HiRez Poll Ray Davies & The Button Down Brass - THEMES FROM GREAT FILMS & FLASHPOINT [SACD]


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Rate the SACD of Ray Davies & The Button Down Brass - THEMES FROM GREAT FILMS

  • 7

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  • 6

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  • 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

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  • Total voters


Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
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Oct 31, 2008
Middle TN
Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2017 Multichannel SACD release from Dutton Vocalion of two albums by Ray Davies & The Button Down Brass: "Themes from The Exorcist, The French Connection, The Sting and other great films & Flashpoint"
The Multichannel SACD is available to order from Dutton Vocalion's website:

(n) :) (y)


The Ray Davies Surround Sound SACD from Vocalion arrived today.

I can confirm that it features 2 of the Ray Davies CD-4 albums released by Philips Japan:
  • Ray Davies & the Button Down Brass - Themes From The Exorcist & Other Great Films. Philips 4DX-35 (CD4) [Japan]
  • Ray Davies Orchestra - Flashpoint. Philips 4DX-48 (CD4) [Japan]

I received my latest batch of 4 QUAD SACDs from Dutton Vocalion [actually in record time] and played the Ray Davies disc last night. I did note that the first portion of the disc, Tracks 1~12, recorded in 1974 [Themes from the Exorcist] sounded, IMO, better than the latter [Flashpoint] recorded in 1975 but the discrete mix is SUPERB on both. According to the liner notes, both albums were released on the MERCURY label. I sincerely hope D~V releases more UMG QUAD titles, and these newest QUAD releases are a good start in that direction.

My vote would be an 8.
I don't quite like this title as much as some of the others from Vocalion I have. Regardless, this is still an amazing Quad experience. Well done, with lots of fun stuff bombing around at times. Fidelity is good. For me, the material isn't quite as enjoyable. But, I find it hard to deduct points for that....I knew the songs before I bought it...it's not as if I would suddenly like them better. :)

So, I'm voting a 9 and very much look forward to more from Vocalion. While I doubt I will ever buy the more "classical" type titles, I'll buy all the others. Quirky, old school, easy listening. I like it!
I gave this an 8, but that's mostly because of the amazing crazy quad mix (particularly on the Exorcist disc) and just how fun this is. The tunes aren't for everyone, but these folks are clearly have a lot of fun with their particular takes on these movie/TV themes. I'd argue that the version of "The Entertainer" from The Sting is worth the price of admission here alone. Different horn parts in succession come from different speakers, and the whole thing is just light-hearted and nuts. This is in stark contrast to the Fiedler 70s disc where the Boston Pops folks are still taking things fairly seriously (and a lot of those tunes are slow and haven't aged well).

Again, my high rating is due to the fact that I had a blast with this one. I think if I was trying to be more objective here, I could see going a bit lower, but what the hell.
I concur with the previous posts about this disc in general terms - the first half (the 'Exorcist' LP) is slightly better sounding and more discrete, but the whole thing is great sounding. I was really impressed with the low end on this disc as well, especially on the more upbeat tracks it packs a serious wallop. I suppose this disc would be filed under 'easy listening', but at least half of this disc is anything but.

Highlights for me were all the Lalo Schifrin tracks, Don Ellis' French Connection theme (surprised Ellis' Connection album from 1973 didn't get quad release, since Tears of Joy did), and Tubular Bells, which does that jazz thing where they start off with a pretty standard reading of the main theme and then go on a 2 minute fantastic jazz freakout before returning to the theme again at the end.

The musicianship throughout is top notch as well - not having heard any of Ray Davies other albums, I had some worries that this disc was going to be really schmaltzy, but it's not the case at all. The playing is superb throughout, and even aggressive at times. I'm a huge fan of 70's soundtrack music, especially anything that has a jazzy or funky element to it, so this stuff is right up my street, not to mention the fact that this kind of music is hugely under-represented in quad.

Also, I think it's worth noting how rare these Japanese CD-4 quad albums are. Not that it matters at all if you don't like the music, but the two Japanese CD-4's that comprise this disc are so difficult to find they make the Japanese Motown CD-4s look common by comparison. It's kinda crazy to think that for all the work that went in to creating, producing and manufacturing these albums, only about 6 people in Japan ever heard them in quad, until now. Amazing to be able to get these for 10 quid in master tape quality when if you ever managed to find them on ebay you'd probably out more than 10x that amount with no guarantee they'd even sound half as good.
This is simply my favourite Dutton/Vocalion Quad SACD release so far. I'm sure I'll be the only one to say this, but that's fine with me as I've often been a fan of music that's been snobbed by many for one reason or another. I've been huge fan of Ray Davies for over ten years now and I've listened to these two albums endlessly so I was fully familiar with the Stereo mixes. Hearing these in Quad (and on SACD to boot) really gave me a huge thrill. Most of the mixes are stellar and they really allow for the music breathe. I always skip the track or two that kill the mood (for me) like the Entertainer, but there are many gems here. His version of the theme from Klute is absolutely superb, and so is Airport 1975, although for this track the best version is still by The Ventures. Davies was so fond of the theme from Kojak that he recorded two different versions, one in 1975 and one in 1976 and both are excellent.

Ray Davies was one of the most popular session players of the 60's and 70's in England and he would often play on John Gregory's albums. Both would release four albums each covering mostly detective/spies/police TV and movie themes under various names. Two of these John Gregory's albums have been released in wonderful Quad in Japan under the Philips 4DX series. My only concern is that Dutton/Vocalion may decide not issue these as a Quad SACD for the very simple release that they've released their Stereo Counterparts as a 2fer CD back in 2010 but I kindly ask the to reconsider this and it would allow many Quad collectors the opportunity to discover these great albums.

Should anyone wish to look into more from Ray Davies and John Gregory, I recommend the following:

Album from Ray Davies (under variousnames) - the first two are the albums featured on the Dutton/Vocalion SACD





Albums by John Gregory (under various names)



I voted 8, decent music, and pretty good quad mix. Enjoyable.