HDCD Remasters

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In the year of 2000, Virgin re-released all its Mike's back catalogue, remastered in HDCD format by Simon Heyworth at Chop 'em Out studios between March and April 2000.

The High Definition Compatible Digital, or HDCD, is a patented process for delivering on CD the full richness and detail of the original microphone feed. When listening to HDCD recordings, you hear more dynamic range, a focused 3-D soundstage, and extremely natural vocal and musical timbre. HDCD-encoded CDs sound better because they are encoded with 20 bits of real musical information as compared with 16 bits for all other CDs. HDCD overcomes the limitation of the 16-bit CD format by using a sophisticated system to encode the additional 4 bits onto the CD while remaining completely compatible with the CD format. To get the most out of a HDCD recording a HDCD player is needed, though on normal CD players some improvement is also noticeable.

item catalogue # release date comments
Tubular Bells Tubular Bells CDVR 2001 May 29th, 2000
Hergest Ridge Hergest Ridge MIKECD 02 May 29th, 2000 Boxed remix
Orchestral Tubular Bells Orchestral TB MIKECD 03 May 29th, 2000
OmmadawnOmmadawn MIKECD 04 May 29th, 2000 minor glitch in part 2
Incantations Incantations MIKECD 05 May 29th, 2000
Exposed Exposed MIKECD 06 May 29th, 2000
Platinum Platinum MIKECD 07 May 29th, 2000 still "Sally" erroneously
on the track list
QE2 QE2 MIKECD 08 May 29th, 2000
Five Miles Out Five Miles Out MIKECD 09 July 3rd, 2000 booklet without lyrics
Crises Crises MIKECD 10 July 3rd, 2000 "Foreign Affair" not
listed on back cover
Discovery Discovery MIKECD 11 July 3rd, 2000
The Killing Fields The Killing Fields MIKECD 12 July 3rd, 2000
Islands Islands MIKECD 13 July 31st, 2000 uk track order,
wrong spine
Earth Moving Earth Moving MIKECD 14 July 31st, 2000
Amarok Amarok MIKECD 15 July 31st, 2000 booklet without
William Murray's story
Heaven's Open Heaven's Open MIKECD 16 July 31st, 2000

All the HDCDs features a reworked artwork though some mistakes are made on it, even more all of them have a similar design then most of the original CDs artwork is lost. Dave Lang's notes on each CD are pretty inaccurate which becomes disgusting. With this remaster series Virgin lost a great opportunity to do a good work. If one take in consideration that the original CD editions were not as good as they could be, specially bad on Mike's first records, it is a shame what Virgin has done with the remasters.

Can you imagine a remaster serie with:

  • No audio clicks, glitches or whatever
  • Original vinyl full artwork reproduction
  • Accurate informative notes
  • Full lyrics inclusion
  • Accurate track listing
  • Original Hergest Ridge mix, not Boxed <spit>

I do, probably you do, but Virgin doesn't. Isn't it a pity?

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