August 29, 2008


I just acquired a monstrous list of upcoming music and all I can say is...WOW!! The labels have been busy. There is a massive list of vinyl LP coming out that has slipped under my meagre radar. An example is a new LP version of Agents of Fortune by Blue Oyster Cult. I've also seen re-releases of the entire Motley Crue catalogue from the newly minted Motley Records entity. This weekend, I hope to aggregate a lot of this info into a post that will go up next week but again I say...WOW!! Lots of stuff! Peter Tosh LP (Legalize It!), Slayer LPs, Weather Report LPs, Townes Van Zant LPs, Earth, Wind & Fire LP (Gratitude 2LP), Lou Reed (Berlin) LP, and more. It may be time to blow the dust off your turntable if you haven't already.

My little chat on Wednesday about Stereo vs 5.1 suround mixes yielded some nice emails, not a lot but a few. Thanks for them. It is interesting to note that most loved the Stereo mix preferentially (yes, I was surprised). However, most also enjoyed the Surround mix provided that it was not gimmicky and involved the band for the most part. Of course, this was all just my opinion on Stereo (I prefer them exclusively, although I do like hearing Surround mixes on music that might have utilized them back when the album was being recorded). Here are some of the emails:

"Stereo, without question. I put together a nice 2-channel system and am not going to muck it up by adding more channels just for what I feel is a gimmicky re-mix of, as you mentioned, 2-channel source." ---- DF

"quote: " reasoning behind Stereo purity is that this style is the way that most bands "heard" their music in. When they produced their music, they heard it in two channels. That was the vision and the goal " I would ask if you could back that claim up with any substantiated research. I would not doubt that many musicians and listeners find stereo a suitable format but are they just conditioned that way based upon an accepted way of recording? An accepted way of recording based on the technology that for decades has been the standard present in the recording studios and to an extent a technology accepted by the labels.

Did musicians in the early days just "hear" their music in mono?

Labels marketed stereo and it succeeded in becoming the standard much the same way as the marketing of VHS succeed over BETA.
Cassettes over 8 Track, CD over Vinyl and Download over physical product. The superior format is not always the winner.
I firmly believe if the marketing of quad, sacd and dvd-a would have succeeded, every label would telling their musicians to think surround.

Stereo is fine for me but I love being enveloped totally in the sound field of a well produced quad or surround mix." ----GJ

"While I agree with you that stereo is the preferred recording method in the industry, there are a number of current artists that specifically record for 5.1 – Steve Wilson/Porcupine Tree, The Flaming Lips and latter day Steely Dan being some notable examples. As for revisiting classic albums and remixing in 5.1 it is always a more pleasing result if the new mix is ‘true’ to the original, and as you noted this is more likely if the original artist is directly involved so that the artistic decisions can be made by them.

The are some fine examples of 5.1 mixes being true to the original while opening up a new range of enjoyment possibilities. Take The Eagles ‘Hotel California’. In the ‘making of’ doco Elliot Scheiner notes that the title track contained 4 distinct guitar parts (which I had never detected despite years of hearing it on FM stations), and he mixed each of them into their own corner speaker. The result sounds completely natural to me and adds an extra dimension to the music. Another example (which in fact is the first track I play to anybody new to surround music) is Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’. If you have not heard this on SACD then you are really missing out. It starts off sounding pretty much the same as the stereo version with only a touch of ambience in the rears but at the chorus the whole song opens up with music coming from all around. I’ve had friends close to tears, and their wives asking them “why doesn’t your music system sound like this?”

Despite all of the above the main thing that multichannel music does to enhance my listening experience is it’s ability bring greater clarity to the music. Subtle nuances that were buried in the stereo mix come to life when they are given their own channel. Have a listen to the mandolin on Elton’s ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’ – exquisite. Or even the bonus track on ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery – ‘Lucky Man’ – I never knew it was recorded with 4 acoustic guitars until I hear the 5.1.

Sorry this is a bit long, but I’m quite passionate on the subject. Thanks for listening!" ---- CM

"I am still waiting on discs/players that will allow me to mix it any d#mn way I want!!! Why? I am the listener and I know what I like to hear. I will be the judge. Listen to these "making of DVD's" of Dark Side, Rumours, Who's Next, and so on. I wanted to play with those mixes!!! Of course, this will never happen. ----RH

" I couldn't agree with you more about stereo listening. However, in my opinion, when a 5.1 mix is done perfectly, it can't be beat. I don't want sounds swirling all over the room (though "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON" does that with good restraint), but a bigger room sound that the listener can get with this format. Putting a guitar between the left front and left rear in the 5.1 mix completely opens the soundstage beyond just left/right. The Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits offerings fit this "formula" perfectly. Enough- I know you know what I'm referring to and I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know. 5.1 mixes can be a bit bizarre (Flaming Lips, for example). Thanks for your time here, and keep up the great work." ---- PR

"I am a big fan of high resolution audio and while I prefer my music in the stereo format I am all for a good 5.1 mix when the music "justifies" it. But the 5.1 mix should always be accompanied by the original stereo or (or even mono) mix if that it is the way the recording was originally conceived. I also am inclined to think that there should be some imput (or at least approval) from the artist, the original producer or engineer if they are still around. If the person creating the 5.1 mix has some ties to the original recordings we can at least assume that they are in tune with the same vibe that was the goal of the original recording.

As for what I think is "justified" I understand that is completely subjective. For example, I think the works of Pink Floyd from the 70's, 80's and 90's are great candidates for 5.1 mixes but I'm not sure that the Syd Barrett era recordings would be well served by such a mix. You can take practially any band and sort them this way if you care to.

Even though it was a blatant money grab I had no problem with Love remixes of Beatles' songs because George Martin was around to keep the songs from being destroyed. I also thought that it was kind of neat when Trent Reznor made 5.1 remixes the of the Downward Spiral that varied from the SACD, DVD and CD versions He really reworked the songs themselves in the 5.1 mixes and made seperate works of them

I think the availability/novelty of 5.1 mixes on DVD-A, SACD and even Dual Disc should have been marketed better to peak people's interest in alternate high resolution format but I can't help but feel like the industry managed to sabotage itself by not unifying behind a single high-resolution format. When you couple the confusion of three different formats and then factor in the expense of multiformat players I am not surprised it did not gain acceptance. It's a shame because with the advent of affordable home theatre systems more people than ever have the ability to enjoy a good music experince in their living rooms. Maybe Blu-ray can breathe some life back in to high resolution audio." ---- JCH

"If I'm listening critically I'll play it the way the band originally presented it: usually in stereo. And there are plenty of stereo-only SACD remixes (Peter Gabriel), implying that that is how they should be listened to, now and always. But, in my opinion, our perception is in surround, and if possible so should musical experience be. In fact, I remember in my early days of "high fidelity", the quality of a good recording and equipment was how wide the sound stage was, and how far beyond the speakers it extended (both in mono and stereo recordings).

I am a big fan of 5.1, though I still listen to plenty of stereo music. I have found most of the SACD remixes to be sensitive to the intent of the original music, though a few have some skews toward gimmicry. DVD-a, on the other hand, has tended to radically remix the original and completely change the music, which I don't particularly like (the Police, Grateful Dead). I don't know why the different formats would encourage different approaches. Some DVD-a's have been pretty faithful (REM, Alannis Morissette), but I suspect they had more input from the original artists. I also have some dts mixes which are excellent, and in fact the Moody Blues have been revelations, with the separation of all the music so you can finally hear what's going on, instead of mashing it all into 2 channels. I liked the potential for music from bands like the Beatles (Love), which shows that although that project was gimmicry bordering on silliness, the original material has the quality for SACD reproduction and splitting up into separate channels. I suspect that many bands would opt for surround sound if it was more available, since it is by nature more immersive." ---- DW

"I am, and will likely always be, a stereo fan. It is natural to me. We have two ears, right? I even like the radically mixed stereo mixes from back in the day, with drums and bass in one channel, everything in the other, etc.

I've heard some good surround (DSOTM, various Elliot Scheiner mixes), but it doesn't "move" me like a good stereo soundstage. Plus, it's hard enough getting the sweet spot right for stereo, much less surround. Also, stereo is portable. I've yet to hear a surround headset that gives you the same experience on the go. I'm sad to say I do more iPod listening than anything now...and even there I go to extremes with LAME mp3 encoding to get the lossy stuff to sound STEREO.

And when mono fetishists come around and say "that's how the artist intended us to hear the singles"...I say, "give me a stereo mix" every time. I'm still disappointed in the Beatles early CD catalog for that very reason 20 years later.

SACD and DVD-A sound very very STEREO." ---- RM

"Simply put, until band members place themselves in the four corners of a concert hall, I will stick with stereo." ---- Bob

I agree with you that the integrity of the original vision of the artist might be undermined with a 5.1 mix but you could make the same argument with remastered stereo cd's. Even changes in format - from LP to CD - have room for changing the final product even when the artists are involved.

I guess to answer your question I prefer 5.1 mixes but the stereo mix is more essential. I would not want to get a sacd or dvd-a that did not also include the stereo mix. First off, stereo is the standard so everything is geared toward that hardware wise - boom boxes, headphones, car stereos, etc.. Secondly, we have two ears so it isn't a surprise that stereo was/is the natural choice for listening to music. Third, 5.1 mixes lose their relevance if you can't sit stationary in the vortex of the sound which means no multi-tasking allowed. Fourth, and this is a personal taste thing, I feel the music loses some
of it's punch and power when it's mixed in 5.1. If 5.1 is a glass of wine, stereo is a shot of Jack Daniels.So I guess to summarize my feelings.... I would like 5.1 mixes for all my favorites but not at the expense of a stereo mix.

What I am interested in hearing is if anyone tells you they prefer mono. LOL." ---- BB

These are all of the emails that I received on the subject. Bear in mind that these are just opinion and preferences to listening to music. They do not represent an indictment of the Surround or Stereo mixes. I include them here for the interesting perspectives they brought and thought that you'd be interested in reading them as well.

Moving on, I finally have that review of Jethro Tull posted (I was awaiting photos which Mr Wayne Herrschaft so wonderfully provided). The post is from Sam Rosenthal and provide an interesting perspective of the show. For reviews, I have Greatest Hits Live by Three Dog Night, and Ode to Sunshine by Delta Spirit.

Also, I need to let you know that Monday will be a holiday in the US (Labor Day) and that means no post. This works out just fine for me because I have several NEEDED thngs to attend to on the website that woul dhave absented it for the day anyway. Not to mention that this latest research set me behind on review writing. We'll see you again in September. If you live in the US, enjoy the holiday! Everyone else, enjoy the days that you have!

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.






Stax Records will combine several performances for a new release on September 23 for Otis Redding.  The album is split between two European shows that include London and Paris.  The Paris album was originally issued as Live in Europe and is now attached to seven additional songs, many of them replications of each other, i.e. there are two versions of “Day Tripper,” one for each disc and set of shows.  The album will be called Live in London and Paris and will be available as a single-disc CD in a digipak package.

Music From Big Pink is being re-released in LP form in a Limited Edition set planned for October 28 by Capitol Records for The Band.  It joins The Band LP release, same date.

Previously announced, TV on the Radio will release their next album (preceded by the single – “Golden Age” on 09/02).  The album is called Dear Science and will be released on September 23 by DGC Records in CD, LP, and Enhanced CD.

Grateful Dead Productions will release a Grateful Dead set called Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978.  This set will be released in a 2CD/1DVD configuration and is set fro release on September 30.

Caroline Records will release Over The Rainbow by Connie Talbot on September 30Caroline Records has also penned in the release of The Peel Sessions: 1979-1981 for Killing Joke.  This album is planned for October 14Caroline is also prepping Classic Tracks for Rick Wakeman, and One Night in Mississippi for Little River Band.  Both are short runs and both are scheduled for October 14.

Hidden Beach Recordings will release Exist from The Tony Rich Project (so named because of a slow but combining process that gave Tony Rich the freedom to accumulate recorded tracks over time.)  Exist will be issued on September 23.

Island Records will release the self-titled album by Innerpartysystem on September 30.  The album will carry a certificate for a free MP3 download with the LP format of the album.

The 50th Anniversary of Motown is in full swing and will be celebrated with a likely ongoing Definitive Collection sets.  The first out of the gate include titles for Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Mary Wells, DeBarge, Jr Walker & The All-Stars, and The Marvelettes.  Each set will contain all original stereo recordings – re-mastered, special booklets, B-sides, and consistent packaging with each set.  This first wave will be released on September 23.

Don’t forget that Under a Blood Red Sky is planned for release in several formats on September 30.  It follows the previously released Joshua Tree, Boy, October, and War reissues with planned formats of LP, standard CD, DVD, and a Deluxe Edition CD/DVD.  The DVD will have five previously unreleased songs, and will be presented in 5.1 Surround, and offering a Director’s Commentary.  All for you lucky U2 fans.

Epic Records is going to reissue Thriller on LP.  This Michael Jackson title will be released on September 30.

The previously mentioned Kellie Pickler release coming from RCA is going to be relased not only in the standard CD issue but also a Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, both made available on September 30.

Death Magnetic was posted as being released inside of September.  In case you haven’t heard (yes, you have!), This Metallica album is being issued on September 12.  This album will be available in standard CD, 2LP, and a 5LP Deluxe Limited Edition w/ Bonus CD.  This will be released from Warner Brothers Records.

Peak Records plan to release Heard That from Smooth Jazz artist, Jeff Lorber.  The album will release on September 30.

Warner Records have shifted the arriving Avenged Sevenfold CD/DVD, Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough, from the original ship date of September 9 to the new date of September 16.  This will save you a trip to the store so mark it down.

Nonesuch Records has pushed the coming Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile self-titled album from September 16 to new date of September 23 for BOTH the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD and the standard CD.  Make your notes.

Rhino will release a 4CD Box for The Jesus and Mary Chain on September 30.  This Box of rarities and collected B-sides will be called The Power of Negative Thinking: B-sides and Rarities

Also, the expected Rhino Home Video Blu-ray version of How to be a Megastar Live! from The Blue Man Group, will be shifted to November 4 from the last date of September 23

Jazz fans should be excited about the upcoming album by saxophonist, Trygve Seim and accordionist, Frode Haltli planned for September 30.  The album, which is called Yeraz, is an anticipated ECM release.

Rhino Records will be reissuing four Dio-fronted Black Sabbath albums with new re-mastering from the recently released The Rules of Hell Box, released by Rhino Records.  These break-out individual releases are Heaven and Hell (1980), Mob Rules (1981), the 2CD Live Evil (1982), and Dehumanizer (1992).  If you felt the Box was too overwhelming, here’s your chance to pick up the only titles that you want.  These are being scheduled for October 7.  These titles are also being released in vinyl LP with Live Evil on 2LP, same date.

There is a tear of X2 titles arriving.  I have previously mentioned some and so many go over recently posted titles.  If so, forgive me.  However, the following pairs are being repackaged as X2 barebones reissues: Dave Brubeck (Time Out/Time Further OutColumbia); David Gilmour (David Gilmour/About FaceColumbia); Herbie Hancock (Future Shock/HeadhuntersColumbia); Monica (After the Storm/Miss ThangRCA); Ozzy Osbourne (No More Tears/Diary of a MadmanEpic); Joe Satriani (Surfing With the Aliens/Is There Love in Space?Epic); Shakira (Donde Estan Los Ladrones/Pes DescalzosEpic).  These releases are slated for October 14.  Streeting on September 23, we have the following pairs: Brooks & Dunn (Steers and Stripes/Red Dirt Road); Kenny Chesney (Everywhere We Go/Be As You Are); Sara Evans (Born to Fly/Restless); Gentry Montgomery (My Town/You Do Your Thing); and Brad Paisley (Who Needs Pictures/Part II).

I don’t know about you but I’m quite interested in catching the film, Blindness.  The story is a study in humanity when a population suddently find themselves blind for no apparent reason, except for one, who must then pretend to be blind to avoid being singled out.  It is a ‘turn of the card’ event that mirrors society’s merciless treatment of peoples unlike the masses.  The soundtrack to Blindness is expected on September 30 from Decca Records.  It is composed by Guimaraes and performed by Uakti.

Curb Records will release a 20-track ‘best of’ for Merle Haggard.  The set is title Volume Two and is a continuation of the many hits that Merle Haggard’s fans enjoyed.  This set will be packaged in a gatefold mini-jacket with CD pocket and booklet pocket.  This collection, due on October 7, will be priced at $9.99 MSRP.

Here’s an interesting Various Artists release coming called Nightmare Revisited.  Take all of the songs of the original Elfman classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, have them re-recorded by other bands, and stitch it back up for a wild collection that includes Marilyn Manson’s version of “This is Halloween,” or Flyleaf doing “What’s This,” or even “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” by Korn.  I’m interested.  Nightmare Revisited is being released on September 30 on Walt Disney Records.

Curb Records will also release Damn Right/Rebel Proud by Hank Williams III on formats that include CD and 2LP.  The 2LP will come with a bonus CD.  This title is slated for October 21.

Bonded Records have announced the release of The Things You Think You Need by Jay Nash, scheduled for October 7.

Drive-Thru Records will release an Alternative title for Houston Calls, which will be called The End of an Error.  It is scheduled for release on October 14.

Big Brother Records and Reprise will release the latest Oasis album on October 7.  This album, which is being called Dig Out Your Soul, is an altering of the band’s sound (“…a sound that is more hypnotic and driving…”).  The new album will be released in standard CD, a Special Edition CD/DVD that includes a 28-minute ‘Making of’ documentary and “The Making of ‘The Shock of the Lightning’” and a 24-page booklet, and a 2LP (180g) gatefold album.  Oasis will support the album with an 18-month tour.

 I had mentioned the upcoming Marty Paich reissue, I Get a Boot Out of You coming from Rhino Records but failed to mention that this release is an LP reissue, re-mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Grey at Grey’s Camarillo-based Acoustech Mastering.  It is scheduled for October 7.

Watch for some blues from Jimmy Thackery with the release of Inside Tracks.  This album is scheduled for release by Telarc Records on October 14.

Nettwerk Records will release The Dawn of Grace by Sixpence None the Richer on October 14.

Nonesuch Records will reissue two Pat Metheny albums on October 7.  The albums are Question and Answer, and Upojenie.

Flashback Records have a string of barebones re-releases for the following titles and artists: Goin’ Back to New Orleans (Dr John); Time Loves a Hero (Little Feat); If That’s What It Takes (Michael McDonald); Twitch (Ministry); Come (Prince); Brain Drain (Ramones); Good to be Back (Natalie Cole); Some People’s Lives (Bette Midler); Boys in the Trees (Carly Simon); and Dosage (Collective Soul).  All titles have a release date of September 30.

We have notes of the following upcoming Alternative and Rock albums (there’s a few here):  Talking House Records will issue Secrets of the Sea for Loquat (October 14); Southern Records will release Lost Wisdom by Mount Eerie (October 7); Dew Process Records will street Dream Days at the Hotel Existence by Powderfinger (October 14) and Cruel Guards by The Panics (October 7); Ecstatic Peace Records will issue The Door by Religious Knives (October 14); Vagrant Records will release Life is not a Waiting Room by Senses Fail (October 7); Toucan Cove Records will release The Concorde Fallacy by The Muckrakers (October 14); and U-Music Canada will release Tin Fist from The Acorn (October 7).

Reprise Records will release an effort from Static-X called Cannibal Killers Live, which will be released in several formats.  You’ll be able to get this title in any version that includes CD/DVD set, a standard DVD, and a Special Edition 2DVD.  The second DVD on the Special Edition is a video of a 1997 LA show.  The main DVD will also contain all 12 of the band’s filmed music videos.  Cannibal Killers Live is expected on October 7.

Hip-O Records will add DD versions of Rolling Stones albums to their current building roster of Rolling Stones (Digital Download).  We had previously announced a wider selection.  These remaining selections tighten the hatches.  Affected titles are Some Girls, and Sucking in the Seventies.

Sire Records will release The Glass Passenger on CD, LP, and Special Edition CD/DVD from Jack’s Mannequin.  This title is set for September 30.

There will be a few re-released Greatest Hits packages (likely the recyclable Green reissues that we have been seeing) for: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (So Far); Echo and The Bunnymen (Songs to Learn and Sing); and Gary Wright (Best of Gary Wright – The Dream Weaver).  These re-released GH packages are on the calendar for September 30.



Concert Review - Jethro Tull - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre - August 09, 2008

Jethro Tull has provided musical entertainment and originality for decades. In their show at the Jones Beach theatre on August 09, 2008, they continue well into their 30+ years of music. Sam Rosenthal attended this show and wrote up his assessment. Read on...



Review - Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine - CD

Delta Spirit is a band hailing from San Diego. I remember the first time that I heard Ode to Sunshine, I knew that something special was going on with this band. They're one to check out.


Review - Three Dog Night - Greatest Hits Live - CD

Three Dog Night gave radio and their listeners a whole lot of AM fun as well as a few FM pieces. But they certainly shone in their Top40 catalogue. With memorable songs like "Joy to the World," they have set themselves apart from many singles-producing bands of their time. And they were consistent. Their Greatest Hits Live is a great way to revisit those








Copyright 2002-2008 Matthew Rowe.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)