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Thread started 11/27/16 8:48am

databank

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So it seems consensus is Moonbeam Levels is bootleg sourced?

I saw that coming and still, I find it incredible. Could we be wrong?

I for one does not qualify as an audiophile but by comparison to, say Crystal Ball or other vault material, ML ddefinitely sounds like the BFTP version to me.

In any case I think WB needs to address this, either deny or justify it.

I felt it deserved a thread of its own, for the audiophiles to compare their studies of its sound quality and to discuss how the hell this could have happened if it did, indeed, happen.

Thx to those of u who have the material, technical knowledge and patience to study this case smile

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Reply #1 posted 11/27/16 8:52am

NorthC

I have neither, I only have a (stupid?) question: What's BFTP?
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Reply #2 posted 11/27/16 8:53am

databank

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NorthC said:

I have neither, I only have a (stupid?) question: What's BFTP?

Blast From The Past is a series of bootleg outtakes compilationd. The best available version of ML was on one of those last year.

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Reply #3 posted 11/27/16 8:53am

bfunk

This whole discussion is hilarious to me. Listen to the album 1999. That album has sound problems all over it, that have existed since 1982. Moonbeam was recorded around the same time. It is an issue with how things were recorded back then. Hot vocals, and distorted Synth/Drum machine effects.

Moonbeam sounds just as good (or bad) as:

Little Red Corvette

Delirious

Automatic

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Reply #4 posted 11/27/16 8:54am

Guitarhero

As a friend of mine said to me , why would it be sourced from a bootleg when they could just get it from the vault.

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Reply #5 posted 11/27/16 8:54am

dustoff

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Couldn't the opposite also be true? (In other words, perhaps the BFTP version was an early leak of a track intended for Prince 4Ever, or some other release intended for the near future?)

[Edited 11/27/16 8:55am]

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Reply #6 posted 11/27/16 8:55am

databank

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bfunk said:

This whole discussion is hilarious to me. Listen to the album 1999. That album has sound problems all over it, that have existed since 1982. Moonbeam was recorded around the same time. It is an issue with how things were recorded back then. Hot vocals, and distorted Synth/Drum machine effects.

Moonbeam sounds just as good (or bad) as:

Little Red Corvette

Delirious

Automatic

I totally agree but that's where audiophiles come in: are the sound issues/textures comparable with, or totally different than on 1999?

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Reply #7 posted 11/27/16 8:56am

databank

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Guitarhero said:

As a friend of mine said to me , why would it be sourced from a bootleg when they could just get it from the vault.

Because maybe they couldn't? Maybe they were in a rush and vault content has not been properly inventoried yet? IDK, as I say I can hardly believe it, I just think it's worth a discussion.

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Reply #8 posted 11/27/16 8:57am

databank

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dustoff said:

Couldn't the opposite also be true? (In other words, perhaps the BFTP version was an early leak of a track intended for Prince 4Ever, or some other release intended for the near future?)

[Edited 11/27/16 8:55am]

I think this can be verified because those people who leak new sourced boots are around and we usually know what comes from where. But it's indeed a credible possibility.

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Reply #9 posted 11/27/16 8:57am

TwiliteKid

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There's no way to know for sure - but there enough subtle improvements in the version on 4ever to make me think that's just the way the master sounds. Remember, Prince's recordings back then were hardly perfect: there's distortion on "Little Red Corvette", tape hiss on "Automatic" and, a couple years later, channel bleed on "Let's Go Crazy".

Warner will never answer this question, by the way, not are they obligated to.
[Edited 11/27/16 8:58am]
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Reply #10 posted 11/27/16 9:00am

databank

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TwiliteKid said:

There's no way to know for sure - but there enough subtle improvements in the version on 4ever to make me think that's just the way the master sounds. Remember, Prince's recordings back then were hardly perfect: there's distortion on "Little Red Corvette", tape hiss on "Automatic" and, a couple years later, channel bleed on "Let's Go Crazy". Warner will never answer this question, by the way, not are they obligated to. [Edited 11/27/16 8:58am]

Well if there's a doubt to dissipate they may choose to address it: it's called customer care. Depends whether the debate reaches the music press or it stays confined to the Org maybe.

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Reply #11 posted 11/27/16 9:01am

NorthC

databank said:



NorthC said:


I have neither, I only have a (stupid?) question: What's BFTP?

Blast From The Past is a series of bootleg outtakes compilationd. The best available version of ML was on one of those last year.


Ah, okay. I've been out of the bootleg trade for a while.
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Reply #12 posted 11/27/16 9:24am

TwiliteKid

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databank said:



TwiliteKid said:


There's no way to know for sure - but there enough subtle improvements in the version on 4ever to make me think that's just the way the master sounds. Remember, Prince's recordings back then were hardly perfect: there's distortion on "Little Red Corvette", tape hiss on "Automatic" and, a couple years later, channel bleed on "Let's Go Crazy". Warner will never answer this question, by the way, not are they obligated to. [Edited 11/27/16 8:58am]

Well if there's a doubt to dissipate they may choose to address it: it's called customer care. Depends whether the debate reaches the music press or it stays confined to the Org maybe.



We're not talking about a defect though - this is some nerds on the internet (and I include myself in that group) wondering about the source of a single track.
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Reply #13 posted 11/27/16 9:29am

databank

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TwiliteKid said:

databank said:

Well if there's a doubt to dissipate they may choose to address it: it's called customer care. Depends whether the debate reaches the music press or it stays confined to the Org maybe.

We're not talking about a defect though - this is some nerds on the internet (and I include myself in that group) wondering about the source of a single track.

Fair enough lol

Now if u admit that the song is the single reason why a certain number of fans have purchased the package, it's worth addressing.

Note that I dont really care, the song is fine for me as it is, but I know a lot of people here are super ticklish when it comes to sound quality.

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Reply #14 posted 11/27/16 9:36am

thx185

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I just heard the official 4Ever version of Moonbeam Levels, and it sounded so much like a bootleg I came here to find the discussion about it.

To me it sounds much worse than 1999, LRC, and other tracks of the era. It sounds like a bootleg track.

"..free to change your mind"
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Reply #15 posted 11/27/16 9:36am

TraSoul82

The biggest weakness of Prince's entire career/catalogue is the recording. I guess it's true that a good song can overcome poor recording.

A lot of his hits are frankly unacceptable and apparently unsalvageable. 1999 sounds particularly awful when played after modern recordings.

This is why I have no faith in any "remasters." I'm pretty sure the problem is at the source (poor dry recordings) and can't be fixed at this point.
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Reply #16 posted 11/27/16 9:52am

kepurplehunter

I likely all What Prince Put Out This Man Worked His Ass Off To Be What HE Loved n Choose To Do He Pushed It Till The Roof n Walls Caved In So U All Better Give His Effing Props On All He Put Out Alive n Dead!!!! eek
[Edited 11/27/16 9:53am]
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Reply #17 posted 11/27/16 10:01am

jjam

I'm firmly of the opinion that the issues with Moonbeam Levels as officially released are not to do with the not quite audiophile engineering/sound quality of much of Prince's earlier stuff. It's simply not a first generation tape source. Clarification from the Estate wouldn't hurt either...

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Reply #18 posted 11/27/16 10:21am

kae510

dustoff said:

Couldn't the opposite also be true? (In other words, perhaps the BFTP version was an early leak of a track intended for Prince 4Ever, or some other release intended for the near future?)

[Edited 11/27/16 8:55am]

That was my thoughts. I believe alot of the BFTP series were professionally cleaned up for future releases.

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Reply #19 posted 11/27/16 1:22pm

steakfinger

I think what it comes down to is that the track was not remixed from the multitracks. If Prince knew ahead of time that ML wasn't going to be on 1999 then he probably wouldn't have spent the time in the studio doing a proper mix. The estate probably found this particular mix of ML in the vault and mistook it for a final mix. It sounds crusty because it is most likely a pretty good rough mix that never got a proper mix because Prince decided Free should be the one in that slot. It costs time and money to really mix something and this track probably never got that attention. It's a good rough mix and a little cleaner than the boots.

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Reply #20 posted 11/27/16 2:19pm

databank

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steakfinger said:

I think what it comes down to is that the track was not remixed from the multitracks. If Prince knew ahead of time that ML wasn't going to be on 1999 then he probably wouldn't have spent the time in the studio doing a proper mix. The estate probably found this particular mix of ML in the vault and mistook it for a final mix. It sounds crusty because it is most likely a pretty good rough mix that never got a proper mix because Prince decided Free should be the one in that slot. It costs time and money to really mix something and this track probably never got that attention. It's a good rough mix and a little cleaner than the boots.

Kind of out of topic, has it even been said that Prince chose Free over ML? It seems ML was never on any 1999 configuration and given the huge amount of songs recorded at that time, nothing indicates that Prince chose Free over ML of all songs (i.e. maybe he never considered having to choose between one or the other). However it's possible that Prince himself, or another collaborator, said it, but I'd like to know if it's a verified fact or a mere assumption turned into fact by years of rumor.

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Reply #21 posted 11/27/16 2:23pm

Genesia

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Didn't we hear that 4Ever was in WB's hands - and had been blessed - before Prince passed? Why would Prince himself okay something that was sourced from a bootleg? That just makes no sense, at all.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #22 posted 11/27/16 2:27pm

Iamtheorg

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databank said:

steakfinger said:

I think what it comes down to is that the track was not remixed from the multitracks. If Prince knew ahead of time that ML wasn't going to be on 1999 then he probably wouldn't have spent the time in the studio doing a proper mix. The estate probably found this particular mix of ML in the vault and mistook it for a final mix. It sounds crusty because it is most likely a pretty good rough mix that never got a proper mix because Prince decided Free should be the one in that slot. It costs time and money to really mix something and this track probably never got that attention. It's a good rough mix and a little cleaner than the boots.

Kind of out of topic, has it even been said that Prince chose Free over ML? It seems ML was never on any 1999 configuration and given the huge amount of songs recorded at that time, nothing indicates that Prince chose Free over ML of all songs (i.e. maybe he never considered having to choose between one or the other). However it's possible that Prince himself, or another collaborator, said it, but I'd like to know if it's a verified fact or a mere assumption turned into fact by years of rumor.

Are there any 1999 configuration reports?

Just going by the song stucture that matches Free, it's a good assumption since the two are like twins, he decided on using Free only due to time constraints?

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Reply #23 posted 11/27/16 2:37pm

Iamtheorg

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Genesia said:

Didn't we hear that 4Ever was in WB's hands - and had been blessed - before Prince passed? Why would Prince himself okay something that was sourced from a bootleg? That just makes no sense, at all.

He actually did release some bootleg sourced performance in the early days of the music club. A vhs sourced audio. I think it was due to some hired fan who helped run it who just used what was in his collection (that we all had a s well).

Those were the lean years though, not sure he'd do such a thing with WB officially though.

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Reply #24 posted 11/27/16 2:37pm

FragileUnderto
w

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Note : Im not saying its sourced from bootleg..



The BFTP version sounds like the 4ever version, but with Eyes tweaked treatment. *Ex: volume raised* lol

The 4Ever version sounds a better, but not by much

im no expert... shrug


But i will say this.. I went to 3 diffrent stores to buy the album and no one had it.
Trust me i would have bought it, but now i dont really feel a need.i-dont-know-smiley-emoticon.gif

[Edited 11/27/16 14:39pm]

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Reply #25 posted 11/27/16 2:43pm

jaawwnn

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Just get some professionals in to catalogue the damn vault already. Every release will be suspect until that is done.

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Reply #26 posted 11/27/16 2:50pm

databank

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Iamtheorg said:

databank said:

Kind of out of topic, has it even been said that Prince chose Free over ML? It seems ML was never on any 1999 configuration and given the huge amount of songs recorded at that time, nothing indicates that Prince chose Free over ML of all songs (i.e. maybe he never considered having to choose between one or the other). However it's possible that Prince himself, or another collaborator, said it, but I'd like to know if it's a verified fact or a mere assumption turned into fact by years of rumor.

Are there any 1999 configuration reports?

Just going by the song stucture that matches Free, it's a good assumption since the two are like twins, he decided on using Free only due to time constraints?

Strangely enough no there aren't BUT Princevault says that ML was never considered. I'm not sure where that info comes from but that's what we know. I think Madhouseman's research will shed light on all this sooner or later (he for example revealed that contrarily to what Nilsen had been told, LRC, 1999 and Mia Bocca were apparently not recorded on the same day).

I agree that it's a good asumption at first glimpse but I just wanted to clarify whether it's an assumption or a fact because I've read it presented as a fact many times. When one comes to think of it it is not that good an asumption after all: it's likely there were many other ballads in the vault at that time that could have qualified. Besides, the political statement isn't quite the same and Prince clearly wanted to make a political statement with free.

However it is sensible and possible, but let us be careful how we phrase things, because if we don't that's how assumptions become hoaxes.

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Reply #27 posted 11/27/16 3:08pm

imprimis

.

[Edited 11/27/16 22:17pm]

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Reply #28 posted 11/27/16 3:22pm

jjam

Trust me, it's not a slightly higher generation copy.

I personally don't have an issue with the rough'n'ready audio quality of Prince's output sometimes (Todd Rundgren's the same). This is a guy who just wanted to put stuff down as quickly as possible. What his earlier stuff lacks in hi-fi sound quality sometimes, it certainly has "vibe' in abundance. The only album that really stands out for me as particuarly lo-fi is Dirty Mind - and that's also part of its charm.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the issue here will be what TraSoul82 mentioned. However, I'd hate for someone to come in and mix stuff from the multitracks. We're just looking for the best quality sourced tape, which we haven't got with the eventual release of Moonbeam Levels...and that's a shame.

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Reply #29 posted 11/27/16 3:59pm

callimnate

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LOL.

I had these same thoughts when I first heard Gotta Stop and Horny Toad on the Hits and B Sides compilation.
Because it was in digital format for the first time, I thought they'd sound a lot better than the old 7"s we had been playing them on.
But no, they were the same, if not worse as digital will never sound better than vinyl.

Same thing is happening here.
That's just how ML was recorded. Simple as that.

wink
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