Jump to content
JoshM

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

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

On 3/8/2019 at 8:47 PM, JoshM said:

 

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.

 

Thanks a lot, @JoshM - now I'm $12 lighter in the wallet because of you. 🙂

 

Seriously, though, great analysis, and I'm really curious to audition it against my Japan mini-LP version (which uses the original '85 mastering). 

 

I particularly appreciate what you say about the relative DR levels and other dynamic measures of these two versions. Good dynamics are of course very important and to be highly valued - but DR differences as small as the ones you've documented here are not reliable indicators of superior/inferior sound. When the DR ratings of two different masterings get within 1-2dB of each other, that small level of difference is just as likely to be a result of different EQ and other mastering moves as it is a result of compression or peak limiting. Even when peak limiting is used, if it's used lightly enough to impact DR scores by only 1 or 2dB, it's often quite difficult to detect and IMHO is not a deal-breaker for an otherwise well-done remastering job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, PeterG said:

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.

 

Off topic, but I hadn't heard of Angelique Kidjo's album. Streamed it, then bought it. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Josh,

My copy arrived today This is my third version and this one is by far the best sounding. Looking forward to Remain in Light review. I'm a huge Heads fan, saw them numerous times in RI in their early days.


PPA USB>Mapleshade Clearlink Plus>LPS-1/IR/USCPB>Yggy>Freya>Mono Vidars>B&W CM5 & Definitive Technology SubAmp 600>Mmatts 15 &  Lyr 3> B&W P7 , Mr.Speakers AEON Flow Open

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Josh, for a really excellent write up. This is one of my all time favorite albums, and the information you presented is very much appreciated. I too, have been leaning towards the 2018 remaster being the best of all of them (and I own almost all). 

 

For my money, I think that Kate can be counted amongst the creative music forces ever recorded. I would put Hounds, and Peter Gabriels "So" up there as the best albums of the 80's. Granted, it was hardly musics finest hour, but these two superb recordings may have saved it overall.

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2019 at 10:30 PM, 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.

 

I think that the way it is mixed/recorded is intentional. Try to listen to it - especially the " The Ninth Wave " section from "And Dream of Sheep" onwards - with headphones. It has ... a special feel about it.

 

Thanks to josh for his insights - always a good reminder to pull the album out and give it a serious listen 😉


Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, TubeLover said:

Thank you, Josh, for a really excellent write up. This is one of my all time favorite albums, and the information you presented is very much appreciated. I too, have been leaning towards the 2018 remaster being the best of all of them (and I own almost all). 

 

For my money, I think that Kate can be counted amongst the creative music forces ever recorded. I would put Hounds, and Peter Gabriels "So" up there as the best albums of the 80's. Granted, it was hardly musics finest hour, but these two superb recordings may have saved it overall.

 

JC

 

Thanks! Since it’s a good segue from Bush, I’d already planned to make the next TBVO on Gabriel. Deciding between Melt and So now.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2019 at 1:37 PM, JoshM said:

 

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).

 

WOW! good to know... I guess Hoffmann and Guthrie know what they are doing.............. 😉😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo for that great read about Kate Bush seminal album.

 

I have 5 different versions of Hounds Of Love and I agree with the author, the 2018 remaster is probably the best sounding one. That said, the differences between all versions are rather slight and not worth upgrading for the casual listener. Even the 1997 Chris Blair remaster is quite good even if it's louder with less pristine DR figures. Those of you listening with your ears (instead of graphs) will appreciate it.

 

Again, the 2018 remasters are the best available (in my not so humble opinion) but none of her back catalog ever sounded bad on cd. So, while the new remasters are a bit better, they are not a revelation as the old ones always sounded good to begin with. The 2018 remasters have a slightly rounder quality to it, perhaps a hair warmer with just a tad more low end (hence the rounder/warmer quality).

 

Hounds Of Love is often considered Kate Bush masterpiece and while it's not my favorite album of hers, it is indeed a perfect album!

 


Arcam rDAC / Oppo BDP-83 / NAD 315BEE / Totem Arro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed the article. I have the Hounds of Love LP, and an extended EP; one side is Under The Ivy, the other is Running Up That Hill (which IMO is erotica about trading places physically). I sometimes played the EP version of Running Up That Hill to show non-audiophiles how awesome my stereo was, but I gave up on non-audiophiles years ago. They were awed by the demo, but no lasting effect. 😑 I also have a CD of The Sensual World. I suspect Bush has had more exposure in Canada than in the USA. Sometimes being a Commonwealth Nation has an effect.

 

There's a full-length BBC Documentary on YouTube:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, audiobomber said:

I really enjoyed the article. I have the Hounds of Love LP, and an extended EP; one side is Under The Ivy, the other is Running Up That Hill (which IMO is erotica about trading places physically). I sometimes played the EP version of Running Up That Hill to show non-audiophiles how awesome my stereo was, but I gave up on non-audiophiles years ago. They were awed by the demo, but no lasting effect. 😑 I also have a CD of The Sensual World. I suspect Bush has had more exposure in Canada than in the USA. Sometimes being a Commonwealth Nation has an effect.

 

There's a full-length BBC Documentary on YouTube:

 

 

This is a great documentary. The BBC does such good stuff. Even when it comes to American music, often the BBC documentary is better than anything comparable in the U.S. (Check out their "Hotel California" documentary on '60s-'70s California rock, in particular.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...