HiRez Poll Alan Parsons Project, The - THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of The Alan Parsons Project - THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD


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At long last, please post your thoughts and comments on this newly reissued edition of the classic Alan Parsons Project album "The Turn of a Friendly Card".
Originally released in 1980, the album has been newly remixed in 5.1 surround by Alan Parsons himself, and the new 5.1 surround mix is available as part of a 3CD/Blu-Ray deluxe edition from Esoteric Recordings.
(Note: Esoteric have confirmed their intentions to also release a single-disc Blu-Ray edition in May 2023.)

Pre-release discussion here: Alan Parsons Project - The Turn of a Friendly Card (Box Set in Feb 2023)

(y) :) (n)

APP-TURN-OF-A-FRIENDLY-CARD-3000X3000-min-scaled.jpg

APP-TURN-OF-A-FRIENDLY-CARD-BOX-min-scaled.jpg
 
This is the APP album that caught my attention nearly 43 years ago. I loved the title track which was played regularly on the radio at the time. The album was a slight disappointment, but I learned to love it. Now all these years later and many years since my last listen what do I think of it? The good parts are still great, but there's a lot of forgettable stuff here too.
The surround mix is fine if a little locked in place, it's also slightly rear-biased. Sound quality is generally very nice, but not outstanding.
I do have an odd problem with disc navigation that is unique to this Blu-Ray. I find it impossible to select menu items directly, instead I have to click the play button for the item to be selected. If I click select it jumps back to the top menu.
I can only give this a disappointed score of 7.
 
Absolutely pleased with the mix. A lot in the rears. Terrific fidelity. I guess I don't mind the brightness. Visuals are fine. No problems with the navigation. Such a good album.
Comes with a nice booklet. Not much of a fan of the jacket that holds the disc. Never fails, they're dislodged when you open it. Quite pleased with the purchase. I couldn't wait for the stand alone.
I hope Esoteric/AP reinstates the stand alone Blu ray with every future APP editions. And I hope they offer them at the same time and share the same release date just like they did with Ammonia Avenue. With that being said, I do like this multi disc format better than the bulky boxsets because I don't collect vinyl anymore. Hopefully I Robot is in the very very near future.
 
I voted 9. But I consider it a low 9 maybe even a high 8, really went back and forth on this. Listened to the hard disc with the Panasonic DP-UB9000. Volume was moderate.
Blu Ray Stereo 96/24: I compared to my Acoustic Sounds DSD64 download and this version far superior with better bass and better punch.

Blu Ray 5.1 DTS-HD MSTR: Ah, the not quite sure part. What I loved was the spectacular rears, really there is no doubt has to how and what your hearing. I like others had problems with the fronts, even before I read others did. My solution, turn down the rears or up the fronts. I didn't want to take away from the rears so I decided best to up the 3 (F, C, R) fronts by 2db each. This proved to be a good idea as the 5.1 came together much better for me. This took away from a 10 vote. Hard to tell, but a gapless album? or the tracks come really fast?

Sonic Clarity: Another problem area for me. I felt whatever came out of the fronts, but mostly vocals was too bright for me. My hearing in the highs, confirmed by doctors test, has degraded over the years, so I am not willing to knock the mix, but again, I have read others same concern. Other than that overall sonic clarity was superb. This took away from a 10 vote.

Content: Very enjoyable. I believe I had this album back in the day, but Games People Play was most familar to me. Blu Ray menu, screen graphics, etc., no issues, easy menu and nice graphics. Sound quality across all the discs is quite good overall.

Four Videos: Very good as a historical look back.

Packaging and Liner Notes: My first Alan Parsons Box Set as when previous surround releases came out they had stand alone BD-A's available at same time, this one there was question as to the release of stand alone, so I bought the box. Packaging, simple and nice. Simple to read and very to the point as intent of extra CD's. This is where I really learned a lot.
The album should really be called The Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson Band. Eric Woolfson writes the lyrics plays as a muscian on every track. Alan Parsons as a muscian plays on a few tracks, his job mainly engineer.

The intent of the three CD's is to show the listener the developement of the album, living in Monaco, Cards/Casino's, get it? Recorded in Paris with symphony recorded in Germany.

CD 1: Orginal Album and 7 bonus tracks, OK.
CD 2: Eric Woolfson casette recordings, just him and piano. One time listen is good enough.
CD 3: Recording Sessions extras. Good, one time listen is enough.
From liner notes thru all discs I have a real good feel for the entire album historically and in perspective.

Please Keep POLL POSTS exclusive to your listening experience only.
 
Overall it sounds compressed, thin, and with a midrange boost.

The bottom end is lacking, the drums have no punch.

The mastering is loud.

Disappointing.

Personally I think Alan may have lost his touch in terms of mixing, perhaps due to age.

The surround mix is otherwise well done and makes me appreciate the record more.
 
This album always sounded a bit compressed to me. Lots of falsetto vocals and bass lines played high on the neck only added to that feel. So going in I knew exactly how this album was originally produced.

The surround mix did not disappoint. Yes its a tad high on treble but that is how these songs have always sounded to me. The surround mix is excellent . The fidelity to me is outstanding. The mix is great! I voted a nine.
 
Solid 9 for me this one.
For some reason I never listened this album before so my first approach has been the LPCM 5.1 version.
The content is fantastic and enjoyable and the fidelity is superb to my taste.
I'm not giving a 10 due to the lack of bass. I needed to turn up the sub 6db to enjoy it.

Anyway, listening to the surround mix, you can feel that Alan knew what he wanted being his own songs.
 
OK, I have listened to all four discs and , as usual, since I only buy stuff I am genuinely interested in, this one is also a bit of a biased vote.
Before Eye in the Sky, this was me fave APP LP, and it’s a VERY CLOSE SECOND PLACE!
First of all, I am a huge fan of Eric Woolfson’s voice, so having most of the album’s worth of songs with even a scratch guide voice is heaven sent.
I am one of those old fashioned folks who get goosebumps whenever I listen to “Time”, it may have been played a million times but I still LOVE IT ( kinDa like More than a Feeling), such great songs that will always move you…THAT’S what music is about! And having the demo and especially the Orchestra track in a separate track is such a thrill, it’s GOOORGEOUUUSSSS!

Yes, the piano cassette recordings are a one time listen only but it’s still great hearing how these were assembled….other extra content to point out are the guitar solos that were replaced in a couple of songs by the orchestra…

Also, I wanted to address the “Extra High Frequency ” content of the album: there is a clipping featured in the book where Eric is explaining that Alan basically specializes in the High Frequencies and that their albums are devoid of any extra heavy Disco Low frequency content…if I find it I will post it….

Gonna be a healthy 10 from me…
RIP Eric!
 
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I voted 6.

This is probably my favourite APP album. I've enjoyed listening to the demos and extra tracks, as well as listening to the 5.1. However, to be fair with our voting system and provide readers with a review that is not completely biased by my personal preferences, I can't vote more than 6, which is 'satisfactory' or 'sufficient' to me. I am happy to elaborate on the things that I find good and bad about this release.

GOOD STUFF:
- the orchestral parts of the surround mix, and in general, the fidelity of the mix is amazing. Some tracks really benefit from having gone back to the multi-tracks. I doubt anyone will complain about the added depth and fullness of the orchestral parts.
- the surround mix follows basic but solid rules for mixing in surround. Rhytmic parts and vocals in front, some keys and guitars and back vocals in the rears (if I remember correctly). It all works well, and it's exactly what one would expect from a good 5.1 mix.
- the remix is very faithful to the original mix, which is good.
- I like the format and size of the box set. The demos are interesting and not having the vinyl is just a plus for me. I don't need it.

STUFF THAT DISAPPOINTED ME:
- the CD remaster is simply a clone of the 2015 remaster, which sounds good but could be better.
- the hi-res stereo remaster on the bly-ray disc (let's call it 2023 remaster) is based on a good transfer but poor EQ choices. It lacks the warmth and punch of previous releases, such as the great HDAD. This is a remaster that doesn't suffer from obvious compression or limiting, and that's commendable, but the tonality is just wrong and fatiguing. It runs a bit faster than the HDAD, and I think this is a plus. I don't think I will ever listen to this remaster again.
- the 5.1 mix has also issues with tonality. It's not as problematic as the stereo remaster (the hi-res remaster) but it's too ear fatiguing. There are many parts that I consider borderline listenable (the end of Nothing left to lose, for example).
- there are many lost opportunities in the 5.1 mix. Many here have described it as being 'static'. I'm thinking about the end part of Games People Play, or The Gold Bug. Alan could have been more adventurous in placing and moving instruments around the speakers. As you listen to the album in surround, you will find many of these 'lost opportunities'. They sound good, but just a bit static.
- I think that in 2023, he should have really gone for an atmos mix.

I hope that I have provided some background to explain my "6", without spoiling the experience to those of you who haven't listened to the surround mix yet. If you are dissatisfied with the remaster and want to sample the HDAD, let me know.

I am also trying to use the entire scale, from 0 to 10. If we all vote between 7 and 10, it actually means that 7=0 and 8.5 equals to 5, after normalising all votes in all polls :) I hope this makes sense.
 
I voted 8. Quick and dirty reason would be not enough new content and the mix could’ve been slightly more impressive considering the musical content here.

The remix is faithful to the original mix but allows certain elements to shine a little more clearly that were otherwise buried before, something a good surround mix will do.

I will say it is a little hot in the high end but I believe that is just how this album was recorded and I don’t find it too fatiguing, however I only listened to it once all the way through.

I wish Alan would be a little more adventurous with instrument placement, but at the same time I think the static mix works for the most part.

I really hoped that Ian Bairnson’s Gilmour-esque rhythm part in “I Don’t Want To Go Home” would find its way to the surrounds but it stayed up front. For fun I ran the original mix through the Surround Master and it pulled it into the rears. Nice! (insert SM shameless plug here)

The 3CD’s included I listened to once and were an interesting listen but I doubt I’ll listen to them again. With the exception of two: “Nothing Left to Lose - Chris Rainbow Vocal Overdub Compilation” and “Time - Orchestral Mix w/ CR Backing Vocals”. These two tracks are gorgeous and sound real nice through the SM.
The box-set is barebones and I’ll probably sell it once the standalone blu ray releases in May.

People with access to the HDAD you might find you enjoy that through a Surround Master versus the new remix. Give it a try!

Overall I can recommend you get the standalone blu ray when it releases, it’s a nice listen.
 
Well firstly got mine from Amazon for £69. Good package good content (unlike Revolver box which I did not buy!!!) .
Have not listened to the Cds yet but threw on the BR on for the 5.1 straight away. Unlike some of the other comments I found it to be a bit front centric . Now I like my 5.1 evenly balanced. So ripped the BR and found the fronts mostly always compressed (I do not Like) . So using a little macro I made on adobe to unlimit ( basically reduced amplitude , same 25 deg shift phase change to all channels and re normalized). Now I got Air , I know its cheating but I'm OK with it . Then on some of the tracks due to the fronts sounding a bit thin I applied a voxengo Tube VST to give the low and mid frequencies a bit more clout. Done !
Now its much more to my liking ( Sorry AP)
Give it a 9 overall . I like it the 5.1 the sound the music the mix and the sonics (now) . Now of to the CD content.
Who would'nt like all of this for £69. Shame on some of the record companies for overpriced boxsets £100 plus !
 
Hearing at the moment the first part of album, resting the "long" one of b-side. A good mix in surround, not playing with instruments, even repeating the positions of instruments or voices (acoustic guitars or double voices at rear).
"Time" have a few more amplitude/echoe at the beginnig , but when orchestra comes all sounds higher.
I am enjoying the suite now. Put the instruments and double voices as the other one. And still enjoyable.
Nothing left to lose. Abruptly have more volume.
 
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I give the 5.1 mix a 9. I have the box but have not played the other contents yet.
This is a record I bought back when it came out and played to death. So I am familiar with many of the musical parts, and partly because of this, I was really looking forward to this release but also expecting to be dissapointed.
I was not dissapointed. The mix is immersive using all the speakers. Sombody mentioned it is a bit static and I dont disagree but it is still very well done. i had not played this record though in many years and hearing it in surround was a real treat. I also forgot how good the second side is, better then the first side IMO(for those who remember flipping the record)
 
It's a great album which I have rediscovered again with this release. I'm not a fan of the packaging - could have been better structured. Here's my take:
  • Pretty good surround mix but I turn down the rears slightly - bit too much for my taste;
  • I find the treble hot - don't understand this at all and kind of unacceptable for such a release; the HDAD has much better balance and richer sound; I rarely have to turn down the treble on a Blu-ray music disc but I have to with this one;
  • The demo tracks etc. are disappointing, not really interesting and barely listenable, with a couple of exceptions;
  • Overall, I gave it a 7, purely because I always want a surround mix of a good album (no interest in vinyl at all - that's a step backwards).
 
For the main album, this is a 9 for me. I started at a low 7, but I kept listening to it today and enjoying it more and more. Hadn’t heard it in full in ages.

I don’t know if I’m spoiled with Atmos now, but the 5.1 didn’t wow me which is why I didn’t give it a 10.

The one thing that finally clicked for me after multiple listens today was the song Time. When that song came out, I despised it. I thought it was such a depressing song. Couldn’t turn off the radio or switch channels fast enough.

But a number of years ago I went to see Alan Parsons in concert and PJ Olsson did a masterful job on the song. Still didn’t love the song in general, but I could respect that someone put his heart into it and made me enjoy the performance in that moment.

Today after a few spins I can say that I like the song (not love yet) and no longer get depressed by it. (Maybe it’s age and that I appreciate the sentiment more.)

I haven’t listened to the extra discs yet nor have I gone through the print material. I’m not much into that stuff. In fact, this might be the last APP deluxe set I get. I could be happy with just the surround. Having said that, I fully expect to cave when the next set is announced. (I Robot, perhaps?)

If I was scoring on packaging I’d probably dock it heavily for not being the same size as the prior boxes because that’s just the type of thing that messes with my sense of order on the music shelf.
 
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