Now you may remember that this same song was analysed off of the Grammy 2017 CD (see last blog) and it was the worst offender on the disc, with over 11,800 clipped samples per side!
How did this happen? It happened because iTunes and many other similar services will change the input of the track to be codified to -16dB LUFS. This is absolutely correct as the track at that level will not have any problems with clipped samples in the final compressed version.
So, even though the original had a perfectly horrible 23698 clipped samples (left and right channels), iTunes lowered the LUFS level by 8.3dB in order to put it safely through their encoder. Even though the mastering job was a mess by any standard, the iTunes version, even though compressed and lossy, came out looking better and even sounding better.
Once again, if everything was mastered to -16dB LUFS, the 'Loudness Wars' would be completely over and all modern music would sound better. That means every song in every genre will sound better. There oughta be a law! Here is the evidence from the preceding example...