HiRez Poll Rolling Stones, The - GOATS HEAD SOUP [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of The Rolling Stones - GOATS HEAD SOUP


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rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this new 2020 reissue of the classic Rolling Stones album from 1973 entitled "Goats Head Soup".
The album has been remixed in Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin), and the remix is available on Blu-Ray in a new Super Deluxe Edition box set.

(y) :) (n)


 

sjcorne

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I’m going with an “8” for the surround mix. Fear not, there’s plenty of action in the rear channels. The usual setup places the main instrumentation across the fronts and extra accents in the rears (backing vocals, piano, horns, strings, etc). This approach works great on the songs with denser arrangements ( “Coming Down Again”, “Hide Your Love”, “Can You Hear The Music”), but leaves the rears relatively sparse for long stretches on others (“Dancing With Mr. D”, “Heartbreaker”, etc). Mick Jagger's vocals are spread across all three front channels rather than residing solely in the center. The bonus tracks are mixed a bit more aggressively than the main album with the main guitar parts and percussion in the rears.

There were definitely some missed opportunities to deploy the extra channels. For instance, I would’ve liked the opening guitar line to “Star Star” to pan all the way around-the-room instead of just across the front channels. That still would've been 'true to the original mix' as it panned across the stereo spectrum.

The album is mostly new to me, aside from "Mr. D" and "Angie". I like it! A bit more low-key and contemplative than I would have expected from The Stones. "Can You Hear The Music" almost feels like a callback to their psychedelic experimentation on Satanic Majesties. The only thing that didn't work for me was the newly-recorded vocal on "All The Rage".

As far as ‘Super Deluxe Editions’ go, this might be the most unimpressed I’ve been with one to date. I got the 20% discount at UDiscoverMusic and still feel like I overpaid. The last big box I picked up (The Band’s self-titled album) had a lower price tag and they even threw in the vinyl. It just doesn’t feel like a good value compared to other recent releases.

The box itself is kinda clunky and oversized, considering that there’s only four discs(!) in there. I hate how the book is attached to the main packaging, and the way they rolled the posters into a cardboard insert on the door makes opening/closing it more difficult than it should be.

Some of the extras are interesting (I particularly liked the early instrumental arrangements of “Mr. D” and “Heartbreaker”), but all the material on the CD’s could easily have been included on the Blu-Ray and given a more dynamic mastering. It would've been cool to have a surround mix of the live show as well, but maybe they didn't have the multis.

To sum up my thoughts:
  • The surround mix is enjoyable (though the lack of a dedicated 5.1 stream irks me), but not quite top-tier. Giles Martin did a nice job (y)
  • The box set is overpriced and the extras are--in my opinion--lacking. Unless you absolutely love the album, I’d say wait for a sale on this one.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I’m going with an “8” for the surround mix. Fear not, there’s plenty of action in the rear channels. The usual setup places the main instrumentation across the fronts and extra accents in the rears (backing vocals, piano, horns, strings, etc). This approach works great on the songs with denser arrangements ( “Coming Down Again”, “Hide Your Love”, “Can You Hear The Music”), but leaves the rears relatively sparse for long stretches on others (“Dancing With Mr. D”, “Heartbreaker”, etc). Mick Jagger's vocals are spread across all three front channels rather than residing solely in the center. The bonus tracks are mixed a bit more aggressively than the main album with the main guitar parts and percussion in the rears.

There were definitely some missed opportunities to deploy the extra channels. For instance, I would’ve liked the opening guitar line to “Star Star” to pan all the way around-the-room instead of just across the front channels. That still would've been 'true to the original mix' as it panned across the stereo spectrum.

The album is mostly new to me, aside from "Mr. D" and "Angie". I like it! A bit more low-key and contemplative than I would have expected from The Stones. "Can You Hear The Music" almost feels like a callback to their psychedelic experimentation on Satanic Majesties. The only thing that didn't work for me was the newly-recorded vocal on "All The Rage".

As far as ‘Super Deluxe Editions’ go, this might be the most unimpressed I’ve been with one to date. I got the 20% discount at UDiscoverMusic and still feel like I overpaid. The last big box I picked up (The Band’s self-titled album) had a lower price tag and they even threw in the vinyl. It just doesn’t feel like a good value compared to other recent releases.

The box itself is kinda clunky and oversized, considering that there’s only four discs(!) in there. I hate how the book is attached to the main packaging, and the way they rolled the posters into a cardboard insert on the door makes opening/closing it more difficult than it should be.

Some of the extras are interesting (I particularly liked the early instrumental arrangements of “Mr. D” and “Heartbreaker”), but all the material on the CD’s could easily have been included on the Blu-Ray and given a more dynamic mastering. It would've been cool to have a surround mix of the live show as well, but maybe they didn't have the multis.

To sum up my thoughts:
  • The surround mix is enjoyable (though the lack of a dedicated 5.1 stream irks me), but not quite top-tier. Giles Martin did a nice job (y)
  • The box set is overpriced and the extras are--in my opinion--lacking. Unless you absolutely love the album, I’d say wait for a sale on this one.
I'm going to concur with everything Jonathan said above, an 8, and the price- I'm thinking that's what's called:
"The Rolling Stones Big Box First album in Surround Premium"
 

EricKalet

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There are only two audio selection choices: PCM Stereo and Dolby Atmos. Nothing hidden, no secret menu for dts 5.1, etc. Since they did market this with a dts MA 5.1 and the dts-MA is most certainly NOT available on the blu ray, I will not only be writing to voice my displeasure but that gives this a big ol' zero. Misrepresenting a product is not good customer service.

This sounds FANTASTIC!! Yes some of the songs are on the more conservative side, but the mix in general is active. Maybe not aggressive but very active. This gets a solid 9 or 10.

I reserve judgement on the packaging though. For the cost of this, seems somewhat flimsy. It's heavy because of the book glued into the right side. The spine box/tube containing the posters appears to be of the type, if you open and close the flaps too often, they will wear out and flop open. The gatefold on the left containing the discs has thick pages, but the spine itself is paper thin, enough flipping and likely it will become loose or tear. Packaging gets a 3 or 4.

With that said...the rating is for content, mix and fidelity and not the packaging or the misleading marketing/advertising. So strictly on content, mix and fidelity, this gets a 9, could be a 10 had the promised DTS 5.1 mix been on this (-1 for missing content).
 

4-earredwonder

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I don't think I'd be 'jumping the gun' by awarding this spectacular box set a much deserved 9. Classic album, extremely well preserved multitrack masters, lovely discrete surround remix, 3 nicely refurbished videos in 48/24 stereo and a well remastered bonus 1973 Stones' Brussells Affair concert with the lads firing on all cylinders.

I can now comfortably retire my Universal Stereo SHM~SACD....which a few scant years ago set me back 60 bucks [first pressing]!

And all I want to know from the STONES' CAMP: What's NEXT?
 

ngv99

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I was hedging on buying this set for ages. My fear was that these new mixes would somehow "ruin" an album that I love deeply (and I do). For instance, when I first heard R.E.M.'s Monster 25th anniversary mix (another album I love), I was horrified. But that's just me, though. I'm sure there are people who enjoyed it, and I'm happy for them. Anyway, sorry for the tangent......point being, I was very nervous popping this blu-ray in this morning. Thankfully, the nerves were short-lived.

I truly enjoyed this mix a lot. Mick's vocals have been brought up in the mix a tad more than I was expecting, and it did take a little getting used to. Aside from that, this disc was just lovely. I think if they did too much with the surround, it would have come off less-enjoyable for me. Having the keys coming in behind me crystal clear with most of the band up front sounded just right. 100 Years Ago, Coming Down Again and Can You Hear the Music were the highlights for me. And the piano in Star Star......honestly, never came through like this in any issue I've heard before. I had to replay that a couple of times from my surprise. Bottom line, it made my ears happy. When my ears are happy, I'm happy. It's not the most active surround mix you'll ever hear, but it's honestly just right for this album.

Bonus points for the animated soup photo playing during the album, which prompted a loud "WHAT THE **** IS THAT?!?" from my wife when she entered the room. :LOL:

The stereo CD does not sound good, but that doesn't even register with me. My 1994 Virgin remaster will be the go-to in the car. I didn't listen to the stereo mix on the blu-ray as I had no time, because I was heading out for beer (it's a good excuse).

The outtakes CD is absolutely glorious and sounds wonderful, as does the Brussels Affair disc. Shame they didn't include the quad broadcast of that, but what can you do.

The book looks amazing and extremely detailed, and I hope to spend some time tomorrow reading through it.

I have to knock off a little bit for my issue with the vocals, but I am happy and confident to give this a solid 9. It's a pricey set but it was worth every penny.
 

oxenholme

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Unless I can find a way of getting considerably better sound on my 5.1 setup I will be marking this one right down.

. Far too much up front
. Arbitrary bits and pieces in the rears at disproportionate level
. An in-your-face atmosphere throughout that seems to smear things. Nothing is well defined
. Some of the time Mick Jagger's voice seems to be distorted or malformed
. The only tracks that sound anything like okay are the bonus tracks - I'd give those only a "6"

Presentation no doubt wonderful but everything's back in the transit packaging and gathering dust on the shelf upstairs.
 

mattB2

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Unless I can find a way of getting considerably better sound on my 5.1 setup I will be marking this one right down.

. Far too much up front
. Arbitrary bits and pieces in the rears at disproportionate level
. An in-your-face atmosphere throughout that seems to smear things. Nothing is well defined
. Some of the time Mick Jagger's voice seems to be distorted or malformed
. The only tracks that sound anything like okay are the bonus tracks - I'd give those only a "6"

Presentation no doubt wonderful but everything's back in the transit packaging and gathering dust on the shelf upstairs.
Unfortunately I have to agree. Dancing with Mr D is not a good start sonically but things do improve a bit afterwards - I do, however, struggle to get through the whole album. Something seems to be a bit strange about the DR values relating to the Blu-ray mixes as shown over at the DR Database ("12" for the ATMOS mix and "6" for the new stereo mix) - to my ears there doesn't seem to that much difference as far as the listening experience goes.
 

northernsoul

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Unless I can find a way of getting considerably better sound on my 5.1 setup I will be marking this one right down.

. Far too much up front
. Arbitrary bits and pieces in the rears at disproportionate level
. An in-your-face atmosphere throughout that seems to smear things. Nothing is well defined
. Some of the time Mick Jagger's voice seems to be distorted or malformed
. The only tracks that sound anything like okay are the bonus tracks - I'd give those only a "6"

Presentation no doubt wonderful but everything's back in the transit packaging and gathering dust on the shelf upstairs.
Mixed by Giles? Not suprised.
 

ogrequad

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There are only two audio selection choices: PCM Stereo and Dolby Atmos. Nothing hidden, no secret menu for dts 5.1, etc. Since they did market this with a dts MA 5.1 and the dts-MA is most certainly NOT available on the blu ray, I will not only be writing to voice my displeasure but that gives this a big ol' zero. Misrepresenting a product is not good customer service.

With that said...the rating is for content, mix and fidelity and not the packaging or the misleading marketing/advertising. So strictly on content, mix and fidelity, this gets a 9, could be a 10 had the promised DTS 5.1 mix been on this (-1 for missing content).
So, my copy just arrived and I was surprised to discover that the only 5.1 mix is an Atmos mix. I was under the impression that this was going to include a DTS-MA 5.1 mix as well. Did I miss something completely? I do not have Atmos capability - is that why this mix sounds like crap so far? It just sounds...weird and wrong. For example, the backing vocals on "Dancing with Mr. D" are all but inaudible on my set up. Is that because I do not have the additional Atmos speakers? If that's the case, then I'm pretty ripped that they advertised a DTS-MA mix but did not end up including it.
 

EricKalet

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So, my copy just arrived and I was surprised to discover that the only 5.1 mix is an Atmos mix. I was under the impression that this was going to include a DTS-MA 5.1 mix as well. Did I miss something completely? I do not have Atmos capability - is that why this mix sounds like crap so far? It just sounds...weird and wrong. For example, the backing vocals on "Dancing with Mr. D" are all but inaudible on my set up. Is that because I do not have the additional Atmos speakers? If that's the case, then I'm pretty ripped that they advertised a DTS-MA mix but did not end up including it.
Certainly a case can made for false advertising, as there is no DTS-MA mix available to select, even though the deluxe set was marketed to include DTS-MA 5.1. I've emailed communications@umusic.com but yet to receive a response. Probably won't receive a response or if I do it will be later in the week due to yesterday being a holiday. The more people that write them the better though.
GHS2.jpg

Screen Shot 2020-09-05 at 8.41.15 PM.png
 

ogrequad

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Certainly a case can made for false advertising, as there is no DTS-MA mix available to select, even though the deluxe set was marketed to include DTS-MA 5.1. I've emailed communications@umusic.com but yet to receive a response. Probably won't receive a response or if I do it will be later in the week due to yesterday being a holiday. The more people that write them the better though.
View attachment 56084

View attachment 56085
Thanks for providing that image where they mentioned the DTS-HD mix. I will be writing them as well. That said, as I listen further into the album, I do agree with what some others have said about the mix getting better as the album progresses. I think I'm just trying to adjust to what, at times, is a pretty radical remixing of the album. This is a Top 3 Stones album for me, and I feel like I know every note, inside and out, so I was a little taken aback initially by the many liberties that Giles took with the mix. Now, I need to decide how much I like this mix!
 

halbroome

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A bit like ABBEY ROAD, in that the album unfolded more in Dolby Atmos as it proceeded. (Gile's calling card?)

Just listened for the first time, and I am giving it an 8. Yea, the corners are a bit smushed, as you would expect with the material. The sleeve packing didn't have anything floating around, that's good. Haven't flipped through the book, but I agree with the person above who thought it shouldn't have been pasted to the box. Was easy to open and remove discs, though.

As "Dancing with Mr. D" is a fave of mine, yes, it was disappointingly upfront -- my front heights certainly were getting a workout, but the rears felt neglected. By the third song this was no longer an issue! Disappointing there was no 5.1. I wonder if it would have shown up the Dolby Atmos mix? Hmm. On the vids Mick is in full androgyny mode! Dancing with Mr. _D_avid Bowie? Also, I wonder if the first song is flat because it was used in the menu? Double hmm.

Still, I really liked "100 Years Ago" and "Coming Down Again." They seemed right. Some of the songs that never really grabbed me found me liking them for the first time. So . . . what to do with my SACD version? Perhaps have a listen. Might put things in perspective.
 

Bob Vosgien

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Unless I can find a way of getting considerably better sound on my 5.1 setup I will be marking this one right down.

. Far too much up front
. Arbitrary bits and pieces in the rears at disproportionate level
. An in-your-face atmosphere throughout that seems to smear things. Nothing is well defined
. Some of the time Mick Jagger's voice seems to be distorted or malformed
. The only tracks that sound anything like okay are the bonus tracks - I'd give those only a "6"

Presentation no doubt wonderful but everything's back in the transit packaging and gathering dust on the shelf upstairs.
I can't tell you how disappointed I am with this surround mix. "Dancing With Mr. D" sounds broken. So much of the surround audio on this disc sounds like Dolby "faux" surround! I had to keep rechecking my inputs to confirm this wasn't the case. The audio in the front is muddy and undefined. This 5.1 mix makes me want to play the stereo version that Bob Ludwig mastered in the 90's. I'm also very upset there's no 5.1 DTS - HD Master tracks on this set like they advertised. Because of this, at least I can get a refund from Amazon!
 

JonUrban

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I can't tell you how disappointed I am with this surround mix. "Dancing With Mr. D" sounds broken. So much of the surround audio on this disc sounds like Dolby "faux" surround! I had to keep rechecking my inputs to confirm this wasn't the case. The audio in the front is muddy and undefined. This 5.1 mix makes me want to play the stereo version that Bob Ludwig mastered in the 90's. I'm also very upset there's no 5.1 DTS - HD Master tracks on this set like they advertised. Because of this, at least I can get a refund from Amazon!
Holy cow. Hello Bob, great to hear from you. I am somehow happy to hear your take on this as it is mine as well. I listened to it again today and was not impressed at all. Something is clearly wrong with "Dancing for Mr. D", and the 5.1 is not impressive at all.

Your post validates my findings
 

JonUrban

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So I don't have Atmos, but I took the 5.1 mix from the disc and listened to it twice all the way through today in my car (where I do most of my listening). If I am going to compare this to my all time highest standards, which are the Donald Fagen 5.1's, this is a 5.

First off, it's not very clear. It sounds "fuzzy", which I understand is how the Stones wanted some of their tunes to be. But a song like "Angie" should be a crystal clear showcase for the guitar and vocals. It's not. "Heartbreaker" sounds like Sirius/XM sound, with some directional sounds coming from the rears, but again undefined. Looking at the wav's show that not many elements are present in individual channels.

I don't really care about the packaging, but really, this is bad packaging. The hard cover book is GLUED to the box! Makes it very cumbersome to look at unless you lay the whole thing out on a table. It's construction is pretty weak as well.

Since I do not have Atmos, I really cannot vote on that aspect, but a lot of folks don't have it either, so I'm telling my tale. Unless you really love this album, which I admittedly don't, I would not recommend it if you don't have Atmos.

To me, it's very disappointing, despite some surprises in places with the surround mix. But to me the advertising claiming a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, even though it does not say that on the package, is pretty poor. All things considered, it's a '5'
 

Daniel John

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Surprising in 2020 that there would only be 2 audio options. Pretty blatant mistake to advertise a 5.1 DTS mix when there is none. Fortunately audio systems should down-mix to 5.1 if 7.1 is not present but seems that this degrades the audio somehow?? So what the hell happened between the technical folks after mastering, the QA team and marketing folks responsible for the copy. Even the Stones' website indicates an available 5.1 DTS mix.

I just checked the only other bluray audio with Atmos disc I own which is INXS KICK 30. There are only 2 audio options Atmos and PCM stereo.

IMG_0056.jpeg
 
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marpow

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It will be awhile till I listen to the Atmos disc. Just wanted to comment on a couple things.
Packaging is horrible, the center box with posters basically makes everything else bend at the binding. Had they included the same posters in either handbill size or at largest 8X11 it would have made the entire package come together nicely.
I have listened to CD 3 Japanese SHM CD 16/44.1, very low DR #'s 6.7.8's.
But the sonic quality is real good and the concert, the way the Stones play there songs, is phenomenal. CD 3 The Brussels Affair Live 1973 is really good.
 
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