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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Hurting - Tears for Fears [Blu-ray Audio]  

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Producer: Universal Music Group

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Total Music time: 0:41:45.419

Disc Size: 6,256,104,928 bytes

Chapters: 10 (one per song)

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January, 2014

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3701 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3701 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3103 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3103 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

 

Extras:

16-page foldout with photos and lyrics and extensive description of the recording process of the album

A paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online

 

The Hurting - Tears for Fears Track Listing:
1. "The Hurting" – 4:20
2. "Mad World" – 3:35
3. "Pale Shelter" – 4:34
4. "Ideas as Opiates" – 3:46
5. "Memories Fade" – 5:08
6. "Suffer the Children" – 3:53
7. "Watch Me Bleed" – 4:18
8. "Change" – 4:15
9. "The Prisoner" – 2:55
10."Start of the Breakdown" – 5:00

 

NOTE: The Blu-ray audio does NOT contain tracks 11-14 as found on the 1999 'Remastered and Expanded' CD version:
"Pale Shelter" (Long Version) – 7:09
"The Way You Are" (Extended) – 7:43
"Mad World" (World Remix) – 3:42
"Change" (Extended Version) – 6:00

Nor does it have any of the tracks of the 30th Anniversary reissues that were released on the 21st of October 2013, in both double CD and deluxe 4-disc boxed set editions.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Hurting is the debut album by the British new wave band Tears for Fears. It was released on March 7th, 1983, and peaked at no. 1 on the UK Album Chart. The album was certified Gold by the BPI within three weeks of release, and reached Platinum status in January 1985.

The album contains Tears For Fears' first three hit singles – "Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter" – all of which reached the Top 5 in the UK. It also contains a new version of the band's first single, "Suffer The Children", which had originally been released in 1981. All found on this
Blu-ray audio album.

 

 

The Album:

The Hurting would have been a daring debut for a pop-oriented band in any era, but it was an unexpected success in England in 1983, mostly by virtue of its makers' ability to package an unpleasant subject -- the psychologically wretched family histories of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith -- in an attractive and sellable musical format. Not that there weren't a few predecessors, most obviously John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album -- which was also, not coincidentally, inspired by the work of primal scream pioneer Arthur Janov. (But Lennon had the advantage of being an ex-Beatle when that meant the equivalent to having a box next to God's in the great arena of life, where Tears for Fears were just starting out.) Decades later, "Pale Shelter," "Ideas as Opiates," "Memories Fade," "Suffer the Children," "Watch Me Bleed," "Change," and "Start of the Breakdown" are powerful pieces of music, beautifully executed in an almost minimalist style. "Memories Fade" offers emotional resonances reminiscent of "Working Class Hero," while "Pale Shelter" functions on a wholly different level, an exquisite sonic painting sweeping the listener up in layers of pulsing synthesizers, acoustic guitar arpeggios, and sheets of electronic sound (and anticipating the sonic texture, if not the precise sound of their international breakthrough pop hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"). The work is sometimes uncomfortably personal, but musically compelling enough to bring it back across the decades.

Excerpt from AllMusic.com located HERE

Comments :

Adopters of Blu-ray immediately notice that lossless audio transfer is one of the most valuable benefits of this new format. It is pristinely clean and crisp. Tears for Fears use non-conventional variety of audio effects (see start of Ideas As Opiates) and the deep bass and pure vocals sound very impressive. the album had fabulous production which benefits greatly by these lossless transfer(s).

 

Audio :

UME are using the original master tapes transferred to uncompressed files, mastered at 24bit/96kHz. This elevates Blu-ray Audio discs to a new, more pure, level - hopefully the most accurate replication of the original studio sound - when recorded. These can be played with, or without, your video system being on (depending on your set-up!).

 

This Blu-ray audio is transferred at 2.0 channel and you can choose from 3 options: Linear PCM at a whopping 4608 kbps, DTS-HD Master at 3701 kbps or Dolby TrueHD at 3103 kbps - all at the 24 bit/96 khz quality standard.  I'll played it close to a dozen times and and settled on the DTS-HD Master for Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's vocals and depth noted in the bass guitar. The keyboard sounds wonderfully tight (Change). And there is some prevalent depth in the rhythm programming / drumming. You are able to change the lossless option and sample another format (which one can do on-the-fly from either the onscreen display - see image above - or without your video display on - directly from the Blu-ray audio remote button.)

 

Tears for Fears is a fabulous group for this new format and I don't know that they have any albums available in the SACD format. I don't believe so. So this is 'news' and there unique sound really lends itself to the absolute best possible playback quality. It does sound excellent - no question.

 

CONs: The file size (under 6.5 Gig) suggest that this format can offer multiple albums on one Blu-ray disc. Perhaps an entire artist's recorded work... and be able to play it for hours on end! I'd also like to see the price come down. Let's see how this Blu-ray audio format evolves.

 

The reported glitch on Ideas As Opiates, at approximately 2:25 may be duplicated on this Blu-ray Audio. Not having the CD to compare with I can't be positive but there is an odd group of noises at that mark. Whether it was intentional, a mistake or has been corrected is another matter.  

 

My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc (like CDs) playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

The only supplement is a 16-page foldout with photos and lyrics and extensive description of the recording process of the album. There is also a paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online although we are told these are not in 24 bit/96 khz quality.

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is NOT a no-brainer call - we still have disappointment at not fulfilling the potential of this new format and only 41-minutes of music (when the disc could have held hours!) and only 2.0 channel options.  We also lose the tracks 11-14 as found on the 1999 'Remastered and Expanded' CD version or the additional tracks of the 30th Anniversary reissues - of last year, in both double CD and deluxe 4-disc boxed set editions. They are not present on this Blu-ray. When, they could have been. That would have sealed the deal for this release.

 

I'd consider myself a fan of Tears for Fears although, unbelievably, I never owned this debut album. My favorite was probably Songs From The Big Chair; with Shout, Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Mothers Talk, I Believe, Head Over Heels / Broken etc.  I would sooner hope for a more complete Blu-ray Audio package although this has so much going for it... in just the first three tracks! We've reviewed other BD Audio discs that I would suggest before this (Songs in the Key of Life or Ella + Louis) although both are totally different music. The level of purity is enticing for serious fans - since I didn't own the CD (and there is no SACD) this is the significantly superior option. Let's hope the format advances with more new titles in 24 bit / 96 khz quality, and more content per disc, in the near future.

Gary Tooze

February 3rd, 2014

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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