HiRez Poll Sly and the Family Stone - GREATEST HITS [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Sly and the Family Stone - GREATEST HITS


  • Total voters
    59

par4ken

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This was the second Quad LP I ever owned, purchased from the local Woolworth's store but the LP never sounded this good! I love every song, I don't think that the vocals are centered on any track, they weren't afraid to experiment in the early Quad days! Could be that they didn't have a lot of master tracks to mix from. I haven't listened to the mono tracks yet but there are times that you like to hear the original hit without pulling out an old scratchy 45. This is not for the stereo only crowd! I have to give this a 10!
 

quicksrt

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I just listened to this disc for the third time and think it's an essential quad SACD. I have spun it a few times skipping through it, but only three time complete. I'm trying to hold off playing too many of the sames discs in a row to avoid burnout. Just love this and hope we get tons more vintage quad on AF SACD.
 
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Q-Eight

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This was the second Quad LP I ever owned, purchased from the local Woolworth's store but the LP never sounded this good! I love every song, I don't think that the vocals are centered on any track, they weren't afraid to experiment in the early Quad days! Could be that they didn't have a lot of master tracks to mix from. I haven't listened to the mono tracks yet but there are times that you like to hear the original hit without pulling out an old scratchy 45. This is not for the stereo only crowd! I have to give this a 10!
Some vocal tracks are all over the place on this release. Most songs come from 16-track tape while "Dance to the Music" and "Everyday People" I know for a fact are from 8-track tape.

On 'I Wanna take you Higher', Sly is in FL, the rest of the group is in FR. On "Stand" puts Sly & Rose in BACK LEFT, with the rest of the group in stereo in FL & FR.
"Life" has vocals in the front with a delay/echo in the rear. Conversely "You can make it if you try" has vocals in the REARS (Sly BR, Group BL) with the delay/echo in the front. Those are probably the worst offenders on the album. Why? No idea. If you've got 16 tracks to play with why on Earth would you put lead vocals in the rear?? Secondly, if the stereo tracks of the songs have vocals playing tag across the channels, why not try to reproduce that now that you've got 4 channels?

I seem to be the only one who's overly critical of this album. It features some of the best and some of the worst Quad mixes ever, but the music is top notch and deserves better treatment.
 

wavelength

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The best thing about this album is the songs themselves. Simply great tunes from genres (funk, soul) that we don't have a lot in surround. And what a great band! These guys and gals know how to keep you hooked with their infectious vocal styles and melodies. The mix is a bit inconsistent and the fidelity is not on par with Steven Wilson's King Crimson or Yes mixes but in this case, those things aren't much of an issue for me. In other words, they are good enough. A great addition for any surround collection. I'll give it an 8.
 

uffeolby

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I only know this band by name (which is pretty cool) so i was excited to hear what kind of music it was and really anticipating the sound quality and mixes on this SACD.

My comments:
1. Actually , every single song was new to me, I thought I should recognize a couple of them really (age 56, live in Sweden)
2. Music pretty good, gets an 8 from me
3. Fidelity and sound quality is sub par, actually pretty lousy to my ears. I rate it as a 5.
4. Don't like the mono mixes at all, gets a 4 from me. Compare these to beatles mon or Otis Redding mono - night and day I would say
5. The quad mixes is much better, opens up and better fidelity to my ears. Except for the first few tracks, really good. Gets an 8 from me

Overall verdict ---> 7
 

blue.monk

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Wonderful music and very good fidelity considering the source. I can’t say I’m crazy about some of the mixing choices (the drums are placed rear right and bass rear left for much of the album) but overall I enjoy and appreciate the vintage quad charm of it all. I’m also very pleased they included the original mono single mixes. A 9 for me.
 

EMB

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I can understand some of the quibbles surrounding (so to speak) this release. But while it would be nice to have more sensible and balanced quad mixes of some tracks, the intent of AF is to present the original mixes as they were made; these packages are not about revisionism. It would be nice, too, if someone came up with such a remix collection in the future and added tracks like "Family Affair" and a few later sides missing from this 1970 collection (which of course is why the material isn't here, even as bonus tracks; that's not what AF is doing here, and I find it fairly incredible they've managed to give us so many quality albums from the vaults in so short a time).

As for the mono mixes, all I can say is...about time! This album came too late for a mono counterpart, which is truly needed, since all those sides were dedicated mixes designed to be hits. You may not have great sound but they were meant to cut through AM radio and jukeboxes, anyway. I will say, though, that I *might* have put the stereo mixes on the stereo SACD portion and left the mono for the CD portion, if only to offer three mix variations of each song. But I still like the idea of finally putting the mono all in one place, and finally this was done.

And because I've lived with the sometimes wonky nature of the quad album for over forty years, its quirks have never bothered me much, the music and performances too good to argue with. So it's a '10' for me, though maybe a 9.5 if we did that sort of thing. You really don't want to miss this one.

ED :)
 

fredblue

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ThankyouforlettintheQuadbeitselfagain.. :eek:

A (not quite ecstatic but certainly very enthusiastic indeed) "9".

First the positives: I love quirky old Quad mixes and this fits the bill in that regard (quirky as in placement follows no logical layout.. but but but I suspect this is the best they feel they could do at the time with potentially too few mutlitracks at their disposal to actually mix into 4-channels whilst also showing off Quad's ability even with SQ LP to pull off 4-corner type mixes.. and at least a quirky mix befits the music which is pretty quirky at times in itself..
the Quad sounds better than I've ever heard it, truly you get the sensation you'd be hard pushed to extract anymore fidelity from the tapes themselves, this is bound to be the best sounding release of the Quad for the foreseeable...

So.. why not a "10".. well here's that pesky 'human angle'.. if anything (sacrilige to some I guess) I prefer Soul and R&B from the exact point this compilation came along (1972 onwards.. >> and incidentally tend to play a lot less in the genre from after the early eighties) I'm just not so into the late 60's/v.early 70's R&B with the exception of some Motown.. its a kind of "feel" thing, I think.. I mean, the kind of sound and mood of black music I truly love was still evolving when Sly & co were setting the standard with these Hits.. and with one listen to later Quad Soul/R&B albums you can immediately hear the ante was seriously upped with regard to production techniques and arrangements as the 70's went on.. and the Quad mixes evolved too, they became less quirky as the recordings became more layered and complex and studio recording techniques/methods were refined (I'm thinking of things like the dozen titles released by Philadephia International in Quad, which are truly the finest examples of Soul in Quad imho..).... the mixes are from a slightly earlier time and musically quite different to the PIR stuff... my personal bias aside for a moment, its still well worth your while trying it out and seeing how you enjoy it, you may prefer R&B of this vintage!

Also, it may seem callous but we all have to fund our surround addiction somehow.. so I would say if for one reason or another you pick this up by default and don't like it enough to keep it you won't lose any money on it as this one is bound to go out of print before long and values will rise as demand outstrips supply.. (I'm keeping mine, I like it enough.. but I don't love it enough to give it a perfect "10.. can you imagine what I'd give an AF Surround SACD of something like the Isleys/O'Jays/Harold Melvin..? ;) :eek: ..hehe..)
 

edisonbaggins

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7.5 rounded to 8 for me. I understand the quirky mix thing. No points detracted for that.
To me, at times, the drums sound a little "scratchy." I guess a little too much crammed in one speaker.
To be fair, my rears are small speakers. I'd love to queue up all the AF 4.0 discs sometime on a full-range quad system.
I bet it makes a difference. Still, there are AF 4.0 releases that sound better on my system and to these ears, like Streetlife Serenade.
A very cool, worthy title. Glad I can experience it.

Btw, regarding off-center mono, can AF tell a bad pressing by the limited edition number? Does anybody have more info on whether the corrected discs are ready?
 

Circular Vibes

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OK, I have played this about five or six times and I voted 8. I am not entirely happy with it. I love the discrete sound. I am finding this title to be one that I constantly want to fiddle with tone and balance knobs. Some elements like the bass guitar are strong and clean, others like the front vocals and the hi-hat are muted to me. I suspect the tapes have problems from age as I don't believe the AF guys effed with it. I haven't pulled out my scratchy SQ LP yet to compare as my Squid 2020 isn't hooked up right now. I tried the mono mixes and maybe I just am not used to them, they didn't move me and if Sly doesn't move me I must be dead! I wonder if the remade disc would bring any improvements? So, my dropped points are on sound quality alone, the music is great, the packaging exceptional, the channels are discrete as I imagined them to be, just some of the elements are muddy and vocals seem to disappear without fiddling with knobs.
 

quicksrt

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I'm leaning on an 8 for this, great material, very good mixes, but very aged sounding for each instrument, as if the mixes are wonderful but multitracks as hissy and from sub-standard studios originally. Still a very fun ride and exceptional choice to remaster in quad for this format. So my 8 is a good 8, and not a poor one.
 

rtbluray

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I was torn between an '8' and a '9' on this one, but I ended up taking the higher road and going with a '9', breaking down my vote this way:

Content: 3/3
Surround Mix: 2/3
Fidelity: 3/3
High-Res Disc: 1/1

I just wasn't that crazy about some of the mixing decisions made at the time, but the content is superb, and this is easily the best of all of the R&B Quad SACDs released so far from AF (comparing it against "Open Our Eyes" and "Nightbirds".)
I was torn on the fidelity aspect as it's not the best sounding Quad SACD, but given the vintage aspect of the material, I wasn't expecting it to sound any better than it did, so I gave it full points on that piece of criteria.
My best advice would be to stream the album before purchasing it, and then if you like what you here, chances are you will like this SACD, which is recommended. :)
 

Ephi82

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So many great songs! Takes me back to days on summer vacations, with many of these songs being soundtracks to those memories! Even though we listened to this music on small radios, or when in Mom's car, they still sounded awesome and punched like crazy. Not to mention they are all killer songs and performances

Now i've got a nice surround system, and this quad mix is pretty amazing! I love the natural 70's style drum sound, and having them discrete in one of the rear channels is a treat to hear exactly what the drummer was playing. There's no missing low end because my surround speakers will got to 50hz, and i've got my sub tuned in pretty good to support them.
 

Audiowannabee

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I love it...great quad mix...a 9

Glad to have found it....

Going backwards in time reading about AF demise just brings tears to my eyes...that their gone...that i was too late to the surround party to ever get most of their quad releases...atleast i managed to get a few

And many thanks to those in the past that have made quad listening possible...its great
 

quicksrt

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If all of the tracks sounded as great as the best of them here then i’d have given a strong 9 for this. But when a couple of them are not quite as wonderful then an 8 is all I could go.

It’s still one of the top very special quad SACDs issued, and for the material I’d say it’s an essential purchase.

I need to look at what I rated the Guess Who best of AF quad SACD which has a couple of tracks that suffer worse than this title does for early hits not containing enough recorded tracks to mix them as nicely as the later ones.
 
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marpow

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I voted 8. music and surround mix is fantastic but fidelity sucks, too much above the mid range. I read all the posts, anybody remember there was a screw up in phasing when the first AF disc was released and they released a corrected version? I do.
Sly was the first band I saw live at Winterland, SF in 1970, huge show,
 

quicksrt

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I voted 8. music and surround mix is fantastic but fidelity sucks, too much above the mid range. I read all the posts, anybody remember there was a screw up in phasing when the first AF disc was released and they released a corrected version? I do.
Sly was the first band I saw live at Winterland, SF in 1970, huge show,
Had they given this a “toned down EQ” in the upper frequencies you would have felt that it’s a lifeless “6” rating. We all would have been thinking “what happened” and what could have been.

I think the fidelity it a gritty funky but rocking sludge, it has always been what it is here, no surprises other than it got released to begin with.

The early screwup was not remotely related to the surround program, so not much if any need to go into it here.

The quad mixing is fantabulas - exciting and suits the music rather convincingly imo.
 

ar surround

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I voted 8. music and surround mix is fantastic but fidelity sucks, too much above the mid range. I read all the posts, anybody remember there was a screw up in phasing when the first AF disc was released and they released a corrected version? I do.
Sly was the first band I saw live at Winterland, SF in 1970, huge show,
Try going first to the music you consider "lower fidelity" when starting a listening session...i.e. much of the 60's pop. Then proceed to the better sounding stuff. Going backwards never works for me. Oh, and may I dare suggest tone controls / equalization? (Gasp!)
 
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