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Reviews: Bob Dylan: Desire

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Reviews: 4

Review by Khorn September 19, 2003 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I find this a great disc that more than lives up to what I had anticipated and, I've been waiting for this release (along with other Dylan titles) for quite some time. Judging the sound quality of a recording has to take many factors into account and I would like to add something I posted to another forum re this recording as it somes up my experience with it:

I'm quite surprised at the expressed dissatisfaction of the sound quality of Dylan's 'Desire' SACD, specially on some other forums. I find the SACD incarnation of this recording very, very, good. I find it rids itself of "haze or veil" present in the previous digital mastering. Because of the limitations of the recording itself setting a few "playback parameters" help enjoyment immensely. Remember these are suggestion only, I'm not trying to tell you how you should listen to your music but I'm only passing on personal experience that might help with this particular recording.

If your acoustic environment is med-live to live you could try setting the volume level so that Dylan's voice averages somewhere between a MAXIMUM of 80 to 85 db SPL 'C'weighting/Slow response time at your listening position.
IMHO this recording as well as a great deal of Dylan's work relies on his voice and "Story Telling" and that is what I key in on.

I find at the above levels Dylan's voice is articulate with tonal character portrayed as it should be. Emmy's backing vocals along with Scarlet's violin tone/playing are greatly complimentary.

I just sat down and listened to it again before writing this to reaffirm my opinion of this recording and the above is my take on it anyway.

Don't bypass this SACD because of some less than stellar reviews elsewhere, if you like this title or, even if you have never heard it before judge it for yourself.

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Review by LDG February 3, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I am very glad this album is finally available on SACD.
I own the CBS LP and Columbia CD versions.
I never really liked the CD edition. The master tape used must have been a worn one. Listening (especially with headphones) I was always annoyed with the unsteady treble (as if the tape head continuously shortly loses contact). I preferred to play the LP.

Now at last here's SACD. The tape overdrive distortion (those old analogue VU meters!) of the drums and bass still remains, together with some small drop outs but the sound is fantastic compared to my CD.
The vocals are bright and clear, the balance is exact. I looked up the original HUMO (great Belgian magazine - sponsor of Torhout/Werchter) -review of January 1976.
Nothing has changed: it still is "a bizarre blend of styles" which will be remembered.
I have my favourite songs; they haven't changed, but now sound better than ever. Although... I also played the LP before writing this and was pleasantly suprised with the sound of it.

The LP contained a lyrics sleeve and the lyrics were also included in the CD booklet.
I miss these in the SACD edition.
The "sleeve notes", included on all three versions, mention the quadraphonic sound and remix. So this record is originally a surround one! Probably the only Dylan album.
This mix should have been included, as done with Deep Purple's Machine Head.
I have tried if my amp could decode quadro LP's (centre speaker disabled). I do not think the result is what was intended.
The quadro mix is a missed opportunity!
If you like this album, you must have the SACD.

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Review by trich727 May 7, 2010 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
After listening to Layla several times in SACD, I thought I would give Desire another chance. I still find it far "less warm" than I would like, but like Eric Clapton's Layla, I need to be forgiving as they did miracles for some of Dylan's SACD remasters. Sill this strikes me as hard, but an improvement over previous Redbook releases with less distortion and hiss. I love the music on this release, and accepting it as that, and the fact that Sony "gave up" on SACD before it took off (a real shame, but typical of Sony), this may be the best it will ever be. Still Joey makes me cringe thinking this is the SACD version.

That is where I find fault with this release, but every release of Desire to as well. Wow, the recording engineer should be ashamed. Even SACD couldn't save this one, it was just very poorly recorded. A crime. Tom

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Review by zoot1 September 15, 2010 (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
hey tom! lost touch with you. no way to reach you. call or email me!

this is a great effort but the vinyl still sounds better.

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