HiRez Poll John, Elton - HONKY CHATEAU [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Elton John - HONKY CHATEAU


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JonUrban

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Please post your comments, thoughts and observations.......(y) (n)


 
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EMB

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The album's inconsistent, but I love this mix! "Honky Cat" is so vivid and striking and well mixed it was easy to love the rest of it....only thing that caught my ear as being a bit out of place, was....or was it just me?....the fade of "Rocket Man" seems different than previously issued versions...or maybe I just wished the engineer had kept the volume level up for longer and I wanted a longer fade and didn't want the song to end? Yeah, that could be it...


ED:)
 

MIDIQ

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SUPER !!! I gave the surround mix a definate 10 and the music a 9, over all i gotta go with 9, GREAT. :)
 

zabble

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Can't deny the superb surround mix. I'm really starting to dig some of the more obscure songs that I was previously apathetic towards. One thing I did notice about the stereo version of "Rocket Man" vs. the surround version: A different vocal performance was used on the fourth and final singing of the line "burning out his fuse up here alone" (3:34). All three previous passes are sung with the same timing; on the fourth time, this line comes in a little late ("on the one" as they say in musical terminology). That aside, another great mix by Greg Penney. (y)
 

Cai Campbell

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First off, I totally love this album. As with Captain Fantastic (and presumably other titles in this batch) the sound is at once warm, tight, accurate and incredibly detailed. The mixes are nice and discrete, but they are bit too "rear-heavy", if you ask me. To me, it seems obvious that this album was not originally intended for surround, such that the way the multi-tracks were constructed ended up not giving the engineer much leeway in the way the tracks could be constructed for a surrond mix. I'm just guessing here, but I have to wonder why else they constructed the surround mixes the way they did. I mean, Elton John sounds great front-and-center, but it is a little disconcerting having the majority of the band coming from behind. Now, I'm not one to complain about active rears. In fact, I love a very active, full surround mix. But in this case the balance between the fronts and the rears are out-of-whack.

Be that as it may, it is still an incredible surrounding mix, and it isn't all rear-heavy. For example, the track "Susie" is the standout track, and offers a wonderful, full, well-balanced surround presentation that defies description. I totally love it!

One thing that kind of took me by surprise was the song "Rocket Man". The surround mix is great, revealing all kinds of detail and musical bits that I hadn't heard or noticed before. But at the same time, it sounds like a completely different song and not at all what I am used to. I think I finally understand why some stereoheads get out-of-whack over surround mixes. This one is a definite departure from the stereo mix. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, in fact, I love it! But the bottom line is I prefer the stereo mix simply because its balance and presentation of musical elements is more appealing. But at the same time, I love the alternate surround mix and the extra detail it offers. In this case I can have my cake and eat it too since both mixes are available on the disc.

In sum, I gave this one an 8. I almost went with a 9 but the inconsistent presentation and predominantly rear-heavy mix made me bring it down another notch.
 

dabl

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Cai Campbell said:
...One thing that kind of took me by surprise was the song "Rocket Man". The surround mix is great, revealing all kinds of detail and musical bits that I hadn't heard or noticed before. But at the same time, it sounds like a completely different song and not at all what I am used to. ....
I felt the same about the song sounding way different than I'd remebered but after reflecting I personally believe the difference to be that the production, particularly the drum sound is just very different from the rest of the album and that this is what actually makes the track stand out more. This difference is just exagerated by the surround mix. Again, just another viewpoint....
 

bizmopeen

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Well, I finally got a chance to grab a couple of the EJ discs from Best Buy, and this is the first one I've listened to. I'm most familiar with Sir Elton as a "singles" artist (I haven't gone deep into the albums), so I checked out the 2-channel mix a few times while I was on the go to acquaint myself with the material. In the first few listenings it all seemed quite good-but-not-great, with "Honky Cat", "Rocket Man" and "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" (anything with a cameo from a Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band member is OK with me...) the standouts.

Putting the multichannel mix on really opened things up for me, however. The material I was familiar with sounded fantastic, and some of the songs I hadn't been impressed with before hooked me a lot more under these conditions. I quite liked the all-around active mix myself, and was tickled with things like hearing the horns behind me in "Honky Cat" and so forth. It sounds very good on my system, and I don't hear any excess "brightness", etc. This disc is growing on me in a big way; I think of it as "8 with a bullet" at this point, or, extrapolating, a 9...
 

Ge Someone

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I happen to like the Greg Penny surround mixes of the Elton John albums and this one is no exception. I think it's tastfully done.
It's just the song material, except the singles Honky Cat and Rocket Man, that doesn't make this one a great album for me.
 

DennisMabry

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I Know this one's been out a while , but I was listening to some of my favorites last evening and pulled out EJ's Honky Chateau and gave it another listen. What a treat! If you ever want to impress someone, of the attributes of multi-channel sound, just pop this one in and cue up Rocket Man. Wow....it really grabs you! Such detail, and yes I guess you could say its a little heavy in the surrounds but personaly I like it. I purchased this tittle on vinyl when it first was released in the early 70's, so I know the songs well. This one is like listening to the album for the first time. So warm and engaging. Unlike other coments above I much prefer the multi-channel mix over the stereo version. I did listen to a couple cuts on the hi-rez stereo tracks, and they sound great....however I kept being drawn back to the 5.1, smiling all the while as the sound more than filled the room. Not EJ's best album but there are some gems. Mona Lisas and Madhatters for one. Performance gets an 8 and the mix gets a 10. So I finally voted and gave it an enthusiastic 9.
 

Frantic

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Picked this up at Best Buy last week!

I give it a solid 9.

As Cai said, "Susie" is the stand out track.

It is sometimes inconsistent, but the overall mix is pleasing.:smokin
 

callmez

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Not quite a 10 in my book -- maybe I haven't played it enough for the lesser known material to sink in yet. But "Honky Cat" and "Rocket Man" are both perfect. A solid 9. Passes the wife test too, with flying colors.

Mark Z
 

filthyfifthaggie77

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This is one of my favorites. It is one of my favorite Elton John albums so I give the music a 10. I love the surround mix. Good separation, crystal clear, a pleasure to listen to.
 

fredblue

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A "10" for this classic album that celebrated it's 40th anniversary just the other day, without a whimper from the record press, no "Deluxe Edition" from Universal records, no press-release from Elton's management, no special mention from Eltons' fan club. A disgrace, IMHO.

The mix is a real "everything but the kitchen-sink" affair and I LOVE it!

It's loud but it's crank-able and like so many Elton albums it's so varied with loads of different genres and styles.
Oh and Jean-Luc Ponty never sounded so good in 5.1!

What a stunner! Credit to all involved in this superb 5.1 production!
 

kap'n krunch

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a Tenner...one of my favorite EJ LPs,
Excellent mix, in spite of it being on the bright side (I like bright rather than dull)...
and yes, having Jean Luc in Surround is a treat....
 

Q-Eight

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I just got my hands on this one. I like it! It is a bit rear-heavy on some songs, but I think that comes from the drums/bass/piano/vocals of the front trying to be everywhere at once. The only thing I would change is remove the bass from the rears, add a little more distance to the vocals and drums and have Elton's piano mixed in the phantom centers of left and right (did I just say that?) Still, great mix. I like it. I guess I wasn't expecting much. Good tunes, good mix (sensible, logical). Good stuff.
 

blue.monk

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Another great mix from Greg Penny. All the elements have their own 'space' but still gel nicely. As with the other EJ mixes Penny adds a few bits now and then that were either buried or mixed out of the original stereo. It's impressive how he's able to capture the vibe of the original so effectively particularly when it appears he would have to re-create many of the effects from scratch. One that comes to mind is the guitar solo in Susie. It sounds to me that Ken Scott used the old Beatles technique of adding ADT (artificial double tracking) to it during the mix. The 5.1 doesn't quite match the (amazing) sound of the original but Penny creates an effective alternative.

The EQ is a tad bright for my tastes but I don't find it a distraction.

Some fun bits:
Honky Cat - those beefy horns honking out from the rears
Kill Myself - Legs Larry Smith tap dancing around the room
Rocket Man - when the soundstage opens up in the chorus with the addition of acoustic guitars and backing vox in the rears
Mona Lisas - mandolins, mandolins!

10
 
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