BMG CD's ARE worse

I have seen this question somewhere before so when I got Rush's "2112" on both BMG and not I compared the two.

Both CD's say "Anthem Records", "Mercury" and "Polygram" but the BMG version says "This compilation @1990 PolyGram" "mfd. for BMG Direct, 6550 East 30th St., Induanapolis, IN 46219" and the non-BMG CD just says 1976 Mercury Records.

The BMG version sounded much less dynamic. The sound was compressed and flat. To prove my ears were not imagining things I looked at the playback level meter on my CDR-500 and the non-BMG version was showing higher peaks. The BMG version was showing a virtually constant playback level on the same part of the opening track.

Note this is not just a recording at a lower playback level but the actual dynamic peaks are showing to be less on the BMG disc. BMG is cheaper, looks like you get what you pay for.
one more thing: whenever i bid on any ebay cd i make sure to ask seller if it's bmg-columbiahouse-free or any dumb-club-free issue. otherwise it ain't worth a penny for me.
The Rush CD was just called "2112" which you cn buy in any store. The BMG version "Chronicles" only has the first and second part of "2112". So the discs aren't identical and that would better define if it's really BMG's fault or not.
I did not think a compilation CD would be remastered but this one did say "Manufactured for BMG". That statement bothered me. Perhaps "remastered for BMG" would be more like it?
cdc, Your BMG version is a different version than the store-bought version. But it's not different or inferior because it's a BMG edition. It's different because the CD title "Chronicles" has earlier mastering of the material than the current CD of the album "2112".

In other words, if you bought "Chronicles" in a store today, it would also sound comparatively worse than the "2112". When Mercury Records remastered the individual album CDs I do not think that they did the same for the Chronicles set. This is probably because they were issuing two new compilation sets at the time, Retrospective. Or if they did, then you may have an older copy (that's why I asked when you got the BMG disc).

By mastering, people here mean the process of prepping a recording for CD format. Sometimes the record labels put a new date to indicate the remastering date (e.g., "(c) 1976, 2002"), but sometimes they do not (e.g., "(c) 1976" only). I think this depends on whether the label feels that a newly mastered recording warrants copyright registration as a "new" work. Obviously, that Rush album was not mastered (for CD) in 1976.

In most cases, record companies will change the artwork or place a sticker on the plastic to advertise a "new mastering". But this is not always the case: the Bruce Springsteen catalogue was redone with no change to the packaging. The Who's Who's Next CD used to be like that too; in the U.S. MCA originally issued a "Steve Hoffman" master of that album on CD, then changed to another master without changing the packaging. (The Who's Next CD is currently a totally different package, with bonus tracks and yet another remastering.)

So with something like Springsteen's catalogue someone could potentially have two similar looking versions of the disc and think, "BMG's CDs are better sounding than my Tower Records copy!"
Marakanetz, it seems to be important to you to pay more for CDs that are not labeled as being from BMG, ColumbiaHouse, or, perhaps, the Musical Heritage Society. As they say in Texas, go head-on.
Hello Brianmgrarcom! It is indicated on the back of the CDs where it is manufactured. Made in the E.U., Made in the U.S.A, Made in the U.K., Made in Japan, etc, etc ...

For example, The Carpenters'Greatest Hits might have many mutations and versions. Different compilation, less or more songs, different year of release, re-masters, anniversary issues, etc, etc ... All will sound different. Sad but true!

Sometimes, the recording company lose the rights and the rights are transfer for example from Polygram to Warner Music.

Hope this helps.