HiRez Poll Tower of Power - AIN'T NOTHIN' STOPPIN' US NOW [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Tower of Power - AIN'T NOTHIN' STOPPIN' US NOW


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    26

rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2016 SACD release from Dutton Vocalion of the classic 1970s album "Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now", recorded by Tower of Power.
This Multichannel SACD release includes the original 1970s Quadraphonic mix, which has been officially unavailable since its original release 40 years ago! :yikes
It is available to order through the official Dutton Vocalion store: https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDSML8523

(n) :) (y)


 

kap'n krunch

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This might be the 1st DV SACD I get!

I always have loved ToP but have never got around to getting any of their albums..

Besides, my FAVORITE part of SNL is the "Waltz in A" (the end credits song) where Lenny Pickett goes INSANE!!! I'd LOVE it if Lenny recorded it and give it a normal release (especially in MCH!)....I am ALWAYS moved...
 

fredblue

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This might be the 1st DV SACD I get!

I always have loved ToP but have never got around to getting any of their albums..

Besides, my FAVORITE part of SNL is the "Waltz in A" (the end credits song) where Lenny Pickett goes INSANE!!! I'd LOVE it if Lenny recorded it and give it a normal release (especially in MCH!)....I am ALWAYS moved...
Well.. there ain't nothin' stoppin' you now! ;)

"You ought to be havin' fun..
Put your troubles on the run..
The best things in life are free.."


Some of the best things are £9.99 plus shipping.
This Surround SACD is one of them.

It's a "10".

(I'll post back with some detail later but I've been playing the Quad of this one pretty much non stop the last 18 months since I first heard the SQ LP and to finally hear it liberated from its matrix encoded vinyl - and eight track tape - chains brings me so much joy it moves me to tears.. this disc is fabulous).
 

kap'n krunch

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Well.. there ain't nothin' stoppin' you now! ;)

"You ought to be havin' fun..
Put your troubles on the run..
The best things in life are free.."


Some of the best things are £9.99 plus shipping.
This Surround SACD is one of them.

It's a "10".

(I'll post back with some detail later but I've been playing the Quad of this one pretty much non stop the last 18 months since I first heard the SQ LP and to finally hear it liberated from its matrix encoded vinyl - and eight track tape - chains brings me so much joy it moves me to tears.. this disc is fabulous).
Yes, Adam, I will get it ...you're SO PUSHY!!!(just kidding ;) )

Remember that the Euro has gone down..now it's not as it was last year!

:smokin
 

keywhiz

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Only giving this one a 6. I've never heard this album before and I really wanted to love it. But....

It's a "meh" Tower of Power album at best. Nowhere near their best stuff. Not many tracks here sticking with. But even if you love the album (such things are subjective) the quad mix is odd with the drums isolated on the right rear channel and the left rear mostly isolated bass guitar.

And the overall mix seems to be a bit thin. Even by 70s R&B standards. I haven't played the 2-channel layer yet. Maybe I'll like it better?

Gonna go play the 5.1 EWF "Gratitude" first though. :music:
 

MIDIQ

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I voted a 7, i really wanted to like this release better but it is just not Tower of powers best lp. The mix is decent, very descrete. Glad to have it though.
 

kap'n krunch

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I'm a bit miffed...I thought it was an INSTRUMENTAL album..oops....

As it is this is right up Adam's (freblue) alley!!!!

Sounds like a totally flat transfer...musically, it's cool stuff...not really spectacular, but nice anyway...

I'll give it a 7....
 

MIDIQ

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After 6 listens, this title grew on me. I kept finding myself comming back to listen to it again. I really ended up liking the mix. The bass in the left rear speaker is great, that guy can really play the bass. I voted a 7 after 3 listens, but i wish i could up my vote to an 8.
 

steelydave

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I agree, this album is a real grower. I remember when I heard this for the first time on Q8, I probably would have rated it about a '5', partly due to the fidelity being an 8-track tape, but still.

The mix is an odd one - I think at first there's a sense of disappointment because it's probably not how most people would do a quad mix, with the bass in the rear left and the drums in the rear right. Once you get over your own preconceptions and enjoy it for what it is, that's when it starts to take hold in your mind. It's funny actually, the quad mix on this album struck me as being a lot like the mix on Sly & The Family Stone's Greatest Hits, just more evolved. Sort of an interesting pairing with Sly's GH being one of the first Columbia quads and this one being one of the last. There's no quad remix credit on the sleeve, but I have a feeling that the quad mix was done by someone at The Record Plant (or the band themselves) rather than one of Columbia's in-house quad guys. The reason I say that is that their in-house guys would have done dozens of quad mixes by 1976 and probably wouldn't have gone with the kind of instrument placement that was used here. To me this album screams of someone doing a quad mix for the first time; the Columbia quad supremos like Larry Keyes or Don Young would have had tons of trial and error experience by that point. I can deal with the mix as-is (more on that in a bit) but I really wish they'd mixed the drums in stereo (as they are on the original stereo mix) rather than reducing them to mono in the right rear speaker. In his quad mixes, Larry Keyes often mixed the drums in stereo and put them along one side wall, ie in the front right and rear right - I wish they'd done that here.

I actually wondered after reading someone here mention that the quad mix of Laura Nyro's 'Eli' album on the Mike Robin reel had instruments mixed rear-center whereas the 'approved' mix issued by Audio Fidelity had the instruments panned hard rear-left/rear-right, if something similar happened with this album. Basically that maybe this first time quad mixer planned the quad mix of this album with the drums and bass in stereo across the rear speakers, not knowing the limitations of SQ and then at the last minute someone said 'oh sorry you can't have stuff in the rear-center position' so the mixer basically went bam, bass rear left, drums rear right. Doing anything more than that (ie putting bass and drums in the front speakers) probably would have required re-thinking the quad mix from the ground up and doing that at a place like The Record Plant would have taken too long and cost way too much money to be feasible. Obviously this is only a theory on my part, but it feels plausible.

There are a couple of clunkers on the album (Deal With It, Can't Stand To See The Slaughter) but pretty much all of the other songs are really catchy. Let's be honest here, this isn't the best album in Tower Of Power's catalogue, but it is a really good one and definitely worth having. I never really understood that argument anyway - music isn't a race to see who's best, it's a banquet with a lot of different flavours to sample. If it were a race, would we just have one album per artist in our collections because all the others are inferior? Oops, sorry Presence, no room for you in my collection, I already have Led Zepelin II!

The other thing i wanted to mention about this album is that it sounds a lot better and more cohesive when you crank it up. It's a really high dynamic range mix (something like DR14 or DR15) and with the really isolated instruments in the rear speakers it can sound a bit 'floppy' or disjointed if you have it playing quietly. When it's played back a bit louder the natural bleed/mix between the four speakers fills out the sound and makes the album feel like its much more glued together.


Anyway, having said all that, I'd give this release an 8. Michael Dutton did a beautiful job remastering this, both the quad and stereo versions. I think it goes without saying that this new release blows the old Q8 and LP out of the water, but its definitely true, and for about 1/5 the price you'd pay for a copy of the Q8 on eBay. My old go-to for the stereo mix was the 1993 Columbia CD pressing, but the new SACD bests it both in sound quality and dynamic range (Columbia CD: DR13 Dutton SACD stereo layer: DR14) so I'll happily retire the old CD.
 

4-earredwonder

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I agree, this album is a real grower. I remember when I heard this for the first time on Q8, I probably would have rated it about a '5', partly due to the fidelity being an 8-track tape, but still.

The mix is an odd one - I think at first there's a sense of disappointment because it's probably not how most people would do a quad mix, with the bass in the rear left and the drums in the rear right. Once you get over your own preconceptions and enjoy it for what it is, that's when it starts to take hold in your mind. It's funny actually, the quad mix on this album struck me as being a lot like the mix on Sly & The Family Stone's Greatest Hits, just more evolved. Sort of an interesting pairing with Sly's GH being one of the first Columbia quads and this one being one of the last. There's no quad remix credit on the sleeve, but I have a feeling that the quad mix was done by someone at The Record Plant (or the band themselves) rather than one of Columbia's in-house quad guys. The reason I say that is that their in-house guys would have done dozens of quad mixes by 1976 and probably wouldn't have gone with the kind of instrument placement that was used here. To me this album screams of someone doing a quad mix for the first time; the Columbia quad supremos like Larry Keyes or Don Young would have had tons of trial and error experience by that point. I can deal with the mix as-is (more on that in a bit) but I really wish they'd mixed the drums in stereo (as they are on the original stereo mix) rather than reducing them to mono in the right rear speaker. In his quad mixes, Larry Keyes often mixed the drums in stereo and put them along one side wall, ie in the front right and rear right - I wish they'd done that here.

I actually wondered after reading someone here mention that the quad mix of Laura Nyro's 'Eli' album on the Mike Robin reel had instruments mixed rear-center whereas the 'approved' mix issued by Audio Fidelity had the instruments panned hard rear-left/rear-right, if something similar happened with this album. Basically that maybe this first time quad mixer planned the quad mix of this album with the drums and bass in stereo across the rear speakers, not knowing the limitations of SQ and then at the last minute someone said 'oh sorry you can't have stuff in the rear-center position' so the mixer basically went bam, bass rear left, drums rear right. Doing anything more than that (ie putting bass and drums in the front speakers) probably would have required re-thinking the quad mix from the ground up and doing that at a place like The Record Plant would have taken too long and cost way too much money to be feasible. Obviously this is only a theory on my part, but it feels plausible.

There are a couple of clunkers on the album (Deal With It, Can't Stand To See The Slaughter) but pretty much all of the other songs are really catchy. Let's be honest here, this isn't the best album in Tower Of Power's catalogue, but it is a really good one and definitely worth having. I never really understood that argument anyway - music isn't a race to see who's best, it's a banquet with a lot of different flavours to sample. If it were a race, would we just have one album per artist in our collections because all the others are inferior? Oops, sorry Presence, no room for you in my collection, I already have Led Zepelin II!

The other thing i wanted to mention about this album is that it sounds a lot better and more cohesive when you crank it up. It's a really high dynamic range mix (something like DR14 or DR15) and with the really isolated instruments in the rear speakers it can sound a bit 'floppy' or disjointed if you have it playing quietly. When it's played back a bit louder the natural bleed/mix between the four speakers fills out the sound and makes the album feel like its much more glued together.


Anyway, having said all that, I'd give this release an 8. Michael Dutton did a beautiful job remastering this, both the quad and stereo versions. I think it goes without saying that this new release blows the old Q8 and LP out of the water, but its definitely true, and for about 1/5 the price you'd pay for a copy of the Q8 on eBay. My old go-to for the stereo mix was the 1993 Columbia CD pressing, but the new SACD bests it both in sound quality and dynamic range (Columbia CD: DR13 Dutton SACD stereo layer: DR14) so I'll happily retire the old CD.
I did give ToP a second spin the other night and totally agree, it needs to be played at maximum volume to really appreciate the DR. In fact, in general, I have found that even AF's QUAD SACDs likewise should be played at a higher than usual volume to really savor the impact of the QUAD remixes.

Michael Dutton has done a superb remastering job on just about all of the D~V SACDs and even his remixes from three channel stereo (like the exceptional Rózsa disc) comfortably places him at the ABSOLUTE forefront of QUAD reissues.

In 2017, who'd have thought that a UK based reissue company specializing in Easy Listening, MOR, light jazz (and yes, some exceptional classical fare) would mine the old Columbia/RCA QUAD vaults and release such a cornucopia of riches.

And, is the BEST yet to come?

I , personally, CANNOT WAIT!
 

Ninecats

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Not a new album for me, my father used to play this fairly often. For that I learned to appreciate it a lot. Perhaps not Tower Of Powers greatest output, but all in all a good album with catchy tunes, good production and so on. Needles to say, with my new love for surround along with my feelings for this particular record, I was thrilled to hear this.

Stereo wise it's a killer, great mastering job, dynamic range all over the place, tonality etc. Quad wise it's perhaps not the most adventourus mix I've heard, but It's great to hear the album in a new way. As stated before, the drums are in the right rear and the bass in the left rear. My rears aren't up to my front speakers standard but they do quite fine. Sitting in the middle-middle become even more important here given how it's mixed IMO.

This is a 10. Not for the best mix I've heard, not even for the best Tower Of Power album, but simply because what you get - a fine mastered stereo reissue of a classic album, a previously rare quad and this to a ridiculously low prize.

Ps. Is Rocco the greatest bass player ever?

Pps. TURN THIS UP
 

Simon A

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Hmm shouldn't this qualify for being in the poll list?
With so many titles released over the last few months, it's understandable that we let time pass a little in order to give everyone time to receive their copies, live with them a little and then make up their minds as to how they wish to vote. :)

I'm confident this will be done in the coming weeks.
 

Ninecats

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With so many titles released over the last few months, it's understandable that we let time pass a little in order to give everyone time to receive their copies, live with them a little and then make up their minds as to how they wish to vote. :)

I'm confident this will be done in the coming weeks.
Ah, you are so correct!
 

marpow

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I voted 9 on this surround disc. What I like, it is a true 4.0 mix, that is fairly immersive. I would have mixed the drums different, instead of parking the drums, rear right, I would have spread them out a bit, bugs me a little. Overall it has kind of a soft dynamic and I would like it a little stronger. Unfortunately I wanted to listen to this a little less volume than usual because of my listening mood, but I had to turn up to 64db just to get a good experience. All that said, wonderful music, local band for me, and if I go into a less critical mood, it ends up being super great purchase, but not a 10.
 

4-earredwonder

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I voted 9 on this surround disc. What I like, it is a true 4.0 mix, that is fairly immersive. I would have mixed the drums different, instead of parking the drums, rear right, I would have spread them out a bit, bugs me a little. Overall it has kind of a soft dynamic and I would like it a little stronger. Unfortunately I wanted to listen to this a little less volume than usual because of my listening mood, but I had to turn up to 64db just to get a good experience. All that said, wonderful music, local band for me, and if I go into a less critical mood, it ends up being super great purchase, but not a 10.
I just voted a solid 9. Cranked up, it sounds pretty amazing and of course we can all 'nitpick' but there are some classic tunes on this 4.0 SACD. Overall, I found SONY's single layered ToP Stereo "Soul Vaccination Live"* more appealing, content~wise, but to have this classic available once again in such ravishing sonics [at least on my system] is pretty awesome.

*http://hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=714
 
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