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jazzfan
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A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

With great anticipation I ran out a bought a copy of the new Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint CD "The River in Reverse". Played it on stereo in the office and even ripped to an mp3 and copid it to my iPod to listen to on the train ride home. I must confess to being both a long time Elvis Costello fan and a major Allen Toussaint fan, so this CD is like mana from heaven to me.

The disc sounds okay on my stereo at work, if just a tad bass heavy and pretty good on the iPod via my mp3 rip (EAC/LAME/--alt-preset extreme for those you interested in those kinds things) but on the big rig

RGibran
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


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Maybe he could learn something from that wife of his.

AHA! So you do acknowledge she makes some damn fine sounding recordings despite having that mike down her throat?

RG

jazzfan
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


Quote:
AHA! So you do acknowledge she makes some damn fine sounding recordings despite having that mike down her throat?

RG

Don't go putting words in my mouth or things down mine or anyone else's throat. All I meant is that Diana Krall's recordings sound better that Elvis Costello's recordings, but than Elvis hasn't set the bar all that high, has he? There still plenty of room between recordings which "sound better that Elvis Costello's" and "damn fine sounding recordings", like I would say just about your average everyday jazz recording made by a fairly competent recording engineer without major hearing problems, for example. The problem is Elvis Costello rarely seems to use these people when he makes a CD, Diana Krall does but she likes the taste of microphones, seems to boost her CD sales among the grey haired audiophile crowd.

If there's one thing you guys have to learn about me it's this - I will never stop. NEVER

jdm56
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

I think "Spike" is actually one of EC's better sounding CD's. In general though, I agree with what you're saying: Mr. McManus has not been particularly well-served over the years, sound quality wise, by most of his production teams.

My vote for best-sounding Elvis Costello record would have to go to the T-Bone Burnett produced "King Of America". The worst, without a doubt, is the original "My Aim Is True".

jazzfan
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

Although "Spike" is well recorded, it is very poorly mixed and thus has what I believe was called a multi-mono sound. Multi-mono sound means the sound of the various tracks do not really gel but rather remain seperate and apart, each in its own little space. Way too studio sounding.

"Spike" was recorded in Hollywood, New Orleans, Dublin and London. However not different songs recorded in different studios but different tracks of each song recorded in a different studio and then mixed together in yet another studio. And it damn well sounds like it.

On the first track "...This Town..." which features Roger McGuinn (recorded in LA) and Paul McCartney (recorded in London), the two sound a world apart. I always found myself listening to "Spike" from another room, kinda gave the sound a better chance to blend a bit.

Anyway those are my reasons for disliking of the sound of "Spike". By the way, I agree about "King of America" being one of his best sounding recordings as well as one his best recordings period. Ditto for "All This Useless Beauty".

Monty
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

I've only heard one song from the album over the air. I'll buy it and love every minute of it...and probably join you in grumbling over the sonics.

jazzfan
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


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I've only heard one song from the album over the air. I'll buy it and love every minute of it...and probably join you in grumbling over the sonics.

Monty,

That's the beauty of having multiple stereos, headphones, and audio players - there's bound to be one or two around that the CD will sound okay on. "A River In Reverse" sounds pretty good on my iPod and I go to work 5 days a week, plenty of time to listen to Elvis and Allen. I just won't get to hear them much on the big rig.

jdm56
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


Quote:
That's the beauty of having multiple stereos, headphones, and audio players - there's bound to be one or two around that the CD will sound okay on. "A River In Reverse" sounds pretty good on my iPod and I go to work 5 days a week, plenty of time to listen to Elvis and Allen. I just won't get to hear them much on the big rig.

Kind throws into question our endless quest to upgrade the playback end, doesn't it? So much of my collection sounds fine on a boombox, in the car or van, even on the computer, but heaven forbid I play it on my good rig (which btw, is of rather low pedigree itself). There, so many shortcomings are laid bare, that the worst recordings are practically unlistenable. But then of course, it's the good recordings that make it all worthwhile. The bad ones go on the block at Amazon as soon as the remaster appears! That is, if the music is good enough to warrant buying it again.

jazzfan
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


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....But then of course, it's the good recordings that make it all worthwhile. The bad ones go on the block at Amazon as soon as the remaster appears! That is, if the music is good enough to warrant buying it again.

Funny thing about remasters, it's not a given that the remaster will sound any better than the original. With CDs things are a very confusing since so many of the original CD issues of material which was originally released on LP sounded pretty bad that the "reissued" (or should that be "re-reissued") CD's can only be an improvement. But then the original LP releases usually sound better than any CD issues or reissues. I say "usually" because some late 1980's LP releases suffer from poor pressings, material, etc. and sound pretty bad.

Then there's always the issue of whether or not the recording was anaolog or digital and when it was recorded. Early 1980's digital recordings are about the worst sounding recordings going. All digital glare and no life. The music's there but not the soul.

stereophillips
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy


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So much of my collection sounds fine on a boombox, in the car or van, even on the computer, but heaven forbid I play it on my good rig (which btw, is of rather low pedigree itself).

Sometimes it's an issue of synergy rather than pedigree. I've heard "modest" high-end systems that got an amazing amount of honest-to-God music out of 80-90% of an audiophile's records and I've heard systems composed entirely of Class A components that highlighted every flaw in the recording chain.

Some listeners "tune" their systems by playing only the types of music that their systems handle well -- other folks (the saner ones, IMO) negotiate their compromises to maximize their musical enjoyment.

I have different listening stations around the house and some systems really "sound" better when resolution is reduced. Thank goodness my kitchen system doesn't put me in an audiophile trance or I might have only a pinkie on my left hand (I like my knives sharp and I have the waterstones to prove it).

Jeff Wong
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

I stopped into the Virgin store on 14th Street very briefly on Thursday and noticed that this album contains 2 discs. What's on the 2nd disc? It's so odd... as an EC collector/fan there was a time I'd have purchased the album on or before the official release date. Maybe I'm getting healthier?

jazzfan
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Re: A River In Reverse - Very Muddy

Jeff asks:

Quote:
What's on the 2nd disc?

Jazzfan answers:

The second disc is a 30 minute video (DVD) of the making of "The River In Reverse".

And I must be getting healthier too, since I haven't watched it yet.

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