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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Eric Clapton & BB King: Riding With The King
Eric Clapton & BB King: Riding With The King
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio // November 6, 2001
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 2, 2001 | E-mail the Author
M U S I C
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R E P L A Y
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The Music:

1. Riding With The King
2. Ten Long Years
3. Key To The Highway
4. Marry You
5. Three O'Clock Blues
6. Help The Poor
7. I Wanna Be
8. Worried Life Blues
9. Days Of Old
10. When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer
11. Hold On I'm Coming
12. Come Rain Or Come Shine


The DVD

SOUND: "Riding With The King" is presented four ways: DVD-Audio players can play the Advanced Resolution 24bit/96khz MLP 5.1 or 2.0 tracks. DVD-Video players can play a DTS or Dolby Digital 5.1 version of the album. For the purposes of this review, I'll be looking at the DVD-Audio 5.1 presentation of the album. For the new 5.1 mix, original mixer Mick Guzauski has been brought back to do the surround presentation. While I applaud him for attempting something different with this DVD-Audio's surround mix, I don't think this surround variation entirely works.

I will say that when the first note of the first song was played, a big smile came over my face. The audio quality was nothing short of breathtaking, as the guitars of the two legends sounded so unbelievably rich and natural that I almost felt as if the room instantly dropped away and I was in the middle of a blues club. All of the instruments came through distinctly and with such precision that I was unbelievably pleased with that aspect of the album.

Throughout this entire edition, the instruments sound absolutely breathtaking. It's the vocals that I was a little unsure about. Not how they sounded, mind you, as the vocals of both musicians came through with great clarity. It's simply how they were presented. When Clapton sings, his vocals come from the speakers on one half of the room and when BB King sings, his vocals come from the speakers on the other half of the room.

While I certainly don't mind instrumentals distinctly coming from each of the surrounds (again, I will mention Bela Fleck's DVD-Audio as an example of where this worked best), the positioning of the main vocals so distinctly in the surrounds becomes a bit head-turning at times, although this remained a fairly minor complaint. "Ten Long Years", where only BB King is doing the vocals, presented a somewhat more natural sound presentation, as the vocals come clearly from the front speakers, while the surrounds seamlessly envelop the listener with the incredible instrumentals. Otherwise, instrumentals are still nicely placed around the viewer, coming distinctly from the front and rear speakers. Aside from a few minor concerns, this really holds up as one of the better DVD-Audio presentations I've listened to lately; it's a splendid-sounding presentation of an amazing album.

Extras: As with most DVD-Audio titles, not a whole lot - very basic text notes appear on the static screens while songs are playing and there are credits & biogrpahy text sections.

Final Thoughts: While I'm still a little so-so about how the vocals were placed around the listener, the various instruments sound exceptional spread out around the listening space. The audio quality is also outstanding, with a richness and clarity that is remarkable. The album itself is a spectacular pairing between two musical legends that results in a supremely entertaining effort. Recommended .
Order "Eric Clapton & BB King: Riding With The King" now!
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