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Music DVD Poll Billy Joel - The Ultimate Collection

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Rate the DVD-V - "Billy Joel - The Ultimate Collection"

  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 - Poor Mix, Poor Content, Poor Packaging/Graphics

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 - Complete waste of plastic

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    22

JonUrban

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So there is a 5.1 mix of We Didn't Start the Fire.
(No explanation given as to the different track listings.)
I can tell you now that there IS no 5.1 mix of "We Didn't Start the Fire", because the mix on this disc is HORRIBLE. I finally got around to extracting the tunes from this European DVD and playing them and looking at the wavs and this is just a pile of crap (IMHO). I believe that anyone with Plogue and SPEC could do a similar, and probably much better, job at creating a 5.1 mix. The rears sound horrible, and very "cheap decoder" like when listened to on their own. The center channel of some of the Region 4 exclusive titles is somewhat good, but on others it's just mush.

Here's a bit of the "We Didn't Start the Fire" rears, for your listening displeasure: View attachment WDSTF.mp3

Alas, this is another missed opportunity. Probably best found for the videos, but definately not for the sound.

Billy Joel UK.jpg
 

Quad Linda

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Great thread! A solid 8, through no fault of ThomC, but due to its' limitations. Thank you, ThomC, for both a great job on the Ultimate... and the My Lives box, both of which I've thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you for sharing with us. This summer, I listened to My Lives straight through on a car trip. I was not bored.

ThomC, why did you work on Keeping the Faith on the bonus Umixit, and not the other 3 tracks? I LOVE that disc, BTW. Are there projects you're currently working on that you can share with us?

As a Billy completeist, I do need to seek out the Euro Ultimate Collection.
 

LivingForever

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I checked out the European DVD recently for a thread on SH forums and I'm pretty sure that at least half this disc is up mixes rather than real 5.1.

The tracks from "Stranger", "52nd street", "Glass Houses", "Nylon Curtain" and "Innocent Man" appeared to be proper 5.1 but the tracks from "Storm Front" and "River of Dreams" were definitely not. Didn't get far enough in to check anything else...
 

JonUrban

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I checked out the European DVD recently for a thread on SH forums and I'm pretty sure that at least half this disc is up mixes rather than real 5.1.

The tracks from "Stranger", "52nd street", "Glass Houses", "Nylon Curtain" and "Innocent Man" appeared to be proper 5.1 but the tracks from "Storm Front" and "River of Dreams" were definitely not. Didn't get far enough in to check anything else...
Yeah, they are definately not remixed from the masters. Sounds like they used an old Dynaquad adapter.
 

fredblue

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A pleasant surprise to find real 5.1 on this!

Video quality is mostly pretty poor but I wasn't expecting much in that regard anyway.

Yes it's DD only but that doesn't detract from the fun of having some more BJ in surround!

An "8".
 

Franklin

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I voted this a six, but maybe should have gone for five. One thing of note is that Thom's approach to 5.1 is very different to Frank's on this DVD. So if you love the SACD 5.1's then you may be a little disappointed. Although a very different feel, I do quite like Thom's mixes, but it is true that Storm Front onwards is upmixed. Not much of a bonus for us in Europe.
 

privateuniverse

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I just pulled this one out after not having viewed it in years. I give it a 7. Kudos to Columbia for even producing a real 5.1 soundtrack when so many video compilations only have faux surround. There was enough discrete info happening in the rear speakers to keep me happy. In some places though ("Pressure" in particular) it felt a bit awkward. Other mixes though I thought were excellent. I especially enjoyed "Tell Her About It."

It loses points for the omission of all the videos from Storm Front and River of Dreams (on the North American version, that is.) Plus the video for "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" is also M.I.A.

It is funny to note that in his earliest conceptual videos (made for the 1982 LP The Nylon Curtain) he looks incredibly uncomfortable acting on camera. A year later in the videos for An Innocent Man he seems to have really warmed up to being on camera.

Watching the videos for 52nd Street, Glass Houses and Songs in the Attic got me very nostalgic for his old band, none of whom were on stage with him when I went to see him at Madison Square Garden a few nights ago. While everyone in his new band are all pros, they don't rock out like the old guys did.
 

Franklin

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Does the region 1 disc have part of Tell Her About It in instrumental 5.1 form on the menu/credits?
 

Franklin

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I agree! I love it when those little extras are added, although it's a bit of a tease too!
 

Franklin

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Is anybody else hearing a lot of compression/limiting on The Longest Time?
 

TinWhisker

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Some tidbits about this one....... :banana:

Overall, I am quite pleased with these mixes.
To give due credit though, some of the 5.1 mixes were not my mine,
(notably Big Shot, My Life & Honesty.These were done by Frank Fillipetti for the 52nd St SACD.)

I don't remember how all of them were dealt with, but many of these videos had live vocals, (recorded during the video shoot), that had to be inserted over the new 5.1 instrumentals. Finding and syncing up these vocals was quite a chore. I know Honesty and Baby Grand are two of them, though there are at least 3 or 4 others, I just remember which.

"James" only existed as a mono(?) live performance video tape.

We never could find the correct Los Angelenos multis for the performance you see.

The reason they used the Yankee Stadium "Piano Man" instead of the music video you may have seen, is that Billy doesn't like that video, (or so I was told after having already mixing the studio/music video version).
Also interesting is that the piano on the "Piano Man" album was only recorded in mono. This was normal practice at the time, though questionable in retrospect.

The International version of this is called the "Ultimate Collection" and has different bonus material. I don't think I woked on any of those bonus tracks.

None of these are problems with the disk, as far as I'm concerned, just little bits of trivia.

Now for my problems with this disk....


Without getting too detailed....
I had never dealt with much post mixing (lots of dialog, FX, etc.) before this.
The engineer who did this work therefore mixed it at broadcast levels, and a bit compressed to help make the dialog & FX sound better compared to the music. (Just the way he always mixed music video for broadcast!).
This also matched the levels of the stereo tracks on the master videos, which were at broadcast levels.
This had a very severe effect on the sound quality of the Dolby encode, (and would have in DTS also!).
A solution would have been mastering, but none of this was mastered.
This was a live and learn thing for both him and me, as I have done more work with this same guy many times since and have been very happy with the results. I now also oversee, question & approve everything from start to finish.

None-the-less, and as I said before, I am quite happy with the mixes.
(as a matter of fact I went and listened to the unencoded/unpostmixed raw mixes before posting here just to make sure I wasn't insane, (insaner?!?! :mad:@: )
(Maybe I'll add a little more info later as time allows)

I give it a weighted score of 7.

Favorite tracks: The Longest Time, Goodnight Saigon.
Hope you enjoy it if you get it.

PS - Am working on a rarities box set of Billy's.
Nearly done with it.
Mostly outtakes, bsides, unreleased rough song ideas.....
Will probably include two songs you can mix yourself (UMixIt Software).
It is also slated to have a new live DVD from the River Of Dreams Tour.
I really like this show, (Frankfurt Festivhall 1994), the hall sounds great and the crowd is really into it. I shouldn't say this but I think it's better than the Yankee Stadium DVD.
Awesome Post!!! I love reading behind-the-scenes material.
I'm actually listening to The Stranger SACD as I post this.
 

keywhiz

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Giving this a “9”. Knocking it because it sounds a bit thin and compression. (Because it’s DD, I guess?). I think the 5.1 mixes are fine. I don’t hear a big difference between ThomC’s and Fillippetti’s mixes. Thom’s are even more discreet on some songs. “Pressure” is really good. I hear bits that aren’t on the original.

Also sounds like a different lead vocal take on “All For Leyna”. Like maybe he recorded that one as he was doing the video?

Always fun to watch the old videos.
 

Bender

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Giving this a “9”. Knocking it because it sounds a bit thin and compression. (Because it’s DD, I guess?). I think the 5.1 mixes are fine. I don’t hear a big difference between ThomC’s and Fillippetti’s mixes. Thom’s are even more discreet on some songs. “Pressure” is really good. I hear bits that aren’t on the original.

Also sounds like a different lead vocal take on “All For Leyna”. Like maybe he recorded that one as he was doing the video?

Always fun to watch the old videos.
Yes, in fact, the three Glass Houses tracks were all with recorded new lead vocal for the video. Billy allegedly initially despised the concept of lip synching.
 

Monkish

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I was watching/listening to this tonight, and I thought it’d be useful to highlight (in bold) which songs are clean 5.1 mixes of the original studio versions — by “clean”, I mean no dialogue/sound effects/etcetera interfering with the song. As you can see, there aren’t *that* many songs that fit all of the above criteria (in part because a number of Billy’s videos are concept videos).

I hope this’ll be a good resource for those wondering if it’s worth buying the DVD to rip the audio for playlists and such, as opposed to just watching the videos and listening to the songs in that context. If I got anything wrong, please let me know!

Piano Man (live version)
All For Leyna (live vocal over studio instrumental)
Tell Her About It (has audience noise over intro and fadeout)
Honesty (same mix as 52nd Street SACD, although lower quality)
Sometimes A Fantasy (extended phone dialing/ringing intro — would be clean otherwise, except for *one phone ring* during the fadeout)
The Night Is Still Young
Pressure

My Life (song fades in after a minute or so of Stiletto instrumental)
Keeping The Faith (coin-in-the-jukebox sound interferes with very start of song, dialogue over fadeout)
A Matter Of Trust (people listening in the street clap/whoop at various points in the song, including a woman loudly yelling ”SHUT UP!” after the first verse)
You’re Only Human (Second Wind) (boy attempting suicide yells “NO!” during intro, harmonica noise during outro)
Everybody Loves You Now (live version)
Uptown Girl (sound effects during intro and fadeout)
You May Be Right (live vocal over studio instrumental)
Big Shot (same mix as 52nd Street, although lower quality)
The Longest Time (need to cut out first 30 seconds of dialogue/ambient sound — after that, it’s clean)
Allentown
Los Angelenos (live version)
It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me (live vocal over studio instrumental)
Baby Grand (Billy sings live vocal over studio instrumental — Ray’s vocal is the studio take — some clapping/reacting during fadeout)

Bonus Videos:

She’s Right On Time
Goodnight Saigon (live version)
Leave A Tender Moment Alone (live version)
James (live TV appearance)
 
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