HiRez Poll Love and Rockets - SEVENTH DREAM OF TEENAGE HEAVEN [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of Love and Rockets - SEVENTH DREAM OF TEENAGE HEAVEN

  • 7

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  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

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  • 4

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  • 3

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  • 2

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  • 1: Poor Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    37

rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2016 5.1 surround mix of the classic Love and Rockets album "Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven".
(Scans originally posted by QQ member Neil Wilkes, who also mixed the album in surround sound and authored the Blu-Ray disc.)

(n) :) (y)



 

Jeddia

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First in!

I was relatively surprised awhile back when I read that this had been mixed into surround and was awaiting release. This makes two of my all-time favorite albums to get released in surround in the past year (the other being Temple of the Dog). The folks on QQ are aficionados, to be sure. But most of you seem to focus mostly on the more mainstream classic rock stuff - which I'm also a huge fan of....but it's damned refreshing to see a title like Love & Rockets' debut album get the 5.1 treatment. So, here comes my review - as an aficionado of alternative music and collector of all things dark and 80's....

Firstly, let me say that this album takes me back. I went to Europe on a senior class trip in the late 80's and I was listening to this record heavily back then. It reminds me of a German girl named Olga...but I digress... As a big fan of the Bauhaus, I always found this album to be more of a Bauhaus album than a Love & Rockets album. Especially if you hear the similarities between this and the Bauhaus' Burning From the Inside. Much the same way that Pink Floyd's The Final Cut can feel more like a Roger Waters album... Regardless of all that, you cannot argue with the beautiful and innovative writing on this LP. It's difficult to find anything derivative here. They forged a unique sound, much like their origin band....and they ran with it. Onward....

Got my blu-ray yesterday and spent all morning at work thinking about how I couldn't wait to get home. Snagged a fifth of scotch (I do love a buzz while getting my 5.1 on...). I went with the LPCM 5.1 mix....and here we go:

If There's a Heaven Above - The mix is extremely pleasant. Mids that stood out in all of the previous stereo releases are subdued slightly. The drums on this track are surprisingly low in the mix, which I personally found a bit distracting - but it didn't really detract from the overall effort. The LP contains a lot of sharp, mid-range guitar hits - and navigating these could not have been easy. This is one of the great tracks from this album, but in the 5.1 presentation it is a bit lackluster.

A Private Future - Absolutely beautiful. A track that falls relatively flat on the previous stereo releases, is brought to life in 5.1 surround. Here I sat up in my seat and realized why this album needed to be remixed into surround. A fine mix of the acoustic guitar work, the bass, and the drums. And the harmonies, which are key to most of these L&R tracks, are brought to life like never before.

The Dog-End of a Day Gone By - Stunning! This track has always been one of my favorites on the LP, but because of the mid-range onslaught (the guitars), it's tough to ... turn up to 11. This new mix has coerced the offensive mid-range down to a more manageable level and brought all of the other aspects out of the maelstrom to be glorified. Seriously, this song has never sounded better than this - and may never sound better.

The Game - This track was always a bit of a toss up on previous releases. No one ever seemed to quite get the tone of it right. The song itself is brilliant, but the mix was always mediocre. Here we have an amazing, ear-opening revelation... Things long-buried in the stereo mix are reincarnated for your listening pleasure. This haunting song is given new life with a newly enriched bassline that makes the track deceptively menacing. Enjoy!

Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven - The title track. Nothing short of amazing. The dark harmonies on this one are displayed to your ears the same way the violent images are conveyed to Alex's eyes in A Clockwork Orange. You will hear it, and you'll like it, and you'll accept it...or you will pay. Sadly, the arrival of the snare halfway through the song does not rival the earlier stereo mixes - a bit disappointing. But a minor flaw.

Haunted When the Minutes Drag - If you are a true fan of Love & Rockets, you understand the signature sound of their acoustic guitar work. When the "bridge" of this song is coming, this song shifts gears and the electric acoustic guitar that fills the mix is something that can make you weep. I was glad to hear that Wilkes understood this and he did not disappoint. Beautiful mix here. The vocals are yanked out a bit from the center channel and it sounds fantastic. Always loved this song and frankly, when I started the BD...I was just waiting for this one - one of all time favorite L&R tracks. It is absolutely great.

Suadade - An instrumental that properly closes this LP down is presented here in a non-aggressive surround mix that truly compliments both the strength of the writing and the strength of the musicianship of the band. A gorgeous mix here, that brings everything about the song that you love right out to your ears and blankets you in what this album is all about - that strange pseudo-gothic beauty.

Now, about the bonus tracks... And let me say, I am eternally grateful for the inclusion of these tracks on this release. What's been missing on 99% of all 5.1 releases over the years are the odd B-sides and 12" mixes that made the era/album truly great for fans. I would own the Tears For Fears blu-ray right now if it had the 12" mixes of Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World on it....Mr. Wilson!

While I'm not a huge fan of the single version Ball of Confusion (the 12" mix is superior by far), it was nice to see it included here. The mix is a bit lackluster - it should've been more punchy/dancey... Inside the Outside, while a B-side, is widely considered to be part of the actual LP to begin with, thanks to the inclusion of it on all CD releases of this album. The mix of is actually pretty amazing. A lot of the original feel of the track is there while still being pulled and stretched into 5.1 surround.

A real gem on this BD is the mix of Lucifer Sam, which is a great cover of the Pink Floyd classic. Here its presentation has a lot more meat than the stereo version we've heard all these years. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

******
In conclusion, I have to say that Mr.Wilkes did a fine job here. I rate the mix at 9 and the material at 10. For an album that I would've never believed to have been considered for a 5.1 remix release, I am so thankful that someone who had an understanding of the original material was put in the driver's seat.

Well done, sir. Please do more L&R... and maybe some Bauhaus?

Buy this blu-ray if you have ever been a fan of Love & Rockets.
 

kap'n krunch

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IIRC, this is ALL Neil's "baby".
He was the one who got the ball rolling (and did EVERYTHING), so, yes we all have to thank him (and of course , the people at Beggar's) for this GREAT disc.
Even if you are not familiar with L+R, I think this will please most QQ members and you will enjoy it...
If this sells well enough, we might get a few more surprises.
Hopefully Neil will chime in and let us know...
 

keenly

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I never knew this existed cheers, I will have to check it out.
 

stormchaser

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I gave this one a 9, mostly because I think this particular album doesn't resonate consistently with me. I, like a lot of folks I suspect, am more familiar with their later work. The overall mix suits the mood of the various tracks with appropriate use of the surrounds. While the Pixies' disc is energetic, this is more somber, controlled, and enveloping. Nicely done. I hope we get more from artists like this with Mr. Wilkes at the helm.
 

marpow

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I voted 8, mostly for performance/content. I do like this better than The Pixies 5.1 released at the same time. This release albeit discrete also tends to power the fronts more than the rears which I like. The Pure Audio company really has something going well and I hope they keep it going. I listened DTS-HD Master. As I am a #1 fan of the older DVD-A's and I can't for the life of me wonder why these Blu Ray companies are not including lyrics and pictures in the menu.
 

neil wilkes

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Thank you for the kind words - you have no idea how much that reading this means to me.

@Jeddia
I know what you mean about "If There's A Heaven Above" - it was perhaps the hardest track to mix out of all of them, and I have often thought it could stand a tweak given a 2 year gap between mixing it & getting the release happening & if I redid it, I would change a couple of things. Hell, I will probably do this anyway & run an extended version. The hard part is that tghere are parts for 3 versions on the same multitrack - the version we know from the UK vinyl, the Canada mix (which is totally different in sound - could it be that this was the version you know as I followed the UK version more than the Canada version but softened those staccato acoustics on the intro a little bit - incidentally, these are not delays but a gated reverb that is sidechained to a muted kick drum on a pre-fade send. There was also the parts for the "God & Mrs Smith" version and the extensions for the 12" mix.
All in all, I will do another couple of versions & try to get Beggars to provide download links for existing customers.
Re "Ball Of Confusion", the possibility to redo the 12" UK mix is indeed there - and again, I followed the single edit for this and not the UK or US 12" mixes, both of which are quite different so that again might explain the differences you (correctly) point out.
On Dog-End, so much of the tracking has been heavily layered and it was a bit of a fight with all the different parts, and I definitely wanted this to be reminiscent of a house falling on you and am really, seriously pleased that you liked it.
I also took a few liberties - the original stereo was very 80's in sound & I tried to bring it a little more up to date by losing some of the reverb washes that John A Rivers - who was a huge help to me in providing little clues & tricks he had pulled - had done on the original and strove for clarity as much as I could.
Saudade - this is a portugese word describing an emotional state somewhere between deep melancholy & nostalgic reverie, and as such would not have suited an aggressive mix.

I would love to do "Express" - that is a much more aggressive album (although with it's subtle moments like the acoustic version of "An American Dream", "All In My Mind" and "Love Me") with cracking tracks like "Kundalini Express" and ""Yin & Yang" - the USA version of "Ball Of Confusion" is included in the recent remastered version and for some reason "Lucifer Sam" was previously associated with "Express" rather than "Seventh Dream" even though the multitracks are in the "Seventh Dream" reels.

Please spread the word with this one - Beggars want to do more but the accountants are insisting on seeing how this one goes first.
 

knifeman

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I wasn't at all familiar with this band. I'm listening to it now on YouTube and really liking it, so I'll be buying.
 

DuncanS

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This is one of the surround discs I've managed to listen to in the last couple of weeks. I'd never heard of the band , but as Neil did the mix I got it. Its great, good music, nice clarity, and a good mix so a solid 9 across the board.
 

Overfloater8

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For my money this is the 5.1 mix of the year. A must own. This release exceeded my expectations. I'm a big fan of the music on Beggars, 4AD, etc. and hope this and Doolittle move enough units for more releases. So many exciting possibilities with Queens of the Stone Age, Sigur Ros', Deerhunter, Mark Lanegan...dare I dream of Radiohead Kid A (although I think Capitol controls most of that)?

I have most of the Bauhaus albums and the Kevin Gray mastered version of Express so I'm moderately familiar with this artist. I feel 5.1 badly needs to branch out of the prog. and AM rock groove that it has found itself in and I'm not putting down prog. or AM rock. I like a lot of that music but this could bring in a new audience to 5.1. and further open it up to new styles and more releases.

I've read quite a few of Wilkes critiques on here. He has played a major role in educating me in what to look for in a mix. So it was nice to see when he got the ball passed to him he more then backed up his talk.

I'm not going to critique this too much as I think Jeddi did the definitive review. Anyway, what I love about this mix is what I felt luke-warm to regarding the otherwise excellent Doolittle release. This mix has space, dynamics, and creates that 3D bubble that I love about surround when done right. Sonics are likewise great and better then I expected (I was happy to see Wilkes get credit for the hard work he put into getting a high rez transfer from the analog tapes. I feel this makes a huge difference in realizing the potential of an album).

This mix lets you close your eyes and takes you on a journey. It does not get in the way of the music, rather it changes it's form and immerses you in it.
Music: 7
Mix: 10
 

rusinurbe

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I cant really comment on the album as this is the first copy I have ever owned, but will say its a great mix, I for one like Ball of Confusion and am interested to hear what the other versions are like.

I definitely missed this in the eighties probably because I steered clear of pretty much everything Eighties as I hated and still do hate the production of the time, so this was a pleasant surprise and I will be picking up more when they come along Mr Wilkes You just keep doing them if out have not already 2 years is a long time to realise a release
 

LizardKing

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How does one buy this? Please insert best link here.

The quote above has my purchase on it's way...
I picked mine up at my local JB Hifi...

I guess you have one there in Melbourne...
 

neil wilkes

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I cant really comment on the album as this is the first copy I have ever owned, but will say its a great mix, I for one like Ball of Confusion and am interested to hear what the other versions are like.

I definitely missed this in the eighties probably because I steered clear of pretty much everything Eighties as I hated and still do hate the production of the time, so this was a pleasant surprise and I will be picking up more when they come along Mr Wilkes You just keep doing them if out have not already 2 years is a long time to realise a release
We actually finished this back in January 2015 - it took 2 years to get issued, although we have no idea why.
 

woody

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I picked mine up at my local JB Hifi...

I guess you have one there in Melbourne...
Some bad news I'm afraid for Australian QQ'ers out there.
The guy at the Melourne store got in touch with his importer contact for me- alas he couldn't obtain. (As there was none on the shelves he stocks).
He expressed surprise that NZ JBHi-fi had this on their shelves .
Looks like Burning Shed is one of the few (if sole) options in Melb's and perhaps Downunder.?
 
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mcherdering

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I gave this a 9. It felt as though the first song was really testing my tweeters, but the rest of the songs sound as good as I remember, with the addition of surround. And I really appreciate the addition of "Ball of Confusion" as a bonus track.

Now that my palate has been whetted with this album in 5.1, I hope to be able to spend my money on Express and Love And Rockets! And then, since we're talking about the Beggars Banquet label, how about remixing some of these from my library in surround; Pixies, Dead Can Dance, Peter Murphy, Bauhaus, Gary Numan and Ratatat. Please!

BTW - I was able to get my disk on Amazon.
 
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