Please post your thoughts and comments on this release! :thumbsdow
Please post your thoughts and comments on this release! :thumbsdow
Just rec'd my copy of IICORMN and can confirm DVD-A (hi-res surround @96/24, hi-res stereo @ 192/24), plus DD surround and stereo and DTS surround.Where was it confirmed that this is DVD-A? The Rhino site doesn't mention it, they just say DVD and 5.1. I'm really hoping it's DVD-A.
If you look at the CD and DVD disc artwork, it may throw you - they both have the good 'ol Atlantic green-white-and-orange label with "STEREO" on the left. Don't worry, the DVD has the surround content
The menus show 5.1, but the liner notes state, "For creative reasons, the surround mix was done in 5.0; the LFE (channel, sic) is not utilized."
Gave it a quick spin...my impressions...
Once again, the good folks at Rhino are hitting these things out of the park. The Bjork box notwithstanding, they seem committed to hi-res, as was recently relayed to me by their authoring guru, Spence Chrislu. They've also embraced CD+ DVD combo packages lately, which I've always felt was the way to go.
Audio options for DVD-A players I've outlined above, DVD-Video players get Dolby Surround, DTS Surround, and Dolby Stereo. Extras include photos, lyrics, and an interview with Stephen Barncard (text only). As usual, Rhino's liner notes are excellent - informative and entertaining.
The CD is HDCD encoded.
The surround mix is *very* enveloping, yet retains the wonderful cohesion of Crosby & co.'s haunting vocals. Lead vox occupy the front (not only center speaker), additional vox all around. Very haunting, very effective.
While it is supposedly 5.0, I believe it shows as 5.1 on my Onkyo player; nonetheless, there is some *healthy* low-end all over this disc. Great clarity and thick bottom-end without cloudy boominess (I'm listening with floor-standing speakers, no bass management).
"Music Is Love" - guitar starts in the left-front and a taste in the left-rear, then moves to center, percussion on right. Around 2:35 into the track, the guitars spread to the rears.
"Cowboy Movie" - tamborine percussion in rear-left, claps in rears, lead guitar fills in rear, main guitars in the front L-R channels.
"Tamalpais High" - Vox all around. Incredible, haunting. Ride cymbal and drums in rear, guitars in front L-R.
"Laughing" - Acoustic guitars in rears, beautiful harmonies in rears (some sibilance here, not too bad).
"Song With No Name" - the one track I was really excited to hear in surround. Did *not* disappoint. Vox all around. Guitar on the left-front and left-rear channels, lead guitar embellishments in the left-rear. Cool stuff.
"Orleans" - once again, vox all around, luscious reverb in surround, acoustic guitar in rears.
My only gripe: Steve Hall's mastering is a bit loud. I would have retained about 3-4db of dynamic range, but no biggie.
I received a copy for review (my review will be up in the reviews section at Okayplayer, hopefully next week on release day), and I put the regular audio CD on the side and put in the DVD-A. I should also say that after years of holding off, I finally bought a receiver (a simple Sony STR K-700, nothing hi-pro but I wanted to have something to start with and work my way up). I wanted to be able to listen to all of the DVD-A's I've purchased over the years, some of the homemade conversions I've gathered, and of course to properly listen to The Beatles' Love when that is released.
I've been a fan of Crosby's IICORMN for years, I wasn't quite 6 months old when the album was released, so my exposure to it initially came from looking at Atlantic Records inner sleeves and always seeing his eye with the sun in the background. The other CSN(&Y) albums could be found, and my dad was also a huge fan of Manassas. If you're in a family where playing music is as common as breathing, anything for inspiration was acceptable, and it was obvious that a lot of Hawaiian music from the late 60's and early 70's was influenced by the West Coast sound. In time I would collect the various CSN(&Y) offshoots, and would become a huge fan. However, there was one album I always wanted. I would eventually find it at a thrift store, and I loved what I heard, but it didn't overwhelm me just yet, that would take time. Finally that time arrived, and I know all of us have come across those albums where after listening, you're just sitting there amazed by what you just heard. I began to listen to "Laughing" and "What Are Their Names" in a different way, and it is now one of my favorite albums (among many).
I'm sounding a bit like my review, so let me cut to the chase. "Music Is Love" starts out as basic as the original stereo mix, where it starts out in mono before the addition of overdubs, which turns the song into stereo. Nothing is heard in the back channels, it's very "raw" but that's what Crosby intended. Then "Cowboy Movie" begins and suddenly you're surrounded by the Grateful Dead and David Crosby in the studio. As I said in my review, the way it's done is very much like "The Wizard Of Oz" and the transformation from black & white to color. It's the opening of the musical doors, and Crosby and friends are ready to entertained.
What I'm amazed about is the incredible sound quality, and that's due to everything being recorded at 30ips. The liner notes (and the transcribed interview from Stephen Barncard on the DVD-A) gets technical with how the album was recorded. There are moments on the album where the music pauses and picks back up, such as "Tamalpais High (At About 3)" and "Traction In The Rain", and I'm sitting there wondering "I don't hear any hiss at all", not knowing at the time how the songs were recorded. There's a moment in "Tamalpais High (At About 3)" where one could sense the presence of the recording studio.
I'm curious to know what others think when they hear it, but what I liked about Barncard's surround sound mix is that he didn't mix every song the same way, each song has a very different feel. The liner notes indicate that when Crosby gave Barncard the task of recording, Crosby wasn't specific on mic positioning or anything, just a need to capture anything and everything on tape, keep the machines rolling. When it came to mix the album, Crosby definitely had input (he produced the album) but allowed Barncard to be creative with the music. He mentions some of the limitations of the studio and technology at the time (similar to those mentioned in the recent "Recording The Beatles" book), but of course did what he could do with what was presented.
I also liked the fact that the primary guy behind the boards in the original 1970 sessions was the one who did the surround sound mix, he was able to tap into his memory banks and utilize what was on those multi-tracks. I realize that anyone who mixes in surround sound can do the same, but he's allowed to work with an album that was his project, not unlike Tom Dowd when he mixed some of the unreleased performances from the Allman Brothers Band's Fillmore shows, and it just sounds good. He doesn't try to revise the mix to modernize the feel, it's still an album from 1971.
Every mix on the DVD-A stands out, but I was personally overwhelmed by how beautiful "Laughing" and "What Are Their Names" were done. When that Joni Mitchell vocal comes in, it's all over. The positioning of the instruments in "What Are Their Names" is perfect, and it sounds as if there are two groups of vocalists, one in the front, and one in the back. Grace Slick's vocal in the first part of the lyrics are heard a bit clearer, and the effect, at least for me, was chilling. I always liked the moment in the song when her voice goes louder, but now you're able to hear it from the beginning and slowly move its way up. I couldn't help but break down.
The original album ends on a somewhat melancholy note, and I loved that eerieness of "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here". It has been said that when Duke Ellington made music, he ended his songs not as solid endings, but as if he was saying "to be continued". The original LP felt that way, as if there could be more. Now it ends with "Kids And Dogs", and in a way helps end the album with a bit of a smile. The bonus track is not a distraction (as some bonus tracks can be), although it could also be listened to as the album's metaphorical encore.
My rating: 10 out of 10
Extras are minimal, just a very small photo gallery, lyrics, and the transcribed interview with Barncard.
I've listened to this one now for 3 straight days, and damn if it isn't a 10!
OK, it's not the most commercial music you're going to find here - if you're looking for "Almost Cut My Hair" or "Long Time Gone", it ain't here.
However, the surround mix on this disc is SO PERFECT, and the sound quality in HiRez is SO PERFECT, and the cavernous vocal layers on the songs with no words is so.....hymn-like, it's just remarkable.
The guitars are spread around the speakers, and you can hear the strings twang and they sound SO GOOD! I particularly like tracks 8 and 9, which are reminicent of the opening of the Crosby/Nash "Wind on the Water" song about the whales. If you like that opening, you will like these tunes.
It's funny. I am a huge CSN(Y) fan, ever since the first LP (in real time), and I have all of their solo efforts, but I never really gave this album a chance back in the days when it was released. Songs for Beginners (Nash) was much more commercial and "standard", and I played that a lot, but this one I owned but passed on.
Today, in 5.1, it's like a totally new album. Well worth checking out (if you can find it!)
I'm in total agreement with you on this one Jon. This (for me) is the crown jewel of the 11-21-06 releases. I even enjoyed reading the interview with Stephen Barncard, very insightful.
I totally get the "Wind on the Water" reference, one of my all time favorites. Some other similarities that I notice are how much "Cowboy Music" sounds like "Down By The River", and all during "Tamalpais High (At About 3)" I keep expecting to hear "Guinnevere" rise from the vocals.
Also, I think these DVD-A plus CD combo packs are the way of the future. At least I hope so...
Barry from San Diego
This DVD-A really has been a long time coming but it's been well worth the wait. Glorious sound.
Loaded it up, closed my eyes, and ... bliss.
Soundfield was like being in a cathedral, with voices fading in and out at all distances and levels. Full and realistic - no digititis here. Truly transporting. Did not open my eyes until the record was done.
Another album I missed completely when released and I am once again glad I waited for the best version. The songs are not great, but consistently good. I hadn't ever considered David Crosby worthy of carrying an album on his own, but he does nicely here. Mix and fidelity are top notch so it is another fine effort from Warner. A solid 8 all around for me.
Wow, not an album I was familure with but brilliant in surround. plenty of the kinds of Hamonies Crosby is famous for a true keeper and demo disc.
Love the package the old Atlantic lables on the DVD and CD are a nice touch.
Had to give it a 10 for music and surround, the extras could be better but cant mark it down for not having any as there are some. and the bonus track is also very good.
It took me a couple of listnings to into this, but then it is a 10 to me.
I also like the dedicated Web site, iicormn.com with much information from the recordings.
While surfing XM radio, every now and then, I'll find a song that really grabs me. Perhaps, one that I had never heard before or one that I had simply forgotten about. I'll write down the artist and song title and find the original albums later online. To name a couple, in the past year I have found; Fleetwood Mac - "Bare Trees", and Quicksilver Messenger Service - "Happy Trails" both of which I have enjoyed immensely, and I consider to be great finds. David Crosby's - "IICORMN" would fall into this catagory of great finds, even if found only on CD. But to experience it here in high resolution and remixed for multichannel is just over the top for me. It has the feel of C S N & Y's -"Deja Vu", yet it stands tall on it's own, and surround mixes don't get much better than this. The attributes of this disc have mostly been pointed out already, and I agree with all. IMO, truely a great find, and one of the best releases in the past year. I have to give it a 10!
Last edited by DennisMabry; 01-05-2007 at 03:48 AM.
This continues to grow on me all the time. These are very personal songs with haunting and original detail. Jerry Garcia's pedal steel and that echo chamber combined for something VERY special and somehow exactly right. Cosmic coincidences abound...
Now if I could have CSNY - Four-Way Street in 5.1 surround I'd be very happy indeed.
Moderator, Musician, Foole
Daddeo 2016 Selected Songs link:
I found this while looking through this CSNY related website: http://www.4waysite.com
QHow was "Wind on the Water" mixed?
A Stephen Barncard: "We (Don Gooch and Stephen Barncard) worked right up to the summer tour deadline on "Wind On The Water". In fact, we had to mix a couple of items with approval over the telephone by Graham and David, who were on the road by that time. The acapella "Critical Mass" was originally an unused piece from "If I Could Only Remember My Name", and we later added Graham's parts, but after they left we had to do an update with a better mix on the harmonies, and I held up the phone to the speakers so Graham, who was in the Midwest somewhere, could approve the mix. This goes to show you how acute David & Graham's musicality is and also the trust that had been created among us."
I thought that thie IICORMN album sounded very much like "Critical Mass", which is the intro to the Crosby/Nash song about whales, "Wind on the Water". I would like to hear THAT one in 5.1 HiRez!
I'm having a hard time finding this one. Seems all the sites I've checked show it as a backorder. Anyone know of a place that has in stock?
All I can say about this one is I did not see it coming. I am no particular fan of David Crosby's voice on its own while I have always enjoyed CSN/CSNY (yeah, explain that one to me). The bottom line for me is that the harmonies cause my jaw to hit the floor. This album sounds gorgeous and the surround mix fits the music. I love having the harmonies envelop me. "Song with No Name" and "Orleans" are new demo tracks for me. Thanks to this list for turning me on to this one back in November.
Ordered it yesterday and it arrived today. I had to pick it up before it disappeared for good. I also have to give it a 10. Great enveloping surround mix and just a very satisfying listen overall. There are some demo quality tracks here.
Just got an update from my Rhino contact confirming this title is out of print with no plans for a second run right now.