Audiophile: Digital, December 2022

hfnalbum.pngThe Beatles
Get Back
Apple BVSC-00004A (three Blu-ray Dolby Atmos discs)

As one who detested Let It Be – album and film – it was unlikely my opinion would change with Peter Jackson's eight-hour revision of the latter. But it is my duty to alert you to this three-disc set because it demonstrates 1) how high-res/high-def Blu-ray still butchers streaming, both visually and sonically, and 2) it's a £30 alternative to those who can't face subscribing to the lame Disney+ to see it (though you could watch it in the trial period and then cancel). Despite reviews which say this lightens up the gloom, I found it to be torture. As proof of Jackson's genius? Undeniable. Alas, Apple missed a trick: they could have included the Let It Be album on an audio-only Blu-ray, for those who resisted the £80 box set [HFN Apr '22]. KK


Keith Richards
Main Offender
BMG BMGCAT5200CD (two discs)

A Stones-heavy month, this expanded 30th anniversary edition of Richards' second solo album is presented here with an extra CD, but I'd have loved the inclusion of his version of 'Key To The Highway' from a Japanese release. Arriving halfway through The Rolling Stones' career, it dates from 1992, recorded between Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge. Effectively this is a get-together with friends such as supersession player Waddy Wachtel and drummer Steve Jordan (who replaced the late Charlie Watts for The Stones' 2022 tour), but it is pure Keith. The value is in the bonus disc: 12 tracks from his other band, the X-Pensive Winos, live in London the same year. KK


The Rolling Stones
Licked Live In NYC
Mercury/Universal 4553844 (2CDs + Blu-ray)

This was an amazing year for The Stones, as it marked their 60th anniversary, and one of the ways they celebrated it is with this fine set from their 40th. The Blu-ray gives you the entire (2hrs 15m!) 10th January 2003 concert in the Big Apple, oddly in 4:3 rather than widescreen, along with just the music on two CDs, plus bonus material from Amsterdam and rehearsal footage. The scary thing about the video is that – the loss of Charlie Watts aside – little has changed in 20 years, especially not Mick Jagger, who must have a certain painting in his loft. Mainly Stones classics, among the high points is Sheryl Crow guesting on 'Honky Tonk Woman'. Still rolling indeed. KK


Various Artists
Audiophile Masters Vols III/IV/V/VI
Octave Records OCT0013/0015/0017/0019 (SACD + DVD)

Forgive me for squeezing these anthologies from PS Audio's Octave Records into one review, but the remarks apply to each entry, and they warrant attention if you have a top-flight digital playback set-up. Each release contains ten tracks from assorted genres, including jazz and American roots music, recorded in Octave's state-of-the-art studios, as both an SACD and a DVD Data Disk. This enables audiophiles – and the series' title makes no bones about the intended audience – to make comparisons as well as serving different computer-based applications. Uniformly, the sound is exceptional, while much of the content favours the unplugged. KK