Quad LP/Tape Poll Sly & The Family Stone: Small Talk [SQ/Q8]


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Rate the SQ/Q8 of Sly & The Family Stone - Small Talk

  • 10 - Great Surround, Great Fidelity, Great Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 - Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Jan 1, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Small Talk was Sly & The Family Stone's seventh studio album and second quad release, issued on SQ matrix-encoded LP and quad 8-track in 1974. The follow-up to 1973's Fresh (which did not receive a quad release), Small Talk featured the top-40 hit "Time for Livin'".

Small Talk Front.jpeg
Small Talk Disc.jpeg
Q8 Front.jpg
Q8 Back.jpg

Epic PEQ 32930 [SQ LP] EAQ 32930 [Q8]
Discogs links: Q8 / LP
Wiki for the album: Small Talk
Quadraphonic remix engineer: John Stronach

Side 1
  1. Small Talk
  2. Say You Will
  3. Wishful Thinkin'
  4. Time For Livin'
  5. Can't Strain My Brain
Side 2
  1. Loose Booty
  2. Holdin' On
  3. Mother Beautiful
  4. Better Thee Than Me
  5. Livin' While I'm Livin'
  6. This is Love
I haven't seen much discussion of this title over the years (musically it's no greatest hits, though I'd argue there are a few decent songs on here), but it's got a great - if not somewhat unusual - quad mix. There are various individual instruments isolated in the back corners (horns, strings, percussion, etc) as is typical with the CBS quads, but the drum kit fills all four channels with the kick & snare upfront and the tom fills pushed further out into the sides/rear. "Time For Livin'" and "Can't Strain My Brain" have Sly's voice mixed into all four channels, with a stereo delay in the rears to avoid having mono information in the back (similar to what was done with the vocals in Burton Cummings' self-titled album).

The amount of intentional cross-channel blending that already exists on the discrete version basically makes the decoded SQ LP a mess, with the crosstalk from the fronts overwhelming the discrete elements in the rears. You can hear it at the end of "Say You Will" - the vocals are pretty well-suppressed (with some 'pumping' artifacts), but the snare crosstalk is louder than the strings.


  • Small Talk SQ Sample Rears Only.mp3
    1.1 MB · Views: 44
  • Small Talk Q8 Sample Rears Only.mp3
    1.1 MB · Views: 44