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remasters

The tapes used for a new pressing of an album usually use local copy-masters (which are multiple-generation copies of the original master tape) and/or format specific masters (which have been created for a specific format i.e. vinyl, cassette or CD).

Remastering involves going back to the definitive original master of an album and making a new copy (using modern equipment and updated software). This new version of the album is then used in the production process.

This has occurred several times over the past forty years. The old masters had been dusted down several times recently simply to create new remasters for new releases (such as the super deluxe editions), returning formats (such as 180g vinyl) or to exploit new techniques (such as half-speed remastering).


The ½" stereo master tape of the A-Side of New Gold Dream 81,82,83,84. This has been remastered three times in the last twenty years: once for the 2002 remasters, then for the half-speed remaster, and finally for the Super Deluxe edition and its associated releases.



1992 remaster: glittering prize 81/92


The band's ½" master tapes were first retrieved from the vault for the Glittering Prize 81/92 compilation. It featured a collection of album and single edits, so the respective master tapes were used for each track.

The remastering took place at Abbey Road with Chris Blair overseeing the project.

Glittering Prize 81/92
Release Date: October 1992
Highest Chart Position: 1
Producer: Various
LP (Virgin SMTV 1)
MC (Virgin SMTVC 1)
CD (Virgin SMTVD 1)
DCC (Virgin DCCV 463168)



2001 remaster: best of


The band's compilation albums tend to be released every ten years. So, it was a decade before the next batch of tapes were retreived from the vault for another Best Of compilation.

Simon Heyworth was at the controls at Sanctuary Studios for this release. Again, it featured a collection of album and single edits, so the respective master tapes were used for each track.

It would be Heyworth's first remastering for the band. He'd take on their albums for his next project.

The Best Of
Release Date: November 2001
Highest Chart Position: 34
Producer: Various
CD (Virgin CDVD 2953)



2002 remasters

The twelve studio albums owned by Virgin records were remastered in 2002 by Simon Heyworth at Super Audio Mastering. The original ½" stereo tapes were dusted down and used as the source.

The master of Once Upon A Time had disintegrated and couldn't be used. The copy-master was used instead.

Each album was commercially released as a limited-edition vinyl replica CD in 2002 and then as a standard edition CD in 2003.

Subsequent album box-sets and repressings have used these remasters. They remain on catalouge.


Life In A Day Remaster
Release Date: 21st October 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: John Leckie
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 1)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 1)
Real To Real Cacophony Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: John Leckie
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 2)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 2)
Empires And Dance Remaster
Release Date: 21st October 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: John Leckie
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 3)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 3)
Sons And Fascination Remaster
Release Date: 21st October 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Steve Hillage
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 4)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 4)
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Remaster
Release Date: 21st October 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Peter Walsh
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 5)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 5)
Sparkle In The Rain Remaster
Release Date: 21st October 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Steve Lillywhite
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 6)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 6)
Once Upon A Time Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 7)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 7)
Live In The City Of Light Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Bruce Lampov
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 8)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 8)
Street Fighting Years Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 9)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 9)
Real Life Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Stephen Lipson
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 10)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 10)
Good News From The Next World Remaster
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Keith Forsey and Simple Minds
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 11)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 11)
Neapolis
Release Date: 4th November 2002, 6th January 2003
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Charlie Burchill and Pete Walsh
Limited Edition CD (Virgin SIMCDX 12)
CD (Virgin SIMCD 12)



2012 remasters: x5


The paper trail in the Universal Tape Library shows that a large amount of tape research was undertaken for this project, with many tapes pulled from the archive, baked and transferred. Alternative takes, demos, and out-takes were also examined: whilst these were not released, it clarified what was actually in the vaults, and improved the tape cataloguing for future projects.

X5
Release Date: February 2012
Highest Chart Position: -
Original Producer: Various
Remastering: Matthew Cocker
Box Set (Virgin 50999 956474 2 5)



2015 remasters: sparkle in the rain


The analogue ½" master tapes were found, dusted down, baked and recorded for the Sparkle In The Rain reissues of 2015. The project was overseen by Andrew Walters at Abbey Road Studios. The focus of these box-sets was to return the best source material available.

Sparkle In The Rain Reissues
Release Date: March 2015
Highest Chart Position: -
Original Producer: Steve Lillywhite
Remastering: Andrew Walters and Steven Wilson.
LP (Universal 3797354)
CD (Universal 3797353)
Deluxe CD (Universal 3797350)
HFPA Blu-Ray (Universal 3797355)
Super Deluxe Box (Universal 3797349)



2015 remasters: the vinyl collection (79,84)


All of the band's original analogue ½" master tapes were used for this multiple album box-set. The project was again overseen by Andrew Walters at Abbey Road Studios. The ½" album masters for Life In A Day through to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) were dusted down and used for this project - I believe they used the newly remastered Sparkle In The Rain for this project.

The Vinyl Collection (79,84)
Release Date: October 2015
Highest Chart Position: -
Original Producer: Various
Remastering: Andrew Walters
Box Set (Universal 4733760)



2015 remasters: once upon a time


The analogue ½" master tapes were found, dusted down, baked and recorded for these Once Upon A Time reissues of 2015. The project was overseen by Andrew Walters at Abbey Road Studios.

There were issues with the master tapes of the album as they were shedding oxide and baking made no difference. (This is the only time that a tape has resisted all efforts to fix it in the Simple Minds discography). I recalled that Simon Heyworth had the same issues in 2002. So the copy-master was used instead.

Once Upon A Time Reissues
Release Date: December 2015
Highest Chart Position: -
Original Producer: Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain
Remastering: Andrew Walters.
LP (Universal 4722194)
CD (Universal 4722091)
Deluxe CD (Universal 4722086)
HFPA Blu-Ray (Universal 4722093)
Super Deluxe Box (Universal 4722072)



2016 remasters: new gold dream (81,82,83,84) half-speed remaster


This special half-speed remaster was the first of two transfers for the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) master tapes in 2016.

Released as part of a special series, the tapes were remastered at half-speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road studios.

New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Half-Speed Remaster
Release Date: March 2016
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Peter Walsh
LP (Universal ARHSLP004)



2016 remasters: new gold dream (81,82,83,84)



And the second play of the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) master tapes in 2016 was for the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Super Deluxe release. I visited Abbey Road during the transfers to help out Andrew Walters and was able to look through the impressive pile of ½" master tapes which were collected for this project.



New Gold Dream Reissues
Release Date: July 2016
Highest Chart Position: -
Original Producer: Pete Walsh
Remastering: Andrew Walters
LP (Universal 4733752)
CD (Universal 4766613)
Deluxe CD (Universal 4766615)
HFPA Blu-Ray (Universal 4773754)
Super Deluxe Box (Universal 4766622)





2018 remasters: rejuvenation



Demon Records purchased the rights for Simple Minds' albums of the 2000s and 2010s. This included Neon Lights through to Big Music.

They first reissued the remastered albums as limited edition heavyweight vinyl pressings collected in the Rejuvenation box-set. A second box-set, this time with the now-expanded albums on CD, was released in early 2019.

They were followed by individual releases. Each album appeared as a vinyl pressing (the same as included in the box-set) and an expanded deluxe CD.

Rejuvenation (2001 - 2014)
Release Date: December 2018
Highest Chart Position: -
12" x 12" Box (Demon DEMRECBOX30)
Includes Neon Lights LP (Demon DEMREC350), Cry LP (Demon DEMREC351), Black And White 050505 (Demon DEMREC352), Graffiti Soul (Demon DEMREC353) and Big Music (Demon DEMREC354). All on coloured vinyl.
Rejuvenation (2001 - 2014)
Release Date: March 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
12" x 12" Box (Edsel EDSL0026)
Includes Neon Lights CD (Edsel EDSL0026), Cry CD (Edsel EDSL0026), Black And White 050505 (Edsel EDSL0026), Graffiti Soul (Edsel EDSL0026), Searching For The Lost Boys (Edsel EDSL0026), Big Music (Edsel EDSL0026), Big Music Bonus CD (Edsel EDSL0026) Promo Videos DVD (Edsel EDSL0026/DVD).
Neon Lights
Release Date: April 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Simple Minds, Gordon Goudie and Phunk Investigation
Limited Edition LP (Demon Records DEMREC350)
Deluxe Edition CD (Edsel EDSL0036)
Cry
Release Date: April 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Simple Minds and Gordon Goudie
Limited Edition LP (Demon Records DEMREC351)
Deluxe Edition CD (Edsel EDSL0037)
Black And White 050505
Release Date: April 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Jez Coad and Simple Minds
Limited Edition LP (Demon Records DEMREC352)
Deluxe Edition CD (Edsel EDSL0038)
Graffiti Soul
Release Date: April 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Jez Coad and Simple Minds
Limited Edition LP (Demon Records DEMREC353)
Deluxe Edition CD (Edsel EDSL0039)
Big Music
Release Date: April 2019
Highest Chart Position: -
Producer: Steve Osborne, Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Limited Edition LP (Demon Records DEMREC354)
Deluxe Edition CD (Edsel EDSL0040)