I agree with the first point but disagree with the second.
The music on this disc is exceptional. Atomic Rooster is certainly one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated bands to come out of 1970's. However, as a "best of" I think this title is a bit off the mark. There are a number of truly great Rooster tunes that were left off this compilation, such as "Time Take My Life", "Stand By Me" and "Little Bit of Inner Air", just to name a few stellar omissions.
Be that as it may, this is still a very thoughtful and enjoyable compilation. Contributing to this fact is the awesome sound quality! Aside from a few tracks that are obviously constrained by the quality of the source tapes used, the overall quality is very, very good.
Unfortunately, as with virtually all Silverline titles, there is no stereo track - at all. This is highly unfortunate since the obvious hi-rez quality would have been eminently enjoyable considering the songs' original stereo presentation.
As for the surround mix, this compilation is something of a head-scratcher. Some of the tracks almost sound as if they are true surround mixes. If this is the case, they are not necessarily good surround mixes. Let me just say that the surround presentation is surprisingly good, considering this is a Silverline release, but I think a much better job could have been done if the songs are indeed true surround mixes from the original multi-channel tapes.
A more likely scenario is that these are fake surround mixes from the stereo master tapes, however I am not convinced that this is the case for ALL the songs, since a number of them sound almost too good to be synthesized surround mixes (but still not as good as they should be if they are indeed sourced from multi-channel tapes). In a nutshell, I would contend that the bulk of the songs are either mediocre multi-channel mixes or exceptional synthesized from stereo mixes.
Whatever the case, whoever assembled this collection did so with a great amount of care. This was not a "set it and forget it" production, which seems to be typical of most Silverline historical DVD-A releases. Although this disc certainly has its shortcomings, I am very happy with the results. This was a labor of love for someone, and the attention to detail and insight of the music comes through loud and clear.
The bottom line is this:
- Song selection could have been better but is still quite good.
- Sound quality, aside from a few exceptions, is top-notch.
- The lack of stereo tracks is highly unfortunate.
- The surround mix is definitely lacking but reflects great care considering the likely stereo-sourced material - no cookie cutter production here!
Considering all these factors I rate this disc a strong seven points. I definitely recommend this title to anyone who likes unique 1970's rock with a progressive edge.
I've heard that Carl Palmer of ELP fame was a member of this band early on, but I've always kind of wondered: they they ever release any material with him on it? If so, did any of it make this anthology? Based the comments above, I'll probably try to check this out regardless...
I've been ignoring this title for years as I thought it wasn't a Silverline winner. Man, was I wrong.
OK, it's not a complete winner, but worth having. There are few tracks where the sound quality is so-so, but the rest is more than fine. The mix is generally a big horseshoe stage, but it didn't feel like I'm missing much. Also, it really helped that this was a best of by a creative band, cause as a whole it sounds almost like a battle of several bands or even genres - I mean it's not easy to get bored here!
Fave tracks: Black Snake, The Rock and Ear in the Snow.
On the verge between 6 and 7 I'm eventually inclining to voting 7.