- Oct 31, 2008
- Middle TN
Follow that, as they say.I was not overly familiar with this album, I knew the hits, Year of the Cat and On the Border but nothing else. After the hangover of 2020 excess of excellent surround releases and noting in my cart, but Steven Wilson's long delayed "2020" release, I had to imbibe of some hair of the dog for 2020. This just happened to be a cat.
The set arrived during lunch, so the home office moved to my listening area. What a great afternoon. I've listened to the album three times today, with each liter better than the previous. As mentioned, I was not familiar with most of the album, but I am growing to love these songs and Stewart's style. The stories and the music are great. I also love the light touch, This is not an album that wears you down. The playing is great and not overbearing. I am refreshed after listening and ready for another trip though Mr. Stewart's universe.
Sonically the the DTS sounds great to me. The instruments are crisp and sound like they should. The mix is amazing. For a 45yo album it is great to have the original producer produce the 5.1 mix. Parsons' mix is amazing. Immersive and discrete without being showy.
The materials that come with the package are good too. I haven't read through the book yet, but look forward to the essay. the only gripe would be the disc holder. another 1/2" - 3/4" of depth to sink the discs into and the set would be perfect.
Going with a 10.
Nice review,but it's not a DVD-A,I wish it was as I love DVD-A as a medium.I voted 10. Highly enjoyable release. My only wish is that I was a little more into this music, but I can tell my experience is growing.
Packaging: Very good and well documented about the 4 discs falling out, really not that big of a deal. Outside of that packaging is nicely done with a minimum of stuff, has cards, poster and book.
Book: This really sealed the deal for me. I learned a lot about Al Stewart, his life as a British folk signer, writing style, meeting with Alan Parsons, very good read and just the right amount.
CD 1: I did not listen, I felt best left for the car.
CD 2 & 3: Live in Seattle. I loved these two discs, they really got me to understand and know who Al Stewart was at that time. He talks in-between each track which is really good to listen and understand. The sound is fairly good. A knock on the sound would be whatever is the main thing going on it kind of buries the rest, for instance if the vocals are forward, kind of buries the rest and vice versa if there is a band solo it kind of buries the rest. Still very listenable and enjoyable. I highly recommend listening to these two live CD's.
DVD-A: I listened both straight from the disc and from a ripped version. I listened to both straight DTS 24/96, no upmixing.
Really good, smooth and easy. listed as 5.1, but the center channel is barely active, I am sure others will make a case to turn off the center, not my style. Very nice how the fronts and rears work together and sonic quality is impeccable.
I have a shared digital file ( have had for about a year) of Year Of The Cat, they sound a little different, but best for the more experienced to explain.
I also listened to the stereo 24/96 and that sounded good also.
The Music: This is why I purchased this as although not an expert with Al Stewart, the combination of his song writing talents and Alan Parsons made it a must purchase for me. The best news is I like it better than I thought I would. A stand alone surround disc would not have made this as enjoyable as the box set, as usual for me box sets always outshine stand alone's as it allows be to go deeper into the music.
I purchased from Cherry Red Records, shipment was fast and easy.
I hope you are able to enjoy this recording as much as I have.
Keep Polls Pure, no shipping and off topic chatter.
I agree with you Goona in that the hi-res stereo is great. The thing that "aggravates" me about Parson's stereo mixes is that they are just as satisfying as the true multi-channel versions when faked into surround using something like the Surround Master or Logic7. AP is a genius. My only quibble is that we didn't get the bonus track on the CD in hi-res stereo.By the way just listened to the stereo on the DVD, it is phenomenal