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erasure4rum  /  Loveboat (2000)  /  version of Loveboat with best audio quality
Posted by: glazball, December 11, 2016, 1:03am
Having only ever owned the 2000 UK CD of Loveboat, I've never been sure if there is a better sounding release out there.  Of course it's notable for sounding muddy.  Can anyone give any info about real audio differences (if any) on various formats and regions.  Are we all waiting for a cleaned-up, properly mastered re-release of this beautiful and wildly underrated album?

Loveboat was not released in the US until 2003 (by that time I'd already bought the UK import).  Does the US version sound any better or worse than the 2000 UK CD?

Can anyone who owns the new vinyl re-issue compare the sound quality vs. the UK CD?  Vinyl vs. CD argument aside, does it sound better?  Often, vinyl gets mastered correctly while CD gets the Loudness War shaft.  Any audio engineers that can test?

My dream is to see all Erasure's albums re-issued in multi-channel but until then, what version of Loveboat sounds best??
Posted by: MikeyC, December 11, 2016, 3:08am; Reply: 1
It's funny you're posting this thread today since I was listening to "Loveboat" earlier today and thought about those sound "issues" we've
all questioned time and time again! :)
Posted by: Mikedepaz, December 11, 2016, 1:53pm; Reply: 2
It has been mentioned somewhere in the the past that Flood did this per Vince request. It was with those intentions to sound like it does. That being said, I would remove Freedom and relegate it to the Bside and move Here in My Heart over to the album and it will sound complete. freedom is a really odd single and does not play well into the album in my opinion.
Posted by: DaveKCMO, December 11, 2016, 2:48pm; Reply: 3
I prefer the sound of the original UK vinyl release (not the reissue). The lo-fi recording really lends itself to vinyl listening with headphones.
Posted by: Tin Soldier, December 11, 2016, 5:22pm; Reply: 4
Quoted from Mikedepaz
That being said, I would remove Freedom and relegate it to the Bside and move Here in My Heart over to the album and it will sound complete. freedom is a really odd single and does not play well into the album in my opinion.


That Here In My Heart didn't make the album is as confusing now as it was then. It's on par with Don't Suppose, and almost let's-not-make-Phantom-Bride-a-single level incompetency. That said, I feel Freedom deserves album inclusion, and even single status (so does Here In My Heart), though I felt the remixes didn't do it justice.
Posted by: kwerty, December 11, 2016, 8:29pm; Reply: 5
Quoted from Tin Soldier
That Here In My Heart didn't make the album is as confusing now as it was then.


Uh? Now I'm confused. 'Here In My Heart' is on the album.
Posted by: Tin Soldier, December 11, 2016, 9:18pm; Reply: 6
First, let me say I haven't had a drink in weeks... :D

As for the track, I had it in my head when typing that it should have been a single, and my ire was mainly that, but Mike's post (taken as the gospel in that moment I was posting from my phone in a car...not driving it!), had me go on a tangent there. I should have pulled out the iPod first. I threw in Don't Suppose as that's still a sore point.

No, I don't expect to live this down, nor should I. Before the firing squad is assembled, go tie Uncle Mike to the stake as well.  8)
Posted by: MikeyC, December 11, 2016, 10:17pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from kwerty


Uh? Now I'm confused. 'Here In My Heart' is on the album.


Yeah for a moment there it felt like I was in The Twilight Zone!

Glad it's sorted. :)

Posted by: Tin Soldier, December 11, 2016, 10:33pm; Reply: 8
I'll say this...if we've become senile, at least we can enjoy hearing Erasure for the first time over and over again.  8)
Posted by: PolarPiano, December 12, 2016, 12:06am; Reply: 9
Or they could have included the two b-sides from the Solsbury Hill Single (Tell It To Me and Searching). Weren't they written during the Loveboat sessions and later re-recorded for the single? I thought I read that somewhere. These two songs beat Freedom hands down no questions asked. I am with Mike here, Freedom is like an Alien element (see what I did here...;-)) on the album and doesn't really go with the flow. It should have been a stand-alone single or, alternatively, a b-side. And yes, the remixes were pretty average too. The album on the other hand, I really love it and consider it one of Erasure's best works!

Edit: Now I remember again, I think Tell It To Me and Searching were written for the American release on request from the label but weren't included on the album in the end. So yes, they probably couldn't have replaced Freedom at the time...
Posted by: MikeyC, December 12, 2016, 12:27am; Reply: 10
Quoted from Tin Soldier
I'll say this...if we've become senile, at least we can enjoy hearing Erasure for the first time over and over again.  8)


If it came to it, I'd like to live in THAT world!  ;D

Posted by: ben, February 12, 2018, 9:40pm; Reply: 11
Listened to Loveboat tonight to test out a new speaker, and I am still in love with this album. It is full of great sounds and songs.
It certainly was a change from the standard Erasure production, but it still sounds so fresh and experimental.
Posted by: Mikedepaz, February 13, 2018, 12:54am; Reply: 12
Quoted from ben
Listened to Loveboat tonight to test out a new speaker, and I am still in love with this album. It is full of great sounds and songs.
It certainly was a change from the standard Erasure production, but it still sounds so fresh and experimental.


Apart from Freedom which sounds like a filler track, Here in My Heart would have made this a complete beautiful album to me
Posted by: Tin Soldier, February 13, 2018, 2:39am; Reply: 13
Quoted from Mikedepaz
Apart from Freedom which sounds like a filler track, Here in My Heart would have made this a complete beautiful album to me


Wow, you went from absolutely wrong, to absolutely right in one sentence.  ;D
Posted by: AIRAZUR, February 13, 2018, 7:51am; Reply: 14
Quoted from Mikedepaz


Apart from Freedom which sounds like a filler track, Here in My Heart would have made this a complete beautiful album to me


"Freedom is my favourite track on the album. It is the only one classic ERASURE pop track (with a gospel twist) on "Loveboat".

Concerning the overall muffled lo-fi sound of the album, I consider it as an early demo version and I suppose a proper recording with see the light, one day or another...

Posted by: mr first, February 13, 2018, 8:45am; Reply: 15
Perchance to dream and mad as we are two of the most beautiful songs in the erasure back catalogue
Posted by: Mikedepaz, February 13, 2018, 1:24pm; Reply: 16
Not to add fuel to the fire but I feel the same way about Love You To The Sky on WBG. Odd tracks that just don't belong on the album
Posted by: glazball, February 13, 2018, 2:40pm; Reply: 17
Pure speculation, but around the time of Loveboat's release, Vince was doing a lot of work with 3D soundscapes and whatnot.  I have a feeling that Loveboat was perhaps made and mixed in multi-channel, which probably sounded great in Vince's studio, but when it was mixed down to stereo for CD/vinyl release, it wasn't done correctly - hence, the muddy, soupy, bass-heavy Loveboat album we all know and love.  It's just a guess on my part.

If you have ever taken a multi-channel/surround sound source and forced it through, say, a pair of headphones - you can tell that it is muddy and doesn't sound right.  I just refuse to believe that Loveboat is *supposed* to sound like it does.  My hope is that one day, when the album gets its eventual special edition re-release, that it will either be correctly mastered or completely remastered and included as a second disc (so purists can still have the original release as the first disc).
Posted by: Tin Soldier, February 13, 2018, 4:14pm; Reply: 18
I'd love if David Wrench had a crack at it.
Posted by: mr first, February 13, 2018, 8:15pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from Mikedepaz
Not to add fuel to the fire but I feel the same way about Love You To The Sky on WBG. Odd tracks that just don't belong on the album


I'm the same with just a little love
Posted by: MikeyC, February 14, 2018, 12:19am; Reply: 20
Quoted from glazball
Pure speculation, but around the time of Loveboat's release, Vince was doing a lot of work with 3D soundscapes and whatnot.  I have a feeling that Loveboat was perhaps made and mixed in multi-channel, which probably sounded great in Vince's studio, but when it was mixed down to stereo for CD/vinyl release, it wasn't done correctly - hence, the muddy, soupy, bass-heavy Loveboat album we all know and love.  It's just a guess on my part.

If you have ever taken a multi-channel/surround sound source and forced it through, say, a pair of headphones - you can tell that it is muddy and doesn't sound right.  I just refuse to believe that Loveboat is *supposed* to sound like it does.  My hope is that one day, when the album gets its eventual special edition re-release, that it will either be correctly mastered or completely remastered and included as a second disc (so purists can still have the original release as the first disc).


Good points but when they (the band, Mute) would've finally heard the CD/vinyl release, they would've acknowledged the issue and order a new, corrected pressing. Don't you think?   8)
Posted by: Gareth Pugh, February 14, 2018, 6:31am; Reply: 21
Quoted from mr first
Perchance to dream and mad as we are two of the most beautiful songs in the erasure back catalogue


And I feel exactly the same about Love is the Rage and Surreal (one of their best album- ending songs ever IMHO)
For me, despite the production and mixing choices made, it’s a much much stronger set of songs than Cowboy, which Iwas a bit disappointed by (shiny, but empty by-numbers ‘feelgood’ tunes in places, like a musical forced smile).
Posted by: DaveKCMO, February 15, 2018, 2:07am; Reply: 22
The minidisc version is on its way, so I'll let you know about that one. I do love this on the UK CD and the original UK vinyl. Does anyone have the UK cassette version? I find that Mute's UK cassettes weren't all that great, but the US versions were amazing (of course Loveboat was not released on US cassette).
Posted by: Tin Soldier, February 15, 2018, 3:53am; Reply: 23
Quoted from DaveKCMO
I find that Mute's UK cassettes weren't all that great, but the US versions were amazing...


Hmm, I have found the opposite to generally be true when it came to European vs US cassette dubbing. I rarely had to adjust head azimuth (when using a deck that had the option) on them vs American cassettes. I found this true of Canadian vs USA on average as well.

Posted by: Mikedepaz, February 15, 2018, 1:19pm; Reply: 24
They still make cassettes today but not any good decks to buy
Posted by: Tin Soldier, February 15, 2018, 6:19pm; Reply: 25
Quoted from Mikedepaz
They still make cassettes today but not any good decks to buy


No, and the aftermarket is a mixed bag as most good ones have been serviced - to what degree, and by whom is not always known. :(
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