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  Universal (Japan) -
  Elton John: Elton John
  "Elton John"

Elton John
Track listing:
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Previously released as UIGY-9071

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 3

Review by analogue July 15, 2011 (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Back in the early days of sacd Universal America released a small batch of Classic Elton John sacd's. With the exception of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road they were very impressive. These discs were not only excellent sounding but they were also multi-channel and contained bonus tracks. A great bargain to be sure.

Now Universal Japan has released Elton's 1970 release as an Shm-Sacd. No multi-channel and no bonus tracks. And very expensive.
I remember reading years ago that the original tapes did not sound to good and that they needed to be massaged and tinkered with to get decent sonics out of them. When listening to the earlier sacd's they sounded great to me and could not detect the slightest wear or age on said tapes. However the transfers were done using hi-rez pcm, not true dsd from the tapes and they were compressed so that they were loud with a tremendous bottom end that was truly shocking. The volume level had to be observed or the bass and drums could be shockingly brutal. Because of the pcm origins these initial discs they were very forward sounding....etched an a tad hyper. But never the less they sounded terrific.

So I took a chance and ordered this newest shm-sacd hoping for the best but not really knowing what to expect.
When I pressed play I was both shocked and pleased by what I heard. My first impression was that a very mellow and relaxed atmosphere was enveloping my room.
This is a gorgeous sacd. It sounds so much better than the previous release because of the faithful transfer done by the Tech in England whose name I am unfamiliar with. This is a tape transfer to pure dsd and it shows off what sacd is really all about. There is a very great difference between real dsd and pcm.

This shm-sacd sounds intimate and warm and very full bodied. The soundstage, the strings and orchestra.....Elton's voice are beautiful to listen to. The bass is very taut sounding and the drums can be powerful but always in a very organic sort of way. The music goes from soft to somewhat loud to very powerful..and then soft again.....very organically like real music is supposed to. Gone is the insistent edge that was heard and felt on the earlier discs. Also gone is the frightening bottom end.

The original sacd was great but has now been surpassed by this very organic and natural sounding sacd which is non compressed and very....very intimate. If you are familiar with the best sounding shm sacd discs then you can understand what I am trying to say here in this review.
The tapes sound awesome and its obvious that this is a beautiful recording to begin with that has terrific dynamic range all of which is present on this new sacd by Universal Japan. All of the analogue goodness of tape sound is here to be heard by the listener. A very rich mellowness.......a sound that flows from the speakers is perhaps the best way to describe this new disc.

I have to place this particular title up there with my very best shm-sacd's.
It really is that good. Lets hope they release ALL of the early Elton John albums on Shm-Sacd.
If they sound as good as this I will get them all.

I feel bad about not remembering the Mastering Tech's name but he deserves cudo's for doing such a stellar job.

Highly recommended. Great job by England and Universal Japan.

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Review by Joekras July 26, 2011 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The price seems a little ludicrous but my curiosity got the best of me. This and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" are my only SHM-SACD's thus far. I was concerned these were a 'remastering' marketing ploy. Well I'm here to say that there is a lot more information on the Elton John SHM-SACD than on the SACD. A good deal more detail and a good deal more space. NO- not like changing a power cord or freezing your cables. And you don't need to go back and forth ten times blindfolded to discern a difference. For your money you will get more information/detail and space/separation. I've heard some well-regarded remasters where the soundstage was butchered. Not the case here- a pretty well laid out and natural mid hall soundstage on this recording. The last reviewer (great review) mentioned warmth. I would not describe this recording as warm. (at times I prefer warm) To put things in perspective I feel the regular SACD is a bit warmer and certainly more compressed by comparison. The vocals are not big and sultry like Krall, Connick or Jacinth, but not harsh or bright like lesser digital. Very clear and open. In my opinion this is tonally a very neutral disc. Bottom line is I will seek out more of these SHM's that suite my musical taste.

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Review by Sergey June 6, 2013
Performance:   Sonics:
The warm, clear, analog sound. Much softer and airier than SAСD European edition. Comparing them know that you listen to a different format and not just another publication.

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