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Article: The Best Version Of… Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love

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52 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I hate to say it, but I'd never listened to this album prior to reading this article. 

 

Thanks @JoshM!

 

Bush is an acquired taste, particularly in the U.S. Did you end up liking it when you listened to it?

 

I saw on Twitter that you’ve been listening to Hot Buttered Soul and Superfly, so I’ll forgive you for not knowing Hounds, given the high-quality albums you’re spinning instead. 😜

 

Hot Buttered is definitely on my future TBVO master list. 

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27 minutes ago, JoshM said:

 

Bush is an acquired taste, particularly in the U.S. Did you end up liking it when you listened to it?

 

I saw on Twitter that you’ve been listening to Hot Buttered Soul and Superfly, so I’ll forgive you for not knowing Hounds, given the high-quality albums you’re spinning instead. 😜

 

Hot Buttered is definitely on my future TBVO master list. 

Haven't acquired the taste just yet. I definitely hear her influence in many other artists I listen to, so that has been enlightening. 

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Thanks Josh. Another great article about a great album. You really do a nice job on these.

 

This probably isn't the place for "requests" but I would love to see you take on King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King". I've tried so many versions through the years and have never been happy with the sound. The best so far for me is from the 40th Anniversary Edition, although to be honest, probably the most enjoyable was back in my youth listening to the album on whatever turntable was available and everything just sounded amazing. I had no idea about sound quality, just loved the music.

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Definitely am liking the sound of the 2018 remaster here...


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO (ESS 9038) or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Nordost Frey XLR & speaker, DIY AC cables-Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I hate to say it, but I'd never listened to this album prior to reading this article. 

 

Thanks @JoshM!

 

1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Haven't acquired the taste just yet. I definitely hear her influence in many other artists I listen to, so that has been enlightening. 

Kate is not for everyone even here in the UK. Barking mad but that is perhaps one of the reasons why many of us over here love her music so much. The remasters are excellent and well worth a listen.  Personally Hounds Of Love is not my favourite Kate Bush album but it is very good, it was also great to see her in concert a few years back.  I think it  would be worth your while listening to more of her albums there is some excellent music, well produced and well mastered - not a combination we get too often.

 


Stereo Source: Auralic Aries + Mytek Brooklyn DAC+

Surround Source: Windows PC

Pre-amp: Mark Levinson ML380s, Anthem D2v

Speakers: ATC SCM50A (L/R/C), C4 (Sub), SCM20-2A (LR,RR)

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2 hours ago, lasker98 said:

Thanks Josh. Another great article about a great album. You really do a nice job on these.

 

This probably isn't the place for "requests" but I would love to see you take on King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King". I've tried so many versions through the years and have never been happy with the sound. The best so far for me is from the 40th Anniversary Edition, although to be honest, probably the most enjoyable was back in my youth listening to the album on whatever turntable was available and everything just sounded amazing. I had no idea about sound quality, just loved the music.

 

I love that album, and it’s definitely on my TBVO list. 

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Fascinating! Love your depth and observations... amazing! 

 

PS: I'd be curious to compare the Audiofidelity remasters that Hoffman did some years ago with the new Guthrie 2018 versions... 

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Thank you for this review.  To date, I have ignored any of the Kate Bush remasters but now I am thinking that I may have to give Hounds of Love a second thought. 

 

Whilst it was The Dreaming which really sold me on Kate Bush (causing me quickly to catch up on her back catalogue), Cloudbusting and the entire side 2 of Hounds of Love are her tracks on my "most often played" list.


David

 

MacMini, Mytek Manhattan I DAC, Avantone The Abbey Monitors

Audirvana 3 or JRiver MC+BubbleUPNP

 

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I've only ever heard the vinyl, which I bought in 1985. My first impression was wow, the producer really messed this up, especially the way whispered lines are just as loud as shouted vocals. Then I checked the credits. I don't think she did herself any favours.

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2 hours ago, Danny Kaey said:

Fascinating! Love your depth and observations... amazing! 

 

PS: I'd be curious to compare the Audiofidelity remasters that Hoffman did some years ago with the new Guthrie 2018 versions... 

 

I didn’t want to make vinyl comparisons central to the article, since TBVO focuses on digital mastering. But I did compare a rip of the Audio Fidelity vinyl to the other masterings, and it’s uncanny how closely the new 2018 remaster matches the AF vinyl (see footnote 4 in the article).

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1 hour ago, church_mouse said:

Thank you for this review.  To date, I have ignored any of the Kate Bush remasters but now I am thinking that I may have to give Hounds of Love a second thought. 

 

Whilst it was The Dreaming which really sold me on Kate Bush (causing me quickly to catch up on her back catalogue), Cloudbusting and the entire side 2 of Hounds of Love are her tracks on my "most often played" list.

 

34 minutes ago, paul_riordan said:

Sensual WoRld...

 

The only Kate Bush album I find underwhelming is Lionheart. Hounds is up near the top for me, but I don’t know that I’d say it’s my favorite. I picked it for TBVO largely because it’s her most iconic album. 

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10 minutes ago, Daccord said:

I've only ever heard the vinyl, which I bought in 1985. My first impression was wow, the producer really messed this up, especially the way whispered lines are just as loud as shouted vocals. Then I checked the credits. I don't think she did herself any favours.

 

The album is very dynamic. Are you just referring to compression on the vocals? They seem pretty dynamic to me, too, but insofar as they’re compressed, it must’ve been what Bush wanted, since she produced it herself. 

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Another great article Josh and one of my longest favourite pop artists ever in Kate Bush, and her best album. In 1986, I bought Hounds as well as The Dreaming on the same day, "See the light, ram through the gaps in the land" very accurate Australian landscape in the early mornings through trees... anyway. Both CDs are made in Japan but featured only English booklets and covers.

 

For the objective bit: used Musicscope to analyse, here is a comparison of the 1985 Japan disc of Hounds with the CD box set of Hounds, 2018 remaster. 

 

2018 Remaster, note the extended reach to 22 kHz. LRA 5.4

1504363469_1-101KateBush-RunningUpThatHill(ADealwithGod).flac_report.thumb.png.5b6a9de03fe7c32779684f865a48ad80.png

 

1985 Japan CD: note sharp roll off to 20 kHz, LRA is at 8.0

329702199_1.01-RunningUpThatHill(ADealWithGod).flac_report.thumb.png.4fb9f2bf3c71477e843a2f879bfd5178.png

 

Added the numerical report as a rar for interest. The 1985 CD as you can see has more peaks and troughs, than the compressed 1985 remastering, on CD anyway. I don't have the 24 bit 1985 remaster to compare, but may re-consider, would it restore the LRA I wonder?  Looks like Audacity and Musicscope have a different interpretation of the same piece?

 

For either version, the enjoyment is the same, even on a $5 radio, I do prefer the 1985 version for the dynamics.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed the article, Josh, you're a treasure!

KB Hounds.rar

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23 minutes ago, One and a half said:

Another great article Josh and one of my longest favourite pop artists ever in Kate Bush, and her best album. In 1986, I bought Hounds as well as The Dreaming on the same day, "See the light, ram through the gaps in the land" very accurate Australian landscape in the early mornings through trees... anyway. Both CDs are made in Japan but featured only English booklets and covers.

 

For the objective bit: used Musicscope to analyse, here is a comparison of the 1985 Japan disc of Hounds with the CD box set of Hounds, 2018 remaster. 

 

2018 Remaster, note the extended reach to 22 kHz. LRA 5.4

1504363469_1-101KateBush-RunningUpThatHill(ADealwithGod).flac_report.thumb.png.5b6a9de03fe7c32779684f865a48ad80.png

 

1985 Japan CD: note sharp roll off to 20 kHz, LRA is at 8.0

329702199_1.01-RunningUpThatHill(ADealWithGod).flac_report.thumb.png.4fb9f2bf3c71477e843a2f879bfd5178.png

 

Added the numerical report as a rar for interest. The 1985 CD as you can see has more peaks and troughs, than the compressed 1985 remastering, on CD anyway. I don't have the 24 bit 1985 remaster to compare, but may re-consider, would it restore the LRA I wonder?  Looks like Audacity and Musicscope have a different interpretation of the same piece?

  

For either version, the enjoyment is the same, even on a $5 radio, I do prefer the 1985 version for the dynamics.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed the article, Josh, you're a treasure!

KB Hounds.rarUnavailable

 

Thanks for the kind words. (I like MusicScope, too!) 

 

However, I'd caution against drawing conclusions about the 1985 versus the 2018 based on "Running" alone. It and "Waking the Witch" are the only tracks on which there's a significant difference in R128 scores (5.5 versus 7.9 for "Running" in Audirvana's calculations) between the 1985 and 2018.

 

I took a look at the waveforms while writing this TBVO, and you can definitely see a few momentary high peaks are slightly shorter on the 2018 "Running," but it seemed insignificant to me after repeated listening. (The DR scores on the song are only one point apart, FWIW.)

 

Taking the whole album into consideration, the 1985 is ahead on more tracks by  R128, but the differences are usually only fractions of a dB, and the 2018 is ahead on some songs, too. For the whole album, the DR scores are only one point apart. 

 

Given that, I think the better resolution of the 2018 is more important than any minor dynamic differences. But, as you note, on something like a $5 radio, I don't think the differences in resolution would come through.

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Hi Josh,

 

Just when I thought you couldn't top the selection of Aja!  Enjoying my Fish People version as I read/respond; I will pick up 2018 soon.

 

You might consider Talking Heads's Remain in Light for a future column.  Like Hounds it is a complex and multilayered classic.  But a recent listen to Angelique Kidjo's magnificent reinterpretation shows (at least my copy of) the original to be muddled.  It deserves the The Best.

 

Cheers!

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30 minutes ago, PeterG said:

Hi Josh,

 

Just when I thought you couldn't top the selection of Aja!  Enjoying my Fish People version as I read/respond; I will pick up 2018 soon.

 

You might consider Talking Heads's Remain in Light for a future column.  Like Hounds it is a complex and multilayered classic.  But a recent listen to Angelique Kidjo's magnificent reinterpretation shows (at least my copy of) the original to be muddled.  It deserves the The Best.

 

Cheers!

 

A Talking Heads album is definitely on my TBVO “to do” list, and Remain is likely the choice. I’m going to check out the Kidjo version right now!

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