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Subject Topic: Kenny Rogers - 25 Greatest Hits Post ReplyPost New Topic
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crapfromthepast
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Joined: 14 September 2006
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Posted: 27 May 2018 at 3:22pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

I recently found a copy of EMI's 2-CD Kenny Rogers collection 25 Greatest Hits (1987), and I was fairly pleased with the sound overall. Reasonably good source tapes (good, not great), excellent levels (nice volume level, no clipping), reasonable EQ (no smiley-face EQ), and not a hint of noise reduction anywhere. I'd guess that except for the abysmal Liberty's Greatest Hits (copyright 1981), 25 Greatest Hits is probably the earliest appearance on CD for most of its tracks.

I discovered that for tracks on 25 Greatest Hits, there are plenty of later-released Kenny Rogers collections that base their masterings on 25 Greatest Hits. I will generalize:
  • 42 Ultimate Hits (2004) uses the same analog transfer as 25 Greatest Hits for all the tracks that they have in common, but has a slight smiley-face EQ on a few tracks.
  • Ten Best Series (1991) also uses the same analog transfer as 25 Greatest Hits for all the tracks that they have in common, but clips on a few tracks.
  • Curb's Greatest Country Hits (1990) also uses the same analog transfer as 25 Greatest Hits for all the tracks that they have in common, but has the left and right channels swapped on all the tracks. Avoid this disc.
  • Liberty's Greatest Hits (copyright 1981) has comically low levels, uses high-generation source tapes, and seems to run a little fast on a few tracks. Avoid this disc at all costs.
I will be using the version from 25 Greatest Hits for these tracks in my library:
  • Love Lifted Me (#97, 1976)
  • Lucille (#5, 1977)
  • Daytime Friends (#28, 1977)
  • Sweet Music Man (#44, 1978)
  • Love Or Something Like It (#32, 1978)
  • The Gambler (#16, 1979)
  • She Believes In Me (#5, 1979)
  • You Decorated My Life (#7, 1979)
  • Coward Of The County (#3, 1980)
  • Lady (#1, 1980)
  • I Don't Need You (#3, 1981)
  • Through The Years (#13, 1982)
  • Love Will Turn You Around (#13, 1982)
  • Scarlet Fever (#94, 1983)
The version of "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" (1980) sounds about the same as the other tracks on 25 Greatest Hits, but sounds infinitely better on the Kim Carnes CD Gypsy Honeymoon The Best Of (1993). If this one song is indicative of the Kenny Rogers tracks, then there are probably some terrific lower-generation source tapes out there than what was used for 25 Greatest Hits. Similarly, "We've Got Tonight" sounds better on Sheena Easton's World Of The Singles Collection (1993).

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