Quantcast

SPOTLIGHT Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" (Remixed in 5.1 surround by Alan Parsons!!)

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

fthesoundguy

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Chicagoland
So, let me see if I have this all correct. Alan Parsons mixes two songs from two records for a label sampler and then played them years later to try and get get the record companies to green light a multichannel release of this? And it was so good that it's kind of been a "holy grail" record if it was ever released?

Is this to the level that the Doobies Quadio box set was to the community?
 

Clint Eastwood

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
Messages
12,488
Location
Int Space Station
So, let me see if I have this all correct. Alan Parsons mixes two songs from two records for a label sampler and then played them years later to try and get get the record companies to green light a multichannel release of this? And it was so good that it's kind of been a "holy grail" record if it was ever released?

Is this to the level that the Doobies Quadio box set was to the community?
Just my opinion...but I wouldn't consider it "holy grail" material...and I love the titles
 

timbre4

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Messages
7,217
Location
College Grove, TN
So, let me see if I have this all correct. Alan Parsons mixes two songs from two records for a label sampler and then played them years later to try and get get the record companies to green light a multichannel release of this? And it was so good that it's kind of been a "holy grail" record if it was ever released?
Is this to the level that the Doobies Quadio box set was to the community?
It sure is for me. I've had Doobie Brothers quads in various forms for the past 47 years. Not the same level of fidelity we can have today with Blu Ray mind you, but still a 'been there, done that' event for me. Whenever we can get a highly prized popular-not-obscure title mixed expertly by Alan Parsons (also original album producer) that far and away has a bigger bang for me because it never existed before now!

Let me try to help you fill out on the back story, there's more to this. Miramar was going to be a music label; some portion of it's catalog to be quad or early 5.1 mixes. AP provided 2 mixes towards a label sampler at that time, format unknown to us. While Miramar video took off, the audio division never came to be. In my mind, you don't just mix two songs for a (promotional or retail) sampler and call it a day. The sampler is used to spark interest in complete albums so it makes sense the album(s) in question (Time Passages being the other) would be mixed and ready for release TBD. Maybe some recent adjustments but I fell they've been done for awhile. The two tracks that leaked display a skillful mix.

Alan Parsons has enough clout in the industry and the material is so familiar to anyone over 45, he doesn't have to play the material for anybody. All he needs to do is discuss is manufacturing & distribution with a label like Cherry Red in this case, to secure a deal for the material he wishes to release.

SIDEBAR: Something I've been pondering since this announcement is who controls the rights to the Al Stewart - Year of The Cat album itself? It's an evergreen title in the Arista catalog which is controlled by Sony. Any album that remains a steady seller for decades is something they want to keep; it may have slowed down in the last decade or so, it's still a sure thing. Maybe we'll get more details on this in the future.

EDIT: It's now my understanding that Al Stewart has secured the rights to some or all of his catalog - so he's doing the shopping. AP is in the equation to provide his surround mix.
 
Last edited:

fthesoundguy

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Chicagoland
It sure is for me. I've had Doobie Brothers quads in various forms for the past 47 years. Not the same level of fidelity we can have today with Blu Ray mind you, but still a 'been there, done that' event for me. Whenever we can get a highly prized popular-not-obscure title mixed expertly by Alan Parsons (also original album producer) that far and away has a bigger bang for me because it never existed before now!

Let me try to help you fill out on the back story, there's more to this. Miramar was going to be a music label; some portion of it's catalog to be quad or early 5.1 mixes. AP provided 2 mixes towards a label sampler at that time, format unknown to us. While Miramar video took off, the audio division never came to be. In my mind, you don't just mix two songs for a (promotional or retail) sampler and call it a day. The sampler is used to spark interest in complete albums so it makes sense the album(s) in question (Time Passages being the other) would be mixed and ready for release TBD. Maybe some recent adjustments but I fell they've been done for awhile. The two tracks that leaked display a skillful mix.

Alan Parsons has enough clout in the industry and the material is so familiar to anyone over 45, he doesn't have to play the material for anybody. All he needs to do is discuss is manufacturing & distribution with a label like Cherry Red in this case, to secure a deal for the material he wishes to release. SIDEBAR: Something I've been pondering since this announcement is who controls the rights to the Al Stewart - Year of The Cat album itself? It's an evergreen title in the Arista catalog which is controlled by Sony. Any album that remains a steady seller for decades is something they want to keep; it may have slowed down in the last decade or so, it's still a sure thing. Maybe we'll get more details on this in the future.
Thanks for the back story! I had no idea that Miramar was going to have an audio division. And now I can see why a lot of people are pumped for this as well.
 

privateuniverse

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
2,128
Location
Hartford, CT
SIDEBAR: Something I've been pondering since this announcement is who controls the rights to the Al Stewart - Year of The Cat album itself? It's an evergreen title in the Arista catalog which is controlled by Sony. Any album that remains a steady seller for decades is something they want to keep; it may have slowed down in the last decade or so, it's still a sure thing. Maybe we'll get more details on this in the future.
If you look at any album's listing on iTunes, under the release date it will tell you who the copyright holder is. Usually it's a record company. In this case Al himself is listed as the copyright holder. Also, in 2004 there was a reissue of the album on Rhino which is a Warner (not Sony) subsidiary. All this leads me to believe that Al is free to shop the album around to whatever label he chooses.
 

timbre4

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Messages
7,217
Location
College Grove, TN
If you look at any album's listing on iTunes, under the release date it will tell you who the copyright holder is. Usually it's a record company. In this case Al himself is listed as the copyright holder. Also, in 2004 there was a reissue of the album on Rhino which is a Warner (not Sony) subsidiary. All this leads me to believe that Al is free to shop the album around to whatever label he chooses.
Paul Simon was on Columbia, then his catalog followed him to Warner’s. It happens. Arista is controlled by Sony Music these days when this project was approved to allow a license to a label like Cherry Red.

Alan Parsons is certainly free to shop HIS own albums as the artist. For Year Of The Cat he is not the artist, serving solely as its producer. Can you point me to anything that shows Alan Parsons purchasing the album rights from Al Stewart or the controlling label? (I even saw Universal under a lyrics link)

EDIT: Universal mention appears to do with the actual music and not mechanical rights.

Year of the Cat
By Peter Wood and Al Stewart
Copyright Universal - Songs of Polygram International Inc. and Bro 'n Sis Music, Inc.
 
Last edited:

humprof

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
2,512
Location
NoCal
Back in January this year I boldly stated in the
'Forget reality, what is your dream multichannel release?' thread
(post #156)
----
My Dream List
I would pre-order all of these immediately :

Ambrosia - Somewhere I've Never Travelled [ Alan Parsons produced & engineered, should also do the surround mix ]
P.D.Q. Bach - 1712 Overture & Other Musical Assaults [ balloons popping in surround ... Goose Bumps !! ]
Robin Trower - Bridge Of Sighs
The Eagles - Desperado
Tower of Power - Bump City
The Outlaws - debut album
Camel - Moon Madness, Breathless
Andreas Vollenweider - White Winds
War - All Day Music, Deliver The Word, World Is A Ghetto
Enya - Watermark
The Who - Who's Next
Flim & The BBs - Tricycle, Big Notes
10cc - Bloody Tourists
Al Stewart - Year of the Cat [ Alan Parsons produced, should also do the surround mix ]
----

So, putting my monies where my mouth is, Pre-Order completed this morning for Year Of The Cat ;)
May Ambrosia be next!
 

boxhead

Senior Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
250
Location
Sydney, Australia
Paul Simon was on Columbia, then his catalog followed him to Warner’s. It happens. Arista is controlled by Sony Music these days when this project was approved to allow a license to a label like Cherry Red.

Alan Parsons is certainly free to shop HIS own albums as the artist. For Year Of The Cat he is not the artist, serving solely as its producer. Can you point me to anything that shows Alan Parsons purchasing the album rights from Al Stewart or the controlling label? (I even saw Universal under a lyrics link)

EDIT: Universal mention appears to do with the actual music and not mechanical rights.

Year of the Cat
By Peter Wood and Al Stewart
Copyright Universal - Songs of Polygram International Inc. and Bro 'n Sis Music, Inc.
Hey Tim, pretty sure @privateuniverse was referring to Al Stewart being the copyright owner, not Al(an) Parsons!
 

timbre4

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Messages
7,217
Location
College Grove, TN
Thank
Hey Tim, pretty sure @privateuniverse was referring to Al Stewart being the copyright owner, not Al(an) Parsons!
Thank you - each time I read Al as Alan! I stand corrected, so apologies to Privateuniverse and hooray for Al the artist having control of his art. I could see Al Stewart having the idea of an anniversary re-issue and AP probably played the 5.1 mix for Al at some point in the past and thinking it would be icing on the cake. Hope we find out the sequence of events.
 

steelydave

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
2,264
Location
Toronto, ON
May Ambrosia be next!
I know their earlier couple of more progressive albums probably have more street cred, but for me Life Beyond LA and One Eighty might be two of the most underrated albums of the late '70s. Obviously they have their pop hits (Biggest Part of Me, How Much I Feel, etc.) but I was really surprised at how well they stand as album statements - they kind of remind me of an American Supertramp (with a bit of McD-era Doobies and Toto thrown in) in that they have a way with pop songcraft, but you can tell they're battle hardened in prog obscurity. And despite the pop bent, there are still a lot of complex or challenging "square edges" that haven't been rounded off.

I also think Ambrosia writes the best bridges/middle eights of any pop band ever - a lot of bands just use these as filler to link to a repeat of the intro, but with Ambrosia there's always some chunk of sonic sugar waiting there for you. Check out Dancin' By Myself or any of the aforementioned pop hits for evidence.

I sometimes think that these guys never got their due reappraisal because their early albums were never released on CD in the '80s or '90s like most bands of the '70s were. I don't think they got the CD treatment until maybe 1999 or 2000, and those remasters are harsh and overcompressed (as is par for the course for CDs from that period) and give you almost no idea of how good this band can sound. I had to hunt around for ages to find a couple of early '90s Japanese 1st pressings of Life Beyond LA and One Eighty, and they cost me a small fortune to acquire, but totally worth it. I think they're like DR13 as compared to DR8 for the US remasters.

I'd love to see Ambrosia get the 5.1 or Atmos treatment - I think their productions, especially the layered vocal harmonies, would open up beautifully.
 

itguy61

New member
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
3
I know their earlier couple of more progressive albums probably have more street cred, but for me Life Beyond LA and One Eighty might be two of the most underrated albums of the late '70s. Obviously they have their pop hits (Biggest Part of Me, How Much I Feel, etc.) but I was really surprised at how well they stand as album statements - they kind of remind me of an American Supertramp (with a bit of McD-era Doobies and Toto thrown in) in that they have a way with pop songcraft, but you can tell they're battle hardened in prog obscurity. And despite the pop bent, there are still a lot of complex or challenging "square edges" that haven't been rounded off.

I also think Ambrosia writes the best bridges/middle eights of any pop band ever - a lot of bands just use these as filler to link to a repeat of the intro, but with Ambrosia there's always some chunk of sonic sugar waiting there for you. Check out Dancin' By Myself or any of the aforementioned pop hits for evidence.

I sometimes think that these guys never got their due reappraisal because their early albums were never released on CD in the '80s or '90s like most bands of the '70s were. I don't think they got the CD treatment until maybe 1999 or 2000, and those remasters are harsh and overcompressed (as is par for the course for CDs from that period) and give you almost no idea of how good this band can sound. I had to hunt around for ages to find a couple of early '90s Japanese 1st pressings of Life Beyond LA and One Eighty, and they cost me a small fortune to acquire, but totally worth it. I think they're like DR13 as compared to DR8 for the US remasters.

I'd love to see Ambrosia get the 5.1 or Atmos treatment - I think their productions, especially the layered vocal harmonies, would open up beautifully.

I would want to see the first album done this way first. Their best by far to me. Holdin on to yesterday is a monster song!
 

itguy61

New member
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
3
I am glad Al started with one of his two biggest albums which are both masterpieces to me. Please do Time Passages next.

Alan Parsons is an artist I have loved since the first time I heard him back in like 77. But he has been a big frustration as far as surround sound releases go for me, why he has not done "I Robot"" sooner is beyond me. His first five albums should all be out in surround now. His releases of 80's albums don't do it for me, too much pop music.
 

Imbobman

Well-known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
197
Location
New Berlin, WI
I would want to see the first album done this way first. Their best by far to me. Holdin on to yesterday is a monster song!
Definitely! ...I totally agree. I have that Lp & still think it's great!...& like you said itguy61, Holdin on the yesterday' is an excellent song.
..since you mentioned it, I may have to go play that now:)
Also, you are right Steelydave, Ambrosia's work was very underrated.
 
Last edited:
Top