Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers

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jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #140 on: 18 Oct 2008, 06:54 pm »
Byron Janis/Fritz Reiner/CSO - Strauss: Burleske; Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 1



RCA Victor is one of the storied record labels in classical music excellence.  There are others to be sure, such as Columbia, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, London, Angel, and several other smaller labels.  The hey-day for RCA Victor was from 1950 through the mid 1960s.  As it turns out many of my favorite conductors and soloists made serveral appearances on RCA Victor.  Without question Fritz Reiner ranks among the greatest conductors of the 20th century.  Most of his incredible 1950s RCA Living Stereo recordings are available on SACD, and I have them all and can give them a hearty recommendation.  But not all of them have made it to a high definition audio format.  Some, like this one, are available on CD.  However, since the CD audio format has a longer runtime RCA gives you more music than what originally appeared on the LP release.  In this instance they add a performance of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, which seems like an odd addition given the piano centric nature of the original LP performances.  I think it disrupts the flow a  bit.  But you can always use your CDs remote to skip around it or create a playlist.  So no biggie.

But there is something to be said for having the original vinyl LP.  I have been collecting a lot of RCA Red Seal/Shaded Dog albums and always look for opportunities to buy them at reasonable prices.  I shudder when some eBay record dealer prices some of these records at $50 or more.  That's insane.  But the specimen that I have, which came in today's mail and I'm listening to it now, set me back a whopping $8, which is far more reasonable.  The sound is spectacular with very low surface noise and the performance is brilliant.  I also have the CD but honestly I prefer this vinyl record.  If you have an analog setup then you may want to try to snag a copy if you can find it at a fair price.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2008, 10:03 pm by jsaliga »

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #141 on: 18 Oct 2008, 09:54 pm »
Yes - Fragile



Time to return to some great rock music.  For my money Fragile ranks among the greatest rock albums of the 1970s.  Released in 1972, this album has been in my rotation ever since, I listen to it at least once every year, and I never tire of it.  I think Fragile was the band's finest moment.  Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe gell wonderfully in the recording studio, and Jon Anderson's vocals fit the compositions like a glove.  The songcraft is just as strong as the performance, with Anderson and Howe penning most of the album's 9 tracks.  The record kicks off with Roundabout, perhaps the greatest keyboard driven rock tune ever recorded. I used to own a CD copy of this, having given up vinyl in the early 1980s.  So I was glad to be able to locate a pristine original vinyl pressing of this record on Atlantic.  The mastering on the CD I had sounded thin, with the bass sounding too far back in the mix.  According to AMG there is a 1995 remaster that sounds great, though I can't comment on it since I haven't heard it.  I will stick with the vinyl thank you very much.  It sounds incredible and I strongly recommend it for those with a analog setup.

--Jerome

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #142 on: 19 Oct 2008, 03:48 pm »
Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg - Twin Sons of Different Mothers



This terrific easy-listening soft rock record was a collaboration between singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg and flutist Tim Weisberg.  The rock tunes are spread out by a number of mesmerizing soft jazz-rock songs thrown in.  Released in 1978, the album spawned the radio hit The Power of Gold, and numerous tracks from this record have graced the sound tracks in several motion pictures.  Dan Fogelberg's piano and guitar playing go with Weisberg's flute like a fine wine with cheese.  This album is just what the doctor ordered when you hunger for some mellow rock to relax with after a hard day at the office.

--Jerome

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #143 on: 19 Oct 2008, 04:37 pm »
Robert Palmer - Double Fun



When Robert Palmer's name is mentioned it is hard not to recall the music video of the song Addicted to Love, appearing on the 1985 album Riptide, that got heavy air play on MTV (back when the "M" in MTV stood for music).  After 23 years it is still hard forget that video.  The hot-chick backing band, the song, and Palmer, appearing suave and debonair, dressed in a shirt and tie.  I'm sure there were a lot of guys wishing they were Palmer at the time.  Heck...I'm one of them.  But as much as I liked the albums Riptide and its follow-up Heavy Nova (featuring the hit Simply Irresistible), Palmer's better days, artistically speaking, were already behind him by the mid eighties in spite of his new found commercial success.

People not very familiar with Robert Palmer's 1970s work are in for something of a surprise.  In those days he was a soulful crooner and his material frequently had a funk inflected sound to it.  Double Fun is one such album, and I think it is his strongest effort from his early days before his commercial breakthrough with Riptide.  If you enjoy jazzy soul-funk then is this is a must-have record.  Superbly recorded and sound engineered, the album has an inescapable groove that will command your attention.  The lineup of tunes is strong throughout.  The album leads off with the hit Every Kind of People, and while it's a great song it is not even close to being the best song on the album, and that's saying a lot.

--Jerome

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #144 on: 19 Oct 2008, 06:11 pm »
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - Night Moves



Bob Seger climbed the charts in the mid to late 1970s.  When Night Moves came out I was a junior in high school, and I really hated both Seger and this album.  I can't really pin down the reason why.  Perhaps it was because this album was a staple of AOR radio and the stations simply played it to death.  The song Mainstreet was released as a single and it became the second most overplayed record of the 1970s, right behind Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.  Whatever the reason for my dislike of Seger, it took another 20 years before I would give his music a fair shake and a place in my rotation.  And that was purely by accident, while I was a passenger in a colleague's car and he played the song Fire Down Below from the Night Moves CD.  As the song played...I thought to myself what a terrific rock and roll song it truly was.  So the very next day I picked up the CD.  Now I have original vinyl pressings of most of Seger's 1970s output.  This album is the hardest rocking entry in Seger's catalog, with just a few light rockers mixed in for a change of pace.  But the record is loaded with an array of memorable songs: Rock and Roll Never Forgets, Night Moves, Fire Down Below, Sunburst, Sunspot Baby, Mainstreet, and Mary Lou.  This album belongs in the music library of every serious rock and roll fan.

--Jerome

rajacat

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #145 on: 19 Oct 2008, 08:17 pm »
Roy, what did you end up with for a vinyl rig?  Inquiring minds want to know!

--Jerome

Jerome,

Well...I didn't exactly acquire a high end rig :| but with the addition on some rebuilt and updated Heathkit W5m monoblocks everything sounds better :D. I did purchase the bargain TC760-LC at phonopreamps.com that you recommended. I'm powering it with a 12v battery. My TT is a Beogram Rx that I acquired by trading a set of interconnects. :roll: Despite this extremely humble rig, I think, with a good recording, that the sound quality is very good. I think that the Beogram didn't have much mileage and the stock cart is supposed to be very good. Anyway it is sitting on a granite slab producing some nice vinyl tunes. I do plan to upgrade the TT and I'm on the lookout for a used TT that I can buy locally.



It may not an upper crust TT but it sure is a nice clean unit. :)

I think that the Heathkits deserve a new thread. Soon I'll open one with some photos.

-Roy

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #146 on: 19 Oct 2008, 09:39 pm »
Hey Roy,

That's great.  The most important thing is that it sounds good, not how much it costs.  If you can get great sound for very little money then you are that much ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned.

That vinyl rig is going to give you access to a ton of music that you otherwise wouldn't have with just a digital rig.  Pretty soon you will be hitting the Salvation Army thrift shop and public libraries snooping for cheap vinyl. ;)  Life is good...enjoy.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2008, 11:56 pm by jsaliga »

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #147 on: 19 Oct 2008, 10:08 pm »
Dire Straits - Making Movies



As far as I'm concerned this is Mark Knopfler's finest moment as a musican, a songwriter, and a singer.  Making Movies is not a perfect album, its lone stinker being the completely forgettable finale Les Boys.  But if you can forgive that one misstep, this is one helluva record.  Opening with the tight and driving Tunnel of Love, it is followed by a cornucopia of brilliant songs: Romeo and Juliet, Skateaway, Expresso Love, Hand in Hand, and Solid Rock.  It's a lineup of songs that were undeniably the strongest of any 1980s rock album, from any artist.  For me it represents the high water mark for Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, one that he would never reach again.  Essential listening for rock fans.  Get an original vinyl pressing if you have a turntable, as they are cheap and plentiful and it will sound better than any CD of this title.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2008, 10:46 am by jsaliga »

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #148 on: 19 Oct 2008, 10:42 pm »
James Gang - Rides Again



Joe Walsh's big splash on the rock scene in 1970.  The band suffered from constant changes in personnel, and the stint that Walsh did with the James Gang saw the group at its creative best, and Rides Again, with it's terrific lead-off hit Funk #49, was its best album.  The record features some fascinating arrangements by Joe Walsh, incorporating keyboards, pedal steel guitar, and string arrangements into the band's sound.  Most people familiar with The James Gang will probably remember this record for the snappy opening track, while the rest of it fades quickly from memory.  What a shame too, because it's a strong record throughout, one that might have been spoiled by radio just as much as it was made popular by it.

--Jerome

zybar

Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #149 on: 20 Oct 2008, 03:25 am »
Dire Straits - Making Movies



As far as I'm concerned this is Mark Knopfler's finest moment as a musican, a songwriter, and a singer.  Making Movies is not a perfect album, it's lone stinker being the completely forgettable finale Les Boys.  But if you can forgive that one misstep, this is one helluva record.  Opening with the tight and driving Tunnel of Love, it is followed by a cornucopia of brilliant songs: Romeo and Juliet, Skateaway, Expresso Love, Hand in Hand, and Solid Rock.  It's a lineup of songs that were undeniably the strongest of any 1980s rock album, from any artist.  For me it represents the high water mark for Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, one that he would never reach again.  Essential listening for rock fans.  Get an original vinyl pressing if you have a turntable, as they are cheap and plentiful and it will sound better than any CD of this title.

--Jerome

Absolutely great album and I totally agree on the vinyl being superior to cd.  If you do listen to cd, definitely get the remasters.

BTW, as good as this album is, I still rate "Brothers in Arms" just slightly ahead of "Making Movies".  Am I splitting hairs?  Yes, but we all have our own preferences.

George


jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #150 on: 20 Oct 2008, 03:39 am »
You're not splitting hairs George.  As you noted, everyone has their preferences...and I am aware that Brothers in Arms is generally a more popular album than Making Movies.  I just happen to think the latter is musically superior.  No biggie, I have room on my shelf for both.  8)

--Jerome

el dub

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #151 on: 21 Oct 2008, 09:04 pm »
I like "Making Movies" better, too. "Love Over Gold," is prolly my fave.

We were lucky enough to catch Dire Straits on one of their few stops in the US back in the mid 80's. Believe it or not, the show was in an intimate little theater in St Paul MN.  :)

Right now we're listening to the Buena Vista Social Club on CD.

lw

el dub

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #152 on: 21 Oct 2008, 09:48 pm »
Man, the more I think of it, Dire Straits self titled debut album might just be my favorite.

lw

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #153 on: 21 Oct 2008, 11:35 pm »
Valery Gergiev/Kirov Orchestra - Shostakovich Symphonies 5 & 9



Ok...back to classical music for a bit.  If you are wondering why all the classical music recommendations lately it is because I have bought a truckload of used classical music vinyl and a bunch of new classical music CDs and SACDs from Amazon.  I've been going crazy on music buying lately and a lot of it is turning out to be pretty spectacular.  I hope some of you find these suggestions worthwhile.

I know that Valery Gergiev has established himself as a great conductor of Shostakovich's symphonies.  I never got around to buying any of them until now.  I love Shostakovich, but I have always regarded the Bernard Haitink/London Symphony Orchestra Shostakovich symphony cycle on Decca to be the standard bearer, and never felt motivated to look at other performances at length.  I own the Bernstein 5th and 9th, and a 10th and 14th from other conductors on vinyl.  I have been eyeing this Gergiev release on SACD for several months.  I would add it to my shopping cart, and then take it out after finding something else that I thought was more important.  I think I have done this three or four times.

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and the SACD was delivered today.  I thought I would give it a casual listen while I worked this afternoon.  I had to take the SACD off after the first five minutes.  It sounded wonderful...too wonderful in fact, and I kept finding myself becoming distracted because I wanted to concentrate on the music and not my work.  So I came back to it at the end of the day.  I won't go too much into the story behind Shostakovich's 5th symphony, other than to say that he wrote it in response to his falling out of favor with Joseph Stalin and the Communist government in Moscow a few years before the outbreak of World War II.

Shostakovich experimented with dissonance in many of his chamber works and small scale orchestral pieces.  His symphonic works were a little less adventuresome sonically, though they were still quite invigorating musically.  This SACD, featuring the 5th and 9th symphonies, has astonishingly good sound quality; it might not be too much of a stretch to say that it is one of the best sounding classical music recordings in my music library.  The performance is first rate too, and is easily on par with the Haitink/LSO Decca recording that I own.  If you like classical music, are intrigued by Russian composers, or know of Shostakovich's symphonic works and enjoy them, then order this Hybrid SACD without further delay.  It's spellbinding sound quality and great performance will leave you awestruck in its wake.

--Jerome

rajacat

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #154 on: 22 Oct 2008, 12:33 am »


I find these string quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich to be fascinating and of excellent sound quality. The boxed (5) CD set is priced very reasonably ($15.00) from a number of alternative dealers at Amazon.http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0000042HV/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

--Roy

Alwayswantmore

Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #155 on: 22 Oct 2008, 12:39 am »
sorry, i thought I could fix the link with an end '/' -- but no go.

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #156 on: 22 Oct 2008, 05:46 pm »
I find these string quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich to be fascinating and of excellent sound quality. The boxed (5) CD set is priced very reasonably ($15.00) from a number of alternative dealers at Amazon.http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0000042HV/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

--Roy

This is another set that I have been meaning to buy for quite some time and never seem to get around to it.  Thanks for the reminder Roy.  I just put my order in.  But I gotta slow down a bit...I spent over $400 on music in the last week alone.  I'm loving it mind you, but my wallet is starting to cry uncle! ;)

--Jerome

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #157 on: 22 Oct 2008, 06:19 pm »
Frtiz Reiner/Jascha Heifetz/CSO - Brahms Violin Concerto



One of my favorite compositions for violin, paired with one of my favorite conductors and my favorite violinist of all.  I have this on RCA Living Stereo Hybrid SACD (it's paired with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D and is therefore a great value).  But I recently acquired this original RCA Red Seal Shaded Dog pressing on vinyl and I have to say that I slightly prefer the vinyl.  It's a little warmer with somewhat fuller, richer sound.  Brahms concertos are very important works to me personally, so having this performance on a digital format and on vinyl is worthwhile.  You should be able to find very nice specimens on vinyl for $10 or less.  I paid $7 for mine and it sounds wonderful.  I know, I know, I have said time and again that I am only interested in vinyl that I can buy in bulk for 75 cents per record or less.  But some records are worth breaking your own rules to get...and this is one of them.

--Jerome

el dub

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #158 on: 23 Oct 2008, 09:04 pm »
Jimi Hendrix live at Berkeley....  8)

lw

jsaliga

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Re: Music - Food for Your Omega Speakers
« Reply #159 on: 26 Oct 2008, 12:11 am »


This is pretty close to the best, if not the best, classical music recording I have ever heard...period.  And here's the funny part, it is not a vinyl record nor is it a CD.  It's a music download.  Where can you find this gem?  At High Definition Tape Transfers (HDTT), where else?  To use their words "High Definition Tape Transfers specializes in rare classical recordings mastered with the best mastering equipment available."  You know something, after buying two titles and listening to them today, I don't doubt them one bit.

http://www.highdeftapetransfers.com

I bought two titles today.  The one I recommended above and this one:



Which I can also strongly recommend. 

Both are great performances and feature incredible, three-dimensional sound, from the light and airy strings all the way down to thunderous percussion.  There is so much detail in these recordings that you can single out instruments and hear them clearly.  This is what seperates these two recordings from the pack as far as I am concerned.  And when the orchestra gets loud...the sound doesn't lose one bit of coherency like it does with so many other classical recordings.

Another great thing about HDTT is flexibility.  You can download FLAC files at CD resolution or you can download High Definition audio files at 24/96, also in FLAC format.  If you prefer media then you have your choice of a CD or a DVD-R that is burned in the DVD-A format.  Frankly, I can't think of a single reason anyone would want to settle for anything less than the 24/96 FLAC files.  Sure they are big downloads.  High res FLAC files give you greater options.  For example, you can use Foobar 2000 to convert FLACs to WAVs, and then use software like Disc Welder Bronze to burn your own DVD-A discs (this is what I did).  Or you can use software such as Adobe Audition or Audacity to convert and resample 24/96 to 16/44.1 and burn your own audio CD if you don't have a DVD-A player or a Silm Devices Transporter to play the high res formats.  The downloads do not have DRM.  HDTT has won me over and I will be a regular customer.  I'm already planning my next purchases, namely a Dvorak violin concerto and Schubert Symphonies 2 & 8.

--Jerome