Aerosmith "Oh Yeah" SACD's arrive! A Review...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    OK, my Aerosmith SACD's arrived today and I gave them the quick once over and thought I would express my feelings here. I listened to just about every track on both disks for the majority of each song. I did not listen to every track yet, I don't have a Redbook copy to compare (with the exception of the earlier stuff on the Greatest Hits) and I am not a HUGE Aerosmith fan, but am familiar with every track on this release.

    Let me get my main gripe out of the way first. The disk was labeled at Elusive Disc as a stereo only release (non-hybrid). Not going to go into the annoyance that is the non-hybrid release, you all know that. However, the disk is labeled on both the outside jacket (plastic this time, not paper) as well as the outside wrapping that it is a MULTICHANNEL release.

    DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A MULTICHANNEL RELEASE

    In fact, I was so surprised by the labeling, I got kinda excited before putting it in my player. Alas, it only has a stereo layer and even the side of the jewel box says STEREO. Columbia is going to get a lot of returns on this one unless they correct the packaging.

    On to the music...

    The first disk is the old stuff. Coming from different albums and different masters, I expected some inconsistency and that's what I got here. However, take my comments with a grain of salt. With only two exceptions, all tracks on this release sound better than my Redbook Greatest Hits release. Some, much, much better.

    The only tracks on the entire two disk set that I didn't think were great improvements were "Dream On" and "Angel". Dream On really didn't give me that much improvement on the Redbook version IMO. There was improvement, but not night and day. The vocals on "Angel" seemed a little cooked to me. Kinda hot sounding and a little schrill. Maybe it was the mix, but I have this track on a Sony mini-CD sampler (from the mid 80's) and didn't prefer the forwardness of this version.

    There were some highlights however. Joe's guitar into to "Walk this Way" never sounded better. Man it was clear as a starry night. The harmonies on Sweet Emotion were great and "Seasons of Wither" was great. Overall, most of the tracks here were great improvements on my Redbook version. Mama Kin lacked a little low end on the mix (trouble hearing the bass), but I've never heard this track as dynamic or clear sounding.

    I cannot comment much on the second disk as I don't have redbook comparisons for any of the tracks, but they all sounded great.

    This is definately worth the purchase. Some of the earlier tracks may not sound as good as I expected (using Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Couldn't Stand The Weather" as a reference for what technicians can do with a 20 year recording, but still it was a cut above how I've heard these tracks before...again for the most part.
     
  2. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    In that I might agree that certain cuts do sound better than their CD counterparts - I have found, in comparison with what I have come to expect from most SACDs (of which I own over 110), both Aerosmith discs (Just Push Play and O Yeah) are near the bottom of my list of sonically good SACD.

    Overall I found the O Yeah SACD a bit bright and "hot" sounding - and I could definitely hear the variability in the master qualities from album to album.

    I also got a bit excited when I thought, hey, maybe this really is a MCH release - since the copy I got at Coconuts in NJ was also packed as if it was MCH. But yes it is STEREO only.

    Just a note, I bought Miles Davis "In A Silent Way" the same time I purchased Aerosmith - and that is also mispackaged. The Miles disc, although correct in that it has the MCH sticker and slipcover, actually has the graphics, bar code and catalog number of the new REDBOOK re-issue. As some people have found some stores are thusly pricing this SACD as a redbook release. (Too bad the manager at the store where I bought the Miles was smart enough to price the disc like an SACD).
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Evan,
    Thanks for the well thought out review. I definitely want to get the Aerosmith compilation on both CD and SACD. It's too bad the SACD wasn't done in multi-channel too. Anyway, I am disappointed to hear that "Dream On" is a downer on SACD. That is my favorite Aerosmith song and I hoped it would be breathtaking on SACD as a result. I still would love to hear it on SACD. Hopefully soon.
    Michael,
    I saw the remastered CD of In A Silent Way at a record store in a local mall last evening ($13.88). Unfortunately, there was no marking on it to indicate it was the SACD. If the SACD can have the bar code and catalog number of the remastered CD, I was hoping that an SACD could find its way into a mall record store. Unfortunately, there was no DSD logo on the back. [​IMG]
    I am very eager to hear the stereo track on the In A Silent Way SACD. Just last week, I tracked down the original CD at a local Best Buy before it went out of print. I love the music, but there is a lot of room for improvement sonically. The original CD is flat. Hopefully the remastered CD and SACD are much better.
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Michael,

    SACD is such a weird animal. I can say that the tracks on the "O Yeah" compliation are for the most part better than their redbook counterparts and I would be right. But for you to then say that the Aerosmith disks on SACD are some of your worst SACD's sonically would also be correct. I didn't want my review to paint an entirely rosey picture. Is it better than redbook? Yes. Some songs on the disk are much better. However, I have much better SACD reference material.

    Keith,

    After listening to the two disk set in full this afternoon. "Dream On" is an improvement over the redbook, no doubt. I would be very surprised if you didn't notice it. However, when comparing the clarity of this disk over say SRV's "Couldn't Stand the Weather", there is no comparison. I agree with Michael. Some tracks seem a little bright, lacking smoothness. It is more detailed than the CD version and I like that, but something is missing. It just doesn't WOW you, like some SACD's do.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Evan, thanks for the added comments. Couldn't Stand the Weather is a truly outstanding effort for the SACD format. The wonderful music aside, the sonics of this SACD are a true joy to behold. I don't think the original masters for Aerosmith's recordings are as good as that of Couldn't Stand the Weather. While the SACD of Couldn't Stand the Weather beats the remastered CD by quite a large margin, the remastered CD is still quite good. Aerosmith CDs in my collection are O.K., but nothing to write home about.
     
  6. Emil Stoica

    Emil Stoica Second Unit

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    Keith,

    The Miles Davis SACD is in a gold SACD case and has the sticker for multichannel on it. However, the insert on the back is the regular CD version. So when stores scan it, it comes up as the CD version. I bought this last night at my local Fry's Electronics for $9.99 (Man I wish all of them had this mistake).

    NP: The Scorpions - Moment of Glory (SACD)
     
  7. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Emil,
    I figured the In A Silent Way SACD would come in a slipcase, but I was not aware that the back cover insert was exactly the same as the CD. I am going to try to track down the SACD this weekend. Perhaps I will get it for the price of the CD. It will depend on the cashier I get. If the SACD rings up for the price of the CD, an alert cashier might notice that he or she is holding an SACD. The "right" cashier would give it to me for the price of the CD in that situation.
    Michael,
    Thanks for the information. You bring up an interesting point that I have pondered myself, but that I try not to dwell on. The point that I have pondered is, will SACDs mixed originally as multi-channel releases be done well in stereo? I am concerned that in some cases, the focus will be the multi-channel track and the stereo track will be an afterthought. This could be driven by the mentality that multi-channel is the future, and multi-channel tracks warrant extra attention. Thus, some people with influence may feel that multi-channel will sell SACD, so multi-channel tracks must be good. Another mindset that could apply is that multi-channel tracks require more effort to be done well, so more time is required in mixing multi-channel tracks. In this vein, some mixing engineers may feel that stereo is old hat, and putting together a stereo track may not get their full attention as a result. Finally, preparing an SACD with multi-channel and stereo tracks is a good amount of work, and I suppose it is possible that corners could be cut or that mixing engineers could get sloppy in order to make deadlines. That could lead to lackluster stereo tracks. I've certainly encountered lackluster multi-channel tracks.
    From what you said, it seems like the stereo track on the In A Silent Way SACD does not reach the full potential the format can offer. That is disappointing. Nevertheless, I will try to track down the SACD this weekend, and from what you said, I will be in for a treat upon comparing the stereo SACD track to my original CD. In the end, I will pick up the remastered CD as well as the CD box set. I love the album and will buy any version I can find. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Wait, hold on... In A Silent Way is out already?!
    I was at Best Buy just yesterday and I did not see that one, nor the Aerosmith. [​IMG] They better not be slacking on my SACDs...
    Keith,
    If Sony would really think that MC is the "future" then they would create MC tracks for most or all of their releases. Most do not have one.
    Also, I think it's unfair to compare CD mixes of Dream On to Couldn't Stand The Weather as there is a 10 - 15 year difference between them.
    NP: Pat Metheny, Tio 99->00
     
  10. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, yes, In A Silent Way is out on SACD! I haven't picked it up myself yet, but I did pick up the remastered CD this evening at Circuit City. I'll be comparing it the original CD I picked up last week. Anyway, Circuit City did not have the new Miles Davis, Aerosmith, Janis Joplin, or Bruce Springsteen SACDs. [​IMG] Circuit City used to do a reasonable job of getting in new titles, but they have slacked off. Best Buy has been doing a little better lately, as I saw the Joplin and Springsteen SACDs in their stores last week.
    By the way, Circuit City also had the remastered CD of Miles Davis Filles De Kilimanjaro, which must have come out on Tuesday with In A Silent Way. I also saw a remastered CD of Water Babies there. Is this a new issue? I hadn't seen it before.
     
  12. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    It is a shame that 5.1, or original 4.0 quad mixes where applicable, were not made available. I have a copy of "Aerosmith Rocks" in quadraphonic, and "Back in the Saddle" in surround sound is the only way to go! [​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Michael_T, that's an interesting point about the MC. It remains to be seen what happends with that. I would certainly welcome a heavier MC output.
    Keith,
    You are certainly the bearer of good news today. I will be making a trip to Newbury Comics today in search of the remastered In A Silent Way and Filles De Killemanjaro. I don't know anything about Water Babies, as I never ownded that album (yes, there actually still are some Miles Davis albums I do not have [​IMG] ).
    I'm going to work on the assumption that Best Buy will eventually get the Miles and Aerosmith titles. I simply cannot afford to order them as I've been delaying that Rollins purchase and the new Coltrane release is coming out.
    Sometimes I feel like such a dick complaining about the lack of SACD releases when I cannot keep up with the stuff that's already out there.
    NP: Jethro Tull, Living With The Past
     

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