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EdisonLite
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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 10:57am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Todd Ireland wrote:
How cool is it to have a forum member here bring the "Didn't We Almost Have It All" distortion issue to the attention of the Sony people


And all thanks to another forum member here - Aaron K - bringing up the distortion issue in the 1st place. A "Pat Downey group" team effort.

As for the mastering, it's done, and I'd have no influence on that anyway. I have no idea how much compression they used, but I can only suggest someone check the compression levels of the 25th anniversary CD of "Whitney Houston" and my guess is it would be close to that. However, don't expect the non-compression that was on the actual 1985 and 1987 CDs. I don't think I ever buy a newly reissued CD these days that's that soft. Having SOME level of compression is the standard these days, it seems.

Edited by EdisonLite on 28 October 2012 at 10:58am
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 8:22pm | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

And actually, beyond my and Aaron's efforts, what's REALLY nice here is that Sony listened and cared. I can't tell you how many major labels I think don't care about details. In this case, I was working with one individual where this sort of thing mattered to him.
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The Hits Man
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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 8:55pm | IP Logged Quote The Hits Man

I read on another forum today that the engineer pulled up the multitrack and removed the distortion from the vocal track. This pretty much means the song was remixed for the new CD coming out. I just hope the remix matches the balances of the original mix.

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 29 October 2012 at 6:51am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Can you give us the link to where you read that?

UPDATE: I did a google search for "Didn't we almost have it all distortion" and found one website referencing this issue - soulfuldetroit.com - but it was just someone who referred to what I said on this website and misinterpreted it.

To be clear to anyone who may have misuderstood me. Sony checked the 6 mixdowns of "Didn't We" (all of which had the vocal distortion), then checked the multi-track (in hopes it had no distortion, then they could do a new mix without distortion). But it had distortion as well. So they used some digital tools to clean up the distortion. It was not reported to me which source they used for this, but since the distortion was everywhere, my guess it they used one of the six two-track mixdowns and cleaned it up there, preserving the original mix. (I think they would have only gone to the multi tracks and remixed it if there was no vocal distortion there, but it was there, too.)

Edited by EdisonLite on 29 October 2012 at 7:23am
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Glenpwood
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Posted: 30 October 2012 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote Glenpwood

Oops that was me, I didn't read it carefully before posting there. I'll be more cautious in the future. Soulful Detroit boards tend to be dramatic so I don't post much there these days. I had made the point about this and How Will I Know's 45 mix not being on CD previously and someone tried to rip me a new one over it. They did admit they heard the distortion on the vocal after specifically referencing where to find it....
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aaronk
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Posted: 30 October 2012 at 2:37pm | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Glenpwood wrote:
...How Will I Know's 45 mix not being on CD previously...

There was some discussion in another thread about "How Will I Know" having two different 45 versions. One of them strangely tacks on the ending of the LP version. The other one has the 45 remix all the way to the end, and this one has yet to appear on CD domestically. I'm not sure if it's ever been issued on an import.

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Glenpwood
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Posted: 31 October 2012 at 7:41am | IP Logged Quote Glenpwood

I've picked up import singles and the various best ofs over the years issued in the UK, Japan, and Aus hoping to get the HWIK with the correct ending but still no luck...
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 06 November 2013 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

EdisonLite wrote:
OK, I have an update on this issue -
from Sony itself. I've been helping them out with the
reissue of Whitney's 1987 "Whitney" CD. Back in 2005,
Aaron K brought it to all of our attention that "Didn't
We Almost Have It All" had vocal distortion throughout
much of the song. There was various speculation as to the
cause of this.

With my working on the upcoming CD, I brought this issue
to the attention of the Sony guy I'm working with. He
found and checked all 6 mixdowns they had and all had the
vocal distortion. His final effort was to have the multi-
track tapes pulled to see if the the vocal distortion was
recorded that way on the separated vocal track. Here's
his response:

<Multi-tracks had the same vocal distortion. The
mastering engineer did the best they can do to fix. It
sounds fine.>

So basically, they took the two-track master and did some
processes to lessen the distortion. At least now, we know
Whitney's vocals were actually recorded this way, so
there's no need to search for a distortion-free version
on any CD. This remaster will probably be the best
sounding one (though I haven't heard it.) At least, it's
the only one where the distortion was attempted to be
removed.

BTW, this deluxe edition will have 6 bonus cuts - three
other songs released from the same time period, plus 3
previously unreleased songs that were also recorded
during the late '80s.
Did this anniversary
edition ever get released? Maybe I missed it (so just
checking).

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 07 November 2013 at 7:56am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

You didn't miss it, Santi. Sony has postponed the release of this, as well as Whitney's boxed set (my understanding is that it's a Clive Davis decision). They haven't been cancelled, just postponed. And obviously, unlike the reissue of the first Whitney album, this 2nd one won't be a "25th Anniversary" reissue, because 2014 would be the 27th year!

You'd think a major corporation like Sony would want to "cash in" on the death of one of their superstars and release box sets and all sorts of things shortly after her death ... but no, they're taking their sweet old time. (And btw, in case you're wondering, it's not like the estate of Whitney Houston is objecting to these releases. My understanding is that it's Clive's desires.)

Edited by EdisonLite on 07 November 2013 at 7:56am
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 07 November 2013 at 2:54pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

Thanks for the update Gordon. Mr. Davis might be what Bugs Bunny would call "a maroon" (opinion).

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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 08 September 2017 at 1:18pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

Bumping this thread up.

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thecdguy
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Posted: 15 August 2019 at 4:18am | IP Logged Quote thecdguy

Is it safe to say that plans for a Deluxe Edition of
the "Whitney" album have been put on hold
indefinitely? I know by now, we're up to the 32nd
anniversary of the album, but I always hoped to see it
and especially to finally have a distortion-free
version of "Didn't We Almost Have It All". For years,
I always thought something sounded a little off about
that song and after reading about it here, I
understand why. I can definitely hear the distortion
on the choruses.

By the way, this is my first post and I just want to
say how excited I am to join the conversation. I've
been a collector myself (especially of singles) for
years and I've learned an incredible amount about the
many different versions/mixes of songs from the
threads here. Thank you again to Aaron for adding me!
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Brian W.
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Posted: 15 August 2019 at 5:00am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Welcome, CD Guy!
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aaronk
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Posted: 15 August 2019 at 6:43am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Yes, welcome to the forum!

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PopArchivist
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Posted: 15 August 2019 at 8:59am | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

Glad to finally have you here! Welcome!
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Bellenger1981
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Posted: 15 August 2019 at 9:57am | IP Logged Quote Bellenger1981

Welcome, thecdguy! I'm a bit new here myself.

I wondered, too, what happened to that deluxe edition of
Whitney's second album.
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thecdguy
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Posted: 16 August 2019 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote thecdguy

Thank you everyone for the welcome, much
appreciated!

I also just realized that there's also
probably not much hope of an anniversary
edition of the "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
album when it turns 30 next year, if
there's been a delay on the second album.
However, it wouldn't surprise me if Arista    
does something for "The Bodyguard"
soundtrack when it turns 30 in 2022.
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Michaeldila
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Posted: 16 August 2019 at 10:08am | IP Logged Quote Michaeldila

What’s even left to do with “the bodyguard”...? And welcome!
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thecdguy
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Posted: 16 August 2019 at 11:15am | IP Logged Quote thecdguy

Michaeldila wrote:
What’s even left to do with “the
bodyguard”...? And welcome!


Thank you! I was thinking they may go the usual route
with a Deluxe Edition that had some remixes of the hits,
or alternate versions of some of the songs by the other
artists on the soundtrack, if there are any. I know
there's at least several mixes of "It's Gonna Be A Lovely
Day", for example. I know there was that compilation
released not long ago with alternate versions of
Whitney's songs from the soundtrack.
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 19 August 2019 at 1:28am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

I was working with Sony/Legacy on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Whitney's 2nd album (which would have included 3 unreleased songs, 2 of which were written by Michael Masser, the writer of all of Whitney's "All" singles - Greatest Love of ALL, Didn't We Almost Have It ALL, Saving ALL my Love for You, and ALL at Once (which I count as a single because it got a lot of AC radio airplay, charted on some national AC charts though not Billboard because of their rules, and is included on Whitney's "Greatest Hits" CD. Anyway, it would have been a 2 CD set with amazing bonus cuts.

Then Whitney died.

And Clive Davis put a hold on all future Whitney releases. He's allowed one comp since then, and that's about it. (Not even a 4-CD boxed set which was also in the planning.) This CD is on permanent hold and I doubt it will ever come out, especially as I've brought up its release with Sony a number of times since Whitney's death. Clive has decided to to do very little with Whitney's catalog after her death.

I find that weird - because after other superstars die (e.g. Michael Jackson, etc.) usually the labels milk the artist's catalog for all it's worth. Not Clive/Whitney.
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