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Neil Wilkes (London, England)

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Seventh Dream Of A Teenage Heaven
Seventh Dream Of A Teenage Heaven
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.94

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - absolutely superb, 11 Sept. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Now, I am not a big fan of the current trend in so-called "remasters" that seem to be about all we ever get from the major labels these days (and they wonder why sales are down? Try releasing some material, guys. Figures state that CD sales were indeed down 31% in 2007, but the figure that does not get mentioned so often is the one saying Major Label releases are down by 34%) as these are often badly (read "cheaply") done and often brutally overcompressed and maximized in the name of an ever hotter pressing.

Here is an exception, and it is a thing of joy to listen to.
I wore out my vinyl copies of this album on first release, and know it like the back of my own hand. This remaster is very, very true to the original and sounds simply great. From the opener "If There's A Heaven Above" (and I am happy to see the proper version back for this release, as my first CD version dropped this track in favour of the Canada mix which IMHO is not as good) the quality & attention to detail shines on through. A quick look at the sleeve notes reveals that the remastering was actually done by the original producer/engineer - John A Rivers - and what a rare thing that is. Top marks to beggars banquet for this and it is something the majors would do well to take note of.
The whole of the original album is there, and sounding better than ever before too.
Stand-Out tracks? Impossible to say. Personally, I don;t think there was a bad track on the album in the first place with material ranging from the beautiful instrumental track "Saudade" (apparently a portugese word meaning a state between deep menancholy & nostalgic reverie) to the driving "Dog End Of A Day Gone By" via gems like "Haunted While the Minutes Drag" - seriously, they are all superb.
The Bonus material is well-chosen too. I'd never heard the USA mix of "Haunted" before, and this was a surprise to see.

Highly recommended - and whatever you do, don't even think "Bauhaus", as this is as far from that outfit as you can get.

The Mission - Sum And Substance [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
The Mission - Sum And Substance [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Mission

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?, 11 Sept. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a serious disappointment.
Whilst the actual films are indeed of interest to fans like myself, the primary purpose of a Music DVD is surely the MUSIC?
On the rear cover of this one is the wording - and I quote directly -
"This DVD is released in original stereo sound to enable user to activate simulated 5.1 surround sound to individual taste".
Fine words.
Problem: The audio is in Dolby Digital, not LPCM, and sounds appalling beyond belief. IF the reason for stereo was as stated, then the stream should by rights be an LPCM uncompressed one, as upmixing a Dolby Digital stream to 5.1 is going to sound as bad as 5.1 MP3 because over 11/12 of the original data that would be used by a matrix process such as Dolby ProLogicII or Neo-DTS requires ALL data to be present so that it can allocate things properly. When a perceptual process has been used to eliminate almost all of the data, there is quite simply nothing left for any decoders/upmix algorithms to use.
It seems to this reviewer that this title exists solely for Universal to plunder the back catalogue of an artist they no longer have on their books, and to cash in on their track record. There is quite simply no excuse here - or anywhere at all IMHO - to utilize the appalling Dolby Digital for Music releases as it is barely adequate for film release and utterly unsuitable for music at all times.

FWIW, I have also talked various people about this, and am reliably informed that the Mission had no say or control over this release whatsoever.

Avoid at all costs.

Capricornia (Dts 5.1 Surround Sound)
Capricornia (Dts 5.1 Surround Sound)

4.0 out of 5 stars Great record, but beware., 23 July 2008
This is a superb 5.1 offering but please be aware that this is *not* a DVD-Audio title. It is a DTS-CD.
The difference is vast - DVD-A is not data reduced - the mix is lossless, and what you hear is exactly what you would have heard in the studio with DVD-A. With DTS-CD - good as it is - the data has been lossy-encoded which means data was thrown away. You *must* have a DTS decoder to be able to play this title.

Ufo's at the Zoo [DVD AUDIO]
Ufo's at the Zoo [DVD AUDIO]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect Format description, 10 Nov. 2007
I wanted to say that this is *not* a DVD-Audio disc.
It is an MVI DVD-Video disc.
There is absolutely no DVD-A content whatsoever.

Please - do NOT buy this expecting it to be a DVD-A.

U.F.O.S At The Zoo - The Legendary Concert In Oklahoma City (Mvi) [DVD] [2004]
U.F.O.S At The Zoo - The Legendary Concert In Oklahoma City (Mvi) [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ The Flaming Lips
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £9.61

14 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID - MISLEADING & INCORRECT ADVERTISING, 22 Aug. 2007
This disc is NOT, repeat & emphasize NOT a DVD-Audio title.
It is an MVI DVD-VIDEO disc.
As such, the much-touted "interactive" component is a lousy ringtone generator, and pre-ripped MP3 stereo versions at 128Kb/sec.
The "surround" mix is Dolby Digital, and has very little true surround in it - it is ambient reverb in the rears, and the main mix is basically across thefront with very little in centre channel.

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2011 9:54 PM BST

Young Americans [CD + DVD]
Young Americans [CD + DVD]
Price: £24.45

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity, but still great VFM, 25 Mar. 2007
This loses a star because it is a DVD-Video disc, and as such the much anticipated 5.1 mixes from Tony Visconti (That were mixed with DVD-Audio in mind) are compressed versions.

Okay, DTS 96/24 is as good as it can ever get on a DVD-Video disc, but it would have been infinitely superior in lossless. Given the EMI Signature series releases have been superb, in DVD-A/V format, it seems strange to me that we are robbed of High Resolution mixes for this title.

Kudos for the Dick Cavett show - but again, strike a point for missing off "Footstompin'" and strike another point for claiming it is "lost". It isn't.

It's still doing the rounds on various bootleg sites in high quality with even the Audio at least as good as on display here. Still, it's worthwhile IMHO.

Final grump from me is the SERIOUSLY ANNOYING LOUD SNATCH OF THE TITLE TRACK IN THE MAIN MENU (see how irritating it is being shouted at? That's what menu music as loud as this is - digital shouting. Bad form.)

Moving on to the good points....the mix in 5.1 is truly outstanding. The title track kicks in with what is - at first - a disconcerting reverb on the drums, but TV has done a superb job & has recaptured the feel of '74 era bowie in a truly outstanding manner. The BV's are predominantly to the rear channels (listen carefully, as this album was the now legendary Luther Vandross' first serious session outing) and the main vocals are not isolated in the centre, but in L/R with the centre seemingly used for a vocal slapback effect. It works, and it works well.

Still not checked the Stereo mixes, as usual these have been "remastered" by Peter Mew (Who is not the best at handling Bowie's material, in the online communities his efforts are known as "Mew"Tilations due to some very sloppy work. For those of us who know anything about DTS and DD encoding, he has got it wrong again here. If you are decoding in an external amplifier, odds are very high you will lose most of the drum intro to the title track as it comes in right away, completely ignoring the recommendations from both Dolby Laboratories and DTS to leave 2 seconds of AudioBlack at the head of the mix so that external decoders have sufficient time to lock down onto the stream. It is VERY annoying to have the top cut off in this manner due to carelessness IMHO)

But this really is a splendid mix from TV.

Old favourites given a completely new lease of life.

Finally, I have to confess I am far from happy with the mastering on this disc. There is a definite hissing throughout, as if someone, somewhere has cranked up a compressor too far. Can be a little harsh in the upper mids as well, and I know this is not down to the DTS encoding. Therefore it must be the mastering.


Could do better, and you can hear that the mix is great, but the whole thing is let down by the Mastering & the DVD-Video only format.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2012 4:21 PM GMT

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe ® Encore (TM) DVD 2.0
The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe ® Encore (TM) DVD 2.0
by Jeff Bellune
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb, 18 May 2006
This book should be thought of as a big, friendly "START HERE" button for Adobe's excellent EncoreDVD version 2 package.

It assumes no proior knowledge, but is still very useful to experienced authors as well as beginners alike.

It takes you right through the whole process of creating your own DVD-Video discs from scratch - and more than that, it clearly explains (with the aid of plenty of real world screenshots) every step of the process in jargon free language.

But it goes even further!

Part of Adobe's strength here is the way that EncoreDVD integrates with other packages such as Photoshop, Audition, Premiere Pro & After Effects and this tight integration is also covered inside these pages.

If you own this application then you should also own this book. Jeff Bellune actually uses EncoreDVD in his daily business - and his expertise shines through in this tome.

Highly recommended.

Live At The Sands [DVD AUDIO]
Live At The Sands [DVD AUDIO]

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, 14 Feb. 2006
It was with a little trepidation that I bought this disc - after all, the masters were only 4 track, so how good could it be in 5.1?
The answer is, simply superb.
I don't know why some reviewers are not getting the full surround, but here it is exactly as it should be. Franks vocals are all around, and there is a lot of the Count Basie orchestra in the rears too.
Frank makes a joke about this being "his" room, and for the duration of this disc - it is.
No, there isn't any video - and there is not supposed to be either, it's not a DVD-V - it's a DVD-A disc. This means that the MUSIC is the important component here, and Frank has never sounded as good as he does here. If only there were some more - a lot of the reprise albums were released in Quad, so the material is there.
If you are a fan, then buy this album - you won't be disappointed if you do.

David Live [DVD AUDIO]
David Live [DVD AUDIO]

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Sublime!, 6 Dec. 2005
This review is from: David Live [DVD AUDIO] (DVD Audio)
"Diamond Dogs" has long been my favourite Bowie album, and I remember getting this way back in '74 when it was first released.
Even back then it was a real departure for a live album to be actually live, with minimal overdubs, and it sounded great.
Enter the new Surround reissue - and also enter Tony Visconti back to the mixing duties.
I was a little worried about this one as the suurround mix for the "Reality" DVD-V live album was poor. However, I was very pleasantly surprised as the surround placement gives the impression of really being there - the rear channels are used discretely and not just for ambience.
Bowie's vocal performance on this album is top notch - check out the expressiveness of "All The Young Dudes" here - and the band is as good as it got up until now, with a much younger Earl Slick taking the lead guitar on for the first time - and doing a very fine job too. "Moonage Daydream", "Cracked Actor" and "Width of a Circle" being amongst the best live guitar sounds I have ever heard. Piano duties are mainly from Mike Garson (another player who is also back in Bowie's band 31 years later too!) who even then was displaying the delicate touch that makes him amongst the best in the field - check out the playing particularly on "Aladdin Sane" for a ggod example of what I mean
The album is from the first half of the "Dogs" tour, before the "Young Americans" sessions invoked Bowie's Soul phase and turned the second half of the tour into what came to be called the "Philly Dogs" tour.
Same as for "Stage" really.
1 - 21 tracks, yet only 7 stills.
2 - Photo Gallery is a poor collection of badly scanned posters & old single covers
3 - NO dedicated stereo version - a downmix of the surround is all you get
4 - the first DVD-A I have seen with no Dolby Digital stream. Whilst sonically this is not a problem (DD is ghastly), it limits the market here to those with either DVD-A or DTS capability only (no 16/48 stereo version in the Video_TS).
That aside, it's a superb disc and one definitely not to be missed.
Buy it - NOW!

Diamond Dogs: 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition
Diamond Dogs: 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £56.58

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie's finest Moment?, 6 Dec. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Diamond Dogs is, for me, Bowie's finest moment - forget "Ziggy" as this is where he shines brightest.
It's a very dark album - almost brooding in places, and is all that ever surfaced from the ill-fated musical version of Orwell's "1984" that was planned but stopped by Orwell's relatives.
It starts off with a very alternative rendition of "Bewitched" from South Pacific being played on a distant sounding guitar with a nightmare scenario being described setting the scene for the post apocalyptic setting of the record.
The title track, with it's very under rated hookline, kicks in after this and then goes into the "Sweet Thing" extravaganza, and finally amongst some of the nastiest feedback lines ever played drops neatly into "Rebel Rebel".
Side two is the surviving material from 1984, and is Bowie at the peak of his songwriting (at least, as far as I'm concerned).
If you don't already own this - then the reissue is worth getting. If possible though, try to track down the earlier Ryko reissue that is just a single disc as to my ears, none of the 30th Anniversary editions have been remastered particularly well.

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