Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
The question we have to ask is "Why?" Depeche Mode released The Singles, 86-98 because there was no comprehensive singles collection representing 1986 through 1998. But why release a singles compilation covering 1981 throu... more »
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The question we have to ask is "Why?" Depeche Mode released The Singles, 86-98 because there was no comprehensive singles collection representing 1986 through 1998. But why release a singles compilation covering 1981 through 1985 when Catching Up with Depeche Mode already covers this turf? For one thing, the singles "Leave in Silence," "Everything Counts," and "People Are People," which were absent from Catching Up, are included here. All the songs are digitally remastered, but how much does digital enhancement really do to improve the sound of early-'80s synth-pop, which is so dated? Not much. However, it's natural to release a comprehensive singles collection that nicely coincides with 86-98. Both compilations are great for first-timers. And the two remixes on 81-85 ("Photographic [Some Bizarre Version]" and "Just Can't Get Enough [Schizo Mix]") will snag collectors. But maybe the answer has nothing to do with marketable packaging. DM have always fancied themselves as notorious. The liner notes for 81-85 include one negative review and one positive for each song. Perhaps as an attempt to fend off the specter of "where are they now?" Depeche Mode feel the need to remind us how controversial they are by reminding us how controversial they were. --Beth Bessmer
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"How much does digital enhancement really do to improve the
Jason W. Bellenger | Byron Center, Michigan, USA | 02/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The above editorial review states:
"All the songs are digitally remastered, but how much does digital enhancement really do to improve the sound of early-'80s synth-pop, which is so dated? Not much."
I completely disagree! It's not a matter of the music sounding dated. It's a matter of the actual sound of the music, which has been improved hugely! I've been doing an A/B comparison between the 2006 'The Best Of - Vol 1' Depeche Mode release and this 1998 'Singles 81>85', and the differences are clear. One would think that the 2006 version would sound better since it was released nearly 8 years after the 1998 version. This, however, is not the case at all. The 1998 disc sounds much better than the 2006 disc. That's not to say that the 2006 disc sounds bad. It just isn't up to the 1998 standards.
The differences are simply the result of the mastering engineers. Simon Heyworth mastered the 2006 best of, whereas Mike Marsh and Roland Brown got it right the first time in 1998 on this compilation. Heyworth's mastering seems to be restrained, sticking closely to the original mastering from the 80s without giving the tracks the extra punch and depth as heard in recent masters. The Marsh/Brown collaboration, on the other hand, gives the tracks bass and fullness, making them sound heavy.
With an excellent digital remastering and a solid tracklisting, 'Singles 81>85' is an essential part of any DM fan collection."