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Fireball remastered by Steve Hoffman

Steve Hoffman, who has a cult following among some audiophiles, has reported in his blog that he’s working on a Fireball remaster which will be released on the Audio Fidelity label:

All done mastering this album. I think this is the first time these tapes were used in over 30 years….

Now, this is going to be the AMERICAN version of the album so no Demon’s Eye. AF tried, but no. We have strict orders to respect the USA song order in our Territory so don’t ask. Just the breaks but this will be the USA album as issued here in 1971.

This is the first time I’ve heard these songs without that ear-splitting treble boost and extra compression used on almost every release since the dawn of time. It’s a relief not to be peeled off the wall for a change.

Still, the album sounds like and will always sound like it was recorded in a dry 6 x 7 room at full volume, heh. At least now you’ll be able to hear some actual texturing in the sound.

One thing I should mention. This album was mixed on bad ‘ol British made Scotch 202 recording tape and is in very shaky shape. The reels were also marked DO NOT USE because the tape is literally falling apart. Even with all that, these mixes are the real deal, not to be imitated so please put up with a little random noise or whatever here and there. I did NOT dump to a digital work station to remove any bias clicks or whatever so you headphone nuts “get over it”. I wanted to be sure you’ll get a pure analog-like sound on your Gold CD so don’t let a tic or something ruin your day. Enjoy.

Most Audio Fidelity releases are straight album versions, so do not expect any bonus tracks.

Thanks to ormandy for the info.



45 Comments to “Fireball remastered by Steve Hoffman”:

  1. 1
    Joanna says:

    Well, it doesn’t seem to be very interesting…

  2. 2
    Ray says:

    I will take the original Fireball over the Audio Fidelity release anytime!!!

  3. 3
    Andre Sihotang says:

    All that I know, most of the tracks from Fireball are really powerful when played by MkVII / MkVIII.
    I don’t know why but some songs on Fireball musically are lack of something, the most prominent is No One Came. Mk 7/8 really give the song a new fantastic breath and it is one of their concert stamps. When I heard the original version it looked lame and somehow poppy. Strange Kind of Woman also suffer this, it became astonishingly incredible in Made in Japan and onwards.

    ..better producing a recorded Fireball album played by Mk 8 entirely rather than a Fireball remastered, in my opinion.

    Cheers

  4. 4
    Jeff Goyen says:

    All these re-masters and re-releases and ‘best-ofs’ are well and good but the long awaited NEW stuff is where exactly ? No light at the end of that tunnel yet……..

  5. 5
    George says:

    At last! I read something good at this site (after the controversial retirement rumors and Gillan’s answer)

  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Always thought that Roger went back to the original tapes already for HIS VERSION of the album?

    Dont know if these kinda efforts are better or not.

    Bought the audio phile GOLD DISC of Made In Japan in the 90 s.
    Never played it after afew spins.

    The 3 Double has been MY choice since.
    The only regret is the incompletenes, it would have been nice if it had been possible to redo that on a CD with longer lenght.

    I bought some 90 minutes Cd s lately but they seem unable to run on my system.

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    Come again? What tapes were used for the 30th anniversary remaster?

  8. 8
    Victor says:

    The best version of this album is the recently released vinyl by FridayMusic. Sounds fantastic! Better than the original release & much better than the 30th Anniversary version on vinyl. However, like mentioned above, no Demon’s Eye – oh well, still love it. Remastered CDs are rarely worth the sonic improvement. I recently purchased Alice Cooper’s, School’s Out, on the same Audio Fidelity brand – and, for the life of me the sonic improvements are only there because I know I put that CD in the player. Now, the vinyl version – that’s a different story.

  9. 9
    dale says:

    I hate the word remastered. The true fact is you can buy software for Apple or PC that you use at home to refine your original downloaded songs. So you can have your ‘Fireball’ album remastered million times.
    Having said that RG did an excellent job on ‘Fireball’ remastering so that should be the end of it.

  10. 10
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    So, here we get yet another waste of time and effort and money spent on an album, but the actual Band can’t record something new????

    Weird how albums keep being issued by other bands and tons of them are Re-Mastered, yet we can’t get something new from our Heroes…

    This remix doesn’t interest me in the least. Something New sure would be nice….

    Cheers

  11. 11
    ormandy says:

    Joanna, the best sounding version of Fireball isn’t interesting?

    Alrighty.

    I grew up with the SKOW version of Fireball, so I’m super thrilled with the news. Steve Hoffman has done amazing work on the other Purple titles (DPIR, MH, MiJ & WDWTWA), so I’m quite happy he finally got around to “the Fireball record,” as big Ian would say.

    This version came out months before the UK version, so in a way, this IS the original Fireball album.

  12. 12
    kraatzy says:

    …. doesn´t ??? ….

    -kraatzy-

  13. 13
    herky10 says:

    ….unless you want the BEST sounding version of this on CD. Should be night and day compared with the compressed mess that was the “25th Anniversary” remaster.

  14. 14
    George says:

    in 2009 we were promised by Roger himself to get the 25th Anniversary edition of PERFECT STRANGERS!

    Where is it?

  15. 15
    drew says:

    I think when he says “these tapes haven’t been used in 30 years” he’s referring to the US masters not the UK masters.

  16. 16
    Joanna says:

    Don’t worry, Deep Purple signed for two CDs, only one’s been released so far! 🙂

  17. 17
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I suppose the so called better vinyl editions of late are only better when one owns a really good system to play them on.

    I do own an old grammophoneplayer and kinda mediocre system so….

    I d LOVE to buy everything untill I drop dead but unfortunately I have to make choices.
    There are other PRIORITIES I ve to deal with as well.

    Originally I could not stand the idea of REMIXES but IMHO some have been very good.

    I like to play the Anniversary edition of FIREBALL and IN ROCK and their remixes as well.
    Somehow the Machinehead one did not get me that exited.
    BURN somehow really puts me off, I still prefer the old Warner cd.

    The triple Live In Japan REMIX is the example I m always referring to when trying to defend a remix.

    Am I wrong or have been all tracks of the 3 nights in Japan been released now?
    I should know, I apologise.

    I already said having not been able to use 90 minutes cd s on my system.
    Does anyone know how to deal with this?

    Gonna try it again myself after this post.

    Cheers and thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank YOU!!!!

  18. 18
    Robert Daems says:

    I saw a nice idea coming by here. Why don’t Deep Purple MK VIII record an album with re-releases of their best songs?

    My favourites:

    Hush
    Highway star
    No One Came
    Fireball
    Hard Lovin’ man
    Rat bat Blue
    Woman from Tokyo
    Lazy
    Halleluja
    Not responsible
    Knockin’ at your backdoor

    Would love to hear these in a good modern remix with Steve and Don

  19. 19
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 18

    I m afraid its not new.

    It may be a nice idea but after all that time?
    It did not help Def Leppard as well.

    So I thinkt it is for the section KEEP ON DREAMING or DONT HOLD YOUR BREATH

    What I tried to imply in my earlier post is that I ve been trying to pull the Live In Japan recordings together on a 90 minutes CD.

    This afternoon I tried it with Osaka from the 2nd disc , adding Black Night from LISTEN, LEARN, READ ON.

    My system does not recognise 90 minutes cd s or I am missing out on something else……..

    Btw, I think Rod Evans should have been paid for using that title for the BOX.

  20. 20
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Robert Daems @18….

    Great Idea, and one that I too threw out there long ago. Molly Hatchet, Foreigner, Journey and I’m sure many others have done just that. They have offered a disk of their Old Standards redone by their present line-up. This would be a Perfect way to bring the Old Purple current if they also put it together with a NEW Album. They already re-recorded ‘Blood Sucker’ and put it on ‘Abandon’. Prior to that, ‘Hush’ was redone by MK2b and included as a bonus track on “Nobody’s Perfect”. I think it would be Outstanding for this line-up to do a disk of Re-recordings of as many old Purple tracks as possible. Would love to include the instrumentals from MK3 and 4. “Owed to G and A-200”.

    Probably Way to much to ask for, but something I do believe the Fans would totally appreciate and if promoted properly, would be a money maker and great way to re-introduce this phenomenal Band…

    Cheers

  21. 21
    Svante Axbacke says:

    An album like that would surely finally tell Morse and Airey how much their song writing matters in DP…

  22. 22
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    #2 Ray, Amen brother. And the rest of yiz, I remain a traditional and hopeless romantic. The greatest sound, to this day, remains the original’s that were recorded mono vinyl regardless of the continued argument that vinyl on an expensive system (like my hi-financed hi-fidelity MACHINE)outweighs techno digitized “enhanced & remastered albums on CD’s. The virgin sound, like that heard from an early love interest, is untouchable in The Grand Scheme of Thangs. As it was created raw, and blew all listeners away walking out of record shops to the turntables at home, leave this shet alone!!!

    Has anyone EFF’d with The Mona Lisa?!?!?

    Fer God’s sake….!

    Back to the table to smack that eight ball victoriously into the side pocket….

    VAVOOM!!!!

    Peace,

    Ted

  23. 23
    Russ says:

    @14

    I heard that roger cannot find the Perfect Strangers master tapes. So I guess it won’t be happening. Shame they can find tapes from 30/40 years ago but not 25 years ago.

  24. 24
    Joanna says:

    Ormandy, (11th post): Sound- yes, I can agree, although I heard various opinions. But I’m angry no “Demon’s eye” is there. I’ll try to express my opinions more precisely in the future 😀

  25. 25
    Stephen says:

    I must say i am not in favour of the present DP redoing MK II numbers. The original tracks got their sound and style from when they were recorded (i.e. not to click tracks and not taking hours over the sound of one little item). To redo them would simply provide sanitised versions of much loved tracks. If really we wnat MK II stuff then someone such look to bring back the Soniczoom releases that went quite awhile ago and just release 1970/71/72 era bootlegs upgraded as much as technically possible as multi disc sets. This is one main area of DP stuff that should really be progressed, but again will no happen forlots of reasons.

    on the 90 minute CD issue, why not just put the tracks on an I Pod Touch and play them that way, you could put all 3 albums and extras back to back and not need to go out for hours!!

  26. 26
    George says:

    @ 18

    Uriah Heep did same last year. In order to celebrate their 40th year in rock, hey recorded all the best hits with latest lineup, added one new song on the CD and…. It was PERFECT! I loved that “Celebration” disc soooo much and still keep listening to it.

  27. 27
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Anybody else on here who prefers the remakes of Bloodsucker and HUSH instead of earlier versions?

    I agree that SOME OTHERS people Tracy mentioned succeed in delivering great renditions, well LIVE anyway…….

    I saw Foreigner with Kelly Hansen and he rules!
    Everybody knows how much trouble I have with line up changes but Kelly is great and on the other hand I still love Lou Gramm.

    Tony Martin did a great job.
    JLT does a great job in Rainbow AND OTR.

    But we re talking STUDIO RETAKES here….

    As an adding to an oeuvre is fine by me but very sad as an offering if they dont they create something worthy themselves.

  28. 28
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Priest….

    Read what I wrote again. I stated that in Addition to a NEW ALBUM, an added Disk of Re-recorded tunes from the past with the Present Line-up would be a great bonus. Plus, they could do the instrumentals that I suggested which would not in anyway, impede upon Gillan’s reluctance to sing songs from MK3 and 4. Again, not to ‘improve’ upon said classics, but to just reign in on the present Purple sound doing their versions of song we all love to play still.

    These other bands I listed along with Uriah Heep as George added did a magnificent job of just that and it adds a fresh dimension to listening to those songs, not just from another band Covering them, but the Actual Band Re-doing them in their present status.

    I never stated I prefer the redos of Hush and Bloodsucker. I just happen to enjoy them just as much. I like the differences. I’d much rather get Fresh Recordings of these songs than another Remastering of the exact same song which virtually sounds the same. That to me is a major waste of time. The Re-recordings would have much more validity. Especially if it was accompanied by a NEW ALBUM. Again, the perfect package for the present Purple.

    Funny how you have no problem with the Tribute Band ‘OTR’ covering old Rainbow songs, and enjoy listenning to it, but Bitch about Purple re-doing Their Songs….
    Different Line-up? YES. But Still DEEP PURPLE.

    Cheers

  29. 29
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….

    I do not own an I Pod.

    What was it again?

    Ermmmmmmmmmm.

    @ 23

    They cant find the masters?!
    Should I take that seriously?

    A while ago I understood from Nick Blagona that they, whoever that is, were working on it.

    I suggested to REMIX the HOBL and asked if he knew what the vaults were giving them in terms of unreleased material.

    But as yet I still dont know.

    And I m already waiting for that VIDEO DOC they did shoot during the early reunion days.
    I think bits and pieces of it are to be seen on the PS videoclip?

  30. 30
    T says:

    Joanna, I hope that the “two record deal” for which Deep Purple signed could not be satisfied by the release of a live album–as some groups have done in the past.

    As far as the MkII re-record idea, it does present several options, one of which is a half-new song/half re-work album. But please…no “Smoke on the Water,” “Black Night” and so forth–keep it to more unusual tracks such as “Rat Bat Blue,” “Flight of the Rat” or even something like “And the Address”–which Gillan wouldn’t have to sing but which would give the instrumentalists a workout.

    A double-CD might be cost prohibitive, but a downloadable album reduces manufacturing costs to nil. I personally would prefer a physical product; however, if cost is an issue, I would rather have something than nothing at all.

    This re-make idea puts the current Purple into perspective and cements the members into the legacy–rather than to be ‘replacements,’ as some see them. It makes the statement that the band has a history but this is the band as it stands NOW, linking the past to the present.

    Purple did a great job on “Bludsucker”–it was different but with the spirit of the original–reworked enough for it to stand on its own rather than to be just a “re-do”. “Hush”–perhaps not as good. The Morse-era version of “Fools” with its extending soloing is just the type of focus to use: Take the existing song and work it.

    One important effect of such recordings is that in order to promote it, the band would have to play some of the songs from the album–thus, Purple would have the perfect excuse to include “Rat Bat Blue” and other old classics into the setlist.

  31. 31
    T says:

    As for Fireball… When I was a teenager, I thought side 1 was great and side 2 I hardly played. Thirty-odd years on, side 2 sounds much more progressive.

  32. 32
    olive says:

    hey guys,

    thanks for the rererereremastered version but….
    Don’t you think it’s time to work on a new album, instead of proposing uninteresting stuff like this?

    Come on, just prove us that you’re still inspired!!!

    …are you?

  33. 33
    Moreblack says:

    Of course an atempt like that is only oriented/adressed to the sho shine music american market.Let Fireball how it is.

  34. 34
    Sami says:

    @ 32 No they’re not, everyone in their right mind should see it by now. A Glorified Tribute Band -era is getting closer & closer, or are they already there…sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Still, I ordered the new Morse-cd just to give it a shot, maybe he’ll surprise me with some good songs, the technical side of his playing is enough well known.

  35. 35
    purplepriest1965@hotmail.com says:

    Hi Tracy

    You re right.
    I did now re read your post…..

    Well, let me put it this way……

    1

    I kinda did appreciate LIVE renditions SOMETIMES by the Morse line up when they did things they never or almost never did LIVE with Ritchie.

    No One Came and Pictures Of Home are good examples.

    In the end it did NOT work for me because the mans solo s are all a bit, uhhhhhhhhhhh, samey?

    Not to mention the brutal solo s where he should have done something SUBTLE, as in WABMC and Fools.

    But Bloodsucker and Into The fire I kinda enjoyed because of the FAT riffing it got by him.

    I think they should have done that remake album together with introducing Morse, maybe?

    Not NOW as an desperate attempt to get attention from a bored die hard audience.

    But maybe I m too harsh now.
    If its done GOOD……..

    Another thing is……
    What would a 2 cd cost me that way?
    Or are they going the I Tunes road, selling, I kindly quote, CRAPPY MP 3 FILES.
    I m so annoyed by that phenomena.

    I did not buy ROTD at first, just the VINYL…., and made a wise choice because not soon after they issued the, now very common commercial trick, 2 cd Edition.

    2

    I would not mind a OTR disc, espescially because Turner and Rondinelli and Greg and Paul never played on a STUDIO version of the old Dio and Bonnet material they play so well live.

    A live DVD or 2 cd with a show incl Gates Of babylon, they skipped that now and I loved the rendition on stage.

    The omission is strange because JLT still did it recently on his so called SOLO gigs with NON OTR guys!!!!!!
    I dissaproved of that very much…thank you……..
    This way JLT is to blame for hilarious reactions towards his integrity.

    The fact that I tried to get a raection towards this awkward event did not trigger an answer unfortunately.

    Right now I do not know what to think of the OTR thing.

    I d have loved to see them do a STUDIO effort, combined with something we re talking about here.
    But the setlist has been cast in stome almost it seems and YET still no signal of releases in any shape or form.

    Whats going on guys?!

    Btw, if OTR would go the road of DP had sone for years now, an almost the same setlist over and over again AND NO STUDIO ALBUM, I ll be the first to admit thats boring and so on…….

    Jurgen kinda surprised me, did play quite well.
    And it s a bonus to see him show non verbal outings reminding of the father,but…..

    I ll be honest again…..
    He is NOT The Maestro himself.

    More development in style, including LESS shredding, and a NEW album together with a bit more diversity in setlist would make it very intersting for the years to come.

    Or should I wait for the moment that his father wakes up and wipes the floor with everybody like only HE can?

  36. 36
    Thunderhawk says:

    Well, what i would like to say, maby indeed some re-recorded MK 2 songs by the recent line-up.
    But than as a bonus cd, together with a new album.
    Put a dvd of Good not ever seen before Purple show with the package and sell it for areceneble price, 19’99 or something like that.

    Kiss did the same thing with there Sonic Boom album, the album itself, a disc of re-recorded Kiss classics by the current line-up, and a DVD from the 35 Alive tour, and for a pretty low price considering that it’s a 3 disc special, was a very great succes.

    So that would be A idea to take in Consideration, if you ask me ;).

  37. 37
    olive says:

    @34
    well, if they don’t plan to record a new album, I just consider that Deep Purple is dead….I have no money to spend for a group that has nothing to say anymore -_-

    But I still hope that a new album will come out soon…; What do you mean love is blind? :-p

  38. 38
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Theoretically it is possible to release a new album in 2011.

    Nice moment.

    Black Country Communion and Whitesnake both on tour with a new ROCK album.
    Jon Lord hopefully with another masterpiece or still touring around the recent one.

    OTR getting their chops together and release that 2 CD/ DVD we want from them.

    Ritchie still cuddling his Esmeralda while playing lullabys with Blackmore s Night.

    Deep Purple with the heaviest album since BURN written and recorded together with Satriani.

    Its a pity Glenn nicked Bonamassa.
    That might have been very interesting!!!
    Bonamassa says in the interview he does not need much time to record, so…..

    IN ROCK WE TRUST!

    No more endless philosophical jabbering about whatever……no more nonsense about great chemistry and fun but NO INSPIRATION to do a killer album.
    Lets face it, they tried with ABANDON……
    Dont need that again.

    Live it has become very dubious, espescially with songs like SKOW, but I m sure Gillan is able to match a lot of his past in the studio.

    Hell, bring in Martin Birch, get yourself in some poor environment instaed of all that luxury and get your old rock adrenaline flowing, guys.

    MAKE US PROUD!!!!!!

    Btw, did I already mention I kinda enjoy Steve s OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELD?

  39. 39
    Moreblack says:

    #38
    Great idea Purplepriest,it would be fine to have Martin making the sound for the (new)album.It’s the something else that is missing!!Great dude.

  40. 40
    Crimson Ghost says:

    A couple of us clearly confuse this with a ‘remix’, which wouldn’t be a good idea, I would agree. But it’s just remastered using the finest analog duplicating machine there is. It really is all in the equipment, no particular human stamp other than the labor process applied to Hoffman’s magical cloning device and the fact that he created it so he knows how to use it. He doesn’t remix Purple albums, they’re just faithfully transfered to gold disc in hi-fi stereo CD format. Consider what he does as a cleansing restoration, rather than a reworking of any sort. If there weren’t so many formats there wouldn’t be so many re-releases, but you have to preserve them somehow, regardless of how many are sold.

    It’s an evolution and always will be, as long as there is people like Hoffman. It’s aimed at the sound buff who approaches music with a different set of ears and not to be purchased for any other reason. It has nothing to do with producing anything different accept clarity, and made for playback on hi-end equipment for best recognition of it’s purpose.

    As for the remake albums mentioned, I have Night Ranger ‘Hits Re-recorded’, and I do enjoy it but can easily pick up on the reliance of modern technology and it doesn’t cover up their natural wrinkles any, it’s just a band way beyond it’s prime and that seems to be all there is to it. I wonder how many bands who’ve done this so far have come up with the idea on their own, it’s clearly an executive decision, just like suggesting covers. Of course they can’t deny agreeing with it, once they have. But I see no need for them to re-produce, they don’t use the same equipment and can’t re-create the sound of those songs, they’re so far removed from it that it would be a step backwards. This band doesn’t even write songs like that, and when they play them live they sound poor in comparison to their own material which always goes over very well. The hard thing is to balance the two, but they don’t seem to entertain any other choice, it’s very sad when a band can handle their own but think they need the past to hold them together. Maybe it’s like they say, they like what they do and they do what they like, if we follow they’re all the more satisfied.

    “Oh, we haven’t made our best album yet…” – Ian Gillan 2006

    I don’t see the point in associating this with current studio albums, these things will be coming out for the rest of our days, Deep Purple still around or not, they have nothing to do with this. Hey, anybody think it’s only fair to exist as long as so much more money is being made off them than they ever stand to make themselves anyway? Hhmmm, I smell a key motivation to partake in the small piece of a big pie that would otherwise be a foolish waste. It’s a smell that’s been lingering since 1984. It is what it is.

    Roger now says the tapes for Perfect Strangers can’t be located, but he is also the one who said he found them in the first place, so something isn’t right about this. Perhaps it’s a shelved matter for some reason. But to deflect it he also said that they did locate a substantial amount of HOBL 97 live tour video footage. Sounds tempting to me… but it wasn’t a press statement, it was recently told to a fan back stage who repeated it. He also said they will be in the studio in September, but to see if that happens, check back in October.

  41. 41
    Bruce says:

    “ear-splitting treble boost and extra compression used on almost every release since the dawn of time”
    ?????? What is he talking about?? I never heard those crap ever before!
    Who do Steve Hoffman thinks he are?
    The Glover-Remaster is the definitive version.
    Enjoy it!

  42. 42
    mAx___ says:

    The Audio Fidelity version of Machine Head is the worst sounding album I have ever bought. Total, complete, utter crap. And ultra-expensive to top it off.
    Steve Hoffman might as well go remix his own thoughts as far as I’m concerned.
    Any serious remixer wouldn’t take the job if Demon’s Eye is not on the album, anyway.

  43. 43
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 40

    Some of us here are really confused, indeed.

  44. 44
    nazareth says:

    I hope The Glover-Remasters is NOT the definitive versions . Listen to Nazareth and hear for yourself what that guy are capable do with a rock n roll band in the studio-area .

  45. 45
    L-O Ström says:

    The lack of knowledge here is astonishing! Read about the loudness war and come back.

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