HiRez Poll Cummings, Burton - BURTON CUMMINGS [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Burton Cummings - BURTON CUMMINGS

  • 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: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2021 Multichannel SACD from Dutton Vocalion of the self-titled album by Guess Who lead singer Burton Cummings.
This Multichannel SACD features the first official release of the original Quadraphonic mix since the 1970s!

(Please note that this SACD also features the albums "My Own Way to Rock" and "Dream of a Child" in stereo only.)

BURTON CUMMINGS
LP PR 34261 (1976) STEREO/PRQ 34261 QUADRAPHONIC
1: I’M SCARED (Cummings)
2: YOUR BACK YARD (Cummings)
3: NOTHING RHYMED (O’Sullivan)
4: THAT’S ENOUGH (Charles)
5: IS IT REALLY RIGHT (Cummings)
6: STAND TALL (Cummings)
7: NIKI HOKEY (P. Vegas; L. Vegas; Ford)
8: SUGARTIME FLASHBACK JOYS (Cummings)
9: BURCH MAGIC (Cummings)
10: YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET (Bachman)

Remastered from the original analogue tapes by Michael J. Dutton

Multi-Channel/Stereo
CD 1 tracks 1-10 available in stereo and multi-channel

CD 1 tracks 11-15 and CD 2 tracks 1-16 available ONLY in stereo

SA-CD
These Hybrid CDs can be played on any standard CD player

2CDSML8583


 
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sjcorne

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I’ve had the quad LP of this album for a long time and never really gave it a chance. The material struck me as uneven, the sound quality wasn’t great, and the quad mix seemed sort of diffuse and undefined. I was definitely curious to find out what the discrete quad master actually sounds like, especially considering how great most of the later-era CBS quad mixes are.

In terms of overall fidelity, this SACD is a revelation. It sounds absolutely pristine, as if the album was recorded recently. I actually think this might be one of Dutton's most impressive remasters--he really made this one sparkle.

The quad mix is--unsurprisingly--a lot more interesting than the decoded SQ vinyl had previously indicated. Like most CBS quads, there's really fun, active use of the rear speakers: stuff like the rhythm guitars in "Your Back Yard" and talkbox in "Niki Hoeky" come solely from behind the listener. There's even some fun speaker-to-speaker panning with the guitar solo in "I'm Scared" and synthesizer in "Burch Magic". I also noticed that the drum kit is frequently spread over all four channels, with tom rolls moving through the rears (not unlike how Steven Wilson mixes the drums on his 5.1's today).

The most unusual aspect of the quad mix would have to be the treatment of Burton's vocals. It's difficult to accurately describe the effect: his voice appear to come from everywhere at once, but the part in the rears has some kind of delay on it--so rather than having it project out into the center of the listening space (as was done on most of The Guess Who's quads), you get this almost live-sounding '3-D' directional quality to the vocal. During "Burch Magic", it almost feels like his voice is rapidly flying through you.

My only gripes with the quad mix are that it's a bit too heavy on the reverb at times, and the female backing vocals (in the rear channels) during "Sugartime Flashback Joys" seem way too quiet.

As much as I enjoy the mix/fidelity, I can't give this one a "10"--there are a number of songs I don't particularly care for ("Nothing Rhymed", "Is It Really Right", "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet), but the high points ("I'm Scared", "Your Back Yard", "Niki Hoeky", etc) are very high. So a "9" it is.
 

fredblue

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Burton Cummings solo debut's long been one of my absolute most-hoped for Quads that DV might be able to secure someday - and wow here it is in quite some style!! 😍

the label have really delivered the goods, track after track i know so well from the old SQ LP and Q8 sounding absolutely incredible and way better than ever!! constantly picking out new little details (that must have been there all along but got lost in the matrix murk or the 8-track haze!) i'm thrilled beyond belief at the sound pouring out the speakers, its easily my personal highlight of the latest releases.

on the basis of the fantastic sounding Quad alone its a "10" all the way -- and there's still the other two albums in Stereo i've not even played yet!
 

fredblue

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just for fun i worked out my own personal value for money in this release.. even when lumped in with two other albums costing just shy of £20 quid, i find this 3 album set to be an unbelievable bargain, not least since i'd already blown a not inconsiderable £96 (with p&p!) in total on the SQ LP and Q8 (in 2015 and 2017 respectively) and frankly neither the LP nor the tape have anywhere near the sound quality of the SACD, plus there's these two other albums i'll get round to someday for sure.

my fellow Qua-qua-qua-quaddies, i got the feelin' we ain't seen nothin' yet! 😋😘

7B92EAC1-D830-4AFC-B2FC-9F1417945330.jpeg
 

Perpendicular

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Short and sweet.

The Quad sounds great to me. The other two albums, in stereo only, sound really good too. I’ve never heard all three except for the hit, Stand Tall, but liked a lot of the tunes I heard. I cannot figure out why a couple of his songs weren’t hits or bigger chart toppers if they did chart, such as, Is It Really Right, I Will Play A Rhapsody, I’m Scared and Sugartime Flashback Joys, which is a very catchy song. Dream Of A Child is the weaker of the three albums only enjoying a couple of tunes.

You can sure tell that Burton had a lot of fun making these records and loves being an entertainer. It’s funny how he sounds similar to Michael Bublé on a couple of songs of his self-titled. 😁

By the way, I love his take on BTO’s song, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. It’s hilarious! 😂

I was going to rate it an ‘8’ but it sounds too good. I’m giving it a ‘9’.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I cannot figure out why a couple of his songs weren’t hits or bigger chart toppers if they did chart, such as, Is It Really Right, I Will Play A Rhapsody, I’m Scared and Sugartime Flashback Joys, which is a very catchy song. Dream Of A Child is the weaker of the three albums only enjoying a couple of tunes.
I wouldn't doubt a handful of tracks charted in Canada. I know I heard I'm Scared many times on Canadian radio back in the day.

By the way, I love his take on BTO’s song, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. It’s hilarious! 😂
Makes you wonder who had the idea for the campy lounge singer first, Burton Cummings or Bill Murray
 

marpow

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I voted 7. Don't worry, it's just me. Surround on the 4.0 and all of the three (1 4.0 and 2 stereo) releases fidelity are great.
My overall vote is based on "Terrific Content", not for me. I see what Burton Cummings did while going solo from The Guess Who, clearly wanted to target a different audience, where as far as I can tell not as well recieved as The Guess Who. Certainly not for me.
I believe post # 2 on this thread is as accurate as can be.

Keep Poll Threads Pure, no shipping, off topic chatter, etc.
 

JohnN

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I’ve had the quad LP of this album for a long time and never really gave it a chance. The material struck me as uneven, the sound quality wasn’t great, and the quad mix seemed sort of diffuse and undefined. I was definitely curious to find out what the discrete quad master actually sounds like, especially considering how great most of the later-era CBS quad mixes are.

In terms of overall fidelity, this SACD is a revelation. It sounds absolutely pristine, as if the album was recorded recently. I actually think this might be one of Dutton's most impressive remasters--he really made this one sparkle.

The quad mix is--unsurprisingly--a lot more interesting than the decoded SQ vinyl had previously indicated. Like most CBS quads, there's really fun, active use of the rear speakers: stuff like the rhythm guitars in "Your Back Yard" and talkbox in "Niki Hoeky" come solely from behind the listener. There's even some fun speaker-to-speaker panning with the guitar solo in "I'm Scared" and synthesizer in "Burch Magic". I also noticed that the drum kit is frequently spread over all four channels, with tom rolls moving through the rears (not unlike how Steven Wilson mixes the drums on his 5.1's today).

The most unusual aspect of the quad mix would have to be the treatment of Burton's vocals. It's difficult to accurately describe the effect: his voice appear to come from everywhere at once, but the part in the rears has some kind of delay on it--so rather than having it project out into the center of the listening space (as was done on most of The Guess Who's quads), you get this almost live-sounding '3-D' directional quality to the vocal. During "Burch Magic", it almost feels like his voice is rapidly flying through you.

My only gripes with the quad mix are that it's a bit too heavy on the reverb at times, and the female backing vocals (in the rear channels) during "Sugartime Flashback Joys" seem way too quiet.

As much as I enjoy the mix/fidelity, I can't give this one a "10"--there are a number of songs I don't particularly care for ("Nothing Rhymed", "Is It Really Right", "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet), but the high points ("I'm Scared", "Your Back Yard", "Niki Hoeky", etc) are very high. So a "9" it is.
Only enjoyed the quad so far. Good review.
thanks to Dutton Vocalion

Pick me off the floor now, I seem to be fallin'
For jump up and get 'em 70's quad sugartime flashback joys
 

fizzywiggs41

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Wow !
What a great job Michael Dutton did on this quad release.
The sound on this sacd is well defined.


Both sjcorne and fredblue have summed up my thoughts on this "super clean sounding" sacd.

This was an album that had to grow on me with repeated listenings. I always found the SQ encode somewhat lacking in quad sound , but not with this sacd. The use of the rear channels are a revelation.

Musically I always liked the 3 or 4 hit singles, Stand Tall , I'm Scared , You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet , Nothing Rhymed ,that got played locally . (WINNIPEG is Burt's hometown).

Interesting enough I managed to see him live at a local bar . Him solo with his Yamaha keyboard . BTW This was shortly after his album release.

Note : somewhere in Billboard Magazine there is an article proclaiming Burton's preference of quad recording. This would fit with the rationale behind all those Guess Who quad releases.
(contrary to Bowie's artistic stance as noted by Ken Glancy of RCA Records)




I gave this sacd quad a 9.
 

par4ken

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I always thought that this album ("Burton Cummings") was an apt solo follow up to "The Guess Who". I know that some didn't like the excessive echo/reverb on the SQ version, but I thought that it sounded fine. The DV release seems to me to be a bit lighter on the reverb, although I don't know how that can be as it's the same recording. Perhaps SQ encoding and decoding somehow enhances/exaggerated the reverb but I can't explain how that could be, anyway my comment is purely subjective. The reverb is still very, very noticeable on "Stand Tall" though.

I've never really cared all that much for the other two albums, although perhaps if they would of been given the quad treatment I might of liked them more. In retrospect the other two albums are very similar in style to the debut. I suppose that he was starting to venture more into a MOR / Adult Contemporary style, as is very common for most artists as they age/mature. I used to joke with people that either he now thinks he's Elton John or that he wants to be Elton John due to the predominant use of piano in his solo work.

Anyway it's a solid 9.
 

fizzywiggs41

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I agree Ken.

Bit of a dramatic change with this Guess Who frontman.
From a Rock Band aura to a lounge lizard .
:)


Also I wonder why his second album was not recorded in quad ? CBS was still issuing quad discs albeit very few.
 

jaybird100

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I always thought that this album ("Burton Cummings") was an apt solo follow up to "The Guess Who". I know that some didn't like the excessive echo/reverb on the SQ version, but I thought that it sounded fine. The DV release seems to me to be a bit lighter on the reverb, although I don't know how that can be as it's the same recording. Perhaps SQ encoding and decoding somehow enhances/exaggerated the reverb but I can't explain how that could be, anyway my comment is purely subjective. The reverb is still very, very noticeable on "Stand Tall" though.

I've never really cared all that much for the other two albums, although perhaps if they would of been given the quad treatment I might of liked them more. In retrospect the other two albums are very similar in style to the debut. I suppose that he was starting to venture more into a MOR / Adult Contemporary style, as is very common for most artists as they age/mature. I used to joke with people that either he now thinks he's Elton John or that he wants to be Elton John due to the predominant use of piano in his solo work.

Anyway it's a solid 9.
Same recording, but different mix. SQ needed, very often, a completely different mix than was used for the Q8, in order to cover up SQ's shortfalls. That excessive echo, in "Stand Tall", was to help make the SQ mix more passable.
 

sjcorne

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Same recording, but different mix. SQ needed, very often, a completely different mix than was used for the Q8, in order to cover up SQ's shortfalls.
I don't think so--that may have been the case on some of the Project 3 quad albums, but every CBS quad title I've heard has the same mix on the SQ LP and Q8 tape. That being said, the SQ matrix encode/decode process can severely alter the channel separation to the point where you might think you're hearing an entirely different quad mix.
 

steelydave

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Same recording, but different mix. SQ needed, very often, a completely different mix than was used for the Q8, in order to cover up SQ's shortfalls. That excessive echo, in "Stand Tall", was to help make the SQ mix more passable.
Sorry, but not true. One mix, routed to two different 4-channel signal paths at the same time: a 4 track 1/2" tape machine for the discrete master, and the other one to an SQ encoder that was then routed to a stereo recorder that produced the tape used to make the SQ LPs, etc. CBS felt that the less tape generations something went through the less chance of inducing phase errors that could compromise SQ decoding.

One of the (many) weaknesses of SQ was that it couldn't deal with mixes that had excessive (or even much) reverb or echo in them, which is why pretty much every quad mix that CBS did at their own studios in New York and San Francisco is dry as a bone compared to its stereo counterpart. It's also the reason that Wendy Carlos didn't do any more quad after Switched-On Bach - when she heard playback of the decoded SQ version of the album, things from the discrete master were simply eliminated in the process of decoding the album and she felt that was unacceptable (she complains about this at length on her overly-verbose website).

The quad mix for the Burton Cummings album was done at Studio 55, a studio that (as far as I know) produced no other quad mixes, so the guys who did it presumably had little (or maybe even zero) experience with quad mixing, much less the vagaries of the pitfalls of the SQ system. CBS NY had a setup where they could flip a button and hear what their mix would sound like through an SQ encode/decode process, but who knows if Studio 55 had anything like that - somehow I doubt it. I think they did the mix how they wanted to do it for the discrete master, and didn't really think that it might affect the SQ decode, which is exactly what happened - the SQ decode "eats" some of the dry signal in the mix (ie the lead vocals, instruments, etc.) and what's left behind is signal that's more reverb than source.

Quad mixes were done under time constraints and tight budgets - it was already a big enough step for labels to be doing a second mix after the stereo mix, they weren't paying studios to do the quad mix (which sold, if they were lucky, 10-20% of what the stereo version sold) twice, especially in the dying days of the format in 1976.
 

par4ken

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Sorry, but not true. One mix, routed to two different 4-channel signal paths at the same time: a 4 track 1/2" tape machine for the discrete master, and the other one to an SQ encoder that was then routed to a stereo recorder that produced the tape used to make the SQ LPs, etc. CBS felt that the less tape generations something went through the less chance of inducing phase errors that could compromise SQ decoding.

One of the (many) weaknesses of SQ was that it couldn't deal with mixes that had excessive (or even much) reverb or echo in them, which is why pretty much every quad mix that CBS did at their own studios in New York and San Francisco is dry as a bone compared to its stereo counterpart. It's also the reason that Wendy Carlos didn't do any more quad after Switched-On Bach - when she heard playback of the decoded SQ version of the album, things from the discrete master were simply eliminated in the process of decoding the album and she felt that was unacceptable (she complains about this at length on her overly-verbose website).

The quad mix for the Burton Cummings album was done at Studio 55, a studio that (as far as I know) produced no other quad mixes, so the guys who did it presumably had little (or maybe even zero) experience with quad mixing, much less the vagaries of the pitfalls of the SQ system. CBS NY had a setup where they could flip a button and hear what their mix would sound like through an SQ encode/decode process, but who knows if Studio 55 had anything like that - somehow I doubt it. I think they did the mix how they wanted to do it for the discrete master, and didn't really think that it might affect the SQ decode, which is exactly what happened - the SQ decode "eats" some of the dry signal in the mix (ie the lead vocals, instruments, etc.) and what's left behind is signal that's more reverb than source.

Quad mixes were done under time constraints and tight budgets - it was already a big enough step for labels to be doing a second mix after the stereo mix, they weren't paying studios to do the quad mix (which sold, if they were lucky, 10-20% of what the stereo version sold) twice, especially in the dying days of the format in 1976.
Interesting, I had always heard that CBS mixed their quad by monitoring the result via an SQ full-logic decoder. While the discrete would of been done alongside by taking the encoder inputs directly. The discrete might of been more pure but the SQ would of been more what was intended. So either the strong reverb was intended or it was an accident as you suggest by inexperienced producers, who monitored the discrete version rather than the decode. In any case I really like the SQ version anyway but I can't say that I would want all quad mixed that way as it would likely become rather fatiguing, and that effect does seem a bit gimmicky. By the way I also like the quad mix of "Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman" even though it is excessively full of reverb!
I agree that it would of made little sense to bother to make two separate quad mixes! The cost of doing two mixes would of been excessive and if you want to promote SQ you would want it compare favorably with the discrete version and mot be a completely different animal.
 

ar surround

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By the way I also like the quad mix of "Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman" even though it is excessively full of reverb!
I didn't realize that there was a quad for Tea for the Tillerman. Something else to seek out now.

(Yes, this thread is for Burton Cummings, but all QQ threads mutate. This one is variant CS.1.1.7.) :whistle:
 

sjcorne

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The quad mix for the Burton Cummings album was done at Studio 55, a studio that (as far as I know) produced no other quad mixes, so the guys who did it presumably had little (or maybe even zero) experience with quad mixing, much less the vagaries of the pitfalls of the SQ system. CBS NY had a setup where they could flip a button and hear what their mix would sound like through an SQ encode/decode process, but who knows if Studio 55 had anything like that - somehow I doubt it. I think they did the mix how they wanted to do it for the discrete master, and didn't really think that it might affect the SQ decode, which is exactly what happened - the SQ decode "eats" some of the dry signal in the mix (ie the lead vocals, instruments, etc.) and what's left behind is signal that's more reverb than source.
I think that whoever did this quad mix was at least somewhat aware of the 'rules' of SQ compatibility, even if they were unable to monitor how it sounded after the matrix encode/decode. The telltale sign to me is in the way the 'vocals x4' effect on this album was done--it's never truly the same signal at equal power in all four speakers, there's usually some kind of delay or additional reverb to differentiate the part in the rears. It's not unlike how the all-channel vocals were handled on Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and "No One To Depend On".

The rears are also mixed much wider than the fronts, but--unlike most SQ albums--they are treated like a full stereo mix and not just hard-panned mono corners.
 

fredblue

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I think that whoever did this quad mix was at least somewhat aware of the 'rules' of SQ compatibility, even if they were unable to monitor how it sounded after the matrix encode/decode. The telltale sign to me is in the way the 'vocals x4' effect on this album was done--it's never truly the same signal at equal power in all four speakers, there's usually some kind of delay or additional reverb to differentiate the part in the rears. It's not unlike how the all-channel vocals were handled on Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and "No One To Depend On".

The rears are also mixed much wider than the fronts, but--unlike most SQ albums--they are treated like a full stereo mix and not just hard-panned mono corners.
as we know, SQ can't handle 4 simultaneous channels of the same stuff all at once, it just all cancels out, so they had to add processing to the vocals or Burton would have fallen silent! Studio 55 might have learned this through trial and error or had an SQ rulebook and actually read it.

on a related tangent, my personal biggest CBS headscratchers are Fred Catero's '76 & '77 fake Quads of Santana's "Amigos" and "Festival" and Herbie Hancock's "Secrets". why he fudged those three - and how - are a total mystery to me!
 
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