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The Friday Morning Listen

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The Soul Cages – Sting

I had a chance to listen to this at a friend’s house last night. He owns a pristine vinyl copy and the sound is truly gorgeous. The Soul Cages came out just before some bad things started happening in the recording of pop records: too much studio tweakery and compression.

Just take a listen to Brand New Day for purposes of comparison. The music is great but is stuffed full of way too much knob-twiddlin’. The dynamic range (and life) has been squeezed out of it.

Maybe after commercial radio dies that same death coming to major labels this kind of everything-louder-than-everything-else practice will fall out of fashion.

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • If I remember correctly, this was one of the first albums to use “Q Sound.” I never quite learned what the process was, but the results on the few things I’ve heard that used it were stunning. It created a much more 3-dimensional soundstage than you usually get out of stereo. I still listen to Roger Waters’ Amused To Death because it too used Q Sound – the sound of a phone ringing in one track has fooled me every single time into thinking a real phone was ringing in another room. I should probably pick this up to check out that Q-Sound effect on something less cinematic than Waters’ work (and I remember liking everything I heard from this album – the last time I liked anything Sting did, actually . . . )

  • isn’t Amused To Death the one where you can hear the dog bark coming from behind you?

    kind of a neat trick.

  • Yep, that’s the one. I forgot about the dog – that phone is what gets me everytime. Wonder what happened to Q-sound . . . ?

  • Google provides.

    Sting was indeed the first album to use Q Sound “from the ground up,” but Madonna’s Immaculate Collection also featured it (I forgot about that – a friend had it and while I couldn’t stand her the sound was incredible.)

    It seems they’ve given up on 3D CD sound and are concentrating on computer-y things. Too bad, I’d like to hear more CDs with this kind of realism . . .

  • Shark

    Mark, busy Friday, eh? This review was less meaty than what I usually expect to hear from you.

    Anyway, I thought this was a great album, but it was too sad for me. I’m not usually one who avoids ‘tragedy’ because it depresses me, (oy) but this one got to me.


    An emotional wimp (currently listening to a Johnny Gimble CD)

  • Mark, busy Friday, eh? This review was less meaty than what I usually expect to hear from you.

    very perceptive, sir.

    the listening session lasted until past 3 in the morning…i’m gettin’ too old to be gettin’ home at 4AM.

    it’s about all i could muster.