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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 29 August 2017
Fantastic work by Peter Robinson who remixed this absolute masterpiece of Prog Rock. Unfortunately, a remastered version of the original mix is not included, so I suggest Peter and Mick to prepare that for a new Eclectic re-issue.
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on 8 November 2017
Great service, album not as good as i remember, but ok.
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on 26 August 2013
I have owned and loved this album by the short-lived trio since its original vinyl release on EMI/Harvest 42 years ago, and I've owned this album through two previous CD editions, both of them enhanced with the non-L.P.(Germany-only) single "One Blind Mice" b/w "Punting", and those two bonus tracks appear in this edition, plus two previously unreleased tracks.

Contrary to some reports on the internet, the 5.1 surround mix(on the DVD included with this 2-disc set) is not all simulated surround sound. Much of it is real surround sound, but much of it from "stage two" multi tracks, after 8-track to 8-track, 8-track to 6-track, 8-track to 4-track or 8-track to 3-track reductions. Back in the days of 4-track & 8-track recording, if the artist wanted to add more overdubs(after all the tape tracks were filled), the engineer would mix the original first generation tracks down to 2 or 4 "reduced" tracks and record those onto a second 4-track or 8-track machine, opening up tracks(on that second tape machine) for further overdubs. For many of these songs, all that could be found were the "stage two" tapes(I.E. after the reductions).

What you get on the surround sound DVD is as follows:

One Blind Mice(from the original first generation 8-track tape. There were apparently no reduction mixes needed for this song.)
Entropy(simulated surround from the existing stereo mix)
Black Sheep of The Family(from an 8-track to 4-track reduction. For whatever reasons, this 4-track does not contain John Gustafson's harmony vocal. My guess is that it may have been added live during stereo mix down.)
Post-War Saturday Echo(from an 8-track to 3-track reduction. All of the previously recorded elements had, by this point, been mixed to stereo. Another track was used to add Moog synthesizer.)
Good Lord Knows(from the original 8-track tape)
Up On The Ground(From an 8-track to 6-track reduction, presumably an 8-track tape on which only 6 tracks had been used.)
Gemini(from an 8-track to 6-track reduction)
Make Up Your Mind/What Was That/Make Up Your Mind(Reprise)(Simulated Surround sound from the existing stereo mix)
Laughin' Tackle(from an 8-track to 8-track reduction)
Punting(simulated surround sound from the existing stereo mix)
Afraid Not(a rehearsal of a backing track for an unfinished song. Recorded in a rehearsal room direct to 2-track with a few microphones. No multitrack or professional recording ever existed. This is presented in simulated surround.)
Bluegaloo/Broken Chords/Scales(a 1974 stereo soundboard cassette live in Montreal 1974. Fortunately, the sound quality is excellent, and the recording is presented in simulated 3.1 sound. The rear channels are silent. This recording is more in a jazz-rock fusion style, and features a new line-up. Peter Robinson & John Gustafson are joined by a new drummer, a percussionist and a guitarist.)

My only complaint about the remixes(given what was available to mix from) is that Peter Robinson(who did the remix) strips away all the echo and reverb that had been used on John Gustafson's voice (in the original mix), and(on the tracks that are in genuine surround sound) presents Gustafson's voice totally "dry" and much further out in front of the instruments(versus the original mix)

The surround sound remix appears on the DVD in either Dolby Digital or DTS formats, and the DVD also presents a new stereo mix as lossless PCM. No word on whether the resolution and bit rate of this stereo mix are the same as on the CD(44.1Khz/16-bit) or something better. None of my disc players' displays revealed the information.

The original stereo mix(as offered on CD by the Repertoire label) remains the definitive mix, but its interesting to hear these alternatives....and two previously unreleased tracks.
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on 5 April 2014
First released in 1970, it is difficult to believe that this band was a trio, given the sound they made. This album is a fabulous slice of progressive rock, with a hefty splash of hard rock for good measure! The mood of this album is at times heavy - at others, quite subtle. The stand out track is a favourite of Ritchie Blackmore's, 'Black Sheep Of The Family' - when you here this, you can see where some of the Rainbow influences came from. All in all, a great album and a classic of its era. Now check out Quatermass II.
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I brought this set based on other opinions and thanks to youtube for a preview of the original album. The DVD contains all the bonus tracks that the CD has, not shown here on Amazon. The 5.1 mix is nice but not flying all over the speakers. It is actually very enjoyable and listenable.
Quatermass is a bit more funky than ELP and has a sound that reminds me of some King Crimson from the early 1970s. This is a very interesting album that is quite unique from that era of musical experimentation and before the time where money, business is more important than the music.
The booklet is very informative and does explain in detail about how the 5.1 mixes were completed from missing multi-track tapes.
I did hear a digital noise during the 2nd song on the DVD in DTS mode. The CD sound is great but has been mastered at a higher volume than I prefer.
Overall this is a lost classic that is no longer lost.
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on 18 October 2013
Thanks, Philip, for your comprehensive review of the Quatermass remix CD/DVD.

Your comments were welcome and useful. With respect, though, your comment regarding the vocal which, in your opinion, "strips away all the echo and reverb that had been used on John Gustafson's voice (in the original mix), and(on the tracks that are in genuine surround sound) presents Gustafson's voice totally "dry" and much further out in front of the instruments (versus the original mix)". I can only say that it sounds like your centre channel is too loud. I suggest that you get a cheap SPL meter and make all your speakers the same level (usually 85 dB). It's a common mistake in consumer 5.1 systems that the user tends to increase the volume of the centre channel in order to hear dialogue clearly when watching a film or TV show. While it is tru that I did place John Gustafson's vocals in the centre channel exclusively, the reverb and delays on that vocal which I placed in the left, right and surround channels were painstakingly balanced that, when a correct set-up of the listener's system is utilised, the vocals should be perfectly balanced between the 3 front speakers with additional reverb/delays occurring in the surrounds.
A good way to check if you're not sure about the band/vocal balance, is to play the CD which should give you a prerfect example of the intended mix ( irrespective of whether you like it or not) . When switching between 2 channel stereo and 5.1 channel surround, the mix should, and will, sound identical if the surround system is set up correctly. Hope this helps.


J. Peter Robinson
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on 13 August 2013
I remember buying "Quatermass" in November 1970 on vinyl because of the amazing artwork & the fact that it was launched on the late & great progressive Harvest label. It turned out to be probably the best album I ever bought on impulse - up there with similar buys such as "Parachute" by the Pretty Things & "Trespass" by Genesis.

At the time critical comparisons were made between Quatermass & ELP however I always believed that these were both unhelpful & misleading. Quatermass were another beast entirely, bereft of the ELP bombast which they replaced with some of the tightest ensemble playing I have ever heard. In Peter Robinson they had a thinking man's Emerson (heavy on musical ability but light on flag burning & knives), ably supported by the locked-in rhythm section of Mick Underwood (drums) & the great John Gustafson (bass & vocals).

"Quatermass" has easily stood the passage of time with its stomping "Black sheep of the family", followed by the electric jazz/blues of "Post war Saturday Echo"; orchestral "God Lord knows"; rocky "Gemini", proggy "Make up your mind", bluesy/jazzy "Up on the ground" through to the eerie jazz conclusion of the orchestrated "Laughing tackle". Most Quatermass fans will already have the Repertoire CD release, however this expanded version on Esoteric is a penalty kick for the unreleased live tracks which sound amazing considering their age! There are informative sleeve notes & an additional DVD 5:1 surround sound of the original album + a recent photo of the reunited band members (for me a really nice touch). This is the holy grail for Quatermass fans & is housed in a triple digi-pack replicating the 1970 sleeve.

So instead of investing in the latest ELP cash-in of remasters, dig this little beauty out! I guarantee it will probably be one of the best reissues from our glorious prog past you will ever buy. Essential!
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on 28 December 2013
Great progmusic from 1970. Great improvement of sound from earlier cd-release. Strong melodies and musicianship. Very interesting new live recordings.
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on 7 December 2013
Nice packaging for the collector with the extra tracts, plus 2 disk and all remastered, which brings out the detail.
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on 1 December 2013
Have you ever wondered what the missing link between Deep Purple at their peak and ELP at their peak would be? Don't search any further. Buy this album: that's exactly what I'm talking about. There's no better description. The remastering is amazing and the bonus material interesting. These guys deserved much more than what they got in the end. My secret wish: reform and play please!
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