I'm just in the process of ripping this disc to 5.1 FLAC - for anyone who's done the front/back swap, do you need to adjust the levels of any of the channels or is it just a straight swap?
To my ears there is no need to adjust levels since, unless there's a problem somewhere that is consistent from track to track, it's something you might want to do after giving your first mix adjustment a serious listen, then adjust for a given song (though I don't hear anything amiss in this regard).
As I've said before, the solution is simple for anyone: simply sit in the middle of your listening room and turn your chair toward the rears. What I did was keep the center behind me and turn up the volume (obviously, if you're playing this one in your car, then the rearranged burn is essentia
Driving me crazy is not a long ride. Knowing Mr. Young, I assumed he author(iz)ed an unorthodox mix. This makes sense.
Has he ever discussed the mix of this DVD-A anywhere? Because unless it was intentional (listening to PET SOUNDS, we soon ascertained that its weird if fascinating mix could not possibly have been intentional) one must assume HARVEST was authored with reversed F/R channels by accident. It really doesn't make sense that a man like Young, who had expressed his dislike of compact disc audio and the limitations inherent to vinyl (and who had several of his albums put out on stereo DVD-A's) would put his stamp of approval on this edition of HARVEST (on the other hand, unlike the first pressing of COMES A TIME, it wasn't recalled, either. Hmm...)
Was EMI involved in this? It certainly seems "Mew-tilated!" Oh wait, it's WEA. EMI and Mew had nothing to do with this. Imagine that!
FWIW, NY has stated (IIRC) that he doesn't mind digital audio in so far as it can fix certain anomalies of analog recordings, including excessive tape hiss, among others. Listening to this one again, I do think that both stereo and 5.1 mixes suffer a bit from NR (the stereo to my ears being much more obvious in its lack of high end, though to be fair, don't remember the original album being exceptional in the sonics department to begin with. But it didn't have to be, right, since it was Neil).
While I'm in babbling mode, a few last things. Although I understand why Neil and/or the WEA folks would pick HARVEST as a DVD-A title, gotta say, if the choice had been left to me it would have come down to EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE (his 1969 sophomore solo album, mesmerizingly consistent and true) or the RUST NEVER SLEEPS/LIVE RUST albums (from acoustic solo to gut-crunching rock that is wholly unique and roughly, wonderfully pure) a decade hence. HARVEST, like many of NY's albums, are patchwork and erratic in style (if not always in quality).
And then there is the connection between "Cinnamon Girl" and "Pocahontas." Of course Neil is talking about that same, elusive woman throughout his work that most men dream about. She might have been an early, fleeting love, either personal or from a distance; or the 'girl of our dreams,' the one that got away. Maybe more, she's an amalgam of all the women we've loved, from mother and sister, to first lay to the girlfriends and wives along the way. Whoever she is, she always enthralls, most of all when we're asleep, and thinking is beyond our control. Then we wake up, and she's gone, except...she is always there: elusive, familiar, friendly, seductive (but never crude) and...just out of reach. Like an authentic, mint copy of an Elvis Presley Sun 45 or 78, worth her weight in gold and just as hard to find. And worth every penny not just to your body but your soul. She fills in the gaps that God left out of your part of the plan.