Grainy vids from Lionel Richie, Lady Gaga and more are getting cleaned up.
Blurry YouTube music videos for classics like Boys II Men’s ‘End Of The Road’, Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’, Janet Jackson’s ‘When I Think Of You’ and, yes, Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’ have been remastered in HD as part of a project between the streaming platform and Universal Music Group.
UMG worked with a number of obsolete formats to create the new versions, which replace the original videos while keeping the original URL and view counts.
According to The New York Times, UMG consulted with artists and directors to make sure the end result was as true to the original vision as possible. Spike Jonze’s ‘Sabotage’ video, for example, was cleaned up to ensure the retro ’70s cop show aesthetic was preserved.
“The graininess of a tube television set, which is what they were going for, is not the dithery compression artifact that you can see on a highly compressed video, so cleaning it up went more to the retro intent,” said Barak Moffitt, Universal’s executive vice president of content strategy and operation.
Other artists to get the HD treatment so far include Lady Gaga, Tom Petty, Lionel Richie, Kiss and the Spice Girls. YouTube and UMG are aiming to remaster over 1,000 videos by the end of 2020.