Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years

6 Sep

Paul Simon - Still Crazy After All These Years DS397f front


Reissue: (D) New Decode

Release: DS397p

Source: SQ LP

Process: ‘Phoenix’



29 Responses to “Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years”

  1. T Bradley February 27, 2016 at 03:12 #

    The overall intensity of the mix feels quite thin on this one compared to the stereo releases I have but I’m so amazed at the amount of overall separation you’ve achieved from an SQ record! So many times I’ve opted for a Q8 version over an SQ record as the SQ records seemed to be prone to a lot of hollow front vocals, heavy reverb sounding and smeary rears, and a major lack of clearly defined channels but the overall mix of this one with the separation achieved by the SQ decode that’s been done on this record is simply and undeniably amazing.
    I have the stereo “1964/1993” 3-CD box set of his works which contains many of the tracks from this album and the intensity of the percussion and overall midrange seem to fall a bit short with some instruments that should be obvious getting almost lost down low in the mix but for an SQ record as the source I’m totally blown away!
    There’s this deep low bass throughout the entire disc yet the intensity of the actual percussion isn’t obvious and that great driving force percussion and lead vocal of “50 Ways…” left me feeling almost disappointed but the great separation made it fun enough that I still keep listening anyway, and the first time I ever heard “Gone At Last” was when I bought that boxed 3-CD set and it’s not my top favorite of his but it’s high on the list for me and I just keep noticing how his lead vocal gets lost in the mix during the harmonies on this release and how that amazing driving piano bass also feels thin compared to the stereo version from the CD on the same equipment, although I blame it all on SQ and I’m still happy I got this one anyway.
    Basically, if you’re a Paul Simon fan it’s totally worth having this one in my opinion as both the presence and the very good use of the extra 2 channels makes it such a fun experience although to me it’s a little bit of a let down dynamically compared to the stereo mix, most likely thanks to SQ. I’d love to hear a Q8 or especially a Q4 version to compare but it’s still a job well done sir!

    • oxforddickie February 27, 2016 at 06:43 #

      The SQ encoding system is always unfairly blamed for a multitude of ‘issues’, which i guess is understandable given the systems miss-understood complexity.

      I believe some of the issues you’ve mentioned are down to one of the drawbacks of spreading the mix around four channels, plus the CD will have been eq’d/compressed to impress.

  2. John February 22, 2016 at 01:31 #

    Well this is a strange one. The placement of instruments and voices is often weird to my ears – for such a conventional, middle of the road album. Too much drumming isolated in the left right, backing vocals and horns in the left right, bass somewhere off in the middle right. Main voice to the left of center. And yet, after some initial misgivings, I found myself enjoying it hugely. I’m sure I heard little touches in 50 ways that I hadn’t noticed before, and I love the way they placed the great drumming across the sound field. I’m sure this album will be a hit! Reading above, I see this is from an LP?! Amazing sound – so this is an amazing transfer. The instrumental breaks in the title track are thrown around in a beautiful, crystal clear way.

  3. Alberto November 6, 2015 at 16:38 #

    Hi, I wish to have access to this torrent but I can’t donate because dosn’t work. Any idea? How can I do?

    Thanks in advance.


    • oxforddickie November 6, 2015 at 16:45 #

      I may have the answer tomorrow or Sunday, just keep an eye on the Blog Info on the right

      • Alberto November 6, 2015 at 17:04 #

        Ok, thanks!

  4. Owen Smith October 7, 2015 at 18:31 #

    As others have said, the audio quality on this is fantastic, no sign at all that is from LP and very clear instrumentation all around the quad mix. It is hard to imagine that a quad master tape transfer would sound any clearer, and a commercial release would probably ruin it anyway with dynamic range compression or EQ or both.

    That said, the music is lightweight and insubstantial for my tastes. The titular track is quite good, but only a couple of others really interest me. The rest is just very well made but of little consequence. What a shame Graceland probably wasn’t mixed in quad (too late by far I suspect).

    • birdycat19 October 7, 2015 at 23:03 #

      Well Owen it certainly wasn’t inconsequential here in the States–it won two Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1976. When it came out I wasn’t initially impressed after his first two solo albums. I thought it was too slick at the time but after dozens of listens over the years I’ve grown to love it. Funny, I feel about GRACELAND the way you do about STILL CRAZY: a Hail Mary pass of a record that sounds too samey, a record of its time that I have no interest in revisiting. But what do I know–I consider HEARTS AND BONES to be his finest solo LP 😉

      • oxforddickie October 8, 2015 at 00:51 #

        I’m with you on ‘Hearts and Bones’, i feel it’s an over looked gem of an album.

    • Owen Smith October 8, 2015 at 00:54 #

      That’s the great thing about music, we all like different things. Life would be boring and predictable otherwise. I can see why this might have been popular in 1976, it was of it’s time (a bit airy fairy if I dare say that). But 1976 wasn’t my era, I was 10 at the time and barely aware of popular music.

      • Owen Smith October 8, 2015 at 00:58 #

        I note this made number 6 on the UK album charts (wikipedia), so clearly it made less of a impact in the UK.

  5. admsh September 21, 2015 at 22:17 #

    I’ve listened to this new decode now a few times and I’m speechless. The amount of detail in the rear is nothing short of amazing, and clarity all around is simply spotless. I couldn’t have hoped for anything more from an official remastered release. AMAZING.

    • oxforddickie September 21, 2015 at 22:22 #

      Thanks for that, i’m glad this release has garnered so many positive reviews. I’m guessing the others need to be done now lol

  6. Matt Eastwood September 14, 2015 at 14:03 #

    Wow, Richard! What an amazing transfer. This is clearly big-time superior to your previous one. I love the sound quality, mix, separation and – obviously – the content. It does sound like an official release. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • oxforddickie September 14, 2015 at 14:22 #

      Many thanks for the comment.

      I’ve been listening to this again and i have a feeling this mix might actually be a tough one for a decoder to decode. There are things going on, at a low level most of the time, that i would suspect were on the official ‘don’t do’ list for mixing for SQ.

      Just my gut feeling……….

  7. Mats Lindgren September 9, 2015 at 16:41 #

    A fantastic conversion. One can hardly believe that it comes from a SQ source. Imagine if we have had the possibility to hear the SQ records like this forty years ago. Maybe quad had survived?

  8. Mats Lindgren September 7, 2015 at 18:46 #

    Have a conversion from a Q8 tape. Would like to hear this new SQ decode. The Q8 conversion does not sound very good. I Think it was a Dolby tape and that was not compensated for, meaning a lot of hiss and way too much treble. Seems like this release is not available as a freebie, nor as a donation release. Right?

    • oxforddickie September 7, 2015 at 18:57 #

      This is a normal release, but for previous donaters it is available as a free upgrade

  9. prefabfan September 7, 2015 at 02:14 #

    This is my fav of the Simon solo material. Looking forward to it.

  10. daveede September 7, 2015 at 00:00 #

    Any chance Rhymin Simon will get the Phoenix treatment? I think it’s the best of his solo outings.

    • oxforddickie September 7, 2015 at 00:08 #

      Well if you care to add it to the list i started just for this very reason……

      • daveede September 7, 2015 at 19:24 #

        Thanks, will do! Also thanks again for the blog, it’s an invaluable resource.

  11. birdycat19 September 6, 2015 at 22:07 #

    I’ll be interested to see what people say about this one. Your original is flawless imo.

    • oxforddickie September 6, 2015 at 22:23 #

      Thanks for that. ‘Phoenix’ is the most accurate, and revealing, of any SQ decoding process and shows the mix as close as possible to what was on the master tape.

      As much as the previous process’s were good, there were inaccuracies and limitations to what could be done. These issues showed up as blurring of images, an inability of uncovering lower level information, etc.

      Of course the greatest improvement that ‘Phoenix is able to give is an improved level of isolation for the sounds. (there, found a way around the use of the ‘D’ word)

      • joeerand September 7, 2015 at 15:33 #

        I agree that the new decode is better. Instruments are a bit clearer and more specifically located. For example, the acoustic guitar on “My Little Town” (in the rears), the tambourine on “Gone At Last”, and the drum set on “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”. I had my wife set up a blind A/B comparison for me, and I could definitely spot the Phoenix decode and I preferred it. (She, on the other hand, wasn’t sure she heard a difference, but isn’t used to focusing on sonic quality.) Great job, O.D. ! It’s quite amazing what you’ve accomplished.

        • joeerand September 7, 2015 at 15:35 #

          And by the way, the most amazing instrument on the album is Phoebe Snow’s voice on “Gone At Last”! May she rest in peace.

        • oxforddickie September 7, 2015 at 16:07 #

          Thanks for the feedback, i found ‘My Little Town’ much easier to listen to than before, always seemed muddled. Originally not a fav album, but i’ve played it more since doing this decode than since it was released!

  12. zaphod2359 September 6, 2015 at 21:02 #

    How appropriate,my S&G studio albums box set just arrived minutes ago!

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