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Reviews Written by
Jay L. Rudko (Pembroke Pines, FL USA)
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First Four Albums & More!
First Four Albums & More!
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.15

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Look at a Great Group, 28 April 2014
Growing up in the 60's, The Lettermen were a staple on American Top 40 radio with their soft harmonies and great arrangements. Their music crossed over to the middle-of-the-road stations as well, thanks to their broad appeal. This 2-disc set documents their earlier recordings, and while it may pre-date many of their biggest hits, it gives a true insight into how their sound evolved.

Three of my favorite Lettermen songs are included in this set. "When I Fall In Love", "Come Back Silly Girl", and "The Way You Look Tonight" were big hits for this supergroup, and all three are presented with the impeccable sound that Bill Buster, and the gang from Eric Records, are known for. In fact, the whole set is awesome in terms of sound. Certainly better than I remember them sounding originally. "When I Fall In Love" is presented twice here; in stereo from the album mix, and mono for the single mix. Both sound wonderful, but I always prefer the stereo version's textures over a flat mono presentation. Most of the other songs in these first four albums are cover versions, but they sound fresh and clean on these CD's.

But the biggest plus on this set is the sound. I still don't know how they do it, and Bill won't tell me, but true to the Eric Records credo, the quality is truly amazing. Every little detail, every nuance, is cleanly and clearly presented. I'm a stickler for sound, and I have never heard a release from Bill and his team that didn't blow me away. I recommend not only this set, but anything that Eric Records releases. You'll never regret it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2014 10:56 PM BST


Games That Lovers Play
Games That Lovers Play
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £18.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great melodies, Last-style, 7 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Games That Lovers Play (Audio CD)
It doesn't hurt that James Last penned the title song from this CD, but let's face it; he can do no wrong when it comes to great instrumental arrangements. Whether it be lush strings or a brass sound that outdoes the Tijuana Brass sound, Hansi, as he's affectionately known to his fans, is a master of all. And the fact that this CD has been remixed for surround sound simply makes it that much better. Played in stereo, the effect is a widened soundstage. But if played back through a Dolby Pro Logic II system, you're enveloped with music coming at you from all sides. Call it a musical hug, if you will. Notable tracks include the title cut, his wonderful arrangement of "Elizabethan Serenade", and "Now I Know". Every track is a delight, but these are my personal faves. Spin this disc on your surround system and be prepared to rediscover how great music can sound.


My Colouring Book
My Colouring Book
Price: £5.12

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stellar Performance from a True Star, 30 Aug. 2006
This review is from: My Colouring Book (Audio CD)
You know her as the blonde from ABBA who was said to have had the sexiest bottom in Europe. But as asolo performer, she has proven her value, and this, her latest solo effort, proves she's back with a vengeance. There's not a clunker on the entire album. Agnetha (does anyone know it's pronouncedAhn-YET-ta?) sounds better than ever; her voice still shines, and her way with a song is clear. My favourite track from the CD is Jackie DeShannon's"When You Walk In The Room". I had the original 45 of DeShannon's version, and wore it out. Hearing Agnetha's spin on it gave it a new life. I actually became aware of this album while watching ABBA's"Super Troupers" documentary DVD. I had to order it and have to say it's one of the best I've heard in some time. It's great to see her back, and I hope there's more to come.


Tubular Bells 2003 [DVD AUDIO]
Tubular Bells 2003 [DVD AUDIO]

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, but they should have left well enough alone, 1 Aug. 2006
"Tubular Bells" is a classic. The best I ever heard it was on the SQ CD included in the "Boxed" set. Despite their claims in the booklet that it was stereo, it is actually SQ quad. This new recording is a complete reworking of the original, completely re-performed, and musically, it just doesn't satisfy like the original did. Sonically, this disc is excellent, but the computerized mix just doesn't cut it. If they had just left things alone, we'd have been better off. (Where was Elliot Scheiner when we needed him?)


Tubular Bells (Super Audio Version)
Tubular Bells (Super Audio Version)

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but..., 1 Aug. 2006
I had hoped that I'd hear something from this breakthrough album that I had never heard before. This meaning that more of the textures and subtleties in the music would have come through more clearly. I was disapponted. What I heard was a discrete surround version of the "remixed" version, originally released on SQ LP and also in the "Boxed" set. The stereo layer was the original version. But where was the LFE (bass) channel? Why was there no center channel? Easy answer... they used the original quadraphonic mix. Kinda like the Moody Blues SACD's; quad versions sans sub and center on four, and stereo only on the fifth. But I digress. I would have preferred to hear this in its full glory with sub channel. My speakers are capable of good bass, but I also like to use the bass management in my player. So in terms of music alone, this disc would rate a 5. The sound a 1. So three stars is an average. Virgin, you screwed up.


Waterloo
Waterloo
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £3.10

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to ABBA, 22 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Waterloo (Audio CD)
Unlike those of you in Europe, we here in the USA did not have the Eurovision Song Contest to give us our first exposure to ABBA. I first heard the song on Y100 (WHYI) in the summer of 1974, and it was probably the most requested song on the station. It blasted me away the first time I heard it, and I was hooked. This album also gives us the Swedish version, the studio version of how it was presented in Brighton in 1974. This remastered version brings out more of the detail in the sound. Awesome! The only thing that would make this, and the other reissued albums, better would to reissue them as hybrid SACD's with 5.1 surround sound. ABBA's music would be a natural for this type of treatment. Should this be done, I can only ask UMG to please do it right this time, not as was done with the Moody Blues reissues.


A Question Of Balance  (SACD)
A Question Of Balance (SACD)

31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the album, but..., 20 April 2006
I have been a Moody Blues fan for years and have made a point of buying their albums, wearing the vinyl out in some cases. CD's helped eliminate that problem. Now, SACD allows us to hear this great group as they were meant to be heard...or does it?The sound quality disappointed me. I saw the sticker on the front of the digipak (I prefer jewel boxes) which touted a 5.1 mix within. So I popped it into my SACD player and got not 5.1 sound, but 4.0! That's right; no center channel, no subwoofer. They stayed perfectly true to the original quadraphonic master tape and did nothing more to the mix. If you look even at the listing here on Amazon, it says the album is in 5.1. Can't fault Amazon; they just print what they're told by the record company. So who is at fault here? I'd say it's Universal. They should have been more truthful. And what of the other SACD reissues? Are they going to be 4.0 as well? The surround mix also sounded so compressed, I thought I was listening to it on the radio! NO dynamics at all! The bonus tracks were also not available on the multichannel SACD layer. I had to go to a CD player to hear them. This is not the treatment the Moody Blues deserve.


Peachtree Road
Peachtree Road
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £30.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton never sounded better!, 25 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Peachtree Road (Audio CD)
Since the release of his 11/17/70 album, Elton John has created music that makes you think, that rocks your world, and can move you to tears. While his career has had its ups and downs (and whose hasn't), Sir Reg seems to be at the top of his game with this latest release. His voice has never been better, and the songs are from the heart with a true southern flavor. This could have been influenced by his second home in Atlanta, but whatever the case, he has turned out yet another masterpiece.

"Weight of the World" starts off the album in style. It's a sort of reflection through the eyes of a performer who's seen it all. It's just one of the standout songs here. My personal favorites are "Porch Swing in Tupelo" and "Answer in the Sky", both of which have also received ample airplay on radio.
But aside from Elton, the true star of this album is the album itself. UMG thoughtfully decided to make this recording available in the hybrid SACD format, making it far more appealing to audiophiles like myself. If there were ever a reason to own a player capable of multi-channel SACD playback, this is the one. The surround mixes envelop you in a sound field that is truly spectacular, and you feel he's playing just for you. The stereo track seems flat and two-dimensional in comparison. Also, given the hybrid disc's full compatibility with regular CD players, I don't see UMG's rationale in releasing a separate CD-only version of this album...or ANY album, for that matter. SACD works. This album shows it at its best.


Let it swing (#1 Grand Prix '85) [VINYL]
Let it swing (#1 Grand Prix '85) [VINYL]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Europop, 12 Aug. 2005
May, 1985. I was watching the Eurovision Song Contest from my barracks room in Germany, actually rooting for Wind to top the contest with "Fur Alle". But when this song came up, I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the singers as they came running onto the stage to perform. The style seemed like retro-50's, with heavy emphasis on the saxes for the intro and bridge. For the contest, as was the rule for that year, Hannah and Elizabeth sang the song in Norwegian. Despite not understanding the words, there was something about this song that knocked my socks off. I turned to my girlfriend, who was watching with me, and said, "That's gonna win!" When the song did, in fact, win, as the hostess of the show interviewed the girls, they were asked if they had enough breath left to sing, since they came running and jumping back to the stage. The reply was, "I don't think that matters."
So they sang it again, as per tradition, and did the last chorus in English.
One thing I noticed...when songs like this are translated from their original language, sometimes it's hard to make the lyrics make a lot of sense. This was the case here. The translation is not literal.
The Norwegian and English versions say very different things. But it's a great song, and deserved to win. That it was never noticed on this side of the pond was predictable.


Brothers In Arms - 20th Anniversary Edition
Brothers In Arms - 20th Anniversary Edition
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.51

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection perfected, 12 Aug. 2005
It's been said that "Brothers in Arms" ushered in the CD era for pop music back when it was initially released. In fact, you couldn't go into a stereo shop and not hear this disc used as a demo extensively.
It was one of the first albums of rock music to be digitally recorded, and the clarity was quite noticible. So you can't improve on that? They just did!
I have always felt that when you have more channels to work with, more sound can be delivered to the listener. It makes mathematic sense! While I don't know just how many tracks were used for the initial recording, mixing down to two channels means something has to be left out. With the 5.1 channel mix on this SACD, not only is there more of the music that was actually recorded, but the surround mix is as perfect as one can be without overwhelming the listener. They don't play a lot of games with the mix here, but they do move sound around the room at the beginning of "Money for Nothing". Check it out. For the most part, the mix envelopes the listener with a cohesive sound field that just plain works.
This disc has not been released as of yet in the USA; I ordered two copies of the SACD so I could keep one at home, and use the other for work. I sell home theatre systems, and this disc has knocked many a customer off his/her feet. It's my understanding the American release will be on Dual Disc, with DVD-Audio used for the high resolution surround sound. I'll add that one to my collection as well.


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