HiRez Poll Labelle - NIGHTBIRDS [SACD]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the SACD of Labelle - NIGHTBIRDS

  • 5 -

    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 Contact

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    31

GOS

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Hey gang - I received Labelle today, and literally listened to the whole disc front to back. I realize many times we think we need to listen to a disc multiple times before voting....but the thing is.....the sound of this disc reminds me a lot of the Earth Wind & Fire SACD.....

So, in that sense, I think most will be pleased with this release. The Quad sound is typical I would say with a lot of specific vocals or instruments isolated to either rear left or right speaker. It's a very clean sounding disc, nice bass. Similar to other Quad discs...if you're looking for this to equal a Steven Wilson Tull sound....look elsewhere. If you appreciate these Quad releases and realize that they are a huge improvement over historical versions...then we're all good to go.

I personally didn't even care about Labelle, yet I find this quite pleasing. Glad I have it and it will get an occasional spin.

I voted an 8.
 

bmoura

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The Quad sound is typical I would say with a lot of specific vocals or instruments isolated to either rear left or right speaker. It's a very clean sounding disc, nice bass.
One note about the Quad reissues from Columbia. Remember that these albums were mixed to perform with SQ Matrix decoders of that era. They had "SQ Logic" that sensed the loudest signal at the time, turned up that channel and turned the others down. So they were very purposefully mixed with music in the 4 primary speakers that alternated in loudness. And now, back to the music.... :)
 

infaze

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A solid 70's r&b album - full of good songs
Besides Lady Marmalade , I had never heard any of this album .

This version of Lady Marmalade seems to be less aggressive and frantic as later disco era versions , and it's wonderful .

The album lyrics have depth and there are tinges of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On .

Surround wise , this quad mix excels .

SoundStages appear in the front , rear and at times on the sides .
I value my 5.1 discs , but a center channel here would only be an obstacle for the surround mix .

I suppose there's a bit of Ike and Tina's Nutbush City Limits here , but it's much more subdued .

Highly recommended if you live for Soul and R & B like me - 10
 

bmoura

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A solid 70's r&b album - full of good songs
Besides Lady Marmalade , I had never heard any of this album .

This version of Lady Marmalade seems to be less aggressive and frantic as later disco era versions , and it's wonderful .

The album lyrics have depth and there are tinges of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On .

Surround wise , this quad mix excels .

SoundStages appear in the front , rear and at times on the sides .
I value my 5.1 discs , but a center channel here would only be an obstacle for the surround mix .

I suppose there's a bit of Ike and Tina's Nutbush City Limits here , but it's much more subdued .

Highly recommended if you live for Soul and R & B like me - 10
Be sure to check the "10" box on the poll above! :)
 

bmoura

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As Infaze says this one has a very well done Surround Sound mix and some really good R&B/Soul music including the hit song "Lady Marmalade".
It's sounding much better than back in the '70s when it originally came out on SQ Matrix encoded Vinyl LP and Quad 8 Track tape.

I give it a "9".
 

Lute

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Quad with Soul!

Labelle - Nightbirds is an excellent choice for a 4.0 reissue by Audio Fidelity. Classic 70s Soul/Funk full of great grooves. I am thrilled with the results. Of course Lady Marmalade is fantastic, but all of the songs have incredible singing on them. Are You Lonely, Nightbird and You Turn Me On are particularly soulful and powerful. As with AF's recent releases of E,W.& F and America, the vocals of the Labelle trio benefit from being spaced around the surrounds. The Brass section, keyboards & tambourines also play a prominent part in the rear channels. The 70s Quad mix might have some limitations and sound its age at times with the brass and strings, but that's all part of the package.

I really love this music, so I've gotta give this one a 10.

I hope AF won't mind me posting this link, but here's an interesting article about Labelle and Nightbirds...http://www.popmatters.com/feature/118183-labelle-nightbirds-phoenix-chameleon/

I would love to see Audio Fidelity continue their fine work with SACD versions of Labelle's Phoenix and Chameleon.
 

Quad Linda

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9. This is not today's audiophile recording. It is a 40 year old historic document. Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way...

As Brian said, all the resurrected CBS Quads were engineered to both show off Quad and to work best with SQ decoders.

In '75, I walked into Korvettes and found some new Quad LP's. Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow and Nightbirds were among them. It was the second record I bought with Labelle. The first was Laura Nyro's Gonna Take a Miracle, where they simply did background vocals. I hadn't heard any of them or Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles, their earlier incarnation. I was aware that they had done some albums for WB that went nowhere.

The mix is wonderful! Most of the tracks are great, but a few drag a bit, hence the 9. IMHO, as good as Lady Marmalade is, much of the material here is better. Nona Hendryx's Somebody Somewhere and Are You Lonely are the best tracks here, showing her talent as a songwriter and a vocalist.

The low end sounds much better than either the original CD or SQ LP, especially on the Hoffman 2ch. It is and will remain one of my most listened to Quads.
 

John Svensson

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Just received and with one quick listen, will wait to vote though it sounds like a good solid quad mix from the start. Like most, know the hit but never heard the whole LP, seems like a very good 70's R&B/soul album, and I like those kinds of albums, opinions may vary. Like the title track a lot also, it stands out.
 

blue.monk

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I’m fond of this disc even though I don’t think it's one of the better quad mixes in the series. Knowing some history is useful (thanks Brian and Linda) but it still seems rather hastily assembled. Sure, some instruments and vocals may shift song to song (how very quad!) but levels are inconsistent with lead vocals occasionally obscured by the horns, etc in rears. The sound is OK apart the drums which seem veiled, particularly when compared to the stereo. Still, in spite of the nitpicking, I find it a fun & ultra-discrete bit o’ quad history.

Allen Toussaint and the Meters! I wasn’t aware of their involvement. A welcome surprise to be sure. I was only previously familiar with Lady Marmalade (man, never noticed before how that track speeds up throughout!) but find the rest of the material very enjoyable if not quite A-list quality. An “8” overall for me.
 

keenly

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Kevin Gray is the man! Great mastering on this, super quiet, needs cranking. Very smooth, clear sounding disc. The material is better than I had expected. Overall an 8 for me and I would recommend this to everyone. I hope Kevin masters more rock for AF in the future, nothing he touches ends up sounding harsh.
 

inquadwetrust

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Labelle's fifth album collides genres and styles with eloquence, probably in no small part due to Allen Toussaint's assured hand. Most will buy this for Lady Marmalade but repeated listening will likely you have you skipping that opener and heading directly into the richer and more rewarding material that follows. The original stereo mix of this album is good and sounded smooth and sonorous; this quad transfer offers heady rewards to those familiar with the original mix as greater detail and dynamics abound throughout. This is a tight album and lean in terms of running time but offers variety that keeps you listening. It's too easy to put this into a cliche box of being of it's time but it's important to remember that Patti LaBelle's recording career was already a dozen years strong by this stage and she had worked with an impressive list of talent (I love Laura Nyro and LaBelle as an example of beautifully blended female vocals) - she (and her fellow band members) deserved the platinum sales this album yielded. The cover eloquently expresses the dynamics of dance and movement in a single exposure; it also beautifully reflects the very active quad mix that lies within this SACD. This is a Friday night disc, a get home from work, large glass of good red wine disc, a disc for the good times. When you pull it from the shelf just take a little moment when you see those other AF releases adjacent to it, remind yourself again that we are half way through the second decade of the 21st Century and you can now hear this quad version better than it was ever heard when first released.
 

fredblue

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Brilliant post IQWT!! (y)

With this quote from you in mind (plus all the other great things about this disc!)..

inquadwetrust said:
remind yourself again that we are half way through the second decade of the 21st Century and you can now hear this quad version better than it was ever heard when first released.
...I had to give this one a "10"
 

DuncanS

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Apart from "Lady Marmalade" I didn't know any songs on this album. When it came out I was more into Jimi Hendrix, The Groundhogs, Free, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, ELP, Wishbone Ash, Black Sabbath etc., but not exclusively as I did tape some Isley Brothers, Theme from Shaft etc. so long as it wasn't 'Pop/Disco Music'. I'm much more into to a bit of R&B/Soul these days, as I definitely can hear its not 'Pop/Disco'!

So for the music its a 8-9 (it grows on you), sound quality a 9 (they've done a really good job with the Masters), and I like the Quad mix, so a 8-9 for that. So overall a 9 from me.

I'd buy anymore Quad's of Labelle that AF care to release.
 

rtbluray

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Another '8' vote for me, but I think I might prefer the content on this one compared to "Open Our Eyes" by Earth Wind & Fire.
Mix and Fidelity are both outstanding yet again, so the deduction of 2 points is more for content than anything else.

On a side note, I do love the fact that this album was produced & arranged by New Orleans native Allen Toussaint, not to mention that this kind of album even received a surround mix.
Recommended but not before the better Quad discs like BS&T, the Doors, and Bread. :)
 

Shnicks

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The extraordinary R&B diva captured at the very peak of her powers IMHO. Beautifully orchestrated and produced this release is now and always has been superb front to back. What a pleasure indeed to revisit it in 2015 through such a rich and immersive surround mix. Almost like hearing it for the very first time.

I for one am so pleased to see the Soul/R&B genre embraced by the folks at AF. In the hands of the right artist at the console, the so often emphasized bottom end and the elaborate rhythms and dynamics truly shine in the multi-channel format.

This one is right up there with what is certainly my all time favorite MC R&B release, Ship Ahoy by The O'Jays.

10
 

cornwall198

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I'm such a sucker for discrete mixes. To my ears, lovely use of the rear speakers e.g. the backing vocals and instrumentation in the rears on It Took A Long Time. So, so engaging, so appealing, so immersive. Loving it! A 10 from me.
 

quicksrt

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9. This is not today's audiophile recording. It is a 40 year old historic document. Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way...

As Brian said, all the resurrected CBS Quads were engineered to both show off Quad and to work best with SQ decoders.

In '75, I walked into Korvettes and found some new Quad LP's. Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow and Nightbirds were among them. It was the second record I bought with Labelle. The first was Laura Nyro's Gonna Take a Miracle, where they simply did background vocals. I hadn't heard any of them or Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles, their earlier incarnation. I was aware that they had done some albums for WB that went nowhere.

The mix is wonderful! Most of the tracks are great, but a few drag a bit, hence the 9. IMHO, as good as Lady Marmalade is, much of the material here is better. Nona Hendryx's Somebody Somewhere and Are You Lonely are the best tracks here, showing her talent as a songwriter and a vocalist.

The low end sounds much better than either the original CD or SQ LP, especially on the Hoffman 2ch. It is and will remain one of my most listened to Quads.
SH did not master any of the layers on this SACD, it's Kevin Gray that did the stereo mixes.
 

steelydave

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I agree, the quad mix on this disc is an absolute winner. Obvously I have no insight in to how it did sales-wise, but I would hope it would show AF that discs like this that are slightly off the beaten path are more than worthy of release. I really hope they dig in to more R&B and funk titles in the future.
 
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