David Bowie – “Station to Station” (5.1)

1-25-12          David Bowie – “Station to Station” (5.1)

Singer / Songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim born 1927, Singer Etta James born 1938; I own music by both.

Disc o’ the day:  David Bowie – “Station to Station” CD / DVD boxed set, with 5.1 disc

David Bowie was not an important artist to me during most of the time he was creating what is probably his finest material.  Really, I sort of “gave up” after “Ziggy Stardust”. – and until I went to work in a hippie record store, I heard very little Bowie from 1972 – 1976 – then I heard “Station to Station”.

And I liked the next 3 or 4 Bowie albums after “Station to Station” reasonably well.  I will admit to having had my curiosity piqued by “Tin Machine”!

Why spend $100 on a boxed set of “Station to Station”?  I’d read that it came with a 5.1 DVD of the album.  I set up my 5.1 system about a year ago, and have been after material to play on it.  I waited until I found a “used” copy, so I got it (with a credit slip) for under $100.

It definitely wasn’t mixed – re-mixed for 5.1, folks!  The train FX at the beginning of the album do indeed go around the room, but after that – it’s like the remix engineers forgot about the rear channels!  I heard some fingersnaps at one point, and some nice echo on a snappy guitar intro, but…it’s really stretching it to call this a true 5.1 mix.  Bleh.

This huge, expensive boxed set also comes with a previously unreleased live show, as both CD’s and LP’s – and some very nicely reproduced documents, relating to the Bowie ephemera of the era.

Of particular note is that on the DVD, they feature not only the disappointing 5.1 mix, but also the 1986 RCA CD mix, as well as a nifty high resolution version of the original “vinyl mix” of this title (also on the CD in the set).

So, “Station to Station” has never sounded better, but I am still waiting for a true 5.1 mix of it – let Steve Wilson do it!  I’d buy it again – if someone could assure me the 5.1 mix didn’t stop with the train FX on the first cut.

Alas, I’ll probably never get to hear 5.1 mixes of any Bowie albums other than “Ziggy Stardust” and “Reality”.  And I wouldn’t mind a big boxed set for the anniversary edition of “Low”, but I suspect I’ll be waiting on that one…to exist.

Save your money – unless you want a super clean version of the original vinyl mix (on CD) or the previously unreleased live show.  No 5.1 jollies to be found here!

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3 Responses to David Bowie – “Station to Station” (5.1)

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    Well, it’s good to know I’m not missing anything I can’t afford. “Stationtostation” is the highest charting Bowie album in America, so I guess that’s why they made the boxed set. “Low” is probably his best regarded album, and it has grown in critical cachet over the years. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets “the treatment” at one point or another. Not all 5.1 sounds good; it’s true. I go back to those peter gabriel videos and have to shake my head there.

  2. postpunkmonk says:

    I can’t believe that anyone with ears would want to hear a Bowie “RCA mix!” I have one of the RCA CDs and I’ve kept it just because it sounds like it was mastered from flexidiscs! Really! It sounded that bad.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    Yeah, kind of odd that they included an RCA mix. I guess it was substantially different from the original ‘vinyl mix’ CD found in the box?

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