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Reviews: Heart: Alive in Seattle

Reviews: 7

Review by emilsjr June 21, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
The girl rock group Heart plays several of their biggest hits and some interesting covers in the latest "Live" disc from Sony. Prior to listening, I was apprehensive. I have not been impressed with most of Sony's other live discs I have heard (Live in NY, Springsteen, Ozzfest). I am happy to say that this disc easily trumps all of them. Also, congrats to Sony for their first US hybrid release.

Some of Heart's biggest hits are here. "Crazy on You", "These Dreams" and "Barracuda" all are here in slightly different arrangements that actually improve the songs. Some of the cover songs, especially "Battle of Evermore" and "Black Dog" are very effective. Heart had always handled cover songs well and that continues here. Some of their new material is weak and some songs hurt by not being here, like "Never". Still, a good overall listen. I consider Disc 1 to be stronger overall material wise than Disc 2.

As for the SACD, the sonics here will win no awards. However, as previously stated, this is the best "Live" disc from Sony since the Roger Waters disc. Of course, considering how poor those other discs were, they had no where to go but up. The rear channels are used almost exclusively for applause. The front three channels present a nice balanced soundstage that does sometimes feel like you are at the concert. The sonics here rate a 3.5.

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Review by muzikman June 22, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
I was so happy to find Alive in Seattle in my mailbox one day. I had no idea it was coming, in fact, I did not think that Heart was active any longer. I think many people felt that way. Their last studio album was Heart Presents a Lovemonger's Christmas in 2001and there last legitimate studio rock album was 1993’s Desire Walks On, so it comes as no surprise that most folks would have considered that they were at least semi-retired as a group. Much to my delight there is this new double live CD and DVD out featuring the legendary sister rock music team. The play all of their hits from the ‘70s like “Magic Man,” “Dreamboat Anne” and “Dog & Butterfly,” great new songs ”Heaven,” “Sister Wild Rose” and “Break The Rock,” and brilliant rocking covers of “Battle of Evermore” and “Black Dog” (Led Zeppelin), “Mona Lisa and Madhaters” (Elton John) and “The Witch” (Sonics).

I grew up in the ‘70s so many fine memories come tied up into this music for me. This music gets me all choked up with emotion. When I hear the beautiful Nancy and Ann Wilson sing and play their music, especially when I hear “Alone,” (the acoustic version on this CD is just as spine tingling as it was with the electric guitar) there is nothing like it in the world, it is something special. Just as one line in the song states-“It chills me to the bone,” but in a nice way.

I remember reading the magazine Circus (back in the days when it was good) and the commentary about Heart. They made many comparisons to Zeppelin regarding their sound and influence. The sisters were smart enough to embrace that and run with it, and here we are nearly 30 years later listening to that music all over again in all its glory and magnetic appeal. There will also be a SACD of this same set released in June, which I look forward to hearing.

To be honest, I was not to sure what to expect when I played this. I realize that this band has had some good years and felt that probably their best years were now behind them, just another rock dinosaur trying to make a comeback right?, I was so wrong. This is an incredible performance! The band is really cookin’ right along and the Wilson sisters have not lost too much over the years concerning vocal range, impact, and stage presence. This performance was the last of their “Summer of Love” 2002 tour in the comfort of their hometown, Seattle. The crowd is full of energy and they react with enthusiasm to the music and interact with the sisters quite a bit. Watch for the “Alive in America Tour” in 2003 if you would like to see for yourself what it is like experiencing live Heart music. Get ready, this two CD set is something that will get you warmed up for the real deal.

The SACD format has offered consistently exceptional sound, engineering and production on every release I have heard this year. This live performance is kicked up a few notches with the super audio format, which always provides much more of a sonic treat, particularly for a live recording. Actually, this music packs a powerful punch regardless of what format you buy it in, I know because I have them all including the DVD, and that tells you just how good this album is. The essence of their live performance is captured beautifully, and I believe that when people look back on live albums in the future this one will be mentioned as one of the best.

©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
June 22, 2003

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Review by Tom June 24, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
Not sure how to rate this. I like Heart, but haven't been an avid fan.

I thought the disc was too expensive. I paid $25.

It also bothers me when the "live" version sounds different from the studio version. Many of the cuts sound very different.

I think the recording engineers captured what Heart sounded like that evening. It sounds like a live concert.

To me the crowd noise is too loud, the instuments are fuzzy or veiled, there's background noise/booming, and the drums lack clarity.

The good news is that there's a very good selection of music and it's fairly well recorded for a live concert. Great that Heart is back.

The great news is that Sony is finally selling hybrid discs!!!!

Aug. 24 Update: I've now listened to this 5-6 times. I want to revise my rating of sonics from 2 to 3. I think my first impression was a little harsh. This is a live concert, and not a studio recording.

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Review by petermwilson July 15, 2003 (0 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Hi,
Since is a Hybrid disc I decided to record it Windows Media Player 9 which iI use to play hdcd's since it decodes this algorythm.

Recording at variabnle bitrate in wmp's lossless format, my playback is showing between 934 to 1044kbs and from a 2ch analog connection from the soundcard to my Denon 5800/03 and playing in the DPL II dps format, the rez is quite amazing. I think the fact that like the Roger Waters Berlin Wall live disc, it's easy not to be overly critical of the playback.

Same goes for "The Concert for New York" even though there is no hybrid layer.

Peter m.

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Review by dorokusai September 15, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
This was my first "Live" recording on SACD. I also think that the crowd is a little too loud at times, and it is distracting. That being said, the crowd is certainly having a great time, due to a great concert. I love the two Zepplin covers. The music is a little fuzzy at times, and hard to really hear the classic chords of Barracuda, and Magic Man. The vocals however are excellent, and the second disc is even better as her voice gets warmed up. Great disc, great live performance.

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Review by sacdpatat January 7, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:  
I've been a huge Heart fan forever so I was very pleased to find this discs. There has been some commends about the overall sound but I do not recognise that.

I have seen Heart in Rotterdam a few years ago so I have a good idea what livesound to expect. I think that the livesound was captured mostly as it was and that's what I like in a live disc.

There is no question that the SACD sounds better than the red book CD, less harsh with more transparant high-end and an overall warmer sound without adding mud or losing clarity.

Stereo imaging is good for a live rock recording. At the moment I have no multichannel set-up so I cannot comment on the MC layer.

Something I found a bit odd was that a lot of tracks were actually covers, all done well but I cannot help feeiling that there could have been more of those original Heart songs on the album.

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Review by electro May 15, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
I've been a fan of Heart since the debut album.

Overall I enjoyed this disc, it creates a live feel in surround. Their set list includes two Led Zepplin covers, and frankly aren't that great, but not my favourite track of theirs, "If Looks Could Kill"

Other than that recommended and good value for a double disc.

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