First of all a big thank you to Peter Robinson for just putting this re-issue together. It is clear from the liner notes that PR was keen to release a full 5.1 mix of this album only to learn of the missing multi-tracks. Given that, it's amazing we even got this version. Using my 1990 Repertoire CD as reference, I can say that the new version is brighter either by 21st century design or as a by-product of some clean up work that is spelled out in the excellent booklet. Love the rare photos in the booklet and those that do appear on screen.
The DVD contains DTS, DD 5.1 or stereo options; since there is a CD in the package I find it odd to have the DVD default to stereo. As for the menu and audio snippet, it could have been better design. The white on white titles (initial menu before song stills) and the "outer limits" audio take points off IMHO. But once you start playing the album none of this really matters.
I have always thought this album was sadly overlooked as it has some very strong material on it. Both the reissue CD and DVD starts off with a bonus track (that was to be a single), then the album proper followed by 1 bonus track on DVD that I knew from CD before and the CD includes that same (Punting) track plus two previously unheard tracks that I didn't hear until this evening. Both are worthwhile and welcome additions.
The band itself was quite unusual; given the trio instrumentation, it would be obvious to peg them as an ELP type band and this would not be accurate! They sounded closer to Harvest label mates Pink Floyd in mowents and a precurser to Triumvirat perhaps, but mostly they were just ahaed of their time as themselves. John Gustafson's role here is so large I find it odd to think about him being in Roxy Music behind Bryan Ferry, wish I would've seen that version of the band. Now I need to track down Hard Stuff (Purple Records) where JG had a larger role in between these two bands.
Since Peter Robinson already had a 5. studiio setup for film scoring it was not far-fetched for him to consider mixing a surround version of Quatermass. It had to be hearbreaking to learn their mastertapes were missing or recorded over, thus limiting the source materials. I will always treasure the stereo versions and where I can have surround versions well that's just extra nice.
If I had to vote, I'd have to give this an honest 7 overall. The music is 9.5 for me and the surround aspect is reduced to 5 for quantity not quality. The packaging just has the soon forgettable nags I mentioned above. (see you already forgot them) Should the true master tapes ever surface somehow, I think PR would certainly be within his rights to do this again. Until then, this makes me very happy to have.