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Reviews: Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Reviews: 8

Review by analogue December 19, 2010 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is a true classic great from the early 70's and needs no introduction. This was originally a double album.
This is the 2nd time this Elton John sacd has been released. The first sacd was a mess. Terribly compressed, grainy, brittle and excessively loud I could barely listen to it.
I had high hopes for this new shm-sacd release and I can tell you it really lived up to my expectations. And that's saying alot.

I believe that the same master tapes were used for this new transfer. But that's where the similarity ends. This new sacd has much smoother and warmer sound. It is actually relaxing to listen to due to its new found dynamic range.If a passage was played softly it sounds that way. Also the music gets louder when it should and not because some studio tech decided that the transfer should be compressed til our ears bleed. No compression....no digital glare and gone is the extreme loudness.

This is also a flat transfer and things are left alone with no post production tinkering. For example Elton's vocals for love lies bleeding were recorded a little lower than the other songs but the tech's did not boost it up. This is as it should be.

From the sound of the howling wind on funeral for a friend and as the organ, piano and synth's build up.....you know you're in for a great audio ride.

As I said previously the whole album, all 17 tracks are included on a single disc and with a smooth, relaxing feel that it is a pleasure to sit through the entire album and just get lost in this classic rock album. Elton's voice is a marvel and the musicianship is top notch. Strings are warm, the bass deep and the sound stage is terrific. Great musical treat for sure.

A top notch job.

Highly recommended.

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Review by Quint June 23, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have to agree with the OP. This Japanese SHM-SACD is a decided step up from the domestic two-SACD set. The domestic, aside from being stupidly divided into two discs and thus negating the huge storage capacity of SACD, was disappointingly bright and compressed. Itís a shame, because the music is so majestic in scope that it really deserved first-class mastering. But those who dislike the domestic pressing are saved in the form of this SHM-SACD. All the natural warmth of the original recording is preserved, and the dynamics are nothing short of astounding. Detail is amazing as well. After hearing the SHM-SACD, I threw my domestic pressing in the closet, where itíll remain until I decide whether or not to sell it. All in all, this is another winner from Universal Japan. Not all of their titles are great, but they certainly got this one right.

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Review by pjg12345 August 30, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:
One of my favorite EJ albums.

The transfers are really good, with tremendous dynamic range, deep lows, sparkling highs and a sweet midrange. The SHM SACD blows the previously released Deluxe Addition SACD away. There is no comparison. The previous version was overly bright and loud!

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Review by Eyolf December 11, 2011 (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This shm-sacd has poor sound. I can not understand the other reviewers that says this is good, and better than the old sacd. It is not. The old sacd sounds much better with better details, more clarity, better dynamics and more life. The shm-sacd sounds dull and flat. If thats the sound you prefer, well thats your choice. The old sacd is not the best sacd in the old sacd releases by Elton, where most of these ones are just totally amazing, and realy really shows the potensional sacds have. Many shm-sacds sound like this one- a bit dark and muddy lacking clarity. The funny thing is I just bought the Donald Fagen-Nightfly on shm-cd, and it was far better the the remaster cd. I have long hoped for a good version of this brillint album, everyone has been lacking life anf sparkle, but the shm-cd had much more life, and thus sounding the oposite than many shm discs. Also the case with Dire Straits-Dire Straits and Steely Dan-Aja, where the shm-sacd version sounds more dynamic and clear.

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Review by danfaz February 15, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:
A comparison to the domestic release leaves no doubt in my mind this is the superior version. I can hear many more subtle sounds, the highs are not shrill, the bass is tight, instrument separation is great, even with only two channels!

It's possible many of the folks that dog these SHM-SACDs have just become accustomed to compressed and bright releases. I find these much easier on the ears, and can really enjoy the music. This is my third SHM-SACD, and I love them all.

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Review by hv366 April 26, 2012 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Like the previous poster said, "This shm-sacd sounds dull and flat. Where is the BASS? A lot of the shm-sacds sound like this one- a bit dark and muddy lacking clarity. What a rip off!

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Review by p59teitel February 24, 2013 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I currently have both SACD versions: the Island 2003 2-disc set, and the Universal Japan 2010 SHM-SACD. I won't go on about the music itself, we all know it's a stunning 5-star album where songs like "Grey Seal" and "All the Young Girls Love Alice" are every bit as strong as the hits like "Harmony" and "Bennie and the Jets."

Each SACD release has its merits. The SHM-SACD boasts a quieter background, a cleaner high end, and more detail. I give it 4 stars for sonics. The Island SACD has more bass weight, punchier vocals, and a better soundstage, and I rate that one 4.5 stars sonically.

Those with an analytical bent seeking the perfect studio sound will likely do better with the SHM-SACD. But for me, the Island SACD has better pace and emotional impact. It sounds more like an actual band playing music in front of me, and is the version I prefer.

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Review by Sergey June 6, 2013 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I hate to read such reviews when they write that the CD sounds flat and boring. Listen and compare European SACD. Price disk is fully justified by the technology used, and if someone does not hear the difference between SHM SACD and just listen to the music from the internet and do not waste money in vain. The format for audiophiles and its beauty is that even the worst originally recorded sounds fresh and clear, we realize what time it was done and why record does not sound like a modern. We understand that the old days and we hear the sound of indescribable charm, the aura of air and emotions so that means SHM-SACD.

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