Review by Marpow July 20, 2015 (5 of 11 found this review helpful)
|B. B. King & Eric Clapton: Riding With the King. Hybrid SACD Stereo Only.
This disc released 2015 is a let down for me. My disc #1559. I just received the DVD~A 5.1 and thought I would listen to that first and then this disc for comparison but I decided against it and let my critical review of this disc not be influenced by another. I owned this disc when it first came out and I am sure this version sounds better than the original RBCD?
Quick Facts: This disc originally released in 2000. A Grammy winner in 2000 for best Traditional Blues Album. 2 X Multi Platinum. In my opinion it is not a traditional blues album. There are lots of cool facts about this disc if you would like to research for yourself.
Performance: I only disagree with calling it a traditional blues album as some tracks most noticeably, Riding With The King, I Wanna Be, etc, are more of a pop songs, but there are certainly traditional blues songs on this disc. Clapton and King are just plain great, in anybody's book. There are 12 tracks and it a true collaboration as neither Clapton or King hog the show, even though King has a little more to do. There are other guitars involved, drums, bass, piano, organ and strings.
Stereo Sonics: Clapton on the left and King on the right. Sound is thin, muddled, and narrow. Wide sound stage, good resonating drums and cymbals, nice stroke of piano keys, the things I like are all flat. Positive notes, the guitars sound really good. Vocals are off center, maybe this is appropriate as Clapton's vocals and King's are more closer to there left and right (guitars) speakers. I am being highly critical. Good space between tracks, nice and quiet. I listened at 73.5 decibels, home machine, SACD layer, PCM 88.2Khz.
To be in defense of this disc I just spent the weekend listening to 9 AudioQuest Hybrid SACD's of the most stunning blues recordings I have heard in awhile. I am sure my dissatisfaction with this disc has to do with my prior listening, but the sonics on this disc is for beginners.
I noticed in the liner notes all credits for drums say "Drum Programming: Paul Waller". I am wondering if the drum track is not a live drum track?
Packaging: Typical AF plastic jewel case and cover. Paper gatefold original liner notes with all musicians on all tracks credited. Very limited AF credits. Very cool picture of B.B. King and Eric Clapton on inside rear, I would say circa Cream. I own a lot of AF discs and this is the first one that came with a cracked jewel case, probably not there fault.
My 4.5 stars for performance is the pop songs bring the disc down, in my opinion, the true blues of Track 10, is the star of the show. My 4 stars for stereo sonics is due to the overall flat, thin sound of the entire disc, (some tracks sound better than others).
I am looking forward to the DVD~A, 5.1 of the same title. I will let you know if I like that on The Rock Thread.
I also own AF's version of Clapton's Journeyman and I felt the same way with that disc. The tiny improvement in sonic quality does not warrant spending triple than what I paid for the original RBCD. We as audiophiles have to make decisions on this fact or even great company's like Audio Fidelity can hurt are pocketbook.
I hope my review was helpful, if not send me an email so I can learn.
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