“Round-Up” – Western classics – Frankie Laine, vocals/ Men of the May Festival Chorus/ Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/ Erich Kunzel – Telarc

by | Jun 28, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

“Round-Up” – Western classics – Frankie Laine, vocals/ Men of the May Festival Chorus/ Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/ Erich Kunzel – Telarc Multichannel SACD-60141, 63:04 ****:

Telarc’s 1987 CD of rousing themes of Western movies and TV series plus sound effects here and there has been popular with audiophiles for many years now. The label received more requests for an SACD surround version of the album than for any of their other releases.  However, there was serious concern about deriving or “unfolding” surround signals from the two-channel stereo original tapes without degrading the high audio quality of the original CD. Now the job has been done to their satisfaction. It involved going back to some of the original unedited tapes, re-editing in DSD format, and often ending up with sonics that were an actual improvement over the original.  While creating the new 5.0 surround mix, a new stereo mix was also done for both the CD and SACD layers. In the process some of the sound effects were re-recorded.  I found upon putting my ears very close to the surround speakers that the signals did reveal use of reverb and EQ, but sitting in the normal sweet spot the surround effects are most convincing.

The voice of Frankie Laine is identified with so much of this music since his doing High Noon and then being the voice introducing Rawhide on TV. Besides those two he’s also heard in Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Virtuoso whistler Ron McCroby does this thing on this number too, plus the chorus, which is then during the Western Medley which closes out the disc. The booklet’s notes about the challenges of recording the sound effects are fun reading.

Hike up yer ears to: SFX: Sounds of the West, Wm. Tell Overture Finale, The Magnificent Seven, The Furies Suite, Bonanza, Rawhide, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, How the West Was Won, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Pops Hoedown, Big Country, High Noon, SFX: Coyote and Crackling Campfire, Ti Yi Yipee Ay, Shenandoah, Red River Valley, Home on the Range, Streets of Laredo, Themes from Silverado.

 – John Sunier

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