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Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard

“Slowhand” came back from relative obscurity to superstardom with this 1974 album, and he’s never looked back.

The most famous song was the hit single “I Shot the Sheriff,” but there’s plenty of good, bluesy rock here, and the 5.1 remix is tastefully done. It’s a case of putting instruments all around the room, a practice that should be handled with restraint, and in this case that appears to be exactly what was done.

But not all the time.

One person’s preferred mix can be another’s mistake, and we don’t mind instruments spread around the room - but not Clapton’s! He’s the star, and he should be front and center, yet we could swear we heard his guitar emanating from different speakers, including the rears, on more than one occasion, which gave us a feeling that Clapton’s head had been disconnected from his body.

Maybe it’s a hangover from his heroin days….

Okay, that isn’t fair’ it’s a joke, so don’t send any rude e-mails. But we stand behind the need for his guitar and his voice to come from the same general areas.

Anyway, the overall audio quality is very good. Remember, this disc was originally recorded long before the days of digital, and most “rock” albums like this aren’t recorded “live,” instead being a series of overdubs, so you aren’t’ going to get a concert hall effect here. That said, the sound quality is very good and while we may quibble about what instrument comes from which speaker, that’s why God made producers.

We stand by our whine about Clapton’s guitar coming from an area different from his voice, however. And we miss the days when his guitar would wail a la Layla, but what can you do?

And while it works, mostly, we question mixing instruments all around, because there just aren't that many instruments being played at any one time, and spreading them around spreads them too thin. On something lush like Queen's A Night at the Opera you can get away with this, but here it detracts from the overall experience.

Oh, well, the format's in its infancy and the techs will get better as they do this more.

As with most dts high end audio discs like this, there are no extras. And make sure you're listening via a digital output from whatever player you're using, because otherwise you'll just get a horribly annoying noise. This, to us, is a drawback to the dts format of music discs; you can play a DVD-Audio disc on any DVD player including a DVD ROM drive and while you may not get the whole sonic benefit of the high resolution audio, you can still at least hear it! Such is not the case with the dts digital surround discs we've heard to date, except for the ones they release in the DVD-A format.

1.Motherless Children
2. Give Me Strength
3. Willie And The Hand Jive
4. Get Ready
5. I Shot The Sheriff
6. I Can't Hold Out
7. Please Be With Me
8. Let It Grow
9. Steady Rollin' Man
10. Mainline Florida

Genre: Classic Rock Label: DTS Entertainment 5.1 Producer: Tom Dowd 5.1 UPC: 710215441924


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