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DVD/DTS Poll Poco - Crazy Eyes (DTS disc)

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Rate the DTS-CD of Poco - Crazy Eyes


  • Total voters
    31

MIDIQ

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
607
Location
US
I like Poco quite a bit, and this is one of thier better albums. The surround mix is great. One of my favorite DTS CD's. :banana:
 

aquadad

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
448
Location
Hillsboro, OR
This group was born out of the break up of Buffalo Springfield and it spawned members of the Eagles (Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmidt), (Loggins) and Messina and the Souther, Hillman, (Furay) Band.

It hails from a time when country rock was ruled by the Eagles and it compares to the sound of their "Desperado" and "On The Border" LP's. If the song "Magnolia" sounds familiar it's because it's an old J.J. Cale song from his LP "Naturally" (which decodes very well by the way) that contained the hit "Crazy Mama".

I've never heard the quad version of this LP but this DTS mix is really nice. It peels back the layers and spreads them around in a delicate balance that brings out how well these guys played off each other and how tight they were.

The highlight of the album for me is the epic title track "Crazy Eyes", arranged by Bob Ezrin who also assists on piano. Ezrin is probably better known for his work with Alice Cooper. It's complete with orchestral accompanyment and 9 minutes 39 seconds long. It reminds me in structure of "Madman Across The Water" the way it builds into a crescendo and then brings you back down to earth for a safe landing. Too long for radio back then and too bad because they needed the exposure at the time. Most Poco albums don't hold my interest like this one does. Five of the eight songs on the album will leave you scratching your head wondering why this is a virtually unknown album outside of diehard Poco fans. To me it's their best effort. As much as I like most of their hits from other albums I think this is their most complete album package.

If you've been sittin' on the fence with this one in mind, I hope this helps...
 

zabble

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
1,134
Location
Chicago
The title cut is my favorite song on the disc as well. Great mix all around.

For the record, the dts comes from the quad master. This means the center channel was most likely created by summing the front two channels. To hear the mix as originally intended, one must mute the center channel. ;)
 

Marcsten

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
340
Location
Seattle
Great review, Aquadad. I think you got it right. I too have several Poco albums, and seldom listen to any -- except this one, which I play often, sometimes just the title cut. I have this in SQ vinyl on a Canadian pressing. It was the first one I bought Canadian as well as US, and they seem smoother and the tate works better. But I digress....
Marc
 

KevinD9052

Well-known Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
180
Location
Yonkers, NY
Is this DTS disc still available for purchase? I haven't seen it in a long time? But I liked the SQ version. Seems they kept that mix. Hope I don't have to go the EBay route for this one.
 

aquadad

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
448
Location
Hillsboro, OR
KevinD9052 said:
Is this DTS disc still available for purchase? I haven't seen it in a long time? But I liked the SQ version. Seems they kept that mix. Hope I don't have to go the EBay route for this one.
Hello Kevin, I got my copy from these guys on eBay with no problems. Actually since the availability of these titles is starting to dry up I've made a few purchases from them.: http://stores.ebay.com/5-1-Marketing-and-Sales
 

jeffty

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
61
Location
Austin TX
Poco is one of my favorite bands and "Crazy Eyes" was my first DTS purchase several years ago. I couldn't believe my favorite album of theirs was the one chosen for a 5.1 mix. It may be one of my least favorite surround releases as well and here's why...

Of the dozens of Rock/Pop 5.1 discs I own only Crazy Eyes suffers from an overall remix that is less faithful to the original mix than most. Not bad mind you - instrument and vocal balances are mostly fine but occasionally very different from the original stereo balance. The guitar solo in the 3rd cut is actually buried where it should have stood out. Since I don't have any similar issues with my other 5.1 discs I have to assume the fault lies in the mix and not my setup.

I really enjoy the spread and definition that this surround mix offers but it is offset by a severe shortage of reverb that had accompanied the original stereo mix and added real character to the overall sound, especially on the title cut (it also dated the original production). Perhaps it is because I am so intimately aware of the original mix because I have listened to it so many times over the past years (I am also a F/T musician and recordist) that I find this DTS mix stark and less satisfying in some ways.

However it has grown on me with repeated listenings and the benefits of the 5.1 mix easily outweigh the less-than-faithful remix of the album. I was just really surprised to hear such a difference in this disc when I hear mostly only enhancement in so many others (Tommy, Yellow Brick Road, Avalon, etc.). The album for me has always been a 10 but I gave this recording a 7 for a less-than-faithful remix of the original. If you're a fan of good country-rock I would still recommend this disc to you. It still sounds very good, I was just put off by the changes in the mix.
 

KevinD9052

Well-known Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
180
Location
Yonkers, NY
OK. I listened to the disk carefully and it is the same mix used on the SQ version. I never owned the Q8 or the stereo vinyl versions so I cannot comment on them. However, when compared to the SQ decoded via a Tate, the mix seems faithful to me. Not sure if Jeffty is referring to it not being faithful to the original STEREO mix but I do agree with him on the lack of space and reverb. The SQ version has tons of it. Even played in stereo.
I think it is the DTS encoding. Like all compression schemes, it tends to flatten the sonics when it throws out all that "unimportant" stuff like reverb and the sense of space around instruments. I had the same experience with the Police Synchronicity DTS disk. I didn't like it and rarely played it. For the hell of it I bought the SACD version. I loved it. Same mix but the sonics were full and space was back! Don't get me wrong, I like most of my DTS disks. But a few are rather flat sounding.
So once again the medium has a huge effect on how we react to our beloved recordings-even in the digital age! Luckily, this disk is still very listenable. I give it an 8: great mix, great music, but only a good rating for the encoding.
 

Marcsten

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
340
Location
Seattle
I had this record on Q8 MANY years ago when it was current. I recall it being really dry, as in no reverb for the most part. I recall it being one of my first Q8s and being a bit disconcerted by how discrete it was with no reverb or sharing of channels other than center front. The LP is alot more pleasant to listen to.
Marc
 

jeffty

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
61
Location
Austin TX
Indeed I was referring to the original stereo mix in my previous message, I was unaware of an SQ version until now. However I don't think the lack of reverb in the DTS recording is an effect of the encoding simply because I have other DTS discs that are quite faithful to the original mix and ambience ("Toy Matinee" and Brian Wilson's "Imagination" are good examples).

Crazy Eyes was an early conversion for DTS and I suspect that the folks hired to remix the original tracks into 5.1 made a decision to spotlight the enhanced articulation of the instrumentation by not coloring it with the amount and type of reverb that was popular back in the 70's when the album was first created. At first I was taken aback at the big change in the overall sound of the recording but in time I have come to prefer it over the original because it simply sounds so good all around me. I think I miss the reverb mostly on the title cut because it really enhanced the percussion on that track. It helps that Poco is comprised of accomplished musicians who know how to play together as a band rather than players simply supporting a songwriter. Not that there's anything wrong with that...;)
 

steelydave

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Staff member
Since 2002/2003
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Messages
1,806
Location
Toronto, ON
jeffty said:
Indeed I was referring to the original stereo mix in my previous message, I was unaware of an SQ version until now. However I don't think the lack of reverb in the DTS recording is an effect of the encoding simply because I have other DTS discs that are quite faithful to the original mix and ambience ("Toy Matinee" and Brian Wilson's "Imagination" are good examples).

Crazy Eyes was an early conversion for DTS and I suspect that the folks hired to remix the original tracks into 5.1 made a decision to spotlight the enhanced articulation of the instrumentation by not coloring it with the amount and type of reverb that was popular back in the 70's when the album was first created. At first I was taken aback at the big change in the overall sound of the recording but in time I have come to prefer it over the original because it simply sounds so good all around me. I think I miss the reverb mostly on the title cut because it really enhanced the percussion on that track. It helps that Poco is comprised of accomplished musicians who know how to play together as a band rather than players simply supporting a songwriter. Not that there's anything wrong with that...;)
Actually, this wasn't a modern remix - just a direct port of the quad mix with some center channel derived by combining the left and right channels and lowering the volume. The reason it's missing little nuances like reverb and stuff is mainly that back in the 70's, most recording consoles were 16 tracks (or 32 if you were lucky) and just didn't have enough inputs and outputs to add all the subtle effects and things from the stereo version. A lesser reason is that unlike today, the guys doing surround mixes back then were second-tier engineers, doing the dirty work the major guys didn't want to bother with - in addition I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even bother listening to the stereo mix for reference, as back then there wasn't the hardcore group of 'original mix' purists that there are today. Quad mixes often varied quite wildly from the stereo mixes, using extra bits recorded but mixed out on the stereo version, or using alternate vocal or solo takes, or even in some cases using completely different takes of the song.

Dave.
 

jeffty

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
61
Location
Austin TX
All good points. I can't speak to the way the surround mix was actually done since the DTS album credits only document mastering and digital transfer and I've no experience with the original SQ mix so it may very well be as the writer states above.

My only comment to add is that the amount of reverberation used in the original stereo mix is anything but subtle. In fact it's one of the "wettest" rock/pop mixes in my collection; so much so that one might even consider the reverb as a major tone color not unlike another instrument. This is why the arid DTS mix was such a surprise to me.

I don't begrudge minor edits to any mixer; they happen daily here in my studio. However this is the only time a wholesale timbre change of a mix was made in my (somewhat limited) surround experience. It does make sense to think that the DTS folks only used the drier SQ mix as their template because no one who had ever listened to the original stereo mix would have felt that the surround mix had anywhere near the same ambience level. Still I have come to really appreciate all the good things that the DTS mix brings to the table and I'm glad that "Crazy Eyes" was chosen for this enhancement. Stay tuned...
 

rusinurbe

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
2,382
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, UK
happy to have this plesant and very descrete mix.

The mix of Eagles and Buffalo Springfield is there as you would expect given the contributers, and 'Crazy Eyes' all nine minutes is worth the price of entry alone.

This album needs to be released in a deluxe box of some kind with the mix in higher resolution that the DTS CD.
 
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Quad Linda

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Jun 3, 2011
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8,193
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DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
I have a Q8, CD and DTS CD of this. I prefer the DTS, which is the Quad mix. I've spent the most time with the Q8. A solid 8. I don't listen to this one enough. It may be their best album. I have all of Poco in Quad and all the 2ch on CD. My favorite tracks of theirs are the early Pick Up the Pieces and You'd Better Think Twice, neither of which are here. Deliverin', Seven and Cantamos are all on SQ/Q8. I have SQ's and CD's of those 3 and a Q8 of Deliverin'. I never owned an LP of this and have seldom listened to it on the 2ch CD I own. The "dryness" of the Quad mix is refreshing for the "wet" times in which it was released. If you like country rock, you need this.

The band was originally called Pogo, but there was a threatened lawsuit from the cartoonist who drew the comic strip by that name, so they changed it to Poco. I suspect that's why the cover of their first album Pickin' Up the Pieces was drawn, instead of a photo. A HIGHLY underrated band!

poco%u0025252B-%252Bcrazy%252Beyes.jpg

SQ LP: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Poco-Crazy-Eyes-Rare-Quad-Orig-1973-M-/19/!B)kZ9pgB2k~$(KGrHqZ,!joEv1+0DbGSBMOFdhYqV!~~_3.JPG

post-9-1143459310_thumb.jpg
 

par4ken

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
581
Location
NW Ontario
This is a great album but I actually prefer Poco "Seven" too bad it wasn't put out on DTS, or better still SACD or DVDA but the original quad not a 5.1 remix. I've never heard Crazy Eyes stereo version so I can't comment on the "wetness' of it compared to the SQ, Q8 and DTS versions, but it would be a first for a stereo version to be wetter than a Quad version.
 

quadtrade

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
1,380
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Ugene
This was a title i got some static from above when it did not sell as much or lets say as quick as McCartney was selling. Kinda slow sales at first on this one, i still thought it was a good title for release. Still do, perhaps a style that is too not something for many. Not country, not rock, but good players and good songs.
 

Fourplay

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QQ Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,275
Location
Denver
Short take: Whoa!

Last night I went to see Richie Furay perform here in Colorado, and it was a lovely acoustic show. So today I took out this disc for a first listen. Being quite late to the table of surround sound, I have been in catch up/acquisition mode since 2009. In short, I have not been able to get to much of what I have bought, and this is one.

This disc is a revelation, and is the kind of mix that interested me in the hobby in the first place. This is VERY discrete. As discussed before, the instruments are very "dry," and not being familiar with the original mix, I am not at all bothered by this. In fact, I think reverb can at times be a tool of evil. Look what they did to the drums on the old ZZ Top recordings - made them sound like Journey... So many have overused reverb, that I am happy to hear the real instruments as they might have sounded in an acoustic environment. But I digress.

This has very discrete instrumentation which really allows you to hear what is going on with the multi-layered elements. I was not familiar with the old quads of this, so I take others at their word when they say this is a transfer of the 70s quad with a "manufactured" center channel. The presence of this center information does not seem to detract from the mix to my ears.

Technically this is not High Resolution because of the DTS format, but it sounds great to me. Perhaps it could sound better if the quad masters were transferred to a lossless format, but since this is available now I would not hesitate to recommend it. These DTS discs can be pricey these days - the cheapest I found today was $45 on eBay. But if you like this band this disc is well worth seeking out.

A 9 because of room for upgrade to lossless.
 
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