Ira Gershwin born 1896; Dave Brubeck born 1920. On 12/8/73, the LP “Stranded” by Roxy Music was No. 1 in England. On 12/7/68, the “Double White” LP by The Beatles was No. 1 in England. 12/9/72 the LP “Seventh Sojourn” by The Moody Blues charts at No. 1 in the US. On 12/7/63 The Beatles 45 “I Want To Hold Your Hand” charts at No. 1 in England. Also on 12/7/63 The Rolling Stones 45 “I Wanna Be Your Man” (written by The Beatles) charts at No. 12 in England. On 12/9/67 the Scaffold 45 “Thank You Very Much” charts at No. 4 in England.
I recently got the first two Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums as Deluxe Editions; faithful renderings of the albums in stereo; new mixes of the albums in stereo, bonus tracks and a DVD with 5.1 mixes of the ‘new mix’ of the album etc. To be honest, I already had some Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 5.1, the DVD-A (and SA-CD) of “Brain Salad Surgery”. The DVD-A of “BSS” has “Lucky Man” from the debut album in 5.1, prompting my lament for the rest of the album in 5.1, however…
Steve Wilson usually does a really god job on his 5.1 mixes for progressive rock albums. No argument for his King Crimson titles or for his “Aqualung” 5.1 mix for Jethro Tull. And the sound of what is here is very good, too. But – you do not get all of “The Three Fates” in 5.1, only the 3rd part (“Atropos”) and – they didn’t bother to re-create “Tank’ in 5.1, either. That’s right! “Tank” only exists in stereo, folks! They mixed some of the first album bonus tracks into 5.1, but…not “Tank”!
“Tarkus” fares a bit better, in the 5.1 department – it’s all there, the 2012 mix in 5.1 – alas, only 1 x bonus track, an alternate version of “Mass” from “Tarkus” on Side 1 (at least it got mixed into 5.1!).
With these two album, I suspect I’m now 100% finished with with re-buying them ever again: I have SHM-CD kami sleeves from Japan, which is the original mix mastered as good as can be hoped for; now I have as much 5.1 action as is going to be had. I have beautiful original British LP’s for the superlative cover art. All done!
If I had to go through the process of re-buying every title in my collection as many times as these two albums, a) I’d be broke b) I’d have no place to store anything c) I’d probably be deaf from all the close and careful listening engendered by re-issues of this nature. Yes, I’d take 5.1 mixes of quite a bit of stuff – how come the Zappa Family Trust doesn’t issue the ones that Frank himself mixed into quad as 5.1 DVD-A titles? (For trainspotters, that’s “Apostrophe” and “Overnight Sensation”).
To conclude this thought: seek out more Greg Lake on the first two King Crimson albums; Keith Emerson did particularly well in The Nice (get “Five Bridges” and “Elegy” first) and Carl Palmer can be heard on the debut album of Atomic Rooster – if he’s on any Crazy World of Arthur Brown tracks, I can’t name ‘em specifically. Would not really consider any other Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums to be particularly “essential”, though I do like “Pictures At An Exhibition”!