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HiRez Poll Blood Sweat & Tears - CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Blood Sweat and Tears - CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN

  • 6 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 - Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Contact

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    68

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
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Mention the music group ‘Blood Sweat and Tears’ to any old timer and you might be surprised by the reaction you get. The original group, led by Al Kooper, was very popular with the college crowd and fans that loved jazz and the blues. To some it seemed like a natural progression from the material found on the “Supersession” album by Al Kooper and friends. Many fans of the first album were not all that happy to find that Al Kooper had left the band and was replaced by Canadian singer-songwriter David Clayton-Thomas for future releases. Although this change brought the group more mainstream airplay and chart success it clearly changed the direction of the music from jazz-blues to pop-rock with a jazz/blues flavor.

The second wave of BS&T fans who discovered the group after Al Kooper left will probably only recognize the 2 songs from this first album that were eventually included on the later Columbia Records release “Blood Sweat & Tears Greatest Hits”. For those DC-T/BS&T fans, this album will be a new listen, and a different one at that.

We are fortunate that Audio Fidelity has “rescued” this early 2000’s 5.1 mix by the group’s founder Al Kooper. It was originally commissioned for release as a Sony SACD, only to be shelved when Sony decided that SACD was not going to be a big financial success in the retail marketplace. Despite many articles in various print and internet web pages detailing the creation of this mix (and the “Supersession” 5.1 mix), these mixes were relegated to the storage shelves of Sony until the recent Surround SACD reissue series from Audio Fidelity.

I recently had the chance to get an early listen to this disc and I am happy to report that Al Kooper has done a wonderful job on the surround mix, and that this disc sounds fantastic from both audio AND surround perspectives.

The disc starts off with “Overture”, which is a classic overture in that it’s instrumental passages from some of the upcoming tracks in the “show”. The surround here is excellent and the audio pristine. For the surround junkies, there’s the moving laughing man rounding through the audio soundstage. There is no doubt that you are now listening to a surround recording!

I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “ I Can’t Quit Her” are the two tunes that most every BS&T fan will recognize, as these were the two Al Kooper tracks included on the original “Blood Sweat and Tears Greatest Hits” album from 1972 (also released in SQ and Q8!) :)

This 5.1 mix is very discrete, vocals in the center (with some bleed into the other 4 channels at times), horns and strings in the back, but not totally solo, so you get a nice FULL surround presentation that sounds modern and not like a ‘70s quad pinpoint mix. At times a solo sax may come at you from virtual center, and on some songs like “Morning Glory”, the harmony vocals can he heard in the rears – but not overpowering the lead at all. Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” makes you feel like you’re in a cocktail lounge somewhere. On this one, there are no vocal echos in the rear, just the calypso band and trumpet. Once thing Al has done with this surround mix is blend it intelligently, making it comfortable for those who enjoy surround music without alienating those that claim surround is a gimmick with odd instruments popping up out of nowhere at time.

For those of you who were not enthusiastic about the first couple of Audio Fidelity 5.1 SACDs for whatever reason, here is the disc for you. This is a classic album that has not been played to death on radio or in supermarkets/elevators, it’s a surround mix created BY THE ARTIST, and it’s clean, uncompressed, and begs to be played loud. The songs range from ballads to blues, jazz to classical interludes, and there is no chance that you will not think you are listening to a surround mix when you hear any of the tracks.

Top it all off with a high resolution Steve Hoffman mastered stereo track for those with only two ears, and you have a winner of a disc. More 5.1 titles may be on the horizon from Audio Fidelity. Until then, if you are a fan of BS&T or of late 60’s music, give this disc a shot. I am sure you will be glad you did.

Can’t help but give this one a 10.
 

bmoura

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Child Is Father to the Man is the first album by Blood, Sweat & Tears. Unlike subsequent albums by BS&T, this one was performed by the original group members including potential Hall of Fame Rock Star Al Kooper. Kooper formed the band and had a very different vision of what Blood, Sweat & Tears could be. In that respect, the album sounds much closer to Super Session and Kooper's albums than the subsequent BS&T releases. So this one will be a bit of a surprise - and a trip down a different road - for BS&T fans who missed their first album (pre-David Clayton Thomas).

In this new Multichannel SACD edition from Audio Fidelity, Al Kooper's 5.1 mix from 2004 comes to market for the first time. It features new liner notes (as the Super Session SACD did) that details the original formation of Blood, Sweat & Tears and their signing by Columbia Records President Clive Davis. The notes also chronicle the band's evolution and decision to move away from Al Kooper's bluesy/rock stylings to the jazz sound that band ultimately became famous for. Kooper became an Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Executive at Columbia Records after he left the group.

Kooper notes that the lack of commercial success of this album in the 1980's gave him more freedom to experiment with the 5.1 mix. And experiment he does! Child Is Father to the Man was done after the Super Session 5.1 mix. It shows Kooper to be a very talented and even more adventurous Surround Sound mixer than Super Session showed. The Multichannel mix frequently features panned instruments including two instruments following each other in a circle on the song "Just One Smile". We also get panned sounds of farm animals on the track "House In The Country."

Kooper used "frequency shifting tools" to separate the bass and guitar into separate tracks which allowed the bass to be placed in the center and the guitar to be assigned to different locations, rather than at the same spot. He calls these tools "a big help" in creating the new 5.1 mix. Overall, this is a very enjoyable and immersive Surround Sound mix. At times, the panning and soundscape prove to be quite a ride.

Well known songs like "Without You", "So Much Love" and "Just One Smile" are given a very different treatment than the versions by other artists making the album quite interesting. Overall, a very enjoyable album musically and in 5.1 Surround. The only thing that detracts from the album is the somewhat dated sonics which keep me from giving it a perfect score. Still, another winning album and 5.1 mix by Al Kooper. I give it a "9".
 

elmer

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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May 31, 2005
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New Milford, CT
...Unlike subsequent albums by BS&T, this one was performed by the original group members including Hall of Fame Rock Star Al Kooper...
Unfortunately and even criminally so, Al is not a member of the Rock Hall of Fame.
 

elmer

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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May 31, 2005
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New Milford, CT
The RRHOF is just like the Grammys - many deserving artists go unrewarded. Makes no difference to me - just a list.
 

Gmat25

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Oct 26, 2009
Messages
233
Location
Madison, WI
A while back I received a quad copy of eight songs from this album. Its wonderful to hear the entire album (sounds so much better not only as it was originally sequenced, but in this new 5.1 version.) Very discreet, creative, and tight sounding surround mix. I love it!
 

elroy

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I am really enjoying this. A definite 9 - there is more panning and swirling than I would have expected, but it goes well with the songs.

As a high school trombone player in the early 70s, BS&T, Chicago, and Chase were groups that a brass instrument player could point to as having some coolness and hopefully reflect a little bit my way. I think our marching band played Spinning Wheel at one point. The BS&T coolness definitely did NOT reflect on me.

Wish I still played though!
 

blue.monk

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Atlanta, GA
I'm glad that this mix has finally been released. It gives me hope that other shelved surround mixes may see the light of day (Elton!!). I really enjoyed the 5.1. I think the only complaint people will have is the frequent swirling panning and the tendency for elements to 'hop' about. I don't mind. It kinda mimics the crazy panning that was common to late 60's/early 70's stereo rock recordings. The soundstage varies throughout but most frequently drums, bass and guitar are anchored in fronts (although each at times will be panned hard right or left), brass, backing vox, strings and keyboards in rears and lead elements (vocals, guitar, sax, etc) fairly evenly distributed but leaning towards fronts. The music is a wild ride with no single defining mood or style (those were the days!) and even though some of it is definitely 'of its time' it's a fun album with an adventurous and fulfilling mix. A 9 for me.
 

stormchaser

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I am very pleased with this disc. As noted, this mix is fairly aggressive with panning and hopping from speaker to speaker. I enjoy an aggressive mix, so I approve. I do not know this album well, so I can not say much about comparisons to previous versions. It certainly sounds good to my ears.
My concern is that given all the other releases currently, this sacd might be overlooked by many. That would be a shame.
 

infaze

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
51
Location
Denver
terrific SACD - deep ,rich bass and midrange
the treble comes out instantly and sharp on
many of the horn moments
- the songs take me back into that time when
60's rock was transitioning from predominate
vocals to the 70's more multiple guitar oriented
style .

some song stories are about romance
and love lost - melencholy lyrics - great stuff .

surround mix is excellent .
great addition to any multichannel collection
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
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Ohio
This finally arrived after - according to US Postal Service tracking - being stuck in Hebron, Kentucky, for a week.

I have to say that we have indeed been spoiled with surround releases this Fall. There is no other explanation as to why there hasn't been more discussion of this disc on the forum! I'm admittedly only half-way through it, but it's brilliant!

It may be overshadowed by Pink Floyd, Tears for Fears, Yes, and XTC, but PLEASE don't miss this one!!!
 

GOS

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This finally arrived after - according to US Postal Service tracking - being stuck in Hebron, Kentucky, for a week.

I have to say that we have indeed been spoiled with surround releases this Fall. There is no other explanation as to why there hasn't been more discussion of this disc on the forum! I'm admittedly only half-way through it, but it's brilliant!

It may be overshadowed by Pink Floyd, Tears for Fears, Yes, and XTC, but PLEASE don't miss this one!!!
Thanks my good man. Your comments have driven me to order this......Hebron, KY huh? I've been there....had a research plot there a couple years ago. lol
 

dr. simple

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Okay, at the risk of getting obnoxious, I have to say that if someone were to put a gun to my head and force me to pick ONE of the new releases - Well, I haven't heard Tears for Fears, Bryan Adams, or Jethro Tull yet - I'd pick this one over Yes, XTC and Pink Floyd.

I just hate to see such a fine disc get lost in the shuffle.
 

GOS

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Okay, at the risk of getting obnoxious, I have to say that if someone were to put a gun to my head and force me to pick ONE of the new releases - Well, I haven't heard Tears for Fears, Bryan Adams, or Jethro Tull yet - I'd pick this one over Yes, XTC and Pink Floyd.

I just hate to see such a fine disc get lost in the shuffle.
And, that's saying something. I asked my college boy to order it for me for Xmas...lol! I think he will.
 

timbre4

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Played it last night and wow, what an amazing playfully creative surround mix! The tunes are pretty great and Al has pulled out all of the stops here. Recommended no matter what else is a must have.


From QQ deep space
 

fredblue

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Absolutely wonderful surround mix of a stunning album. Very thoughtful, inventive, creative use of the surround soundfield with superb fidelity. I just had the biggest smile on my face all the way through. Al Kooper really gets surround music imho. No doubt about it, it's a "10" from me.
 

DennisMabry

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Fantastic release, an instant 10. So glad to see titles like this make it to surround!

"Please sir, I want some more."
 

bmoura

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Fantastic release, an instant 10. So glad to see titles like this make it to surround!

"Please sir, I want some more."
It is an excellent release. No surprise that it has scored 13 "9's" or "10's" so far.
And yes, there are more Multichannel SACDs from Audio Fidelity on the way...... :)

-- Brian (a.k.a. the "Multichannel Maven" at Audio Fidelity)
 
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