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WHATMG versions?
09-09-2009, 08:16 PM
Post: #1
WHATMG versions?
Since I came into the world of HD late in the game (LBL was my first exposure, if you can believe it), I kind of missed all of the issues surrounding the debut. My understanding is it was originally issued in a paper sleeve on Arena Rock, then reissued later by PolyGram. Per Sean:

Quote:The covers were all hand-screened onto cardboard (at the legendary Fort Thunder in Providence, R.I.). Aaron, Evan, Jeff, and I all sat in our revolting living room in South Wedgewood, giddily folding and stuffing them full of booklets and CDs so we could send them back to Brooklyn, where the label (Arena Rock Recording Company, which had released only one other full-length at the time) could then get them out to the handful of indie distributors that had agreed to handle the record. The original pressing was 1,200 copies. Eight months later, a re-mastered version of the same record (in a jewel box) would be released on Slash-London Records.

Well, I got my copy at a show in 2006, and while it seems to have a PolyGram catalog number (314-556-000), there's no mention of Slash, London or PolyGram, just Arena Rock. What's the deal? Are there *three* versions? What's the deal with the remastering Sean mentions?
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09-09-2009, 08:30 PM
Post: #2
Re: WHATMG versions?
That was the interim version they sold in Spring 1998 and Autumn 2006. Old mastering, new packaging.
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09-09-2009, 08:31 PM
Post: #3
Re: WHATMG versions?
johnnyfootballhero Wrote:That was the interim version they sold in Spring 1998 and Autumn 2006. Old mastering, new packaging.

Cool. So does the Slash version actually sound any different?
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09-09-2009, 08:41 PM
Post: #4
 
I'm trying to find you a quote that answers your question, but here's an older, related quote.

AaronH Wrote:Does your Slash version have color photos on the inside? I saw one of these recently and was totally amazed, because that's the second printing, which I wasn't sure even existed. I want one of these. Oddly enough, I've never owned any Slash version of the record, so I can't say exactly what's going on with that hiss, but John was in control of the mixing, mastering, and re-mastering (for Slash), so I assume he made the call for whatever reason.
Here are the different versions of Merrymakers I know of, in order:
Original cardboard printing (orange house)
Later printings (green, blue, brown, orange)
Never Records version (released by our manager's label as a hold-over until the Slash/London release; same packaging, but it says Never Records/Arena Rock instead of Slash)
Slash/London version (re-mastered)
Slash second printing (different photos inside the booklet)
There's also the Japanese version.
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09-09-2009, 08:44 PM
Post: #5
 
Interesting. Thanks.

Unfortunately the Slash version seems to have the same catalog number as the Never Records version, which makes differentiating between the two online tough.
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09-09-2009, 08:45 PM
Post: #6
 
I'm not sure about the sound difference, but I would imagine that there is some improvement in the Slash/London version. Here's the history:

July 1997: original cardboard Arena Rock version, roughly 1200 copies (orange & black silkscreen). Later printings come in various colors.

late 1997 - early 1998: holdover version in jewel box (says Arena Rock and Never Records on the back) printed by our manager to fill the gap until the Slash/London version came out.

March 31(?), 1998: Slash/London version. Subsequent printing has different color photos inside.
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09-09-2009, 08:46 PM
Post: #7
 
Turns out it was Jeff on the old site instead of Aaron on the new site. To wit:

The difference is very slight (the release of the album bearing the Slash/London label sounds a little deeper and less trebly), and a lot of people can't tell the difference.

Edit: Thanks, Aaron!
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09-09-2009, 10:00 PM
Post: #8
 
On the original Arena Rock pressings the cd goes in on different sides depending on 1st orange pressing and later colored ones
I have an original orange and a later blue copy.
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07-12-2010, 02:23 PM
Post: #9
 
johnnyfootballhero Wrote:Turns out it was Jeff on the old site instead of Aaron on the new site. To wit:

The difference is very slight (the release of the album bearing the Slash/London label sounds a little deeper and less trebly), and a lot of people can't tell the difference.

Edit: Thanks, Aaron!

I finally got a Slash/London copy. Indeed, the newer version is a bit less "splashy" sounding, although it is also slightly louder. Interestingly, the change in sound in the left channel of Carlotta just before the second verse isn't there on the newer version. On the original it sounds like there's an edit there and subsequently a bit less high end. On the new version the EQ is matched on either side of the edit so you don't notice it.

Sounds like a couple of similar spots in Terminal Annex were fixed too.

FWIW, according to the notes, Rick Essig mastered the original, while Greg Calbi mastered the new version. There's also more "thanks to" in the new booklet.

And while the eBay seller claimed this copy had color photos inside, it doesn't...
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10-19-2016, 06:13 PM
Post: #10
RE:
Sadly Aaron isn't around to answer this, but:

(09-09-2009 08:45 PM)AaronH Wrote:  I'm not sure about the sound difference, but I would imagine that there is some improvement in the Slash/London version. Here's the history:

July 1997: original cardboard Arena Rock version, roughly 1200 copies (orange & black silkscreen). Later printings come in various colors.

late 1997 - early 1998: holdover version in jewel box (says Arena Rock and Never Records on the back) printed by our manager to fill the gap until the Slash/London version came out.

March 31(?), 1998: Slash/London version. Subsequent printing has different color photos inside.

Does anyone have a Slash/London version with color photos inside? I was looking at what's on Discogs and making some updates, but I don't see any with color photos inside. My Slash copy is a Columbia Record Club copy, and has the normal B/W photos.

Also, is it correct that the *original* Arena Rock copies have the CD on the left side? I got just such a copy on eBay a few years ago, and didn't realize until now that it's (apparently) one of the first 1,200.
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10-22-2016, 06:10 AM
Post: #11
RE:
(10-19-2016 06:13 PM)lukpac Wrote:  Also, is it correct that the *original* Arena Rock copies have the CD on the left side? I got just such a copy on eBay a few years ago, and didn't realize until now that it's (apparently) one of the first 1,200.

Quoth the "old site" which is still alive but hidden in the un-googleable dark internet:
Quote:Notes: Original pressing of 1,200 copies, in cardboard sleeve with hand-screened orange cover and 4-page black-and-white insert. CD pocket is on the left side.
Second pressing has multiple-colored houses (Brian Ralph, the printer, go bored of just orange); CD pocket is on the right side.

(Go here: http://www.harveydanger.com/oldsite/index.old.html then click Recordings, then Discography). Buried elsewhere in that old site is a note about there being 1700 cardboard copies, implying that there may be only 500 of the later ones (?).

That's a lot of Sherman tanks!
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10-22-2016, 07:46 AM
Post: #12
RE: WHATMG versions?
Thanks!
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