As an audophile, I care a lot about my music collection. Some albums do have multiple pressings, with new remastered versions of the same old material. These remasters rarely surpass the originals, they tend to be overcompressed due to the infamous loudness wars, but I always seek to hear them, waiting for a miracle.
Right now I’m listening to the Queen 2011 remasters, which sound all really bad to my ears. I’ve read somewhere that Bob Ludwig was responsible for this work, but it’s hard to believe that such a great professional have done such a shitty job. Some songs – particularly the heavier ones – have so much compression that distortion is openly audible. The Jazz album is the worst one so far, with burnt peaks on all tracks, a mess of noise.
The Sheer Heart Attack song, from News of the World album, is a full block of deafening noise, that gave me a headache before the second minute ended, and I had to skip it. The same for the heavy parts of Brighton Rock and Stone Cold Crazy, from Sheer Heart Attack album. Basically, the songs are ruined, sounding really harsh, overcompressed on every single opportunity.
Label managers of today are not only stupid, they are deaf too. When I see things like this, I only can hope that digital music distribution kills this industry as soon as possible, as it is already happening. With the home studios and the internet, we don’t need their greed anymore.