped of a crappy mastering job and a hasty mix, the raw tracks sounded amazing and were emotionally intense. So Jim, Steve, and Lee got together and gave the demos (and ‘I Know There’s an Answer’ which was recorded at the same time) the proper mix they deserved.


The song Lee #2, which had been included as an instrumental in the demos, also had been recorded during the album sessions and had been mixed along with the rest of the album, but had never been released. Two choice mixes existed, an ‘electric’ mix and an ‘acoustic’ mix. Listening to both of those mixes, neither seemed satisfying. Neither one really found the identity of the song. So we requested the multitracks from the Universal vault. When they arrived I understood the confusion better. Almost all 48 tracks available had been utilized. Not only was there a full electric band, and a full acoustic version overdubbed on that, but there were multiple spoken word tracks by Lee and Jad Fair, backing vocals by J Mascis, and multiple takes of each guitar.

After a couple of days of Lee, Steve, and me sorting through tracks during the day and Lee continuing work through the night, we got started mixing. There were so many possible mixes in those 48 tracks of stuff that we ended up doing one version using only bits not featured in the new final mix: Jad’s spoken word and a Thurston bass part. This mix ended up on the website on Mixtape #3 to illuminate some of the possibilities that didn’t get used. Mix choices were sent to Kim and Thurston, and eventually everyone picked the version that is on the record.

Since we were mixing Goo-era stuff, we requested from the Universal vault the multitracks of an 11/03/90 show from Irvine, CA which had provided b-sides on the Dirty Boots + 5 EP. The songs which were previously released had been mixed without the band present. So Steve and I remixed the entire concert with a more sympathetic ear. In the end ‘The Bedroom’ was included on the Deluxe Edition. Two songs which had not previously been released are available online (‘Mary-Christ’ on Tower online in the USA and ‘Catholic Block’ on iTunes in the USA and HMV online in the U.K.) and the new mixes of the previously released live tracks will also be available soon on this website.

‘That’s All I Know (Right Now)’ had been an album b-side but it was another one that the band felt had suffered from a hasty mix. It was going to be left off the new disks until we got the multitracks from Wharton Tiers and Steve and I did a new mix to solve the problems, which essentially meant turning up the guitars. It turned out the same reel of tape had a version of ‘The Bedroom’ (known at that point as ‘Can Song’) which had been recorded with Wharton but forgotten about. We mixed that and liked it, too.

‘Dr. Benway’s House’ was originally recorded for William Burroughs’ ‘Dead City Radio’ album during the Goo sessions. The song had been mixed twice with Hal Willner and Joe Ferla. The band listened to the two mixes and chose the ‘more piano’ version which had not previously been released.

Another project which we had started at the studio was the organization and digital archiving of the hundreds of cassette tapes of rehearsals, gigs, and out-takes in the band’s tape library. Focusing on rehearsal tapes, we looked for ones that might be interesting for this project. Although a C-90 of the band writing ‘Dirty Boots’ is an interesting experience, there is no way to condense this drama into a compelling 5-minute chunk. More relevant to a 2-disk set are jams or songs that were never finished, and they were found. ‘Tuff Boyz’ and ‘Isaac’ were the fruits of more LR all-night computer antics.

The Goo Interview Flexi was the only thing we could not find the original source for, although Steve intermittently investigated for almost 2 years. Eventually it had to be taken from an unplayed Flexi disk and digitally scrubbed.
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Old 07.02.2019, 02:21 AM   #5
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A couple of notes on the vinyl edition:

I pushed Steve for a while that the Flexi should be re-manufactured as a real flexi again for the LP version. The first time I mentioned it he got a very frightened look on his face like ‘Oh, man you may be right and now I have to find who can still make those.’ But once we started figuring out the side breaks, our options were pretty much to do the Flexi as a Flexi and cram everything else onto 3 LP’s, with an overall loss of fidelity, or include the interview on the vinyl sequence and have everything sound better. So we chose fidelity over novelty.

Committing to a 4-LP set gave us more flexibility on the vinyl sequence. As this was the first album the band made thinking more about CD format than vinyl, the vinyl edition had always somewhat suffered. The first side is a couple of minutes longer than the optimal LP side length. This means quieter program on the record, more surface noise, and lower-fidelity. Especially towards the end of ‘Mote’, the skull-warping is less effective because the bandwidth has become so narrow. So for this edition, the album proper was spread across three sides for true hi-fi. The side breaks are different, which is a bit weird. But it’s kind of cool to rethink that too… ‘Mote’ as a side 2 opener? Wild. ‘Mildred Pierce’ as a side 2 closer? Seems natural. And then you have a whole ‘nother side. Starting with ‘Cinderella’s Big Score.’ Wow.

So, that was the process. From hunting down the best possible source of every song, to compiling a dope track list, to ensuring that the mastering, the side breaks, and the artwork were all done right, we worked to present the album as best we could with the advantages of technology and perspective that 15 years time had brought. When I got my test pressing of the new LP’s the first thing I did was to compare ‘Mote’ on the old pressing and the new. The improvement is not subtle. After a couple years working on this project, it was very satisfying. We hope you enjoy the results as much as we do.

Aaron Mullan/Echo Canyon



 
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Old 07.02.2019, 10:38 PM   #6
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Great! Thanks so much! I'm so glad I bought all of these!
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