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Surrounded On Sundays - 5.1/quad reviews and summaries

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Jun 15, 2019.

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  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You won't miss it. It freezes for a second ... kind of spoils the atmosphere lol
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Also don't forget to run through any of the albums we have done, if you feel drawn to

    Reference to the albums

    Aerosmith - Toys In The Attic
    Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare
    Allman Brothers Band - Live At Fillmore East
    Allman Brother Band - Eat a Peach
    Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here
    Ayreon - The Source

    Band - Music From Big Pink
    The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album)
    The Beatles - Abbey Road
    Beck, Jeff - Blow By Blow
    Be Bop Deluxe - Futurama
    Be Bop Deluxe - Sunburst Finish
    Bjork - Vespertine
    Bowie, David - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
    Browne, Jackson - Running On Empty

    Charles, Ray - Ray Sings, Basie Swings
    Cobham, Billy - Spectrum
    Cobham, Billy - Spectrum (Quad)
    thanks @-dave--wave-

    Davis, Miles - In A Silent Way
    Davis, Miles - Bitches Brew
    Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward
    Depeche Mode - Delta Machine
    Derek and the Dominos - Layla and other assorted love songs
    Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    Doobie Brothers - The Captain And Me
    Doors - LA Woman
    Dream Theater - Distance Over Time
    Dukes Of Stratosphear - Psurroundabout Ride
    Dylan, Bob - Blonde On Blonde

    Eagles - Hotel California
    ELO - debut album
    Emerson Lake And Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery

    Fagen, Donald - The Nightfly
    Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

    Gabriel, Peter - Up
    Gaye, Marvin - Lets Get It On
    Genesis - Selling England By The Pound
    Genesis - And Then There Were Three
    Gentle Giant - The Power and The Glory
    Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead

    Jimi - Electric Ladyland

    Inxs - Kick
    Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death

    Jeff Beck Group - Rough And Ready
    Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick
    Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery
    Jethro Tull - Stormwatch
    Jethro Tull - TAAB 2
    thanks @riskylogic
    Joel, Billy - The Stranger
    John, Elton - Madman Across The Water

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - The Traveller
    King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King 40th and 50th
    King Crimson - Red
    Knopfler, Mark - Sailing To Philadelphia

    Living Colour - Collideoscope
    Lynyrd Skynyrd - Southern Surroundings

    Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight
    Moody Blues - A Question Of Balance
    Morrison, Van - Moondance

    Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Dig Lazarus Dig
    Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

    Oldfield, Mike - Five Miles Out
    Oldfield, Mike - Crises

    Opeth Pale - Communion

    Pat Metheny Group - Imaginary Day
    Pineapple Thief - Dissolution
    Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
    Pixies - Doolittle

    Queen - A Night At The Opera

    REM - Green
    Rich, Charlie Behind Closed Doors
    Roxy Music - Avalon
    Rush - Hemispheres
    Rush - Moving Pictures

    Santana - Lotus
    Sly And The Family Stone - Greatest Hits
    Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle

    Talking Heads - Fear Of Music
    Talking heads - Remain In Light
    Tangerine Dream - Phaedra
    Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - Damn The Torpedoes

    Townsend, Pete/Lane, Ronnie - Rough Mix
    T Rex - Electric Warrior

    Uk - Night After Night

    Wakeman, Rick - Six Wives Of Henry The Eighth
    Waters, Roger - Amused to Death
    Wayne, Jeff - War Of The Worlds
    Who - Quadrophenia
    Wilson, Steven - Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    Wings - Band On The Run

    XTC - The Black Sea

    Yes - Close To The Edge

    Zappa - Quaudiophiliac

    If the mood takes you, please feel free to give us your summary of any of these albums that we have done. For our purposes here, please try and give us information about the mix, in as much or as little detail as takes your fancy.
    If you feel so inclined, review the album, and the mastering or anything else about the album that you feel drawn to.
    Plan9 likes this.
  3. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident

    Jethro Tull - Stormwatch. I dunno about calling this album and it's two predecessors "Folk Rock". I think Benefit and Standup could go there - they compare favorably to "electric folk" groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. But, something like "Progressive Folk" would work for me, which brings comparison to Wishbone Ash Argus (and many other individual tracks from their earlier albums), the Strawbs, Grateful Dead From the Mars Hotel and Blues for Allah, Little Feat Time Loves a Hero, Kansas, and Wolf People. One of those are usually going to get off my shelf /hard drive before those JT albums. Of the three, I prefer Heavy Horses. While the first two tracks are pretty good, the rest of the album sounds rather formulaic - the only later track that sticks out to me is Dun Ringill. However, the 5.1 mix is top notch - and I don't have any of those other albums in surround. I've read that SW is on the fence about doing the next one, Broadsword and the Beast - which I can understand. The two remaining JT albums that I would be most interested in getting is surround are Crest of the Knave and The Christmas Album. But, I'm sure I'll get whatever they put out. Why stop now? (1/3)

    Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight. Never heard of Marillion before SW decided to mix one of their albums. Even then, the $45 they were asking for Misplaced Childhood was way too steep for a album I wasn't the least bit familiar with. But when the price dropped to $35 and I took a flyer. My first impression was "Oh, a Genesis knock off". Played it a few times, but I was impressed just enough to also get Brave when it came out. That got me hooked. Now they're one of my favorite bands. I like the Fish era better, but the Hobarth era is AOK too -- and Afraid of Sunlight is my second favorite with him after Brave. I have bought a bunch of CDs, but like Mark I think I'll back off the rest: I got AoS two months before the 5.1 set was announced, and I also bought Clutching at Straws twice. The surround mix sounds great, with Hobarth in the center and the rear speakers are keyboard heavy. (2/3)

    I'll chime in on the 40th vs 50th Crimson King issue later this week.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    Studio album by
    Neil Young
    February 1, 1972[1]
    Recorded January–September 1971
    Genre Folk rock country rock
    Length 37:11
    Label Reprise
    Producer Neil Young Elliot Mazer Henry Lewy Jack Nitzsche

    Harvest is the fourth studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released in February 1972 on Reprise Records, catalogue MS 2032. It featured the London Symphony Orchestra on two tracks and vocals by noted guests David Crosby, Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, and James Taylor. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart[2] for two weeks, and spawned two hit singles, "Old Man", which peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Heart of Gold", which reached #1.[3] It was the best-selling album of 1972 in the United States.[4]

    The Stray Gators
    1. "Out on the Weekend" 4:35
    2. "Harvest" 3:11
    3. "A Man Needs a Maid" 4:05
    4. "Heart of Gold" 3:07
    5. "Are You Ready for the Country?" 3:33
    6. "Old Man" 3:24
    7. "There's a World" 2:59
    8. "Alabama" 4:02
    9. "The Needle and the Damage Done" (recorded in concert January 30, 1971) 2:03
    10. "Words (Between the Lines of Age)" 6:40
    Neil young is undoubtedly a rock legend. He has been in bands since the early sixties.
    He left Canada and headed to L.A. in 1966 with Bruce Palmer the bass player in a band called the Mynah Birds, fronted by Rick James. Just as the band was about to record their first album James was arrested for be Awol from the Navy Reserve.
    When the got to L.A. they met up with Steven Stills, who Young had known previously, and Richie Furey. These guys became Buffalo Springfield.
    The band split in 68, and Young went on to record solo material. He also did some session work for the Monkee's in 68.
    Young signed up to Reprise records, where his friend Joni Mitchell was also signed, and immediately started work on his first album, simply titled Neil Young, with his Manager (who also managed Joni) Elliot Roberts ... and Young kept him as manager until his death this year.
    For his next record Young hired a band called The Rockets to be his backing band ... and so began the legend of Crazy Horse, and they recorded the now legendary Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.
    69 and 70 are the legendary Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young years, and they famously debuted at Woodstock and went on to record the legendary Deja Vu album. Young didn't stay in the band as he and Stills fought for creative control and it didn't work out, yet that dynamic made Deja Vu the album it was.
    Also in 1970 Young recorded his also very famous and brilliant After The Gold Rush.
    After a series of events, with Young touring and playing unreleased material, famously The Needle and the Damage Done, on Johnny Cash's tv show, he met up with Elliot Mazer and started recording his next album at Quadrafonic studios. There was a group of Nashville musicians pulled together and Neil connected with them and dubbed them the Stay Gators.
    This album was Harvest.... and it became very big. It is still a favourite amongst many of his albums for me.

    Of course now the dvd audio is out of print , but...
    Available at Amazon from about $63 https://www.amazon.com/Harvest-DVD-Audio-DTS-Surround-Sound/dp/B00006L7MT
    Discogs US from about $48 Neil Young - Harvest
    Discogs Europe from about $30 Neil Young - Harvest

    5.1 mixed by Elliot Mazer and John Hausman
    Mastered by Don Cobb and Eric Cobb

    I love this album, and initially I was put off by the mix, but it has been a long time and I want to revisit it, and see what it sounds like now, after having heard a lot more surround mixes.

    Out On The Weekend
    The drums are centered around the left front. Acoustic gtr is up front harmonica sits just right of front.
    As the music kicks in a little more we have pedal steel on the left, and the harmonica seems to be in the middle of the field and another acoustic is on the right.
    This isn't state of the art, but it does sound good.
    The thing that through me when I first got it was the drums, but they aren't bothering me.

    Acoustic guitars either side.
    Nice sub presence on the kick.
    Drums again centered around the front left speaker ... and if I remember rightly, they stay there.
    Piano on the left.
    There is a really nice ambience to this.
    I love this song ...
    The pedal steel seems to be up front and drifting to the left.
    Really nice sounding.

    A Man Needs A Maid
    The piano is centered around the left front. There are effects send going to the other channels giving it a nice full sound.
    The orchestra comes in, and we get chimes in the rears. We have a full sounding balanced mix.
    I love this song too. I am not one that subscribes to the notion that there is anything sexist about this track. It states what most men know, we need a woman to help us out, and we're not generally quite right without one... we tend to be messy ... I do anyway.
    Really nice mix.

    Heart Of Gold
    Drums same spot.
    Guitars either side. Neil up front...
    But moving your head about changes the field quite a bit.
    Again there is a nice ambience in this mix.
    Pedal steel just left of front left.
    Harmonica just right of front right.
    Not amazing but nice.

    Are you Ready For The Country?
    Piano up front. Drums same spot.
    The vocal is a little distant, and the levels a little unbalanced here.
    Slide guitar 1 just left of front left. Slide guitar just right of front right.
    This track is ok, but just doesn't quite sound right.

    Old Man
    This used to be my favourite Neil song back in the eighties.
    Acoustic up front, vocal up front.
    Drums same front left.
    Banjo right side. Slide left side. Bvox up front.
    Still that really nice ambience on here.
    Still love this song, and this mix sounds very good, even though not amazing.

    There's A World
    Really nice opening mix with the orchestra very nicely balanced.
    Piano and vocal up front.
    I always forget this song, but I like it a lot.
    This is a really nice sounding mix ... possibly the best mix on here....
    Excellent mix... by the way. There is no way that this is compressed, very nice dynamics

    That beautiful dirty guitar is on the right.
    Drums front left again.
    A slide guitar on the left.
    Piano up front.
    This is also a good sounding mix.
    Nicely immersive and pretty well balanced.... and I love this song too :)

    Needle And The Damage Done
    This is a stone cold classic, written for Crazy Horse's Danny Whitten.
    Gtr and vocal up front, but still that lovely ambience gives it a nice feel and sound.
    Audience noise leads straight into

    Piano up front. Drums around left front.
    Guitar on the right side. Slide just left of left front.
    A very live ambience here. Sounds like the guys just jamming.
    Neil starts feeling out a lead break on the right side. Then he really leaps into it, after probably stomping on an overdrive pedal or something.
    Then we move into another verse.
    This tracks the backing vocals move out of the front and share some side space where they generally sound best.
    Neil works himself into another lead break. Then we get the backing band playing just the chord sequence.
    You hear Neil fiddle with something on the right, and then he starts playing some lead again. We fade out at about 7:45
    Another pretty good mix.

    Here is a link to what @albertop told us about the mix earlier in the thread. Thank you Albert!

    For me, it would be too much of a hassle to start rearranging my speaker wires to test the playback, as they aren't really accessible, and I am not sure that I could be bothered if they were.
    So on a raw face value look at this mix ... it is a little disappointing, but certainly not unlistenable. I actually like the homely feel of the mix as it is.
    The main thing that used to drive me nuts was the drum placement, as I think it was the first time I had particularly noticed off centre drums when I first heard this, and this was one of my first dvd audio discs initially.
    The only song that is really hard to fathom is Are You Ready For The Country?, which just sounds wrong. The rest isn't super duper immersive surround, but it sounds nice, has good dynamics, a nice raw live sound and feel, and as I say there is a really nice ambience in most of this disc.
    If you love Neil Young, I don't think $30 would leave you disappointed with this, if you bear in mind what you are actually getting. I don't think $50 or $60 would be worthwhile though.
    Great album, slightly disappointing mix, but not so much so that I can't listen to it.
    @tinnox - hey mate. That is a more up to date look at this album from me.
  5. tinnox

    tinnox Senior Member

    Thank you for the review you are always knowledgeable. :righton:
    mark winstanley likes this.
  6. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident

    If you've got multichannel RCA connections from your Oppo to your receiver then you could do it by switching those. Of course, you would have to switch them back after track 4 and then back again for track 6 and 7. I think not.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol yea, that isn't going to happen. Hdmi connection, and speaker wires are the only option, and I would have to pull the whole system out to do it :shake::)
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Finally gotten around to watching the Pineapple Thief Where We Stood.
    I figured I had better not do another album lol.
    Watched the first half in the concert mix, and the second half in the discreet mix.
    This is a really worthwhile set.
    I'm very impressed with the band, good songs, and good variety of songs, another excellent mix.
    Plus you get the Your Wilderness and Eight Years Later albums as a bonus in dts 96/24 5.1... I'm looking forward to hearing those.
    There is a copy of the deluxe 2cd/dvd/ bluray for a hundred bucks on discogs, and one on ebay for about 156....
    It's two years old, there should be a ton of them ......
  9. simon-wagstaff

    simon-wagstaff Forum Resident

    This explains everything about Harvest. I will just listen in stereo.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Terrible shame they didn't repress it correctly
    simon-wagstaff likes this.
  11. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident

    No there isn't. The bluray is all sold out everywhere and there aren't any used copies anywhere either. I did find what was allegedly the last deluxe 2cd/dvd/ bluray copy from Amazon Global for $45 plus shipping. I bought it. All I want is the bluray - who wants a 2cd/dvd box set?
    mark winstanley likes this.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I understand completely. The bluray should still be in print.
    For those that may want it though... there are a couple of deluxe sets available. That was all I was saying
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Votes for this weeks are HERE
  14. MikeF63

    MikeF63 Forum Resident

    Derbyshire, UK
    As promised, I am reporting back after my listen to the entire Genesis studio back catalogue in 5.1. All SACDs except for the Lamb which I chose on DVD to get the visuals (though they are not especially great). So as not to start with favourites and end up with a series of less-favoured albums I did not listen in chronological order but at random, but here’s my findings from 1970 to 1998. I did try the extras disc for 70-75 but haven’t yet tried the other two extras sets. I might do that after a break, along with the live albums. After Happy the Man and the excellent mix of Twilight Alehouse in 5.1, the rest of the early extras did not seem to be in any effective surround mix at all, possibly because they were 2-track originals?

    Trespass: 2nd best overall in my view. The early discs suffer less from the brickwalling effect of the Nick Davis remixes overall, though for stereo I will always go back the definitive remasters from 1994. The entry of the drums on Looking for Someone is great in the rears, then the separation is really nice for all of side 1. Stagnation is wonderfully immersive with the 12-strings all around, then the finest mix of all (although by no means the best song) is Dusk, with really nice use of the space. Overall in all the albums from the 70s to the 90s the quietest passages are the most effective. Thus The Knife is by no means the most exciting mix, albeit the “over the hedge” climax works well.

    Nursery Cryme: Not as good as Trespass mix-wise, the bass on Musical Box seems very muddy, and although the musicianship on side 1 is improved now that Hackett (and most especially Collins) are on board, the sound picture is less interesting. Side 2 is better (talking only about the mix, not the music) with Seven Stones offering a nice full sound during the mellotron climax. Harold the Barrel should be fantastic in 5.1 but it is only ok. Salmacis ends the album on a real high – at last Rutherford’s bass is clearer and the mix makes better use of the dynamics. Overall verdict – a bit disappointing

    Foxtrot: My favourite 5.1 mix of all the albums. Once again, as with Trespass, it’s the less expected songs that really sell it – Time Table and Can Utility. Of course Supper’s Ready offers great opportunities for surround, especially Willow Farm and Apocalypse 9/8. It would be difficult not to get this sounding interesting, but I imagine a Steven Wilson mix would have been even better!

    Selling England by the Pound: It is great on the quieter passages like the coda to Moonlit Knight and the first half of Cinema Show is especially great. Although it has some great moments it suffers from being too loud and lacking dynamics, hence classics like Firth of Fifth do not really excite as much as they should. It’s a great listen but could have been better. One of my favourite albums by anyone, ever, and I am underwhelmed.

    The Lamb: I looked forward to re-listening to the most cinematic of all Genesis albums and it does not disappoint. Right from the start the fly buzzing around the back speakers makes an old classic seem fresh. But once again, the dynamics are too compressed and Steve Hackett’s parts seem to come off worse in what is already a too-dominated by Tony Banks sound. Highlights apart from the first three numbers include Carpet Crawlers, the Waiting Room of course and other subtle quieter passages like Silent Sorrow and Ravine. “It” has a nice panning of the siren like synth sounds. Overall this is an interesting mix, but not consistently brilliant in 5.1 throughout.

    Trick of the Tail: I was very pleasantly surprised here as my perception of the entire 1976-82 Box from when I first obtained it was that it was a horrible listen. Well the 5.1 here is pretty good. Entangled is a wonderful immersive mix, and Mad Man Moon is very effectively done (is it a coincidence that Tony Banks when supervising the mix did the best job on his own songs?!). True to my overall impression that the quieter numbers work best, Ripples and the title track were my preferred choices from side 2.

    Wind and Wuthering: Overall pretty disappointing. Right from the get-go everything is too loud. One for the Vine works better than 11th Earl of Mar, but it’s not brilliant by any means. I never cared for Your Own Special Way and the mix didn’t change my mind. Side 2 (of the old vinyl) is more interesting, especially Blood on the Rooftops but by the end I was convinced if this album was not mixed again, I will stick with the older stereo mix in my collection.

    And Then There Were Three: A real mixed bag. Some of my least favourite numbers had the most effective mixes: Snowbound, Scenes from a Night’s Dream and Say It’s Alright Joe. The Lady Lies is really good (Tony looking after his own again?) But the experience overall is meh... – nowhere near enough light and shade in most of the songs.

    Duke: This is one of Nick Davis’s worst stereo remixes and the 5.1 compensates by being a bit better. The better numbers come from the Duke Suite, especially Turn It On Again and Duke’s Travels/End. A great album, a disappointing mix.

    Abacab: This was better than I expected it to be, the brass on No Reply at All is cool, and Me & Sarah Jane with its spacious sound is one of the nicer mixes. Dodo and Lurker are great numbers and the mix works without being distracting – and if you have to listen to WhoDunnit, it is well done here with great use of the rears for the weird sounds from the synths. Most of the rest passed me by until I got to Another Record (an underrated song in my view) which has a really good surround mix to close the album.

    Genesis: This was a really nice mix overall – Mama was good but that’s an “easy win” for the mixers, That’s All was tastefully done, and then Home by the Sea/2nd Home is superb. Side 2 is in most fans’ opinion the weaker side, and the overall loudness detracts from the subtlety of the surround mix, although Gonna Get Better is quite effective.

    Invisible Touch. I didn’t enjoy this at all, very loud and the drum sounds are overwhelming. It is only enjoyable in the quieter parts of Domino. Not a favourite album so I doubt I will bother with the 5.1 again.

    We Can’t Dance: Back to something a lot better, probably the nicest mix from the 1983-98 box, Living Forever, Dreaming While You Sleep make great use of the space. Fading Lights is a late career highlight and works well here. No real bad mixes throughout, though some don't really add much to the stereo.

    Calling All Stations. Has some really well mixed parts: Shipwrecked and Alien Afternoon were notably good, as was the drumfest that is Dividing Line. The Drums, ironically without Phil, are about the best mixed since the mid 70s albums. It’s not a great album and it goes on too long, but I think I preferred the 5.1 to the stereo so may give it another listen one day.

    Overall summary: the early albums are the most interesting mixes, though I may be biased by liking 70-77 so much more than the later works that they merely reinforced existing prejudices. Having the 5.1 makes owning the sets worthwhile, although I can’t think of any of the stereo mixes I’d prefer over the definitive remasters. Songs with more dynamics score over more straightforward songs in any era. The mixes fail to excite in the same way that say, the S Wilson mixes have led to renewed love of Yes, Crimson and Tull. It would be great if after a suitable break someone could persuade Mr Banks to let someone else have another go and reissue new mixes in Blu Ray Audio packages.

    Please feel free to disagree (and I appreciate my short summaries are nowhere near as good as Mark's deeper album by album reviews of those Genesis ones he's posted about to date. I’d love to hear other forum members’ views.
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I very much appreciate your input with this.
    Thank you very much
  16. Sordel

    Sordel Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    The Crises 5.1 is one that I regard as the first of the weaker Oldfield 5.1 mixes after the superb surround mixes of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn: all three of them must-buys for a surround listener. With the terrible Five Miles Out remix it shares the disagreeable quality of not really sounding to me like the original album, but to be fair it is much the better of the two.

    The long title track has a lot of energy. I like, for example, the ways the drums jump around the speakers, but unfortunately they sound very artificial while they're doing it. I find the quickly-muted cymbal in the middle of the soundfield very intrusive and irritating during the “Watcher Of The Tower” section, which it wasn't in the original stereo. The grating “sandshoe” sound that follows is either new to this mix or it was buried in the original: it robs this synthesiser section of its mystery. That said, the sonics are exciting, almost piercing in their brightness and articulation. The section beginning at about thirteen minutes in with the delayed & panned synthesisers is excellent, with great bass extension and sounds exactly like the album “ought to” sound. The channeling for the most part is very enjoyable. The “drum circle” towards the end has a lot of weight but the climax out of it sounds like there is a critical melodic line buried, almost like they forgot to add the track. Overall, the track is probably more fun for someone listening just for the surround and not for the original stereo mix.

    “Moonlight Shadow” has a completely different mix from the album with the unnecessary extended into and irritating, metronomic drumming added (or emphasised). Much of the charm of the original is buried and, again, the eq is horribly bright. (I found myself repeatedly turning down the volume on this one.)

    “In High Places” is sacrilege ... the original introduction with Jon Anderson singing unaccompanied is completely cut, and his vocals seem to have had the delay taken off them, making them to my ear unpleasantly dry and forward. I don't even particularly like the song and I'd take a point of any score I gave this album mix just for the way they messed this up.

    “Foreign Affair” isn't much of a song but at least it emerges largely unscathed from this remix. The backing vocals towards the end are more prominent than I remember them, but for once that's actually a good thing. The accordion solo at the end is either completely new or it was added to some extended version of the track early in its life, but it's hardly a bonus.

    “Taurus 3” is one of the best tracks on the original album, and the Spanish guitar is nicely articulated in surround. The introduction and outro are slightly extended. Passable.

    On the original album, “Shadow on the Wall” jumps in perfectly on the tail of “Taurus 3” ... here that effect is lost. Chapman's voice is again unnecessarily forward & dry. The punch of what was originally a very rocky track has been seriously sapped, not least because one guitar track (in the front right channel) has been turned way down in the mix. The male backing vocals were not there in the original album mix, nor was the synth guitar solo ... I don't think they add anything.

    If you like the original album, the tasteless way that the new version is mixed will be agony to you, as it is to me, but if you're just looking for a great, big noisy way to show off your 5.1 setup this remix is just about okay.
    drum_cas and mark winstanley like this.
  17. weekendtoy

    weekendtoy Rejecting your reality and substituting my own.

    Northern MN
    Great review as always.

    The problem I have with King Crimson and other 60's and 70's progressive rock, is that I just don't like the music. I bought the 40th anniversary release based the steller reviews. Played it once, enjoyed the mix, but couldn't get into the music at all.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  18. Sordel

    Sordel Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    Stormwatch isn't an album I know from Jethro Tull, so that's probably an advantage! As I've mentioned before, there are some of these Steven Wilson Tull remixes that I consider to be state-of-the-art, especially A Passion Play, Songs From The Wood and Minstrel so I'm very on-board with the soundworld.

    “North Sea Oil” is a rather throwaway curtain-raiser. “Orion” is better: note that this song is extended to over twice its album length on the other DVD, which (to my mind crucially) contains surround mixes of an entire album's worth of additional tracks. The vocals and strings on “Orion” are particularly good, I think. “Home” is a nice song, but not quite the anthem that it aspires to be: the electric guitars have rather dated.

    “Dark Ages” has more opportunities for SW to go to town. The distant piano chords are a lovely surround effect in the introduction. The guitar solo when it comes provides a nice focal point, but there's a lot to find in a fairly busy mix so different things will come to the surface on different listenings. One for the surround connoisseur, although I think it's only fair to add that this song will not become one of my Tull favourites!

    There's nice channeling in “Warm Sporran”, with bass guitar, distant vocals, flute, dulcimer, side drum all making themselves known in a pleasantly busy instrumental. “Something's On The Move” is another third-tier song I'm afraid, though the flute work is of course very good. “Old Ghosts” is a better song and has again a complex arrangement that comes over rather well in surround.

    “Dun Ringill” has, for the first time in this album, that acoustic guitar that I so like in the Tull/SW catalogue. It's my favourite song on the album so far and there's some surround fun to be had with the opening spoken word and the backing vocal near the end.

    “Flying Dutchman” has a phenomenal start ... almost reminiscent of “Locomotive Breath” with its exaggerated dynamics & surprising arrangement; that doesn't last but there are other lovely details, including at one point the doubling of flute with penny whistle. Probably the best song on the album to my taste. “Elegy” is a bit too close to “Air on a G String” to avoid some cognitive dissonance: I think that this is one I may come to skip.

    Overall, this isn't a good place to start with JT on surround because it is just a weaker album, though the boxed set is good value and easy to recommend ... on top of which, one's other JT Book sets will start to feel lonely without it!
    highway and PhantomStranger like this.
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I understand that totally.
    Crimson take a few listens to gel, and with the broad variety of ground they have covered, it is interesting that there are often, early seventies, mid seventies, eighties, and post eighties kind of fan groups.
    Islands was the first album to grab me, and then Discipline ... I think they are somewhat more accessible and less in that avant garde, sometimes dissonant camp. I think once those albums gelled for me, the others sort of fell in line.... if that makes any sense.
  20. fredblue

    fredblue Surrounded by Music

    London, England
    my biggest bugbear with this one was they seemingly didn't print up enough copies, it became hard to find pretty rapidly and now ordinarily goes for a fair few quid. a recurring theme with surround music stuff..
    mark winstanley likes this.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That seems to be the order of the day. I still can't believe The Pineapple Thief bluray was OOP within two years.
    I honestly don't think the industry knows the market, unless it is intentionally under-printing to force the streaming issue
  22. fredblue

    fredblue Surrounded by Music

    London, England
    it was such a thrill to help test that Love & Rockets BD-A for Opus, one of my favourites. fwiw 4AD just put out that Gene Clark SDE with Neil's 5.1 inside, so I still live in hope of more surround music releases from Beggars down the line, maybe not standalone who knows, we'll see.
    jamesc and mark winstanley like this.
  23. fredblue

    fredblue Surrounded by Music

    London, England
    another great disc! could be, though the phenomenon predates streaming etc., come to think of it, its been going on the whole time i've been into multich music back in the DVD-A vs SACD format wars nonsense days
    mark winstanley likes this.
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea I was the same. I jumped right in with both feet ... spent most of my time shopping, trying to educate the vendors who knew nothing about it lol
    fredblue likes this.
  25. fredblue

    fredblue Surrounded by Music

    London, England
    i used to get a lot of blank looks and shrugged shoulders when enquiring about surround music in stores.. every now and again someone working in a store would know/care what i was bleating on about and help out as best they could (many times directed to the DVD section where there was often little to nothing) but i guess they did the best they could with one of those situations of slow sales coupled with low stock and a lack of awareness or proper momentum behind the formats, so when those DVD-Audio/SACD items stores actually had for sale disappeared from shelves they were seldom if ever replenished.. ah its kinda academic now most of those places are gone.. for better or worse pretty much through it all there's been the (drum roll) internet and we all know how that works and sometimes doesn't! :biglaugh:
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