Quad LP/Tape Poll Joel, Billy - STREETLIFE SERENADE [SQ/Q8]

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Rate the Quad release of Billy Joel - STREETLIFE SERENADE

  • 10 - Great Surround, Great Fidelity, 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 - Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6

JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this quadraphonic release from Family Productions/Columbia, available on Columbia SQ LP and Family Ampex Q8. (n):phones(y)

street.JPG

bj-front.jpg
bj-back.jpg
 

JonUrban

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This is probably the Billy Joel album that is my least favorite. The quadraphonic mix, however, is very discrete, and for those that like the early quad mixes where instruments are isolated in their own channels and the mix spread out, this is a release for you.

At this point in his career, Billy Joel was not the superstar he ended up being after "The Stranger" album came out, he was more of a one hit wonder after "Piano Man". There were no hit singles from "Steetlife Serenade", although "The Entertainer" was offered and failed to chart with success. In the lyric to the song, he complained about his "beautiful song" being too long (for radio) and being cut down to 3:05, referring to "Piano Man" being shortened for airplay and the 45.

Containing two instrumentals, "Root Beer Rag" is the best of them, and may be the best track on the album. It's was used quite a bit by radio stations as show intro or commercial background music. The short "Souvenir" is in some ways a follow up to the song "Tomorrow is Today" from Cold Spring Harbor echoing the same theme that every day is the same and what's the point of it all.

For me, it's a '10' for quad, a '5' for content, and the LP sounds nice decoded, so I'm giving it a '7'.
 

Franklin

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I quite like this album, the worst ones for me are from An Innocent Man or The Bridge onwards, I think.
 

Franklin

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Hey Jon. Is that Q8 yours? What's the bass like on it? There's not much on the SQ decode I'm listening to, so I wonder if got centre channel extracted out of phantom centre FL/BL and FR/BR.
 

LuvMyQuad

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This is probably the Billy Joel album that is my least favorite. The quadraphonic mix, however, is very discrete, and for those that like the early quad mixes where instruments are isolated in their own channels and the mix spread out, this is a release for you.

At this point in his career, Billy Joel was not the superstar he ended up being after "The Stranger" album came out, he was more of a one hit wonder after "Piano Man". There were no hit singles from "Steetlife Serenade", although "The Entertainer" was offered and failed to chart with success. In the lyric to the song, he complained about his "beautiful song" being too long (for radio) and being cut down to 3:05, referring to "Piano Man" being shortened for airplay and the 45.

Containing two instrumentals, "Root Beer Rag" is the best of them, and may be the best track on the album. It's was used quite a bit by radio stations as show intro or commercial background music. The short "Souvenir" is in some ways a follow up to the song "Tomorrow is Today" from Cold Spring Harbor echoing the same theme that every day is the same and what's the point of it all.

For me, it's a '10' for quad, a '5' for content, and the LP sounds nice decoded, so I'm giving it a '7'.
I agree whole heartedly on the quality of the mix. The "Turnstyles" Quad release is mixed in a similar manner. The "Piano Man" Quad is somewhat less discrete sounding, but still worthwhile seeking out. I disagree on the quality of the content. To my ears, this disc is one of a handful of favorite BJ releases which would include the previous two mentioned along with "Nylon Curtain", "The Stranger", and "52nd Street". Its pretty amazing that all except Nylon Curtain were released in some type of surround format.

I have a transfer of the SQ decode and do not notice a significant loss of bass in my system. I gave it a 9.
 

JonUrban

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Hey Jon. Is that Q8 yours? What's the bass like on it? There's not much on the SQ decode I'm listening to, so I wonder if got centre channel extracted out of phantom centre FL/BL and FR/BR.
Yup. That was mine. Long ago ebay'd, back in the days I did that kind of thing. :mad:@:

I still have the audio files, as well as an SQ decode of my SQ LP (also pictured), and the bass is not overpowering but the audio does not sound overly high-end heavy. Wait a few weeks................. :)
 

cupboy

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What is meant by Fantasy Ampex Q8? Does it say Fantasy on it somewhere?
 

EMB

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FAMILY (not Fantasy) Productions was a short-lived label distributed through Paramount. I have a few albums and 45's c. 1971-73, including Joel's original (incorrect tape speed/mastering) of COLD SPRING HARBOR, his solo debut (he had previously been in the Hassles and Atilla). Because of that association, which was at the time still binding, a few of his early Columbia albums were released on tapes through Ampex rather than Columbia. Years later he'd have to blow quite a chunk of change to extricate himself from the situation.

As for the album, it is certainly discrete, but as Jon said, not great shakes artistically, it's as if Joel was uncertain where to go next after "Piano Man" (which at the time not only seemed like a blatant Elton John cop, but possibly the makings of a one-hit wonder). "The Entertainer" was a sly pot shot at radio edits of that hit, but given how long Joel struggled to get a Top 40 hit, he probably shouldn't have complained at all. That said, it is an entertaining album, if not near his best work (nor his worst, for that matter).

ED :)
 

Franklin

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Yeah, I think it's a good mix throughout (better mix than the Piano Man album, I reckon) probably a 7. Maybe an eight, if I get to hear the SACD.
 
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