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 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

This is interesting, Varese is doing a vinyl re-press of Charles Gerhardt's recording of The Empire Strikes Back:
https://www.varesesarabande.com/products/john-williams-the-empire-strikes-back-symphonic-suite-from-the-original-motion-picture-score-vinyl

I wonder what the deal is with this and whether it's the same quality as what was released on CD back in the 80s or if this version has had any remastering?

Between this and Shadows of the Empire it seems like Varese is looking to connect to the young Star Wars fans / vinyl fans market.



[PRE-ORDER] Product expected to ship by street date, July 23, 2021.

Originally released to supplement – not compete with – the 2-LP Motion Picture Soundtrack of STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, this 1-LP release, skillfully combines a “Symphonic Suite” that John Williams' created for concert performance with new arrangements of other cues from the film score. This fantastic, long out of print album comes in a gatefold jacket with the original iconic Star Wars paintings by William Stout, images of John Williams, and notes from author Ray Bradbury, composer and critic, Christopher Palmer, and from the maestro himself. Out of print since original pressing in 1980. 180 gm black vinyl pressing.

"I was delighted when Charles Gerhardt asked me if he could record the suite from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, since I am a great fan of his recorded performances. Moreover, I was so pleased with his recordings of the original STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS scores, which he made in association with producer George Korngold, that I have looked forward to this LP with special anticipation.

The Suite, which I had specially written and adapted for concert performance […] had been skillfully augmented with other music from the film to form a unified whole. A great orchestra and Gerhardt’s opulent sound and dramatic phrasing combine to make a fine addition to a rapidly growing list of great recordings of film music."
– JOHN WILLIAMS

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I bought the original Chalfont LP through the ad in Starlog magazine back in 1980. I bought the retail download album of that, and I also bought the 2019 Sony album as a download, the one that combines Gerhardt's Star Wars and Return of the Jedi albums. They're actually my main listen for SW music.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Halloween_Jack   (Member)

I really don’t see the point of releasing early 16 bit digital recordings on vinyl, might as well get the CD and skip the additions of the imperfect RIAA process... Still, lovely artwork and I’d be keen on getting it just tor that alone if I didn’t already have the original CD.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I really don’t see the point of releasing early 16 bit digital recordings on vinyl, might as well get the CD and skip the additions of the imperfect RIAA process... Still, lovely artwork and I’d be keen on getting it just tor that alone if I didn’t already have the original CD.

Same here, I'd get it for the original artwork which is really nice.

But it sounds like, similar to Shadows of the Empire, it's still the older master - so to your point, an early 80's CD master is probably not the best.

These Gerhardt recordings are great in general though - especially the concert version of "Asteroid Field".

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   Nyborg   (Member)


But it sounds like, similar to Shadows of the Empire, it's still the older master - so to your point, an early 80's CD master is probably not the best.



As there was no older vinyl for Shadows, it had to have been remastered. The cd was too, someone from Varese clarified that in the release thread.
As there was an older vinyl for this, they could go with that mastering, but don't Varese have a consistent record at this stage of remastering everything they can? I could be wrong.



These Gerhardt recordings are great in general though - especially the concert version of "Asteroid Field".



Yep, it's the only other version that has an impact equivalent to the original recording.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   Tom Guernsey   (Member)

Kinda disappointing this isn't a remaster on CD/lossless download - I'm sure a little bit of a mastering polish wouldn't go amiss. Although it would be great to have all three of the Gerhardt Star Wars albums as a set, although this seems unlikely. Mind you, I mostly listen to the CE3K suite on the Star Wars disc.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

As there was no older vinyl for Shadows, it had to have been remastered. The cd was too, someone from Varese clarified that in the release thread.

Oh really? I asked that was question and was told Shadows Of The Empire had not been remastered and therefore sounded the same as the original CD.

The original CD is really bad - probably the quietest mix I’ve ever heard on a CD before with A LOT of noise.

I’ll have to check that thread again.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 3:33 PM   
 By:   Halloween_Jack   (Member)

The original Varese CD sounds outstanding, no remastering necessary at all. Through a proper hifi system it still sounds astonishing even today. My point is the vinyl ‘mojo’ (or hype!) is largely down to it being (originally) capable of being a pure analogue reproduction of the analogue album master. It’s the main point certain vinyl snobs used to put down CD. Since the vinyl revival however, many are quite literally playing the CD master through a decent quality DAC, and cutting that to an LP. So you’re getting the CD ‘sound’ plus the imperfections of vinyl combined. Cutting high-res recordings onto vinyl is more worthwhile however as you can still get (given a decent mastering and a vinyl engineer who knows what they’re doing) a favourable and some might say better than CD result. But in the case of this early digital recording, I’d stick to the pure CD, unless you fancy buying it for the artwork.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2021 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

The original Varese CD sounds outstanding, no remastering necessary at all.

That's odd, I remember it being mixed way quieter than most scores and the softer tracks like "Imperial City", "Into the Sewers" and opening of "Battle of Gall" being so quiet that when you boosted it loud enough to hear there was a lot of noise.

But it has been a while since I listened to that original CD.

Are you saying though that this version hasn't been remastered or has it?

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2021 - 3:27 AM   
 By:   Nyborg   (Member)

^ Jack is talking about the Gerhardt Empire release, replying more to Tom's post.

The Shadows thread is here..
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=140137&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2021 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)

So, to my ears, this new release has most definitely been remixed. When I played the main title this morning (from the new digital files, not from the LP) I notice it to be a bit shrill; lots of added high-end and there's about a two dB rise in overall loudness. Some might like the improvement in clarity and the overall increase in dynamic but I'm having a tough time getting used to it because I'm so familiar with the original mix. I'm sure how this will translate to LP though.

-Erik-

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2021 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   erepel   (Member)


These Gerhardt recordings are great in general though - especially the concert version of "Asteroid Field".

Yep, it's the only other version that has an impact equivalent to the original recording.


It was revelatory to hear the music on the TESB Gerhardt LP as compared to the pops and hisses and static of the RSO 2-LP album. That was my introduction to an understanding that all album pressings were not created equal.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2021 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I think we need a new term like "Definitive Soundtrack Quality Anxiety" (DSQA) to articulate the mixed feelings we have about not knowing whether a soundtrack is the best quality or not frown

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2021 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

I really don’t see the point of releasing early 16 bit digital recordings on vinyl, might as well get the CD and skip the additions of the imperfect RIAA process... Still, lovely artwork and I’d be keen on getting it just tor that alone if I didn’t already have the original CD.


Could've stopped at, "I don't see the point." wink
No John Williams Conducting, No Sale!

 
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