Quad LP/Tape Poll Joplin, Janis: Pearl[SQ/Q8]

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Rate "Pearl"

  • 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 Mix, Bad Sound, Bad Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    14

EMB

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Her last, from 1971. [Columbia CQ 30322]


Side 1:

1. Move Over
2. Cry Baby
3. A Woman Left Lonely
4. Half Moon
5. Buried Alive In The Blues

Side 2:

1. My Baby
2. Me & Bobby McGee
3. Mercedez Benz
4. Trust Me
5. Get It While You Can
 

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Q-Eight

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I rather like this one, the Q8 that is. Really nice mix! Aggresive but still creates a great soundfield. Love to listen to this one in the car. I could do without the tape delay on "Mercedes Benz", I think they could have come up with something better - That's a personal opinion though.

All in all, a definite quad "must have". I rate an 8 with a (y)
 

jdmack

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Can anyone else comment on the SQ LP? I recently decoded this album with Adobe Audition, and Janis' vocals sounded completely buried in the mix. I have decoded many other SQ albums this way, and have never had this problem before.

J. D.
 

Q-Eight

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The SQ LP sounds fine to me.... or as good as SQ can sound. I've never run it thru Adobe Audition though, just my SQ-W.
 

Old Quad Guy

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Can anyone else comment on the SQ LP? I recently decoded this album with Adobe Audition, and Janis' vocals sounded completely buried in the mix. I have decoded many other SQ albums this way, and have never had this problem before.

J. D.
Hello J. D.

What script and directions are you using for AA 1.5? Try these if you have not already:

https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7939

It gives - IMHO - results that are the same as using Adobe Audition 2.0. Because the author for both scripts is the same as well as directions, more or less.

But either way, you're right about Janis' vocals being mixed perhaps a bit into the mix. Probably because she would sing softly to very loud in the same song. The same might be said of the vocals on some of the songs on the Aerosmith Quad records. Having mixed many songs with loud vocals with loud rock music, it's easy to lower the vocals a bit so you can clearly hear the music. It's sort of a tricky art that can leave you with, depending on the recording, it is what it is, no matter how much tweaking you do.

I think this album - a great must have Quad title - suffers simply from the fact she died during the making of the record. This was especially a big blow to us music fans in the San Francisco Bay Area because we felt she was one of us. This was where she got her first big break as the singer for Big Brother & the Holding Company (which is still going strong playing live). You would see her hanging out and doing whatever else was going on at the time. My cousins saw her round and about in Sausalito all the time (on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge) like it was no big deal. She was cool. I remember hearing right after she died, "don't worry she has another album coming out." So that gave us some comfort. In the 1960's, she was not a pretentious "rock star" but one of the people and part of the social change that was and still is going on today. A lot of the "common man" social change will seem lost today if you only look at her as an immortal Rock God.

They rushed this record out if I recall correctly. But it has some of her best work with songs like "Me & Bobby McGee" and "Get It While You Can." I like these songs in Quad. I doubt if the instrumental "Buried Alive In The Blues" and "Mercedez Benz" (a song I like especially in Quad) would have been put on this record had she lived.
 

Q-Eight

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I'd heard that Buried Alive in the Blues is an instrumental only because Janis was set to record the vocals the day she was found dead.

Me, being the curious little bugger I am, would love to see an actual lyric sheet just to be able to sing along :eek:
 

jdmack

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Hello J. D.

What script and directions are you using for AA 1.5? Try these if you have not already:

https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7939
I'm using the script from this thread already. I've decoded dozens of albums with it, and this is the first one to sound off to me.

Perhaps I'll try it again to make sure that I didn't make a mistake somewhere in the process. But I didn't want to do that until I had some sort of confirmation of how this album should sound.

J. D.
 

jdmack

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Mystery solved! I re-decoded the first track of this album and everything sounded fine. I then realized that when I first decoded this album and inserted the front and rear channels into the Adobe surround decoder, I reversed them. And since the front channels are raised by 3 db at that point, the vocals were buried even further. Thanks to everyone for your input.

J. D.
 

neil wilkes

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Giving this one a 7, purely because it just isn't that great sonically.
The mix though is a lot of fun.
(I prefer the discrete mix on the Q8 over the SQ, but the sonics are better on the SQ)
Definitely a better record musically than Big Brother & the Holding Company's "Cheap Thrills".
 

Q-Eight

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If I were to seriously critique the mix, the biggest fault I would give it is not imaginative enough. It's kind of like super-stereo with lots up front and not much in the rear.

Right rear is mostly kicker drum and the odd organ part and/or percussion.
Left rear sounds to me like drum kit left, and again, the odd bit here or there.

My unprofessional ears love to pull things apart. I can hear 4 distinct drum tracks (kicker, kit left, kit right, overhead), then we've got an organ track, a piano track, bass track, rhythm guitar track, lead guitar track, percussion track and vocal track. That's 11 total, and there were probably more for overdubs. Seeing as how this was recorded at Columbia Studios in 1970 and 1971, I'd assume they'd have had a 16-track tape at their disposal. Buried Alive in the Blues which is an awesome song just as an instrumental, is basically everything up front with ambience in the rear. Puh-LEEZE.

If I were to remix this in 4 channel, I'd keep the drum closer together and probably up front with the overhead track to the rear. Lead and rhythm guitars left and right front, piano and organ left and right rear. Janis' vocal front and center, percussion where needed to fill a hole and bass all around mixed mostly to the front.

That to me would be the ultimate Joplin mix. I'm sure they mixed it the way they did to be compatible with SQ (SQ not having rear center capability) but I think a little more thought could have come up with a spectacular mix.
 

EMB

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I rated this one a '7.' Some tracks are pretty good, like "Me And Bobby McGee," but others are not so hot, but I understand why "Mercedes Benz" isn't much, and not sure much more could have been done with it.

It's also an inconsistent album, much like KOZMIC BLUES was: some real gems, one or two great ones, but some bland songwriting hurts, as do the backing musicians. Say what you will about the sloppy Big Brother, but those guys had passion(if limited skills), and did more for her than this Full Tilt Boogie band did. They're competent, but that's the best this listener can say of them.

ED :)
 

EMB

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...and that's exactly my point. Full Tilt Boogie may have had better technical musicians, but Big Brother had the--for want of a better word--sympatico with Janis other musicians did not. The stuff she did with them is far more exciting and compelling, which I think is one reason you don't hear a lot of praise for PEARL--or KOZMIC BLUES, for that matter, beyond each album's finest tracks.

ED :)
 

Quad Linda

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Here's the lyrics for Buried Alive in the Blues:

All caught up in a landslide, bad luck
pressing in from all sides
Just got knocked off of my easy ride,
Buried alive in the blues

Sunday morning everybody’s in bed, I’m
On the street, I’m talking out of my head,
This dumb brick wall ain’t heard a word
That I’ve said,
I’m buried alive in the blues

I’m buried alive, oh yeah, in the blues
I’m buried alive, somebody help me, in the blues

I beg for mercy, I pray for rain,
I can’t be the one to accept all this blame,
Something here’s trying to pollute my brain,
I’m buried alive in the blues.

It’s real hard you know, it’s real hard being buried alive
It’s real hard being buried alive
When you’re buried alive they walk right on by you.
When you’re buried alive they never care about you.
When you’re buried alive, oh, you reach out for somebody,
And when you’re buried alive you get can’t seem to press on through
Being buried alive is a bad condition; it’s a real weird situation
Being buried alive in the blues, it’s a real weird situation
Being buried
Being buried
Being buried
Being buried
Being buried alive in the blues,
It’s a real weird situation.
Oh, yeah

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. Nick Gravenites

Q-Eight, now you can sing along. That is, as long as you CAN sing. LOL!!

You can hear the author, Nick Gravenites sing this on his albums:
Chicago Blues Reunion w/Siegel, Goldberg, Mandel, Lay, etc. (CD & DVD) I have a framed poster of this in my office, signed by all participants.
Monkey Medicine w/ John Cipollina
Don't Feed the Animals

There are several videos of Nick performing this on You Tube.
www.nickgravenites.com

Paul Butterfield also performed this with his Better Days group.

Linda
Buried alive in multi-channel


I'd heard that Buried Alive in the Blues is an instrumental only because Janis was set to record the vocals the day she was found dead.

Me, being the curious little bugger I am, would love to see an actual lyric sheet just to be able to sing along :eek:
 

clg1977

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Based on decoding my SQ lp with my QRX-7001, I would rate this one a 7. The quad mix open things up quite a bit from stereo, but there's a "haziness" to Janis' vocals that kind of annoy me. I'm wondering if it's a combination of extra echo on her voice plus the matrix encoding of the four-channel mix. It would be interesting if Audio Fidelity decided to release this album in the series of 4.0 SACDs to hear if it tightened this up.
 
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