Quad LP/Tape Poll Steely Dan: Can't Buy A Thrill [QS/Q8]

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EMB

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While we're awaiting the eventual release of Steely 5.1's(right now I'm in praying mode, for some reason not terribly optimistic at this time), here's the ABC debut, Command Quadraphonic CQD-40009:

Side 1:

1. Do It Again
2. Dirty Work
3. Kings
4. Midnite Cruiser
5. Only A Fool Would Say That

Side 2:

1. Reelin' In The Years
2. Fire In The Hole
3. Brooklyn(Owes The Charmer Under Me)
4. Change Of The Guard
5. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again
 

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JonUrban

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Ed,

I'm glad you posted this, as I was actually going to "step in" and post this one myself. I have spent the last few days with the Steely Dan Q8's on my PC, with DVD-A conversion in mind (for the car, of course), and just tonight listened to the first conversion attempt on my main surround system. This is a wonderful mix.

I had not listened to this LP in any form for quite some time, and rediscovering these tunes brought back a smile. Forget the "hits", this album has some great tracks, and it's fun to hear lead vocals from someone other than Donald Fagen. I believe the leads on "Midnight Cruiser" and "Brooklyn" were sung by Jim Hodder(?)

Anyway, my favorite surround track is "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again", which has a response vocal that comes from the rears. (I love stuff like that). Actually, all of the tracks have a nice mix, with percussion, lead guitars, and other suprises coming from the rears/sides, but it's not too "gimmicky", as the stereo boys like to point out. There are no swirling maracas or anything like that.

This one SCREAMS to be released on SACD or DVD-A. PLEASE get this out. The material was meant for surround in 1972, surely 33 years later we can squeeze a 5.1 mix out of this one!
 

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EMB

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Jon,

I have the vinyl editions...I'm sure the separation for the Q8's is likely better, but yes, they had a good time mixing these, and it would be criminal if the proposed SD 5.1's don't see light of day.

All the early Dan albums are good, and this was a most impressive beginning...the only knock I have is the long version of "Do It Again"...that's one that really did work better as a 45 edit(the stereo version of which seems stuck on the old DJ 45).

Of the three Quad's, COUNTDOWN is my fave, quite the dry, snarky album....:D

ED
 

Dylan Berichon

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I just listened to the QS of this one, and the mix is certainly light years better then the QS of Pretzel Logic is.

Like most QS titles I've heard, there isn't a lot of "ping pong" action in this one.

Still, this is an excellent surround album, and instantly one of my favorite QS titles.

Listen for the extra bits of guitar in "Reelin'". Sort of like the quad version of Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4".
 

Eggplant

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One of my favorite albums of all time.
The record that introduced me to the Dan.

Played it to death in stereo, then discovered the Q8 in '77.
Mix is traditional, discrete, very faithful -- with two notable exceptions:

Do It Again has an alternate second half to the organ solo.
Reelin' is drowned in unnecessary reverb, and sports excessive guitar fills in the chorus. Groups often record all sorts of fills and instrumentable parts which, sensibly, are dropped upon repeated listenings. Unfortunately, the engineer here was too lazy to punch these out from the first half of each chorus, as in the original mix.

Both tracks are inferior to the originals, but I find Reelin' unlistenable.
The rest of the album is a 10.

The QS album, like most of the Command Quad issues, has remarkably poor sound quality to go with the minimal separation. I'd stick with the Q8.

Countdown to Ecstasy in Q8 is fairly good in spots, but suffers from some serious lameness in a few tracks:
Boston Rag lacks the piano doubling in the intro and all harmony parts on the second verse (why only this track?)
King of the World is missing the critical synth part in the middle break.

Pretzel Logic is one of the great unexplained quad curios: the Q8 appears to be either double stereo or history's most subtle quad mix, with separation detectable only by lab instruments. Does anyone know what the deal is?
 
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callmez

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Since I already gave "Countdown to Ecstasy" a 10, I guess that this one will have to "go to 11"...

Awesome songs, and one of the best QS mixes I've heard so far. I have to agree with Jon, with "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again" as my favorite track in quad though it's that's not the case in stereo. "Reelin' in the Years" is indeed loaded with reverb but I still enjoy it... maybe it won't hold up to successive listenings.

This one will be spinning a lot ...... mmmmmm quad heaven in East Tennessee!!!

Mark Z

(PS: Thanks to SBax for completing my Dan quad collection!)
 

4_on_the_Floor

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I have all three on vinyl, but would have to say this one is my favorite, followed by Countdown and then Pretzel Logic. I have a Sansui QRX-999 and find the separation is excellent in the QS and Surround modes. One thing that greatly improves separation and overall enjoyment of the quad albums is the use of a record clamp. Big difference!
 

Q-Eight

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Finally got the Q8.

Frankly, I don't see what all the hubbub is about. *shrug* The mix is good, great seperation, stereo drums again for most songs (always surprises me!). I don't see what is all so spectacular about the mix though. Dare I say it's average?
I guess I'm not as big a Steely Dan fan as I thought. It was nice to hear the extended version of Do it Again. 7 minutes? Yikes. Once was enough thank you.

A 6 from me. Not great, but good.
 

ChristopherLees

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It would be nice if the original multitrack tape was used on an sacd or dvda..
because the audio quality offered from ABC/Command here is disgusting...worst offender being the lp...it is really bad audio quality compared to the stereo lp.. a shame as I actually liked hearing the unedited guitar solos...
 
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ClarkNovak

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Well, I have been a huge Dan fan since the 70's and have just heard the Quad version for the first time. I have to say I am blown away!

I understand that there are folks who aren't too hip on deviations from the "official" mix, but after hearing the original in stereo for over 30 years, hearing this surround mix with its alternate guitars, extra organ embellishments, added slide fills and "reverbed" guitar parts, et cetera, is a true revelation and a thing of beauty.

Everything eggplant observed is true, of course, but instead of hating the changes to songs like "Reelin' In The Years", I quite enjoy it. Anyone who knows Donald Fagan knows what a stickler he is for sonics - all his recordings are mastered and reproduced to the utmost audio quality and he is quite the martinet when it comes to the mixing and presentation of his music. I can only assume from this that the Quad mix was authorized by him and Donald, and enjoy this for the piece of Dan artistry it is.

I gave it a "10" :banana:
 

Bob Romano

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I have been playing with this album for a while and I think that, while the vinyl isn't the best, it is miles ahead of the Q8 which suffers horribly from poor fidelity. I really enjoy the mix and I really wish that some form of multichannel mix would become available commercially at some point.

I give it a 9
 

jdmack

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Is there any difference between the Command label and the ABC label versions of this album? I figure that the mix will be the same, but does one version sound better than the other?

J. D.
 

The Bright Side

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Hey guys, I just got the chance to listen to Romanotrax's SQ transfer of this wonderful album. Is it just me or are there actually 20-30 seconds missing from Do it again? The version I have on "Remastered - The Best Of Steely Dan Then and Now" runs for nearly 6 minutes, and this one goes for about 5:30 minutes. I noticed the differences in the instrumental part that you talked about above.

Weird that the actual album mix would be different from the version on the Best Of CD. Or is it the quad mix that is different from the album mix? Curious about the background of this. Does anybody know?
 

Quad Linda

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11. No differemce, other than the labelling. Command was owned by ABC at this point. I've owned six copies of my fave album by one of my fave bands: QS, Q8, 2 stereo LP's, CD, and Citizen Steely Dan CD box. The mix is good. The songs are stellar. Not a bad one in the bunch. This is the only Dan album with David Palmer on some of the vocals. The Quad actually came out in early '74, a year and a half after the album's release. Midnight Cruiser is one of my fave Dan tunes. Dallas is another wonderful Jim Hodder vocal. It is tragically rare, only being released on a UK vinyl EP.

It's Felonious, my old friend, that this hasn't been re-released on a modern surround sound format, Countdown Too!

Is there any difference between the Command label and the ABC label versions of this album? I figure that the mix will be the same, but does one version sound better than the other?

J. D.
 
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leevitalone1

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Put this on a disc! why is it they don't? almost everything else is. I mean the stuff that's available in MC. that they have the masters for anyway. Perhaps they will consider BD? but why not at least sacd!
 

THX1136

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Other than the versions on the radio, I've only heard this in quad. Nice mix and good tunes although not quite as consistent as Aja - and not that I expect it to be. Only a Fool Would Say That was my favorite.
 
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I love this album and had to give this a 10. Hearing the quad mix is a revelation for those familiar with only the stereo version. I bought the QS LP first, but really couldn't get it to decode decently enough so I dove into the realm of the Q8. For me, this was a vast improvement. Of course 8 tracks are a compromise in terms of overall sound quality, but at least the channels are discrete which is a plus for this mix.
------ Chris
 

himey

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11. No differemce, other than the labelling. Command was owned by ABC at this point. I've owned six copies of my fave album by one of my fave bands: QS, Q8, 2 stereo LP's, CD, and Citizen Steely Dan CD box. The mix is good. The songs are stellar. Not a bad one in the bunch. This is the only Dan album with David Palmer on some of the vocals. The Quad actually came out in early '74, a year and a half after the album's release. Midnight Cruiser is one of my fave Dan tunes. Dallas is another wonderful Jim Hodder vocal. It is tragically rare, only being released on a UK vinyl EP.

It's Felonious, my old friend, that this hasn't been re-released on a modern surround sound format, Countdown Too!
Curious why you only gave this a 7/10? Is it the reverb on "Reelin'" or the format with hopes of a higher quality "digital" release?

I like this mix a lot. Easy 9 and almost 9.5. The reverb (on Reelin) does feel a little out of place for me after hearing the stereo version so many times...Would love AF to release this one on SACD.
 
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