Elvis Presley Quad LPs - Are the mixes worth it?

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Simon A

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
2,907
Hi everyone, :)

I've started looking for a few Quad LPs that interest me and every time I see an Elvis Quad LP (safe from Aloha from Hawaii), the price is always really high. I suppose that not many copies were sold, which would explain the scarcity and prices. Are they worth owning though, based on the merits of the mixes, not the collectability?
 
I have both the deluxe edition DVD and a transfer of the quad reel. Of course I would always prefer the quad reel over the LP. The reel is a different and more discrete mix than the official DVD. The mix is a little odd as I recall. I would have to go back and put an ear on it again for you.
 
I happen to have a few and enjoy the mixes. You feel like a part of the audience but the instruments surround you a bit too. Not the most discrete but enjoyable. I don't go after US pressings, Elvis collectors seem to think they are pressed in gold. I look for the Japanese ones on yahoo auctions in Japan through buyee.jp as a proxy service. Most japanese sellers won't deal with outsiders, so the proxy bids, buys and ships for a modest fee. I feel the Japanese vinyl is better and I got them for way less than half the price of US pressings.
 
Listening now. These are definitely two different listening experiences.

On the Quad Reel Elvis is biased to the fronts but bleeds to the rears. Most of the rest of his band is in the fronts. The rears have the backing vocalists isolated, and brass is spread between the fronts and rears, maybe biased to the rears. The "oddness" I mentioned in a previous post refers to a persistent trombone with a proclivity for low notes which appears prominently in the left rear. Generally the quad has a more discrete feel with one exception.

On the DVD Elvis' vocals are prominent (but not isolated) in the center channel, although they do bleed in the fronts and a tiny bit in the rears. This does bring his singing into sharper focus than the quad. One thing I noticed on the DVD is that there is a string section - this whole section is far more faint on the quad (with the exception of solo sections), and far more evident on the DVD. Brass and backing vocals are biased to the rears, but on the DVD nothing is strictly isolated in the rears. Some elements are largely absent from the rears - just a little reverb from the guitar, for instance.

My summary is that they would both be worth having if you are an Elvis fan because it gives you two different listens to the same event. I would actually tend to favor the DVD simply because the vocal is so strong in the center. And of course there is video. I have not heard a decode of the vinyl, but I would always take a reel over an LP.
 
Four Elvis albums were available on Quadradisc in the US: Aloha from Hawaii, Live in Memphis, Promised Land and Today.
Five other albums were available on Q8: Elvis in Memphis, Elvis On Stage '70, That's the Way it Is, Live at Madison Square Garden
Only Elvis in Memphis was available on Quadradisc in Japan.

In a nutshell, everything from "That's the Way it Is" through "Today" are very good mixes.

The four Quadradisc releases are good. Anything from the CD-4 era is generally a good mix. The two live albums are, as has been said, fairly front-heavy with strings, horns and backing singers in the rears, as well with crowd noises. "Promised Land" and "Today" are definitive, go-to albums as far as mixes go, with the exception of the titular track on "Promised Land". Fantastic song, but whoever decided to drown Elvis in a reverb chamber should be drug out into a street and shot. That song is absolutely ruined by the reverb & echo. Strangely, that is the only song effected. Every other song has Elvis front-center and tastefully dry. The vocal reverb on "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" on the "Today" album is so perfect, it's frightening. The mix on that tape/disc is phenomenal. Drums, Bass, Elvis, guitars in the front; percussion, backing singers, keyboards/piano in the rears. RCA was absolutely nailing Quad mixes during the 1973/74/75 seasons.

The two tapes that are the most odd are Elvis in Memphis and Live On Stage '70. I've discussed 'Memphis' in another thread, but 'On Stage '70 ' is also a little strange and again, may suffer from a swapped channel. The mix is hardly discrete with Elvis again in all four channels, backing singers in all four channels, drums and crowd in all four channels, and guitar in one channel and piano in another. On C.C. Rider, the guitar bops around channels like the engineer is suffering a stroke.
 
Four Elvis albums were available on Quadradisc in the US: Aloha from Hawaii, Live in Memphis, Promised Land and Today.
Five other albums were available on Q8: Elvis in Memphis, Elvis On Stage '70, That's the Way it Is, Live at Madison Square Garden
Only Elvis in Memphis was available on Quadradisc in Japan.

In a nutshell, everything from "That's the Way it Is" through "Today" are very good mixes.

The four Quadradisc releases are good. Anything from the CD-4 era is generally a good mix. The two live albums are, as has been said, fairly front-heavy with strings, horns and backing singers in the rears, as well with crowd noises. "Promised Land" and "Today" are definitive, go-to albums as far as mixes go, with the exception of the titular track on "Promised Land". Fantastic song, but whoever decided to drown Elvis in a reverb chamber should be drug out into a street and shot. That song is absolutely ruined by the reverb & echo. Strangely, that is the only song effected. Every other song has Elvis front-center and tastefully dry. The vocal reverb on "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" on the "Today" album is so perfect, it's frightening. The mix on that tape/disc is phenomenal. Drums, Bass, Elvis, guitars in the front; percussion, backing singers, keyboards/piano in the rears. RCA was absolutely nailing Quad mixes during the 1973/74/75 seasons.

The two tapes that are the most odd are Elvis in Memphis and Live On Stage '70. I've discussed 'Memphis' in another thread, but 'On Stage '70 ' is also a little strange and again, may suffer from a swapped channel. The mix is hardly discrete with Elvis again in all four channels, backing singers in all four channels, drums and crowd in all four channels, and guitar in one channel and piano in another. On C.C. Rider, the guitar bops around channels like the engineer is suffering a stroke.

Thank you so much for all this info! Much appreciated. :)

Now you're really getting me interested in these. It's just too bad that they're going for so much money. After Elvis In Memphis, That's The Way It Is is my favourite Elvis album. I own the MFSL CD and I love it. I dare to hope it's released one day in Quad, I don't care about the format, just as long as we get to hear it. :)

 
I think the mix on Graceland is awesome, J D Sumner's bass vocals in the back right (Why Me, Lord) never fail to freak me out.
 
I collect all kinds of Elvis CD-4 and Quad releases. Any info about the Canadian Q8-Tracks available? Did they release all 8 albums? Seem to be rare.
 
I collect all kinds of Elvis CD-4 and Quad releases. Any info about the Canadian Q8-Tracks available? Did they release all 8 albums? Seem to be rare.

The Elvis Canadian Q8 i have are Madison Square Garden and Aloha from Hawaii. Don't know about the others, which i have as USA carts.
I don't think Canada ever released a CD4 LP.
 
Four Elvis albums were available on Quadradisc in the US: Aloha from Hawaii, Live in Memphis, Promised Land and Today.
Five other albums were available on Q8: Elvis in Memphis, Elvis On Stage '70, That's the Way it Is, Live at Madison Square Garden
Only Elvis in Memphis was available on Quadradisc in Japan.

In a nutshell, everything from "That's the Way it Is" through "Today" are very good mixes.

The four Quadradisc releases are good. Anything from the CD-4 era is generally a good mix. The two live albums are, as has been said, fairly front-heavy with strings, horns and backing singers in the rears, as well with crowd noises. "Promised Land" and "Today" are definitive, go-to albums as far as mixes go, with the exception of the titular track on "Promised Land". Fantastic song, but whoever decided to drown Elvis in a reverb chamber should be drug out into a street and shot. That song is absolutely ruined by the reverb & echo. Strangely, that is the only song effected. Every other song has Elvis front-center and tastefully dry. The vocal reverb on "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" on the "Today" album is so perfect, it's frightening. The mix on that tape/disc is phenomenal. Drums, Bass, Elvis, guitars in the front; percussion, backing singers, keyboards/piano in the rears. RCA was absolutely nailing Quad mixes during the 1973/74/75 seasons.

The two tapes that are the most odd are Elvis in Memphis and Live On Stage '70. I've discussed 'Memphis' in another thread, but 'On Stage '70 ' is also a little strange and again, may suffer from a swapped channel. The mix is hardly discrete with Elvis again in all four channels, backing singers in all four channels, drums and crowd in all four channels, and guitar in one channel and piano in another. On C.C. Rider, the guitar bops around channels like the engineer is suffering a stroke.
From Elvis in Memphis, On Stage, That's The Way It Is, and MSG were all released in Japan on quadradisc. Can't speak to the quality - I research 'em, I don't own 'em - but they were definitely done. They come up on rare occasion on eBay or Discogs, maybe cdandlp.
 
From Elvis in Memphis, On Stage, That's The Way It Is, and MSG were all released in Japan on quadradisc. Can't speak to the quality - I research 'em, I don't own 'em - but they were definitely done. They come up on rare occasion on eBay or Discogs, maybe cdandlp.
:D
Elvis CD-4 001.JPG
 
Let's hope the folks controlling the "King's" RCA catalog note the success of the Chicago, Doobie Brothers and just released Joni Mitchell QUADIO box sets and release these quad albums as well. I can just see it now, "Elvis Presley, the King on QUADIO".
If that happens, they'd be on the collectors' label Follow That Dream. Ernst Jorgenson and Roger Semon have done a miraculous job rescuing, restoring and packaging Presley material for appreciative fans. While they're aware of those quad mixes, they admittedly haven't voiced any desire to reissue them. Maybe that will change. Judging from FTD's recent releases of Presley's often-uninspired late-career concerts, there ain't much left in the barrel to scrape.
 
Let's hope the folks controlling the "King's" RCA catalog note the success of the Chicago, Doobie Brothers and just released Joni Mitchell QUADIO box sets and release these quad albums as well. I can just see it now, "Elvis Presley, the King on QUADIO".
that would be wonderful! 😍

in the meanwhile, Sony (rather somewhat "unceremoniously" imho! 😅 ) dumped all The King's Quads on streaming services, including a slew on Apple Music in Dolby Audio and a tranche on Tidal in 360 Reality Audio.

here's the Quads in discrete Surround on Apple Music;




 
Believe it or not, the RCA Quadradisc releases of these Presley albums were/are my favorite(s). This is probably due to the fact that my parents (especially my mom) played these records the most when I was a young kid in kindergarten and early grade school. The "Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis" is especially near and dear to my heart (and ears!) as Mom came back with this LP (and a souvenir menu!) after seeing Elvis during his October 1974 engagement/run of shows at Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe in Southshore/Stateline Nevada. RCA was seemingly all-in on Quad at the time as they even released "Aloha from Hawaii via SATELLITE" as a Quadradisc which could be played on "regular" audio equipment. Unfortunately, RCA chose to NOT release said Quad mix on the 2023 "DELUXE 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION. So, how about it RCA, let's do the "immersive" crowd a solid a reissue the available Quad mixes of the King as a QUADIO box set. Pretty please...
 
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