Top positive review
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Great reissue which improves the previous version as much as ...
on 10 November 2014
Great reissue which improves the previous version as much as possible with the available material.
Video: First, the film images are now very enjoyable especially on the bright and white visuals. The blue shots are sometimes a bit muddy with some minor graines here and there. Some close ups have a very good definition and the work often reminds the restoration of the Supertramp's Paris BD although the latter is a slight better on the whole, so I would rate it as a three stars and a half in front of Paris four stars.
Audio: Definitely a five stars. This is the biggest improvement although based on the restoration which Nick Davis previously did way back in 2009.
The already great DTS Surround lossy treatment of the 2009 DVD (and of the current DVD version I suppose) is tremendously endorsed by the upgrade to DTS HD MA 5.1. 96/24. The sound design - especially on Banks keyboards (dense, crystal clear and dynamic) and Rutherford bass (warm and literally carved) areas - is extremely precise that you are easily able to turn up the subwoofer of about 3 or 4db more than the DVD version setting without suffering any compression or distortion.
The only lesser moment is the sound on In The Cage medley/Afterglow which suffers from the missed multitrack tape and as of consequence the sound lacks of brilliance, expansion and separation channels on DTS HD MA although quite better than the DVD version. However you are able to experience a better consistency if you play this track using the option LPCM 2.0. which is 96/24 too.
Great sound also on the bonus audio-only tracks which also have a DTS HD MA 5.1. Here (as LPCM 2.0) is just a 48/16 resolution but sounds powerful nonetheless. Try especially Behind The Lines/Duchess, Me and Sarah Jane, One For The Vine (lead synth and piano solo parts sound incredible) and The Fountain of Salmacis.
All in all a great upgrade which bodes well for the possible future reissues such as The Mama Tour whose 2009 remix sounds even better in Tony Banks lead synths department.
On the whole a 5 stars which - due to the pointed out missing links - is actually a four and a half stars. Definitely a must buy for the improved images and especially for the sound which is definitely superb and unbeatable by the vast majority of the early 1980's live recordings.