I've given this a 10 even though it's only dolby digital. The mix is so good! There seems to be quite a strict channel separation, but all is done with some sense of musicality and sensibility. For example at the very beginning the tin pipes have been panned all the way back, a bold, but musically logical decision. Everything that is supposed to be "starring" takes the centre stage and is sometimes gently taken to one side (guitar - oboe interplay).
Overall, an unexpectedly involving and enetertaining surround mix. Considering the pseudo-quad mix of 1976, it's surprising Mike Oldfield has found the fun to mix this again.
A real treasure are of course the demos, which let you peak into Mike's private surroundings, priceless.
A great package and brilliant mix let down by not being hi Rez for that alone it drops a point. Otherwise a very good reissue and top surround mix. I even quite like the on screen visuals though would happily drop those for a Hi Rez mix.
For all USA folks interested in this title, it was cheaper by far - today - to get from Amazon UK than either Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. (or several other sites I checked). Here is what I paid for the deluxe edition, including shipping to USA.
Items: GBP 10.20
Postage & Packing: GBP 3.08
Total before VAT: GBP 13.28
VAT: GBP 0.00
Order Total: GBP 13.28
Payment Total: USD 20.35**
Any opinions on the Ommadawn deluxe version in 5.1?
Just got mine in the mail yesterday and have given it just one spin so far....I give it an 8 on first listen. It's pretty fine, but could be a bit more adventurous I thought so 1 point knocked off there, and another for just being Dolby.
Though Hergest Ridge was never my favorite Oldfield, I must say this presentation with the new mix and in surround makes it a big improvement. The new mix has elements that weren't there before (echoes, instruments highlighted that weren't originally). Also there was some editing (the new version is a few minutes shorter). It is not unthinkable that he even re-recorded a few little tidbits, but that is pure speculating from my side.
The rear section is put to full use, I like that.
Firstly, I must say that is an album I've grown up with for the last 25 years. It is simply beautiful. I've even been to visit the place in my student days, and my two chums and I listened to it whilst sitting at the top of the Ridge.
This partial review is split into two parts and I haven't listened to it all yet. One for those who have passing familiarity or haven't heard it at all and one for those who's very soul needs to listen to it once in a while because they just must. It's part of who they are.
For the first group.
It's DD5.1 and sounds clear as a bell. The mix is discrete where it needs to be with a good selection of ping pongs and immersive. Lovely music.
8, 8 and 8 for mix, music and sound quality so far.
Now for the second group, which includes me...
In the South Coast of the U.K. It's good and hot at the moment. Barbecue season is upon us. This has been released at just the right time as it comes PRE BARBECUED ! Yes, the mix has been BARBECUED. Not that nice barbecued that's done in a controlled way, with a nice pre marinade and cooked to perfection. This has been BURNED TO A CRISP. I was hungry, my stomach was rumbling and what i've been given is unrecognisable charcoal. I'm so, so dissapointed and angry. I tried to push my self through the pain barrier over and over again. But 8mins in I've had to turn it off. I could rant for a bit more but I've got stuff to do. Soon, I have to listen to the Deluxe Edition of Ommadawn that I bought at the same time.....Not got the cellophane off yet.
This is my first review at QQ. I hope it's of some use. When I've completed listening I'll update it.
A great little set. Ridge is one of my favourites.But I am tempted to write the same review as I did for the Ommadawn Deluxe set. The beatiful Oboe section on Part 1 almost erased completely. Multiple unnecessary new guitar solos added and the inclusion of the " oh not so rare now" Spanish Tune!!! I wouldn't call this a rip off and the glider graphics are nice. Call me old fashioned guys....I always prefer the original 1st vinyl release....old skool!!!
Enjoying this one. I did not have any other version of this album in my collection to compare it to, so keep that in mind. The mix is discrete, relatively agressive and overall great but I'm only giving this a 8 due to the DD format and also I agree with some others that the music itself becomes a bit repetitive. Still, I am very happy to have this one in my collection.
true that is, but so are the genesis live discs situated in the other section...
to my understanding, the other section is reserved for discs that are sound only or almost, while in this section there are discs with moving pictures beyond a mere spinning record player (i.e. neil young)
not nitpicking, just mere curiousity...
(...and escapism from my sunday workload )
I gave this a generous 7. Mike has admitted that this album was always a problem for him. He once claimed that the original mix sometimes had instruments playing because he thought it would be boring otherwise. Then he made his 1976 remix and stripped away a lot of the "unnecessary" instruments - and sure enough, many sections of that mix *are* boring compared to the original mix. Now we come to 2010, and Mike's pendulum has swung the other way by adding back to the mix things that weren't even in the original mix - things that were left off for a reason, in my opinion. And some of the most beautiful, musical parts have been rebalanced in ways that focus on the wrong instruments. All this suggests that Mike never really had a grasp on what made this music special to being with.
The most egregious re-writing of HR history comes at 12:12 in Part 1, when that gawd-awful banjo-y guitar comes in as the loudest thing for 2 minutes of what would otherwise be a quiet, meditative section. This section alone will probably keep me from ever re-listening to this surround mix.
I won't spend time enumerating all the other moments of "what were you thinking?" but for me, there are plenty in this mix. And I won't say too much about the clunky edits between the sections, but they really jump out at me.
Now that I'm coming to the end of my review, I'm not sure why I gave this as high a rating as I did.
JDMack, great review!!
I totally agree with you about the banjo hijack which I think ruins part 1. Like you said tho' way back when Mike wrote the original, he was fairly spaced out himself and sometimes didn't know what he was doing!!!! As for the bonus I love the Glider graphics. I used to live about 10 miles away from Kington in my younger years.
Just to be a curmudgeon and rain on this disc a bit more, I thought I'd report that I extracted the 5.1 audio from "Hergest Ridge" using VLC software, and then remixed and edited the audio to my liking in Adobe Audition. In a few places, I patched the sound with a quad conversion of the original CD (which has the SQ encoding intact). I burned my new 5.1 mix to a DTS CD using Surcode. It's not perfect, but I'll give my remix a 9.