Yet another fine mix, for the most part. The only track that doesn't quite work for me in surround is "Levon". Maybe I'm just accustomed to the stereo version, but the drums seem a little too clear and punchy. This doesn't sound like a bad thing at face value, but if you listen to the stereo mix of this song, you'll notice how subtly the drums were originally mixed. This may have been done for good reason, as the drumming---in my opinion---is the weakest part of this song. In fact when I first heard the surround version, the drum performance made me think I was listening to a different take compared to the stereo (a quick A/B comparison proved me wrong). While I felt the drums could have been attenuated a bit, I also felt the strings could've been brought up a bit and possibly assigned to a more upfront location in the mix. Relegating the strings to the rear speakers seems to have taken the focus off of them. And to me, the strings should be the focus. I feel they give this song most of its character---especially at the end of the song.
That said, I'm still amazed at how consistent Greg Penney has been in achieving good surround mixes overall !!
In Mr. Penney, it seems we clearly have someone who understands the emotional pull of surround audio. This even brought a smile to my wife, who’s more often known for her raised eyebrows when it comes to my aural adventures. As far as the album itself, it’s my favorite from EJ’s early years. For me, this is forty minutes of heaven. ‘Nuff said.
After listening to all of the EJ surround-sound SACDs, I can say that unequivocally, "Madman Across The Water" is my very favorite. All aspects of the title are superb. The surround mix is discrete, well-balanced, and is artfully consistent from start to finish. A 10 all the way!
I agree with Cai on this one. 'Madman' is the best of his "singer-songwriter" albums even though it didn't really light up the charts upon its release, and the mix is terrific. A must-own for those who dig the pre-flamboyant Elton. I love it: A 10.
I just received this SACD and agree it is excellent. The original release in the 70's was not of much interest to me and other than the hits that showed up on compilations, I hadn't listened to much of it. All of the Elton John SACD's I have are very good.
What a wonderful remix and remaster of a great album by EJ. How many times I must have listened to this album thru the years on vinyl, CD, remastered stereo CD and even prerecorded R to R tape (yep, still have it) and hearing this new production moved me as only the best music and fidelity can. What a wonderful effort. The hoi-poloi can keep their MP3's...I for one am reveling in the opportunity to hear such classic efforts as this reproduced as well as this is. Highly recommended!
This one is a bonafide 10! Of all the EJ titles this is the best overall (content, mix, sonics). Indian Sunset is a demo track for any "old" EJ fan. Holiday Inn is fantastic (mandolins in surround!)! And it is an added bonus to get a longer version of Razor Face. This is desert island material here.