Quadrophenia: "New" 4-channel versions of classic rock albums

Richard Metzger is the current Boing Boing guest blogger


The last time I was guest blogger here at Boing Boing, I innocently waded into a war of the words by doing a post on audiophile SACDs and DVD-A surround sound mixes of classic albums. But for those of you who care –not you haters– I recently –not so innocently– noticed that certain lovely people were putting up their own homemade DVD-A versions of four channel rips made from 70s quadraphonic 8-tracks, reel to reels and in rare cases, LPs on the various torrent trackers. Most of these mixes haven't been heard for years, by anyone and they're awesome!

It's a quadraphonic treasure trove out there, I tell you: Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark," and "Hissing of the Summer Lawns." Kraftwerk's "Autobahn"(!), "The Worst of the Jefferson Airplane" and "Volunteers" (which uses totally different takes from the stereo LP), Jeff Beck's "Wired." Black Sabbath's "Paranoid." "Band on the Run," "Venus and Mars Rock Show" and "Wall and Bridges" (mixed in quad, I am assuming, by Phil Spector –what would "#9 Dream" sound like in Quad? Heaven?). "Bitches Brew." "Aqualung." "Atom Heart Mother" and "Wish You Were Here." "Music from the Big Pink" and a King Biscuit Flower Hour recording of the Rolling Stones in 1973 in full glorious 4-channel surround with the audience in the rear speakers.

Here's a review of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" in quadraphonic sound. It's amazing to hear the way they mixed the automobile sounds pinging from speaker to speaker. You really feel like you're in traffic!