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Reviews: Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair

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Reviews: 7

Review by Rickko June 16, 2014 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
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Review by talisman954 July 3, 2014 (2 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I really hate to do this to one of my all time fave albums, but i have to.
I purchased the remastered cd's of all 3 TFF albums, and noticed a huge improvement in sound quality.
So when i noticed they were releasing the SACD of SFTBC, i was highly excited.
I have upgraded many older 80s cd's such as Depeche Mode, and Genesis, Roxy Music, Dire Straits, The Police and loved the results.
So when i popped this in the player i was ready to be blown away, and i truly was not.
To my ears it is dull muddy and very flat.
Even raising the treble to hear some top end, made no real difference to this recording.
I truly thought someone had played with the tone controls on my Onkyo..
I then asked 3 family members to listen to the remaster cd version and the SACD version without knowing which was which,
They all 3 voted for the CD by a country mile...
This is the very first time i feel like i wasted my $50 on an SACD.
Very disappointed indeed.

In Response to Sylvian.
The type of equipment i have doesn't really come into play here.
I have already stated that i own many other SACD'S that sound fantastic on my current set up. Onkyo SR805 Oppo SACD
And Klipsch RF-62 II speakers.
I am not the only person to give a bad review on this SACD.
However audio quality just like music is opinion based, you have yours and i respect it.
But to my ears this SACD sounds truly horrible.
And i have all the Depeche Mode SACDS, Genesis, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry. Elton... Pink Floyd, The Police,Dire Straits etc and i love them all.
This just doesn't even come close to sounding like SACD should sound.

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Review by sylvian July 7, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I totally disagree with bad assesment of the sound quality (esp. when the reviewer doesnot specify his equip). This disc is a huge improvement it plays smoother than its Blu-ray only predecessor (which is still far better than an RBCD edition of this music).

I have listened to both TFF albums a few times recently on various equipment and I can confirm that they are both valuable purchases SQ-wise.

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Review by Axe1958 July 8, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I don't have a high end system, not near it, but I feel this SACD sounds great on my music room. I do have a good collection of SACD's and DVD-A. Now when a listening to "Breakfeast in America", "Super Tramp", SHM-SACD, after listening to this one, it doesn't sound so good at as it was before I had this one :-)

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Review by analogue August 8, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
8 tracks/1985/ 41 minutes

This mid 80's release is still listeners favorite for eighties music. Some of the songs have not succumbed to the 29 intervening years and still sound fresh.

This album is no doubt a product of its time and the production behind the recording cant hide the 80's feel to the created music. This shm sacd sports good to fabulous sound......but its still a product of the 1980's and nothing in the world can change that. What I mean is that the presentation is big and bold and in your face. Even the slow numbers (which sound awesome) have a boldness and upfront quality that distinguishes the 80's music from the previous 20 years of pop sound. I am not criticizing..............just holding a mirror to potential listeners expectations.

Sound wise this is a very good listen. The three slow songs on the album ( the working hour, I believe and listen) are slow burners and feature excellent fidelity. These three tracks feature terrific instrumental separation. You need to crank the volume even more on those songs and you might believe the band is in the room with you. It bears repeating.................even the slow songs are very bold. Vocals are huge, the piano booming.....the sax forceful. No.....not compression or loudness..........big, bold production values by the studio techs. This is......was the 80's and this was planes from the get-go. There is nothing sensitive to this album on the sound quality.

Shout.....its title implies a lot is powerful and the percussion drives me looney by the end of the song. It sounds good here. The classic Everybody wants to rule the world is awesome played loudly and its still the freshest of all the good hits on this album. It never ages for me. Some songs are total 80's panache and I don't like them at all with the lifeless drumming and almost robotic feel to their construction. But that's my personal opinion......perhaps not yours.

There might be some hot treble on this release, My preamp is very sensitive to treble and I did notice some grittiness from time to time. The atmosphere this album has on some songs with the whirling synths is very impressive.

I really cant say much more. This is a very good shm sacd and if you're a fan of the album I recommend it whole heartedly. You gotta remember that at no time during my listening was I ever fooled into being completely relaxed. I'll say it one more time...BIG, BOLD AND UPFRONT the very best way. Not much bloom or sensitive dynamic range. This is not a 70's recording.......or a 60's.......heck or even a 50's for that matter.

Good mastering.
Highly recommended. My actual score for sound was 4 and quarter stars.

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Review by Solo man September 24, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
After spending quite some time with this SHM SACD, I must say that it is an excellent audible presentation of how vintage 80 music should be played. " If you build it, he will come", well, "If you make it, people will buy." I won't go over the history of Tears for Fears or how technical the recording is, but will give you my opinion.

Am I a huge fan of Tears For Fears, not really; but I did listen to them in my youthful days. If you are looking for a forward presentation with booming bass and emphasized treble than this SACD is not for you. I found the tonal balance neutral. What do I mean by neutral? I mean neutral! Not flat! To me this makes the midrange pleasing so when the upper tones come out they are emphasized in a delicate but pleasing way. The backround is black in certain vocal solos which creates this nice phantom center and creates space for the instruments which image so very well. The saxophone solos in "The Working Hour" have a black backround as well, with it sounding organic and smooth; that it hangs in the air. The keyboards are not overemphasized like in "Jump" by Van Halen. The keyboards are fluid and mix well with the recording.

The negative is that the font in the mini lp sleeve is too damn small. If you want to see who is involved with the saxophone it's difficult to see on the sleeve. You have this nice packaging of a mini lp and I guess they want to produce it to scale. But come on, help out some of the older folks and I came to the realization I might need bifocals.

Back to the sound, I also hooked up both PSB and Totem speakers to my main digital front end and the recording still sounded amazing. For those of you who want to show off what their equipment can do, this may qualify as a demo, as it will bring out all the delicate intricacies in a pleasing manner. I am not talking about pure output but how beautiful the vintage 80 sound is. For example, the Natural decay of the drum is so reminiscent of how they sounded back in the day with analog equipment. The track, " Listen" was also very dimensional that it just widened the soundstage.

In ending, for those who will be purchasing this SHM SACD and feel they might waste their 40 bucks, don't worry just hold on to it for awhile. Because if they discontinue this print, you will get back 5 times what you paid. Just buy it!

"If you build it, he will come"
"If you make it, people will buy"

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Review by Marpow October 4, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair SHM-SACD Stereo
Is it pop jazz, pop rock, or pop pop? All of the above. Great disc, actually quite complex in arrangements. This SHM-SACD, stereo only, is superb. The synth sound comes across pure and alive in this disc format. I do not believe it could sound better on vinyl. Packaging is great, little box, plastic cover, great mini original LP cover, etc. A disc like this is the reason I don't own a turntable and I am glad I don't. When others talk about the "Big 80's Sound" this disc is one of that they are referring to.

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