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Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

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Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by ace of hearts » 27 Oct 2014, 01:37

For those interested, Whatever Happened to Benny Santini is being released and available for pre order, Vinyl only it seems.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whatever-Happen ... =chris+rea
could this be true, could this be me..

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 27 Oct 2014, 08:23

ace of hearts wrote:For those interested, Whatever Happened to Benny Santini is being released and available for pre order, Vinyl only it seems.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whatever-Happen ... =chris+rea
Hi Ace of Hearts,

I have posted this information with details 2 weeks ago in Discography section of the forum but nobody seems to be reading/following it, regrettably...

http://chrisrea.nl/community/viewtopic. ... 663#p12663

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Andrey
My VK fan page for Chris Rea in Russian: http://vk.com/chris_rea

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by hi it'sme » 28 Oct 2014, 10:03

Hi Andrew,
of course your post has been noticed. When I read it on October 10th only Amazon UK offered a pre-order.
Now also Amazon Germany has it on sale for November 21st (21,98€).
As you pointed out it is not a vinyl disc but a CD in the retro LP-look as the ones on the "Return of the Hofner Bluenotes"earbook.
Here in Germany Amazon advertise it as remastered.

Thanks for your constant posts which always amaze me for their knowledge and up-to-dateness.

Carry on and take care
hi it'sme

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by ann268 » 01 Nov 2014, 17:40

Hi Andrey,

I knew and read it and ordered the remastered CD.
And hopefully there will be a new release on it's way in febraury 2015. :D
What do you think?! Good news, only wish I could find a link to this interview of HR 1 on German Radio, anyone?

Ann
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by jlandon033 » 03 Nov 2014, 00:35

The company doing these "remasters" is a company called Culture Factory USA. It doesn't appear that they are obtaining a copy of the original analog master tapes to re-create the new digital version. This is vital in most cases when trying to improve upon the original CD's.

I read an article where a remastering digital expert took 3 digital versions of an old Robert Palmer release from the 1970's and compared the quality. They took the original CD version from the 80's, and 2 recently "remastered" CD versions (one from Culture Factory). The original 80's CD sounded the best to him and through extreme technical analysis he could tell that the "remastered" versions where not from the original analog tapes but remastered from a digital source.

We may be better off sticking with our CD's of Benny Santini we already have (if we do indeed have them). For those who don't have a copy on CD there are few on ebay right now.

Joe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 03 Nov 2014, 02:14

Hi Joe,

Thanks a lot for this detailed and useful comment, me as an audiofile addict I do believe it may be true, and I love the sound of my Japanese CD of Benny Santini album from 1986 which I assume would still remain the best sounding CD produced.

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Andrey
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by jlandon033 » 06 Dec 2014, 18:10

After posting my recent comments about the newly remastered first album I thought I would take a good listen to this cd. It's actually a very enjoyable set songs to listen to. Some of the songs sound somewhat dated (Three Angels & One of Those Days) and do not represent the overall style that Chris would inevitably end up developing but they still are really good tunes.

In regards to Chris' complaints about the album and some of the songs there is actually quite a bit of slide guitar on the album. There are some rocking songs on the album. In addition to that when Chris was left to his own devices in those early days (Tennis) he wasn't actually creating "prototypical" blues music. Some of the songs may have had "bluesy" guitar licks and slide playing but the songs themselves where pop/rock.

Which brings us to the enigma of the song that is Fool (If you think it's Over). The song on it's own merits is a minor masterpiece. It's an absolutely beautiful song with great lyrics, expressive singing, and great musicianship. It's irrelevant to me that Chris doesn't play (slide) guitar on the song. The album clicks along nicely and then all of the sudden you have this absolutely stunning song that is clearly exponentially better than anything else on the album. To hear Chris belittle the song has always been puzzling. The tone and styling of Fool fit right along with quite a bit of his work that have a light breezy jazzy blue sound (On the Beach, King of the Beach, etc...). In my humble opinion his beef with the song is more about what it represented than he thinks the song itself. I think the success of the song represented a direction and style he was being pressured to go in by the record company and management. I think Chris wanted to be Joe Walsh not Elton Joel. I think Chris uses that song as an analogy how the early days got off to a rough and the direction he has being pressured to take.

Joe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 08 Dec 2014, 09:10

Hi Joe,

Thank you very much for you post, I totally agree with what you write.

What about Fool If You Think It's Over, Chris talked of this song a lot through the years, especially after 2002 when he talked about his blues roots.

At least in 2 interviews did he mentioned the bit of paper he is still keeping at home, that reads "Fool If You Think It's Over, song for Al Green, 90 bits per minute, Al Jackson on drums" and that it was initially meant to be a "Memphis song". Chris also points out this is the only big hit by him that had no guitar of him in the 1st released version, because he had no other choice but to follow the things his producer said as he knew nothing of the business and blindly believed in what he was told to do as he saw it the only way it had to be done.

However, Chris played Fool If You Think It's Over live in 1983-84 and 1986-87 and also in 2006-08, in most cases with his Bluey Strat using a smooth slide technique, just like in Josephine, On the Beach, Looking for the Summer, etc. I assume nevertheless that even in these live versions it was not the slide guitar that played the leading role in the song.

BTW, if you bought the new CD, did you like the overall sound of the remastered album?

Thanks again and best regards
Andrey
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by jlandon033 » 10 Dec 2014, 04:12

Well no I haven't bought the new "re-mastered" version of Benny Santini yet. I believe at some time I'll purchase it though. It's worth a try. It's only $16.99 on Amazon right now.

Just another note about Fool If You think It's Over. Chris has so few kind words for the original version of this song however when he re=recorded the song for the New Lights record his new version is really not that different from the original. In fact although the newer version of it is pretty good the older version is the hands down winner in my humble opinion. I hope someday Chris will release the autobiography so we can get a little more context and detailed behind a lot of these old stories. The standard interview questions and same old answers tend to get pretty old.

Joe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 12 Dec 2014, 14:59

Hi again!

Here is a praising review of the new remaster I found on Amazon UK, hope the author would not object:
NEW REMASTERED CD
By wolfers (TOP 1000 REVIEWER) on 25 Nov 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase

OMG, If you are a Rea fan you NEED to buy this remastered CD, it is absolutely beautiful to hear.

As soon as track 1 (Santini) kicked in I just knew I had bought a superb CD.The sound is awesome and makes previous cd releases defunct and naff sounding.The sax on Santini just screams at you crystal clear. Piano tinkles away on Closer You Get with and bass is a thumping. The guitar sounds wow!! And Chris's vocals are much clearer.

I won't go through every track because as you know this is a stunning album that, thanks to this release, sounds the best it has ever done.

It has a card sleeve (not jewel) and has a replica inner lyric sleeve as per original vinyl.

I hope this is the start of a series of remasters of Chris's back catalogue, especially Wired To The Moon, Shamrock Diaries, On The Beach and Dancing With Strangers.

My only negative, and its a small one, a shame no bonus (non album tracks or b-sides).

AWESOME!!! To paraphrase a Rea album, this is Bright Light Through Old Windows
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by ann268 » 12 Dec 2014, 15:34

Have it but had no time yet to listen to it...
Sad thing about this reissue is that there is no jewelcase, just a cardboard packing. A bit cheap looking.
I agree with the above piece about that.
Ann
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 12 Dec 2014, 15:52

Hi Anneke,

this is sad to read, of course... I have a big collection of Japanese mini-vinyl replica CDs by other artists and the package quality is always impeccable, though it is always a cardboard sleeve and cartons in some cases...
I wish American manufacturers learn more from Japanese on this subject ))

Jewel cases begin to look older faster with all the small scratches clearly visible if not properly stored, so I love cardboards much more, they are really easier to handle.

best regards
Andrey
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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by jlandon033 » 12 Dec 2014, 21:05

I have the "re-mastered" Benny Santini CD on my Christmas wish list. I'll give a full review as soon as I get it this month and get a chance to listen to it. I'll do a side by side comparison of the two CD's to see if the new CD is worth anybody's time (and money).

The lack of care taken in the new packaging is disappointing as is the lack of bonus tracks (Midnight Love) but maybe the quality of the new mastering will make up for it.

Joe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by jlandon033 » 31 Dec 2014, 21:55

Hello all,

I have been able to listen to the new "re-mastered" cd a couple of time now. I have also listened to the old cd to get a fair comparison. I would say by and large the new "re-mastered" cd is a much more exiting listening experience. There seems to be better separation between the instrumentation in that each instrument seems to stand out better rather than blend. Chris's vocals really are more rich vibrant in the new CD. The Slide guitars really seem to pop in the new version. Overall I would say the new "re-mastered" version seems 3-D rather than one dimensional like the old one.

Technically part of the process of the "re-mastering" can be the use of compression, filters, and boosters to bring out certain frequencies of the overall mix (ie: to make it where we can here the guitars better). Using these studio mixing techniques can create "distortion". I only found one glaring instance of this. It was during a 15 second stretch of the track "The Closer You Get". Other wise I found the cd a really fresh and exciting listening experience. In contrast to my original comments about this company (Culture Factory) their website says that they procure a brand new digital copy of the original master tapes from the manufacturer that is in a audiophile bit rate. That may have much to do with why this "re-mastered" version sounds so good. Plus digital mixing equipment is lights years better than the stuff from the 80's and 90's.

In my humble opinion if I was buying a CD of "Benny Santini" for this first time I would buy the "re-mastered" version. If I was inclined to have all Chris Rea CD's in the best possible listening format I buy the 're-mastered" version even if I had the old CD. I will clarify that did my listening of the new CD on a very top notch home stereo so that did help shine the light on the differences between the old and new cd. A cheaper stereo or ipod may not show the differences as much.

Sincerely,

Joe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Benny Santini re release

Post by andrew fischer » 02 Apr 2015, 09:04

Hi everyone,

have just come across a very big detailed review on Chris's 1st album reissue, dated the 25th of February, 2015:

https://dereksmusicblog.wordpress.com/2 ... y-santini/

The author, somebody who owns the page named DEREKSMUSICBLOG, did a good job analysing all the songs of the reissued album and also tried to make a historical overview on Chris's very early years in music but he apparently used some old official articles and thus speaks of the same mistaken things like initial music inspiration by Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder or Chris's substitution of Dave Coverdale in Magdalene group. Moreover, he also gives his own assumptions basing on the information which is at least partly incorrect.

Nevertheless, this review is highly recommended.

UPDATE: And here is another CR album review by Derek Anderson, on Water Sign:
https://dereksmusicblog.wordpress.com/2 ... ater-sign/

Again there are some minor discrepancies that only fans are aware of, otherwise the article is quite worth reading.

best regards
Andrey


best regards
Andrey
My VK fan page for Chris Rea in Russian: http://vk.com/chris_rea

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