Quad LP/Tape Poll Flack, Roberta: Killing Me Softly [CD4/Q8]

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Rate "Killing Me Softly"

  • 10: Great Sound, Great Mix, Great Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5: So-so

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Bad Sound, Bad Mix, Bad Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

EMB

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1973 Lp with the mega-selling hit.

Side 1:

1. Killing Me Softly With His Song
2. Jesse
3. No Tears(In The End)
4. I'm The Girl

Side 2:

1. River
2. Conversation Love
3. When You Smile
4. Suzanne

ED :)
 

EMB

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Guess I'll have to review this one all by myself...:D

The mix is pretty good--nice separation and imaging, placement of instruments and vocals fairly solid. But Flack had moved away from her jazzy roots(which were pretty neat)to poppier fare, like the title track. Nice, and "Jesse" is a great highlight--but can't work up a lot of enthusiasm for this one, however well recorded and mixed, so a '7' from me.

ED :)
 

EMB

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For the material, it most certainly is! Hell, if you put the 4 speakers in front and to the sides(rather than back), very intimate(some listeners actually prefer this, I know). But despite its popularity, a modest album. Me, I prefer FIRST TAKE.

ED :)
 

EMB

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Actually I think I prefer her greatest hits.....wish that was in quad!!
Same here.

I would love to have heard FIRST TAKE in quad, especially "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Yeah, the instrumentation is sparse, and you can imagine how it might have sounded separated to four channels, but despite the hiss levels of the master tape, nice definition and atmosphere, you gotta wonder what it would sound like.

ED :)
 

JonUrban

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I remember that this one was very hard to find (back in "real time"). Once I found the LP, the collector in me was thrilled, and I did like the title tune, but the rest was a bit of a disappointment.

Another vote for her greatest hits in quad! (Esp the Hathaway duet)
 

Circular Vibes

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I just played this tonight for the first time though I had it a few weeks now. I was very pleasantly stunned by the sound of her voice. This tape played with almost no hiss compared to my others. The separation was in your face in an attractive way. I could easily discern the front speakers even though I am sitting near field to my rears. I was only somewhat similar with the title song but hearing this mix was like hearing the song for the first time. Just another good reason I got hooked in 4 channel.
 

EMB

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Roberta's voice has always been very intimate, close, as if she were singing to God, letting Him on what was going on in her life. From FIRST TAKE, which I first heard sometime in 1970, I've been smitten. What I also enjoy are the relatively spare arrangements which allowed her to be up front yet never have to demand a spotlight; there is a tranquility to her best recordings even when she's a bit (shall we say) enthusiastic. For this kid, her cover of Janis Ian's "Jesse" is just pure, shimmering, plaintive and aching nirvana.

ED :)
 

Clement

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Okay, I am new to this one--relatively; being of an age, it is hard not to know the title song from its AM radio run back in '73. A quick google search reveals that it spent more weeks at #1 than any other song in '73, was ranked the #3 song of the year by Billboard, and took home 3 Grammys. Having written all of that, hearing it for the first time in Quad makes it fresh and wonderful (my 12-year-old self thought it was stale and dreadful back in the day; I remember lampooning the lyric as "Killing Me Swiftly's a DUMB Song--Killing Me Swiftly it's SO Wrong!). Reading the above reviews, it seems the only real beef with this release is the material. All three reviewers praise the mix, and I mos' def' concur. All three reviewers praise Flack's vocals; not only do I concur, let me add that the mix honors and celebrates the voice. So, how about the material?

I can only imagine what 12-year-old clement would have to say about what I'm about to write (he'd prolly begin with "Clement? Da phuque you thinkin' taking that appellation?"). First, if the titular song is good enough for the Fugees, it's good enough for me! As I noted above, the mix makes it fresh and wonderful--lush and lovely. The second track, Flack's take on Janis Ian's "Jesse" is another stunner, the interpretation transcending the potentially maudlin arrangement, even elevating what might be perceived as saccharine to sublime. But is that really all this release has to offer? Hell no! The third track, "No Tears (In The End)," is a horn- and cowbell-driven build, Flack getting soulful and threatening to let loose by the end. Here's something new for me: the running order! The fourth and fifth songs ("Conversation Love" and "When You Smile") on the Q8 were originally the sixth and seventh (of eight) songs on the LP (they are tracks 2 and 3 of side B). Although they do take the wind out of the sails of the flow for me (feeling more Adult Contemporary), the mix still keeps it interesting and engaging. "I'm The Girl" is another number that really showcases Flack's vocals in a rather sparse arrangement, plaintive strings in the rears while Flack milks the lyric for all it's worth up front. The penultimate song, "River," opens side B on the LP. Yes, it's a second-tier song, but the combo of funk and church somehow works, the mix playfully riding the song's build up. And that brings us to the closer, a song I think deserves some recognition: a nearly ten-minute cover of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne." She really slows this one down, caressing and lingering on the lyric, the bass grounding this one amidst the flourishes of the strings as Flack closes the album with a grandeur that is powerfully and poignantly stripped to solitary softness that, you should pardon the expression, just kills me!

Ima go with a 9!
 
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