Kolkata Audio Meet (Virtual) - July 2020

Mogami Cables

Do you think streaming is a better alternative to buying physical media at exorbitant prices

  • No, Other Reason

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    17
  • Poll closed .

haisaikat

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During the last virtual audio meet back in April 2020, we had hoped that by the next meet we would be able to do it face to face. But little did we know that we are still far off and the way its going on, 2021 may be the next possible timeframe in order to conduct a face to face meet. This time the added bonus is a more detailed account of the meet based on public demand. So here comes the account of the meet, hope you enjoy reading.

Attendees : @hector2013 (prakritish), @anirban420 (anirban), @subhashis_1980 (Subhashis), @haisaikat (Me)

It was 3 pm in the afternoon of Saturday, 4th of July, a time slot zeroed on after much debate. There were some last minute drop outs but having some great collectors and keepers of physical media in the zoom room we did not find short of topics to discuss.

The discussion started with some popular 70s-80s Bollywood secret agent / espionage movies including some of their sequels having good audio tracks who had a common link in most of them, Ravikant Nagaich
  • Bond 303 and Raksha
  • Wardaat
  • Farz and Aankhen
We recollected seeing our Indian secret agents portrayed by Mithun, Dharmendra and Jeetendra. On Amazon the dual CD of Bond 303 and Raksha had been floating for some days.

Revolving around the same link of Ravikant Nagaich, another beautiful musical gem came to our radar namely Jadu Tona from 1977, Incidentally whose LP is very rare.

Picking up another link from the above series of movies, Bappi Lahiri as music director for Wardat and Raksha, the discussion continued on hit music albums whose physical media is very rare and in this context Bappi Lahiri's non-movie albums from the 80s surfaced and we could only recollect Superuna on LP as a rare item among them. While we were scratching our heads thinking about other non-film entries from Bappi da, we got to witness them from non other than Prakritish's own collection of Vinyl, see below from his sorted index

1. Bappi da non film.jpg

Of course, onward from 90s, Bappi da did continue with Rahul and I, Jawani Jawani to name a few more non-film albums. But we unanimously agreed that the golden time of Bappi da was all the way in the 80s. But we also touched upon briefly on another gem from Bappi da in the late 70s namely Ahsaas whose LP is also rare. There are vinyl rips of Ahsaas and many rare LPs available on youtube.
5. Ahsaas.jpg

Talking of youtubers uploading vinyl rips, one such channel dedicated exclusively towards vinyl rips is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihUr0Rmi3iOjZUai80UbMg which is owned by our very own HFVian @SKD Swapan Das from Kolkata, he is also on our Kolkata Whatsapp HFV group.

Another very rare LP set which came up in discussion was that of Bombay Connection, and its wonderful art cover
4. Bombay Connection front.jpg 4. Bombay connection rear.jpg

However a rare LP does not always signify the best in richness of the audio, and an example is among the ones we already discussed, Bond 303. The problem in the quality is felt in its song Disco Lily, even in the LP, which is on the contrary to the regular belief that degradation mostly happens during the transition from LP to CD or from 1st pressing to next pressing.

Looking at the bold poster of the movie Ahsaas, the discussion momentarily shifted to yesteryear films having similar bold shoots of the likes in a bikini or a swimsuit. We unanimously named Sharmila Tagore for her stance in Evening in Paris from 1967, but Prakritish cited that it was not the first. Nargis had appeared first time in swimsuit in her 1951 movie Awara and then appeared Nutan in a swimsuit in Dilli ka Thug released in 1958 and even after that again Nargis came in her 1964 release named Sangam.

The discussion came back on track on the context of rare releases on LPs, another one by Bappi da being Disco Dancer (1982) whose LP. There is a new LP released but the master seems to be from Digital conversion resulting in a quality which is not that great, although newly released CD of Disco Dancer is perceived to be not that bad. This same precedence have been carried forward in digital rendering of a highly priced combo album prevailing online nowadays having Tarzaan, Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki and Disco Dancer that have missing tracks from original movies.

On the context of this combo albums, we wondered how come HMV (now SaReGaMa) and Universal releases are clubbed into one single album. We concluded probably it was more of copyright leases for duplication in combo publishes and less of full album re-releases. Similar combo releases being of Qurbani and another version of Disco Dancer
6. DD combo 2.jpg 6. combo rear.jpg

7. qurbani.jpg

From the discussion of the combos, the topic transitioned to once again to quality of across pressings and eventually around new LP releases of popular movies having digitally mastered tracks. Three such titles we recollected namely 1942 - A Love Story from the 90s and Veer Zara and Jodhaa Akbar in recent times. All having descent reproduction on LP and even Jodhaa Akbar has been great on CD. Veer Zara LP set is a pricey collector's item and has the never released before scores of Madan Mohan on a separate LP with audio narration of how the tune of "Tere Liye Hum Phire Jiye" was created. We could not stop but salute the comeback R.D Burman made in the 1942 -A Love Story movie and what a musical gem the album has been.

The two movies 1942 - A Love Story and Jodha Akbar share another similarity. The focus role was previously offered to someone else but eventually portrayed by another artist who was not the first choice. In Jodhaa Akbar it was Shahrukh to perform the role of Akbar but eventually played very well by Hrithik. And in 1942, the lead role of Lajjo was offered to Madhuri as the first choice after doing screentest of Madhuri, Manisha and Urmila. However due to unavailability of dates from Madhuri's secretary, the selection of Manisha happened who even portrayed the character very well. Here is a photo of Madhuri from screentest as available on Twitter.
8. 1942.jpg

It is said that perfection is carried forward top down and evident in the link between 1942- A Love Story, Khamoshi and Parinda. Sanjay Leela Bhansali worked along side Vidhu Vinod in Parinda and 1942, the later even had Rajkumar Hirani working alongside Vidhu Vinod, both of them eventually became famed Directors in later years.

From the discussion of the music by R.D Burman, came up a related topic of Louis Banks whose talent was noticed by R.D Burman while visiting his frequented place Blue Fox Restaurant in Park Street of Kolkata where Banks played Piano in live performances. After shifting to Mumbai by support of R.D, Louis Banks worked in several hit bollywood movies, a notable one being Hum (1991) where he gave the background score. Although we could not verify from online sources but per our recollection in the early 90s Louis Banks also gave theme and background scores in several TV Series aired on Doordarshan namely Vijay Amritaraj presents - Match Point and another similar one named Sunil Gavaskar presents. In Match Point, the title score was one of our most favourite ones in those time. We also recollected Louis Bank's another India famous composition "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara" which used to play on Doordarshan once upon a time and still mingles deep in our hearts.


In context of the movie Hum, we discussed that its sound track released on EMI label have a not so great perceived quality.

Our gossip was going on for over 90 minutes and we were finally hovering on the overpriced and overhyped physical media market, courtesy some social media groups and sellers and eventually it has impacted even local sellers too. Some examples are
  • Qurbani - Audio CD
  • Jaan - Audio CD selling for INR 999
  • Julie - first pressing LP for INR 5,000
  • Devdas Digipack - Audio CD for INR 3,000 (some months back it was selling for INR 99 only, thanks for @subhashis_1980 who bought one for me)
  • Kabhi Na Kabhi - Audio CD
ebay being the most popular ecommerce platform of buying and selling of these high priced physical media. One can of course bargain with sellers for bulk purchase.

Another trivia, Kabhi na Kabhi was probably the only a movie where Kumar Sanu and A.R Rahman performed together, thereafter Sanu had his own recording studio in Mumbai and Rahman has his own in Chennai and neither one of them was ready to step out of their den.

One overpriced physical media of music Prakritish referred to this Vinyl seller on discogs where some of the items are selling for the price of gold, almost. See for yourself in the images.

9. reto seller discogs.jpg

9. retro costly .jpg 9. reto 3.jpg

Closing words while we were almost touching the 2 hour mark, although previously promised, Anirban did not sing and Subhashis did not dance, but nevertheless here are the attendees of the meeting in one frame who all made this meet successful and engaging and the 2 hours passed like nothing. Thanks to everyone for reading, hope you like the discussion.
10- US.jpg

Signing Off
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 15865

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@haisaikat, it’s difficult for me to see those poll options in a binary way. All of them seem true. Streaming does not give the experience of owning & handling physical media, the sound quality of CD is a tad better than a FLAC ripped from it, but yet streaming (especially something like Tidal) makes a better VFM proposition. Some of us, like me, therefore opt for hybrid. While we buy physical media (CDs) of our favourite albums/artists, we stream everything else. For the former, I find even an exorbitant price for a CD better alternative than streaming, while for the latter, I find streaming a better alternative than paying for the CD.
 

subhashis_1980

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@haisaikat, few corrections - i was supposed to do a unique performance but due to time and the fact that @anirban420 did not sing pink floyd in Manna Dey ishtyle, it got held up. Nevertheless next time i will.

Also i have ordered the Bombay Connection CD(the one discussed in so details that day) from Belgium whose shipping costs was more than the CD cost - thereby answering your poll on what I prefer.

Coming back to review, it's a marvel that how you tend to remember so much details after nearly 2 months. Great detailed update.
 

square_wave

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@haisaikat, it’s difficult for me to see those poll options in a binary way. All of them seem true. Streaming does not give the experience of owning & handling physical media, the sound quality of CD is a tad better than a FLAC ripped from it, but yet streaming (especially something like Tidal) makes a better VFM proposition. Some of us, like me, therefore opt for hybrid. While we buy physical media (CDs) of our favourite albums/artists, we stream everything else. For the former, I find even an exorbitant price for a CD better alternative than streaming, while for the latter, I find streaming a better alternative than paying for the CD.

Similar thoughts here. Also there are some other important considerations.

If you own a really good version of the cd and also own a good transport then the cd will sound better than lossless streaming. If your cd is less than ideal and / or your transport isn't great, chances are lossless streaming will sound better.

Owning & handling physical media especially vinyl is a different ball game altogether. Some releases sound better only on vinyl.

For many of us, it is a hybrid situation.
 

anirban420

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the fact that @anirban420 did not sing pink floyd in Manna Dey ishtyle
I don't know any PF song, I have already told this before.

Nevertheless next time i will.
Eagerly waiting to watch your performance.

it's a marvel that how you tend to remember so much details after nearly 2 months
That's the very question that came into my mind also. Anyway, its a very good post and very enjoyable to read. Keep it on bro @haisaikat
 

anirban420

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@haisaikat I am a hybrid listener of cassette, CD and streaming (mainly youtube), every listening medium brings meaning to me. In the present situation, streaming might have lesser SQ compared to CD or well maintained/played cassette. But it has a significant advantage of collection, which is challenging to get through the physical medium. Since SQ is not a determining factor for at least 30% of the music that I listen, I depend on streaming and MP3s for those sectors. Therefore I want to vote "YES" for both CD and streaming. Since I could not find such an option, I can not vote.
 
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