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Reviews: Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Bonus DVD)

Reviews: 9

Review by Croc December 13, 2003 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
i don't have a 5.1ch setup for SACD so i'm talking 2ch SACD only.

sounds OK.

i don't feel that difference is significant comparing to old CD copy that i have.

bonus tracks are great.

bonus DVD is nice but kind of "one watch only" type.

for me as EJ lover it's very nice disc.

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Review by peteyspambucket December 31, 2003 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I need to preface by saying that I have been an Elton John fan for a long time, almost my whole life, and I have loved this album and many others. This is a very personal review.

Performance: Having known this album over the years, I still think the performances captured were excellent, and that is why it gets a 5. It's still great, and the musicianship and performances are vibrant and thrilling to hear.

Sonics: I think the SACD of GYBR is very good. I am listening to the 2ch SACD layer. It's not a monumental improvement over the CD, but the improvements are audible. It's an inconsistent sound throughout, however. Certain songs sound awesome, while others haven't been given any improvement. Certainly the drums have been repositioned and sound more lifelike than ever. The guitars and bass sound clearer than before, but in some cases are still a little mushy. The biggest disappointment is that the vocal and piano tracks aren't more lifelike than before. I would say the big piano/keyboard numbers like "I've Seen That Movie, Too", "Harmony", parts of "Funeral for a Friend", "This song has no title", and "Grey Seal" have a different sound and it's an improvement, but the piano and vocals don't sound warm. It's perhaps not fair to compare, but I was hoping for an improved sound on the order of DSOTM or Rolling Stones. Maybe it's the original tapes that keep the engineers from making this better, but this is probably as good as it can get, so I am still very pleased.

The "Bonus" DVD is an add-on I would not have invested in, in retrospect. This version of the documentary is cut, and it's actually not a Bonus since you pay extra for the DVD version. Just buy the SACD version without the DVD, and you will not feel cheated.

From what I can hear from Elton's other albums like EMPTY SKY, ELTON JOHN, MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER, CARIBOU, and CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, those recordings sound richer in sound than GYBR, and I hope those will be coming soon.

All said, the SACD version is the edition to get and if you already know GYBR or are getting it for the first time, you will enjoy this album.

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Review by SACDmike January 12, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is what SACD Surround Sound is all about!!!

Amazing on 5.1 set-up. I only hope that all SACD multi-channel recordings
are as perfect. As a fan of EJ you will not be disappointed.....and as a fan of technology
you will be thrilled. A classic album truly becomes a CLASSIC SACD.

I very much enjoyed the bonus dvd.....but i like that sort of 'behind the scenes' stuff.
My only regret...that it's not the full 90 minute dvd but only 50 minutes.
As for it being a 'bonus'...it was. I purchased the 3 disc set at Best Buy for $29.99.
They had both versions of the SACD (with and without the DVD) for the same price.

If only all SACD's were MULTI-CHANNEL (and produced & engineered as well as GBYBR).

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Review by Noonions March 15, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Now this is why SACD 5.1 surround sound was created!Elton John's 1973's landmark "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is always a favorite of mine,having had it in 3 discs-one in Mobile Fildelty Sound,another in a 1995 "Classic Masters" reissue,and now the new 2003 hybrid CD/SACD master-and out of all of them,the last one clearly takes the prize as the best sonic representation of this classic album,since it opens up the sound to make to hear such overplayed hits like "Bennie And The Jets","Candle In The Wind","Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting",and the title song in ways that it makes them fresh again.If you're an EJ fan or just someone who loves great pop music,GYBR is surely the road to take again.

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Review by DACooper April 3, 2004 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This was the first album I bought when I was 8 years old, and started me on a 30 year journey of music exploration. Amazingly, this album has stayed with me all these years, through worn-out vinyl to target double-CD to remastered CD to MFSL Cd and now, finally, to hybrid SACD. I say finally, because without a doubt this is the definitive version of this classic. To my ears, this is a benchmark multichannel SACD to which all others should be compared.

I'll skip right over the CD and SACD stereo layers and move right to a review of the 5.1 mix. This is an extraordinary mix. EJ's vocal is anchored in the center channel, with some bleed into the FL and FR, and unlike a lot of the early 5.1 mixes I've heard, his voice isn't overwelmed by the other speakers, but instead stands at the front of the mix just as it should. Davey Johnstone's legendary guitar sound is given a lot of space through the fronts and surrounds, Nigel Olsson's drums are more distinct and real than previous releases and the late, great Dee Murray gives the LFE channel a work out with his fluid bass lines. Add to that the ambient crowd noise on Bennie & the Jets and the until now indecipherable Jamaican dialogue on Jamaican Jerk-Off, and all-in-all you have a magnificent example of what 5.1 SACD can bring to the table.

I use this disc to show off my 5.1 system, especially for folks who are familiar with the album, and I have yet to find anyone who isn't impressed with the sound of the SACD. Buy it!!!

p.s. I have the version with the bonus DVD. It's interesting, but not worth the extra $10-20. Only for the real EJ freaks like me.

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Review by monotone July 16, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
I bought the album out of curiosity, and was an 'amazing' surprise! Extremely well mastered SACD for a recording in the 70s... not to mention nicely done in multichannel format... I can't agree any more than what has already been written abt it!

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Review by thepilot August 30, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I grew up with this wonderful album and I feel very privileged to be able to listen to it in splendid multichannel DSD sound. The transfer from the analogue tapes is simply astonishing and the music remains as original as the day it was written.

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Review by onenairb June 14, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Are there two different mixes of this SACD? Well I own the one with the extra DVD but the reviews of the other SACD release with regards to poor sonics are at odds to what I have experienced.
Like all the other Elton John SACDs I own - Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection, Captain Fantastic - the sonics are superb. Mr Dwight is very particular about sound and I'm sure he has had a say in these surround remasters. They are all fine examples, if not benchmarks, of what a good SACD remasters should be. There is a DVD Audio release as well but I do not have any experience of it.

GYBR was my favourite album of all EJs work until I heard the others in SACD surround. Now I don't know. I can only say after ignoring these recordings for many years I now often listen to them because the sonics are excellent, as is the music. Like much of EJs work, the best songs on his albums are often not the chart releases. My favourite on this album is "I've Seen That Movie Too".

The 2 channel SACD mix is the best 2 channel mix I have heard on CD format. The SACD 5.1 is very well executed - it sounds superb. The space around the instruments and the sound stage place this SACD in my top 10.... so far.

Superbly remixed 5.1 SACD that is highly recommended to all surround fans, especially EJ fans.

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Review by analogue February 25, 2009 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Of all the Elton John sacd's released I find this one problematic soundwise. The transfer used from the original tapes was 24/96 hi-rez pcm. And while the sound seems rich and full there is a brittleness and fragility to the treble highs to in unmistakable and the bass is not as deep or rich as on the other Elton John sacd. There is a reason for this.

There is no doubt this is an incredible and classic rock album and still a very good listen. This review is not about the music but about the sound quality of the SACD. I suspect most listeners will love the sound of this but this release does not compare to the other earlier Elton John sacd's that were released after this one. They are superior to this one by alot in my opinion. They are even more fuller, warmer richer and life like in all aspects. They are also more stable and by that I mean that the highs are better rendered and there is no brittleness or harshness to them. And the bass is much deeper. And Elton's voice is much better heard as well.

So........classic and great album with very good but not great sound on this sacd. Actually to be really honest Company's who put dsd next to the sacd logo of the actual sacd's should be honest. Dsd should have been used to make a copy of the original master tape and not a copy of the high rez pcm. And if push comes to shove they should at lease use 24/192 which is more stable and fuller soundwise. The reason they cheaped out was to make both an sacd and a dvd-audio for release. If you think I am quibbling and picky you are correct. I own pure dsd recording from master tapes of classic rock albums and they are truly fantastic. They are true super audio cd's.
And pure dsd makes all the difference in the world.

Yes I love sacd and dsd as long as it's pure and we are not cheated.

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