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Puts the "Super" in "Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD)"
on 15 July 2003
Superlatives have become such a way of life that it's easy to disregard anyone who resorts to using them. That would be a mistake here; this new SACD edition of "Avalon" is an incredible release that deserves nothing but the highest praise. It's so good in fact that it should single-handedly convince anyone who's been debating whether or not to invest in SACD to get off the fence and run to the store.
Because the original producer and engineer were able to utilize the original multi-track recordings, this release sounds incredibly fresh. The clarity of separation for instruments just HAS to be heard; it's so good it puts many other releases of more recent titles to shame. The 5.1 mix neatly utilizes every speaker in a natural style rather than resorting to gimmicky discrete channel effects. It's a completely natural mix and obscures the fact that the original recording is more than 20 years old!
This is a hybrid disc that will play in regular CDs (except for the bonus track "Always Unknowing", which is available only in the m/c version). But this surround mix is so amazing that you'd really be cheating yourself if you listened only to the stereo CD version! And to think that this is available (so far) only in Europe!