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DVD/DTS Poll Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales (DTS Disc)

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Rate the DTS CD of Sting - TEN SUMMONER'S TALES


  • Total voters
    42

privateuniverse

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
1,685
Location
Hartford, CT
Pulled this one out on a whim this morning. (Was looking for something on the mellow side for morning listening.) Hadn't played it in over a decade. My memory was that the mix was a disappointment. Turns out it's better than I remembered, but still not quite as good as I'd like.

Use of the rear channels is discrete, but very often it's quite subtle. What's probably the most frustrating thing here is that there are moments (such as a piano solo at the end of "Love is Stronger Than Justice" that's prominently placed in the rears) that show that Tickle knows that the rears can be used to great effect, he just chooses to do so very sparingly. He even gets pretty crazy with the mix at one point; the devil's spoken dialogue during the bridge of "Saint Augustine in Hell" gets passed around all four corners. Some songs are disappointments; "She's Too Good For Me" has almost no rear channel activity, until the bridge when almost everything goes to the rears. "Shape of the Heart" is a pretty unadventurous mix as well, despite there being more than enough musical elements that could have filled up the surround field. However some tunes are very nice; "It's Probably Me" has a very nice immersive feel. "Nothing 'Bout Me" has a pretty active mix as well.

Performances here are very strong. Say what you will about Sting, but the man knows how to pick musicians. The core band of drummer Vinnie Calaiuta (ex-Zappa, Joni Mitchell), keyboardist David Sancious (ex-E Street Band, Peter Gabriel) and guitarist Dominic Miller is very tight and as always Sting's bass playing is very solid. As for the songs, there really isn't anything here I'd call weak, however the material seems to lack some of the urgency of his earlier work. Granted, songs of this caliber would be A+ material for most songwriters, however, most of Sting's earlier work surpasses the majority of what's here. There are some standouts though. "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" and "Fields of Gold" are classics that rank up there with some of his best work.

To sum up, the mix, while enjoyable at times and certainly discrete, could be a bit more adventurous. I can only imagine what it would have sounded like in the hands of Greg Penny, Elliot Scheiner or Bob Clearmountain. It's the kind of album that could be magnificent in the hands of one of the great surround mixers. And for my tastes, the music probably stands in the middle of Sting's catalog, not as good as most of what preceded it, but better than most of what came after. It's a good disc for weekend morning listening. Maybe I'll thrown on ...Nothing Like the Sun next.

8.
 
Last edited:

Simon A

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
2,349
Pulled this one out on a whim this morning. (Was looking for something on the mellow side for morning listening.) Hadn't played it in over a decade. My memory was that the mix was a disappointment. Turns out it's better than I remembered, but still not quite as good as I'd like.

Use of the rear channels is discrete, but very often it's quite subtle. What's probably the most frustrating thing here is that there are moments (such as a piano solo at the end of "Love is Stronger Than Justice" that's prominently placed in the rears) that show that Tickle knows that the rears can be used to great effect, he just chooses to do so very sparingly. He even gets pretty crazy with the mix at one point; the devil's spoken dialogue during the bridge of "Saint Augustine in Hell" gets passed around all four corners. Some songs are disappointments; "She's Too Good For Me" has almost no rear channel activity, until the bridge when almost everything goes to the rears. "Shape of the Heart" is a pretty unadventurous mix as well, despite there being more than enough musical elements that could have filled up the surround field. However some tunes are very nice; "It's Probably Me" has a very nice immersive feel. "Nothing 'Bout Me" has a pretty active mix as well.
Performances here are very strong. Say what you will about Sting, but the man knows how to pick musicians. The core band of drummer Vinnie Calaiuta (ex-Zappa, Joni Mithcell), keyboardist David Sancious (ex-E Street Band, Peter Gabriel) and guitarist Dominic Miller is very tight and as always Sting's bass playing is very solid. As for the songs, there really isn't anything here I'd call weak, however the material seems to lack some of the urgency of his earlier work. Granted, songs of this caliber would be A+ material for most songwriters, however, most of Sting's earlier work surpasses the majority of what's here. There are some standouts though. "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" and "Fields of Gold" are classics that rank up there with some of his best work.

To sum up, the mix, while enjoyable at times and certainly discrete, could be a bit more adventurous. I can only imagine what it would have sounded like in the hands of Greg Penny, Elliot Scheiner or Bob Clearmountain. It's the kind of album that could be magnificent in the hands of one of the great surround mixers. And for my tastes, the music probably stands in the middle of Sting's catalog, not as good as most of what preceded it, but better than most of what came after. It's a good disc for weekend morning listening. Maybe I'll thrown on ...Nothing Like the Sun next.

8.
Excellent analysis! I've always thought David Tickle was a better producer than 5.1 mixer. He's worked on many 80's albums that are near perfect.
 

jhw59

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
238
Location
washington dc metro
I like it but maybe more of a 8 instead of the 9 I gave it. Not a huge Sting fan but always liked this one. I saw him open for the GD in 93 and he played several tracks off this recording.
 
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