Billboard Quad LP/Tape Reviews

QuadraphonicQuad

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
17,197
Location
Connecticut
I was digging through on old hard drive and found that back 20 years ago I had typed into my PC at the time a lot of Billboard Reviews of quad releases. Now of course, these are all copyrighted by Billboard, and are still owned by Billboard, and are part of their catalog, so I am dumping this text file into this post with the thought that as long as they have put their magazine archive on line then it might not be that bad to post these reviews here. If Billboard finds this objectionable, I will certainly remove this post.

So, here you go, a bunch of 1970's Billboard Quad LP & Tape reviews. All typed in by me, 20 years ago. Who'da thunk?


Four Tops - Keeper of the Castle
April 20, 1974

A dynamic, well-produced album with considerable rear information and excellent front-to-rear separation. The title tune stands out, with vocal group coming from the rear, as well as instrumentation. Other excellent quadrasonic tunes are "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)," "Turn on the Light of Your Love," and "(I Think I Must Be) Dreaming."


Heavy Organ At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2
April 20, 1974

A familiar hit formula by now--vigorous live Bach performances and Fox's stimulating comments putting down conventional sham while exhorting his audience to uninhibited expressions of enthusiasm. And all of it comes across on disk. The two most popular works here--Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, and Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor--are title remakes from earlier Heavy Organ sets, and still winners. RCA's first Heavy Organ, released only in quadrasonic last year, is offered in stereo as a companion release.

Floyd Cramer - Super Country Hits
March 23, 1974

A very pleasant LP with excellent separation and suitable balance on most of the tunes. Best are "Green, Green Grass of Home," "It's a Sin" and "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone," though a couple of other tunes are also good. "Crystal Chandelier," on the other hand, doesn't have that 360-degree spectrum that a good quadrasonic production needs.


Loggins & Messina - Full Sail
March 23, 1974

The warmth, the musical command of the duo both in folk-flavored passages and in the jazz elements, is superb for quadrasonic and this LP represents the highest state of the art, at present, of the SQ system. Only previous Buddy Miles LPs had this much separation of music between speakers, this much rear information. The bass guitar comes from the rear on "You Need a Man." Various other tunes have "flying" sounds that don't expressively stay pinned down, but which surround the listener and provide dynamic excitement. This is illustrated best by "Lahaina," "My Music" and "A Love Song."

Buddy Miles - Booger Bear
February 16, 1974

Ordinarily, producers in matrix, both SQ and QS, have stuck much too sedately to the old stereo-prone concept of there being a "front" to the music. Only with the Buddy Miles LP's (this one and the previous quadrasonic LP) have Columbia's engineers really opened up the spectrum. You still have a front on the melodic, message tune of "Why," but the music actually does surround you. There is some directionality of instruments, enhanced by turning the head slightly from dead front. Voices from rear on start of "Louie's Blues" are highly effective.


Frank Sinatra - Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back
February 16, 1974

Here's an album you'll probably wear out without getting the slightest bit bored with the music--not only because Sinatra is the King and unapproachable in pure musical vocal genius, but because of the quadrasonic excitement-plus! Remix engineer Ed Greene was not afraid to put a lot of the orchestra in the rear and around you like a surging flood teasing the emotions, pulling the emotions, enthralling you. Sinatra stays front center; the orchestra is around you. Virtually, the listener has a private concert with a conductor's position for his listening pleasure. Best cuts are "Dream Away," "You Will Be My Music" and "Nobody Wins."


Mothers of Invention - Over-nite Sensation
February 16, 1974

Few people overall have really understood Zappa's genius and those who claimed they did often still didn't understand his music. But the quadrasonic medium gives him, perhaps for the first time, full range in which to explore. Interesting in "Camarillo Brillo" is the line. "She said her stereo was four way"--possibly the first tune to promote quadrasonic Throughout the LP, the music is balanced around 360-degrees. Zappa has not only used every good technique in quadrasonic, but a couple unique to date--such as a ghostly hanging voice on "I'm the Slime."


New Riders of the Purple Sage - The Adventures of Panama Red
February 16, 1974

Quadrasonic rock must meet stiffer demands than virtually any other form of music, for it should be creatively exciting while retaining directionality for individual instruments. However, the New Riders come across so softly in most instances that the pedal steel in the left rear comes out reasonably distinctive; it was difficult to catch much other rear information, but the "surround" enhancement adds to the vitality and the excitement of the music. While the best tune is "You Should Have Seen Me Runnin'," you can pick up that pedal steel better on "L.A. Lady."


Zukerman, Vivaldi: Four Concertos
February 09, 1974

One thing that the matrix form of quadrasonic does exceptionally well is provide the listener with the feeling and the emotional impact of sitting in the concert hall in a choice expensive seat. Ambient sound waves, because of the rear speaker placement, surge at you as if reflecting from walls and the rear of the concert hall. Thus, the first movement in Vivaldi's "Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major" has decidedly much more impact than ordinary stereo would have. One is also impressed with the last allegro movement in Vivaldi's "Concerto No. 8 in G Minor, Op. 8, No. 8," because of an acoustic sensation created through reverb.

With Monty Kelly
February 02, 1974

The immense acoustic pleasure that comes when sound floods the room, filling it up borders quite closely on a mental trip. That is, it does when the music is produced correctly for quadrasonic. "Karma Sitar," there is some directional ... at least you can sense some rearward placement of instruments. At worse, it suffers from old fashioned hangups in that a "front" is used. Proper quadrasonic has no front.


Quadradisc Highlights
January 19, 1974

This is basically a sampler LP, featuring brief excerpts of quadrasonic material ranging from quadrasonic genius Hugo Montenegro to excellent material by Perry Como, Friends of Distinction, Charley Pride, and Jerry Ford--all good and tasteful, but short. A good demonstration LP for the discrete system.

Funkadelic - Cosmic Slop
September 29, 1973

This album grows on you musically; it sounds exceptionally well when played through a quadrasonic synthesizer ... all of those funky, rhythmic sounds sort of stir your soul. Best cuts: "Trash a Go Go."


John Keating - Space Experience
September 22, 1973

This album gets into high gear immediately with a series of music synthesizer acoustical pyrotechnics right to left and then left rear. young adults will be fascinated by the excitement this creates, excitement naturally inherent in quadrasonic music, but highly effective in this particular album. The separation has seldom been this good on previous matrix albums issued before; using a Sansui QXR 6500 with the mode switch at Phase Matrix (Sansui's term for SQ) the listener finds that "I Feel the Earth Move" becomes a moving experience. "Rocket Man" features a circling whistle effect that is more a sales point for the capabilities of quadrasonic than almost any cut on the LP except perhaps "Jesus Christ Superstar" where the music is literally stretched from right front to left rear and some of the music is placed almost dead center in the left wall.


John Keating - 250 Years of Film Music
September 22, 1973

This album and Keating's "Space Experience" (see other review) were quadrasonic only albums; Columbia Records did not issue stereo versions. And, in that particular sense, they're unique because their quadrasonic technicques were so vastly different. This album, for instance, was produced in the "concert hall" technique, which is viable, but limited in scope. The "concert hall" method of quadrasonic relies on reverberation and reflected sounds. This type of effect is especially well illustrated acoustically on "A Clockwork Orange" in the racing thunder of bass sounds. Tunes include "Rhapsody In Blue" and "The Music Lovers," all well done, but the listener gets bored after a time of facing forward in order to participate in mere reflected sounds.


Rod McKuen - Summer
September 22, 1973

This album, featuring poems written and narrated by Rod McKuen seems to be a natural for quadrasonic because the poems are here amplified with not only the music of Anita Kerr but a wide variety of sound effects. "The Spanish Hills," for example, features the sound of a horse going right to left; horse later goes off right rear. In between, of course, there's the gentle poetry of McKuen and the gentle music of Ms. Kerr. Sound effects blend in admirably with both. Only at the end of "4th of July in Sioux Falls" when footsteps go corner to corner and then comes the opening of a door do the sound effects seem a little cliche. But what quadrasonic does is allow a greater scope and effect to the poetry because the sound effects can be environmental. On one cut, you hear moog chirps flying overhead back and forth.


Arlo Guthrie - Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys
September 01, 1973

Various aspects of quadrasonic, all of them interesting and a valid demonstration of what the capabilities of quadrasonic are, are unveiled in this album. For example, "Cowboy Song" features more of a projection of frontal sound; you can't hear more than ambient sounds from the rear. But on "Sailor's Bonnett," you have both a banjo and guitar adding to the total aspect of the music from the rear. The best song on the LP is "Gypsy Davy," although "This Troubled Mind of Mine" is also quite good. On both tunes, the latter featuring most of the Buckeroos of Buck Owens fame, the separation is good, tense, exciting; you're literally a part of the band itself. The left rear fiddle work of Don Rich is outstanding. This is probably the best example of what can be done with country music in quadrasonic that's on the market today. In total, however, the LP does not take full advantage of the capabilities of quadrasonic. In effect, you feel that some of the songs were left unfinished in the studio; perhaps they were complete as the producer intended for stereo.

Original Cast
September 01, 1973

Another intriguing facet of quadrasonic is displayed in this LP--the live stage presence. As a result of this quadrasonic aspect, the soundtrack album probably sounds better than the music did when heard in movie theaters. You actually feel like you're in the eighth row, center. Some rear directional material is used, like on "His Love Makes Me Beautiful" when you hear chorus from left rear. "People" has orchestra right front to left rear and not too much going left front. On "My Man," you have more of a surround effect from the orchestra. A very interesting album that should be a delight for all original cast and soundtrack buffs. This LP will bring back opening night in all its sweeping glory and "live" excitement.

Comin' Apart
September 01, 1973

"Gonna Buy Me a Ticker" launches into exciting quadrasonic pyrotechnics before settling down to solid good music. Executive producer Dick Schory believes mostly in blending an orchestral effect and doesn't strive for fancy sounds. Well, this is a perfectly valid technique in quadrasonic and this album demonstrates that technique at its finest, especially with "Gonna Buy Me a Ticket" and "Early Morning Hush," both of which gives you the impression that the music is almost sitting in your lap ... a good, warm effect. On "We're Going to Live It Together," however, you can definitely hear the cello and a guitar in the right rear. If you switch from QS to SQ, in a test to see how compatible the two different matrix systems are, you don't find that much difference in the music. The voice comes out a little further toward you, that's all. "Love Song" features quite a bit of rear material, but delicately. There seems to be (seems is the term because matrix relies on psychoaccoustic sensations at times) much more directional rear material in "You Keep Me Hanging On" than on some of the other tunes on the LP....More guitar in the rear, with very good direction on the material, especially at high volume.

Carly Simon - No Secrets
August 25, 1973

Once you've heard "You're So Vain" in quadrasonic, you are extremely reluctant to listen to it in mere stereo anymore. Superb directional effects, such as the piano in the left rear. Drums are suspended in effect, though actually dead center rear. Supporting voices lend a magnificent full effect from rear. Quadrasonic techniques, extremely well-done on this LP, even take the more ordinary tunes of hers and give them extraordinary depth and grandeur. The medium gives her material exceptional strength. The instruments are balanced well around the 360-degree scope. Almost all songs stand out perfect for the medium.

Carolyn Hester
August 18, 1973

The LP of mostly ballads is only fairly effective as a quadrasonic vehicle ... the fault lies mostly in the production. You get some guitar from left rear on "You Made My Life a Song." But in a song called "The Miles Go Past," a very good tune, there's not much separation; you sort of feel the producer didn't take advantage of the medium. No left or right sidewalls are used at all and if you catch a music instrument from the rear, it seems to have been put there as an afterthought. "Ain't No Way" stands out a little more as representative of what quadrasonic can be.

Stardrive - Intergalactic Trot
August 18, 1973

The beauty of a good discrete quadrasonic album is that you don't have to stand in the center of four speakers and face center front--the music springs out at you every way you turn and, in the well-produced quadrasonic album, it is exciting. The unique thing about this particular album is that it was not rated by the Billboard Review Panel as much of an album in its stereo version. However, Jac Holzman, president of Elektra Records, said recently that it was produced from the first with the quadrasonic medium in mind. And, quite frankly, it's a quadrasonic hit. It's virtually the perfect state of the art for quadrasonic. Electronic sounds flow at you from corner, shifting to another corner. The guitar, the drums, these are solid and stable, but the Moog moves.

Tony Mottola And The Quad Guitars
July 21, 1973

In a sense this is an album featuring the super sidemen of New York, men who earn a very comfortable living playing backup on recording sessions after countless recording sessions. Of course, Tony Mottola, Vinnie Bell, Al Caiola--these men are also superstars in their own right, and accomplished guitarists, as are Don Arnone and Al Casamenti. The result is a fantastic production. Best cuts: "Classical Gas," "Galloping Guitars," "Guitar Boogie." Dealers: To some extent, the stereo version is misleading, since the jacket reads: "Quad Guitars" in huge letters; in real quadrasonic sound, this LP would probably be sensational.



Bonnie Koloc
April 21, 1973

Good, soft set in quadrasonic. Best cuts: "Sunday Morning Movies," "Wind in the Water."



Mancini Salutes Sousa
February 24, 1973

Quadrasonic revisiting of the "Stars And Stripes Forever" composer with top studio players.


Elvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite
February 17, 1973

Although he is perhaps one of the world's greatest music legends, Presley proceeds to slay an audience with more guts and more soul and more intenseness vocally than any performer alive. His shows are not only a production, but a musical "happening." And this live recording, which offers eight tunes previously unrecorded by Elvis, is not only a historical event, because of the satellite broadcast and the U.S. TV special of the Hawaiian performance, but because Elvis, a focus point in the origin of rock, is perhaps back cooking again like he seldom has worked in the past several years. Only on a couple of the tunes does he fail to exhibit that "spirit" for which he paved the way. Best cuts: "My Way," "What Now My Love," and a sparkling version of "Fever." Dealers: This is a discrete quadrasonic LP; and you have the TV special working for you.

Rare Moments
January 27, 1973

Beautifully arranged charts by Jimmy Haskell and a fine bunch of studio cats make this LP a sonic listening treat of many of today's top pop hits. "If You Could Read My Mind" is a strong, catchy opener. The music flows assertively along from track to track. Recorded in Sansui matrix quadrasonic sound, the music sounds just fine on conventional stereo equipment.

Eugene Ormandy - The Fantastic Philadelphians, Vol. 1
October 14, 1972

An historic LP, because it's in quadrasonic. Works include "Danse Macabre," "Espana," and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"--all well-known works with much popular appeal, performed with relish and command. In quadrasonic sound, when equipment reaches the consumer level, the LP will be even more dramatic and in demand.

Eugene Ormandy
December 23, 1972

"The Sabre Dance" in quadrasonic sound is as fiery as you'd imagine. RCA's second compatible stereo/4-channel release with the Philadelphia Orchestra breathes new life into familiar pieces. The connecting theme is dance music in Vol. 2 of "The Fantastic Philadelphians." Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5," Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" and Falla's "Ritual Fire Dance" are among the evergreens included.


James Taylor - Gorilla
December 13, 1975

The pure record fan will be impressed with this LP ... not only musically because of the wonderful beauty of the quad mix on most of the cuts (ordinary stereo becomes a dead issue after listening to Taylor singing "Mexico" in 4-channel), but because of the quality of the technical aspects. For example, the pressing is excellent and the record fan no longer has to clean the needle of fuzz even after several plays; even surface noise, because of the quality of the record compound, is reduced to a bare minimum. Using a handmade CD-4 IC demodular made by Lou Dorren of Quadracast Systems Inc., there is virtually no crosstalk between channels and James Taylor is turned into a 360-degree musical experience one can never forget. Best cuts: "Mexico," "Lighthouse" with its tasteful use of organ in rear, and "Angry Blues" with counterpoint guitar in rear.


A Century of American Marches
September 20, 1975

The CBS engineering staff has outdone itself on this first of a series of special Bicentennial albums. SQ separation and balance are excellent, recreating a 4-channel realism that gives a clear picture of how "good" 4-channel records should sound. Selected cuts include Sousa's favorite "Stars & Stripes Forever," and "Liberty Bell," and Scott Joplin's "Combination March."


Andy Williams - You Lay So Easy On My Mind
May 03, 1975

Not many of the capabilities of 4-channel were used on this LP. The strings of the orchestra were either placed or allowed to be in the rear, along with frontal information, but nothing that is distinctively rearward is found. It should be noted, however, that Andy Williams' laidback style on "You Lay So Easy On My Mind" is phenomenal, enhanced stereo or not.

Calvin Keys - Proceed With Caution
February 15, 1975

Jazz, like no other current form of music except perhaps hard rock, is superb for the quad medium. And, aside from a Buddy Miles LP on Columbia, this is the best quad version in that whole spectrum of music to date. In perfect counterbalance, executive producer Gene Russell has used the back wall, usually undeveloped and without maximized potential on most matrix LPs,with dramatic effectiveness. Even during the more thunderous passages, the electric piano stays rearward; part of his definitive directional, of course, comes from use of the super decoder that Sansui has only available in limited quantities--the X-2. But, even relying only on the decoder built-in to the Sansui QRX-6500 4-channel amplifier, the listener still has excellent separation. And Keys is outstanding on such cuts as "Trade-winds," "Proceed With Caution," and "Night Cry." A very excellent quad LP.


Hugo Montenergo - Hugo In Wonder-Land
June 15, 1974

Artistic brilliance emanating from Montenegro's painstaking desire to create a new sound, a new image for Stevie Wonder's music, highlights this totally spine-tingling project. Totally new and fresh and wholly commercial, the LP uses five synthesizers in a refreshing new fashion. All the arrangements for the 10 Wonder hits are the result of Montenegro's nine months of research into Wonder's music, the key elements in soul and jazz music plus a hardlined attitude toward challenging the ability of synthesizer musicians to come up with enervating new sounds. The 10 cuts are masterpieces of blending the melodic strength of Wonder's material with the superb instrumental arranging skills of Mr. Montenegro, whose new sounds are alive and vitally contemporary. Playing Hugo's charts are such key players as Larry Muhoberac, Tom Scott, Hal Blaine, Larry Carlton, Wilton Felder, John Montenegro and Carol Kaye. Best cuts: "Living For the City," "Higher Ground," "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," "All In Love Is Fair," "Shoo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo-Da-Day." Dealers: This stereo version will make a superb demo in-store disk; the quadrasonic version, due shortly is spectacular in terms of 4-channel effects.


Paul Simon
March 23, 1974

The soft emotional music of Simon is an outstanding motif for 4-channel and especially for the matrix system. For one thing, the slow melodic structure of his music allows the switching mechanism of matrix ample time to pick up a signal and throw it rearward. Thus, you get the guitar almost definitively in the left rear most of the time and you can often perceive other instruments in the right rear, though not so strongly. On "Mother and Child Reunion," one of the better quadrasonic tunes, you get enormous excitement and dynamic music impact.

Latin Holiday
February 16, 1974

Baxter, stepping south of the border and even below the equator on occasion, has a 4-channel album with warmth and command, but little depth so far as putting instrumentation in the rear. Overall effect--achieved at any rate--is aimed at the so-called "concert hall" acoustic sensation and the only time you get any real feeling of directional anywhere other than upfront is on the end of "Affair In Arruba."


Earth, Wind and Fire - Head to the Sky
February 02, 1974

While a capable album, the 4-channel version has little merit; virtually nothing more than enhanced stereo. Yet, in at least two sound effect passages, one a whistling circling noise around the room, the merits of the system are clearly demonstrated. One can only assume the producer didn't seek to do more. Perhaps the best quadrasonic cut is "Zanzibar," though it leaves a lot to be desired.


Santana - Welcome
January 26, 1974

Quadrasonic is still a fledgling field artistically and thus it's a pleasant surprise when you find that one particular cut on an album puts it all together--all of the techniques possibly within the scope of a 360-degree sound field and all of the capabilities of the system. A little more than halfway through "When I Look Into Your Eyes," the producer or perhaps the remix quadrasonic engineer Glen Kolotkin threw away all of the old stereo drawbacks and the music explodes dramatically and excitingly into full 4-channel, total environmental sound. You find directionality is superb; there is no proverbial "front." You are surrounded and a part of the group.

Nilsson Schmilsson
January 19, 1974

This album has already been a big chart item as a stereo LP and technically, several of the tunes here are 4-channel masterpieces, specifically "Jump Into the Fire," "Coconut," and "Let the Good Times Roll," "Jump Into the Fire," is a soul-tearing, energy-feeding rock classic. The various vocal effects surge between all four speakers. The technique of hanging the dominant vocal overhead is used here, giving a no-front aspect to the music.

Plus Guitars
January 19, 1974

A fascinatingly beautiful album featuring extraordinary clarity and brilliance of the music, largely because it's in 4-channel and not stereo. It's difficult to pindown directionality of instruments but, because of the right-front to left-rear effect of this particular system, you do sense that the guitars are coming from the rear, especially on "Guantanamera," "Call Me," and "Maria, Maria."

Hugo Montenergo - Scenes & Themes
August 25, 1973

The man captures sheer magic in his music and quadrasonic is a natural vehicle for it. He had freely admitted that he makes new discoveries in every quadrasonic LP. Here, especially on a song like "A Man and a Woman," the music swells up around you, perfect in placement and balance. Like a recent Carolyn Hester LP on the same label, this Montenegro LP is vastly superior in quadrasonic than stereo. For the truly creative artist, whether Ms. Hester or Montenegro, quadrasonic provides greater scope for their talents, thus greater musical achievements. "Tara Theme" here is absolutely enthralling in 4-channel due to the effect of a rear guitar, and a "hanging" ARP synthesizer. Montenegro, outspoken for quadrasonic, reveals the many improvements in music possible in "Alfie." You're actually a part of the music; the tune features superb quadrasonic arrangements.

Percy Faith - Clair
August 25, 1973

Percy's smooth, orchestral material has never been so aptly portrayed in all of its majestic glory as on this album. The music is fluid and expansively compelling when you're surrounded by it. Using a Sansui QRX-6500 switched to SQ matrix (labeled on the unit as phase matrix), a special adaptation of "2001 (Also Sprach Zarathustra)" is an amazing awe-inspiring jazz 4-channel masterpiece. There's enormous rear information and it comes across with excellent direction. Warren Vincent, quadrasonic supervisor, is to be complimented on a fine quadrasonic work. Faith has taken on new scope, new power, new drama in this medium.

Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra
May 12, 1973

Issued only in a compatible 4-channel version, and with the entire thrust of the presentation plugging surround-sound attributes, set should move at a comfortable rate to stereo-only buyers as well. But the growing "Q" market is the main target, and near saturation sales may be anticipated there. Graphic diagrams showing orchestra placement and channel distribution of the sections colorfully illustrate the double-fold jacket. Dealers: Label is priming its biggest promotional guns for this one. Cover art makes for superior display


Hugo Montenegro - Scenes & Themes Love Licks From Golden Flicks
February 17, 1973

In 4-channel sound, this discrete LP is a masterpiece. Montenegro has utilized all the capabilities of surround and directional sound in presenting exciting interpretations of film themes. His large orchestra is augmented by his son John on synthesizer, creating original sounds and blending beautifully with other colors. In stereo, the music is sassy and richly rewarding. Best cuts: "Tara Theme," "Romeo & Juliet" "Man And A Woman," "Learn To Say Goodbye." Dealers: Montenegro is the foremost pop composer working in quadrasonic and this LP, along with his "Godfather" work, should be showcased. This LP is a great sampler for in-store demonstrations of how exciting 4-channel sound is.

Eugene Ormandy
December 23, 1972

"The Sabre Dance" in quadrasonic sound is as fiery as you'd imagine. RCA's second compatible stereo/4-channel release with the Philadelphia Orchestra breathes new life into familiar pieces. The connecting theme is dance music in Vol. 2 of "The Fantastic Philadelphians." Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5," Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" and Falla's "Ritual Fire Dance" are among the evergreens included.

Jefferson Starship - Red Octopus
September 20, 1975

An outstanding success as a stereo product, and a former No 1. LP this Jefferson Starship album should win new laurels for artists and technical staff alike as a CD-4 release. It is ideal in quad. The CD-4 technology adds new dimensions to both voices and instruments thereby increasing the product's viability. The group's hit single "Miracles" is included. Other selected cuts are, "There Will Be Love," and "I Want To See Another World."

Doobie Brothers - Stampede
September 06, 1975

This is the first record ever to be reviewed with the new Quadracast Systems Inc. integrated circuit (IC chip) CD-4 discrete demodulator, using a handmade unit constructed by inventor Lou Dorren, chief of research for QSI. Without question, the directionality was extremely superb within a 360-degree spectrum. However, the chief advantage of this unit is exceptional brilliance and clarity of the music--it recovers more out of the grooves than any CD-4 units now on the market. Best cuts: All of the tunes were well mixed, but the best produced for the quad medium is "Rainy Day Crossroads Blues." Supported by an interesting drum rhythm, the guitars delve into very complex patterns that are distinctively suitable for the quad medium; the listener virtually takes a guitar trip. Rear bass runs accent the unique capabilities of the CD-4 system and when an orchestra overlay floods into the field, you can be sure that you're hearing the absolute best potentials of quad. "Music Man" would be a good disco cut; "Neals Fandango" is a good progressive country tune. "Slat Key Soquel Rag" is a very excellent work featuring four guitars in the four speakers; how best could you do that but in discrete? Dealers: Excellent demo LP for 18-34 age buyers.

Herbie Mann - Reggae
September 06, 1975

This LP is a mental musical trip--it pounds with steady rhythms, led now by a lead guitar, then by the flutic magic of Herbie Mann. The most imporatant aspect of this album is that Mann demonstrates the excellent medium that quad is for a small jazz group and softer sounds. Separation is excellent; balance is good. Best cuts: "Swingin' Shepherd Blues," "My Girl." Dealers: This LP should have tremendous appeal to young adults of college age and older jazz fans and might be an inducement for them to buy higher grade equipment. Suggest in-store play on a house CD-4 discrete quad system.


J. Geils Band - Nightmares
September 06, 1975

Special kudos must go to Bill Szymczyk who produced and helped engineer this fine, funky CD-4 album. Separation is excellent and amplifies the careful mixing involved. A success as a stereo album, this quad version should get extra mileage for all concerned. Dealers: Success should be assured if the album is pushed as Geils is quad.


Tomita - Pictures At An Exhibition
August 23, 1975

Though vagaries exist at the market level, Isao Tomita's quad classical rendition leaves no doubt that the medium is perfect for every message that he wishes to express, from the haunting, voice-like phrases in "The Old Castle" to the emptiness of the "Catacombs." The separation and spaciousness of the music, flowing at you and around you from four directions in quad, is awe inspiring. No mere electronic jargon, this. Instead, because of the 4-channels, it becomes a visitation. Classical music was never like this and, without the capabilities of quad, never will be again. Tomita has far surpassed "Switched-On Bach," perhaps because of the medium. In any case, this album should appeal to all demographics and its engineering excellence render it a perfect album by which dealers may demonstrate the CD-4 system.


David Gates - Never Let Her Go
March 29, 1975

Electrifying separation and acoustic excitement right from the first roll of drums in "Chain Me," with "Strangers" being perhaps the best technically in quad because of the more complex orchestrations. "Angel" is quadrasonical dramatic, as is "Watch Out." Overall, this is a superb quad album with phenomenal separation and, via the CD-4 medium, excellent directionality; there's no doubt what direction you hear the various instruments from. Production and mix is excellent.

House Of Love
December 21, 1974

It's a pity that country music record producers have yet to really delve into all of the potentials of quad. Here is a stereo record re-mixed for CD-4, but it doesn't have much quad impact. Only on "Does It Matter" has producer Billy Davis more than vague instrumentation cooking.


Eugene Ormandy conducting, Suite From Swan Lake
April 20, 1974

This is one of those LPs on which the Quadradisc term is hidden on the bottom rear of the jacket, but it's a grand classical quadrasonic album. The reality and the ambience of a concert hall is featured, but you still have enormous definition and clarity of the orchestra in its full sweep across the stage. The "Scene" in Act I is superb in CD-4 discrete and, while one might wish that the "stage" were done away with in classical music production, still the effect overall is enthralling "Neapolitan Dance" has that race-horse, thundering reverb effect, too. A very good quadrasonic production.

Hugo Montenergro - Others By Brothers
May 03, 1975

For excellent reason, they call Hugo Montenegro The Quadfather. This album is total, enthralling quadraphonic excitement! There is excellent rear separation and directionality of all information; for instance, the moog on "Caravan" is in the rear, left. Cut off the front speakers and it's there; cut off the rear speakers and it's gone. Producer Dave Blume has combined with the acoustical magic of Montenegro for a perfect quadraphonic album. A great demonstration cut to show anyone what quadraphonic is all about is "Noah's Arp." Few people understand quadraphonic as well as Montenegro; with every new LP, he constantly sets new standards of quality, new standards of quadraphonic production, blazes new quadraphonic mix techniques. You want to hear jazz like it was really meant to be--live? Try the middle part of "Nothing From Nothing" and some solid Dixieland. Perfect quadraphonic album.

Laughter In The Rain
May 03, 1975

Though there isn't discernible rear information on this album, Warren Vincent, quadraphonic supervisor, governed the mix so that there is a total sound field around the listener. This sound field is especially pleasing on "Sundown" and "Angie Baby." As an example of what the quadraphonic mix is like, "Mandy" attempts and succeeds fairly well at placing male vocals along the left wall and female vocals along the right wall. So, while the listener will find this album much more satisfying acoustically than stereo, don't expect total directionality.

Guest Soloist Peter Nero, A Quadraphonic Concert
April 20, 1974

It's amazing, the fullness of the concert hall comes so completely to life under the matrix wane. Because of the flying sounds resplendant in matrix--ambience--you enjoy a concert much like it actually happens. The only handicap that matrix might have, in comparison to discrete and only in regards to classical music a la concert hall, is that you lose some of the definitive placement of the orchestra upfront. But, for this sacrifice, minor on most albums, you are rewarded with resounding ambience. This is perhaps best acoustically illustrated here with "The Blue Danube Waltz" and "Claire de Lune."

Bonnie Kolack - After All This Time
November 06, 1971

Ovation introduces its compatible stereo/quadraphonic disk with a stunning new talent whose abilities overshadow the technical process. Miss Koloc possesses dramatic instinct that matches a pure, controlled voice and her languid way with the material makes her a threat to the ladies now dominating contemporary music. Outstanding cuts are "After All This Time," "Another New Morn" and "New York City Blues."

The Flame
December 05, 1970

Issued in compatible quadraphonic sound, this first Flame album should draw considerable attention. The key to its success, however, is in the strong performances displayed. "See the Light," "I'm So Happy" and "Get Your Mind Made Up" are among the varied material combining blues, rock and folk.
 
Last edited:

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
26,681
Location
London, England
great set of reviews! thank you for typing them up 20 years ago and sharing them today! (y)

a small observation, curiously no mention of any reviewer referencing a Q8 or Q4 discrete tape (to really judge the mix quality!) it was all disc based :unsure:

oh and one minor gripe, the reviewer of EW&F's Head To The Sky must've been using a poor quality SQ decoder or something, I was playing the AF SACD the other day (again! :phones)
and the Quads' the mutts' nuts!! :p
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
20,244
Wow, Jon....wasn't even aware some of the Billboard reviewed selections were QUAD. Too bad Lou Dorren didn't offer his 'homemade' CD~4 demodulator to the general public. Might've actually saved QUAD.

Would love to hear 99% of them on SACD or BD~A. Hope foraging Rhino read the list....some very choice titles are Warner titles.....but the majority are from from SONY. And the Four Tops on BD~A/SACD would be outstanding.
 

sjcorne

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
4,771
Location
Washington, D.C.
Interesting read...I have to assume they were using a very basic SQ decoder as their review of EWF's Head To The Sky is rather head-scratching. Obviously today (thanks to AF) we know that is an extremely discrete quad mix, but back then it'd be impossible to tell if you didn't have a Q8 copy.
 

quadsearcher

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Nov 8, 2010
Messages
1,041
Proceed with Caution is Calvin Keys, might not be obvious from the review.
 

Scott M4

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
618
Location
Toronto, Canada
Thanks for sharing, fascinating history.

I'll just point out the obvious typo.
There's only one Miles, but there's also only one Buddy Miles.

Yeah! I freaked out about a Miles album I'd never heard of and in Quad! Then I settled down and figured it out.

Thanks for all the good reading for us Jon.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
17,197
Location
Connecticut
I'll just point out the obvious typo.
There's only one Miles, but there's also only one Buddy Miles.

Proceed with Caution is Calvin Keys, might not be obvious from the review.

Thanks guys! Actually, the reviews I typed in did not have the artist listed. I am not sure why it was that way, as I actually don't even remember why I typed these all in. I added the artists (where I knew them), and that's why some don't have an artist listed.

The Buddy Miles Davis was obviously a brain fart, so thanks for pointing that out. And as for the Calvin Keys, I don't recall ever seeing that disc anywhere, so I had no clue who the artist was, so again, THANKS!
 

DuncanS

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
7,072
Location
UK
I really like seeing all the old reviews, cuttings etc., it takes me back to my teenage years, when I could dream but never afford the albums & kit! Its also really interesting to figure out which Quads are now available, I saw a few in the list which are now released by Dutton-Vocalion.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
17,197
Location
Connecticut
Remember, these are not ALL of the reviews of quad recordings that ran in Billboard. I think where these came from was a trip I took to the Hartford Public Library back in the '90s, where I pulled back issues of Billboard magazine one afternoon and using their 10 cent-a-copy Xerox machine, I copied reviews and articles about quad for "archive purposes". Yes, my Nerd flag was flying! :geek: I only had so much time, and so many dimes.
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
20,244
Remember, these are not ALL of the reviews of quad recordings that ran in Billboard. I think where these came from was a trip I took to the Hartford Public Library back in the '90s, where I pulled back issues of Billboard magazine one afternoon and using their 10 cent-a-copy Xerox machine, I copied reviews and articles about quad for "archive purposes". Yes, my Nerd flag was flying! :geek: I only had so much time, and so many dimes.

As far as you know, Jon, did Billboard ever review QUAD Open Reels? Too bad the audio rags of the time didn't take much interest in QUAD other than to [rightfully] lambast the lame consumer~grade decoders! [yikes!]
 

quadtrade

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
1,516
Location
Ugene
Sweet way to get the feel what we we thinking back then. Should leave it in a format new found reviews could be added.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
17,197
Location
Connecticut
Anyone who wants to do their own research for Billboard quad reviews may do so at this website (a site that apparently doesn't seem too concerned about copyrights).

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Billboard-Magazine.htm

I love looking at old Billboards (Obviously). Just look through random issues from 72-73-74-75 and you'll find a lot of quad articles, reviews and ads. Very cool - especially the ads.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
17,197
Location
Connecticut
As far as you know, Jon, did Billboard ever review QUAD Open Reels? Too bad the audio rags of the time didn't take much interest in QUAD other than to [rightfully] lambast the lame consumer~grade decoders! [yikes!]

I am not sure if they reviewed reels specifically, but I do recall they reviewed some Q8 only titles (like Band on the Run)
 

jdmack

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,249
Location
Maryland
I love looking at old Billboards (Obviously). Just look through random issues from 72-73-74-75 and you'll find a lot of quad articles, reviews and ads. Very cool - especially the ads.

Me, too! It's interesting that the Billboard Top 200 albums charts at that time give the retail price for "4-channel" and "Q-8 Tape" when they were available.
 

Scott65

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
1,184
Location
Tasmania, Australia
great set of reviews! thank you for typing them up 20 years ago and sharing them today! (y)

a small observation, curiously no mention of any reviewer referencing a Q8 or Q4 discrete tape (to really judge the mix quality!) it was all disc based :unsure:

oh and one minor gripe, the reviewer of EW&F's Head To The Sky must've been using a poor quality SQ decoder or something, I was playing the AF SACD the other day (again! :phones)
and the Quads' the mutts' nuts!! :p

Yes, we are lucky to get these quad mixes on modern formats : ) Head to the sky is superb on the AF SACD.
 
Top