Amused To Death is recorded with Q sound, a process designed to expand the soundstage. The only cd I know of is with Q sound is "The Soul Cages" by Sting. There are threads here with lists of recordings made with this process.
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As Timrhu points out, the Qsound recordings are rather unique. If you are looking for conventionally mixed music with amazing soundstage; Tom Waits "Swordfishtrombone", Trio Chemirani "Qalam Kar", The Beatles "Love", Cowboy Junkies "The Trinity Session" (more a spatial sense then a dynamic sense). These won't approach the surround-sound novelty of the digitally processed Qsound(see the link for a small list of other Qsound recordings), but they do offer a more conventional spatial WOW factor. Whether or not you enjoy the music is another story altogether. I happen to enjoy all of those I listed very much.
My default choice for staging shenenigans is:
"Space Age Bachelor Pad Music" by Esquivel.
Now, be warned that no one will confuse this with Mozart, but the special effects are undeniable.
One other interesting choice is Lindsey Buckingham's "Under The Skin". This is about the polar oppposite of "Bachelor Pad" The songwriting is terrific (as is the playing). The staging is much subtler, but the tracks "Show You How" and "It Was You" feaure multiple vocal parts - each of which is captured with unusual ambience. It's a manufactured effect, and not purist audiophile by any means, but really striking with the right system.
Thank's for your responce. I've read some of the articles and seen the list you've suggested. There are a few CDs I'm definitely going to give a try. I know there has to be more than Q sound CDs though. How about you traditionalists out there, any more best of the best sound stage CDs, other than the few mentioned? I've heard something about a recording of music in a cave.
I think the cave recording you refer to is by bass player extraordinaire, Tony Levin, previously from the band Genesis. The disc is titled "From the Caves of the Iron Mountain", and utilizes a variety of interesting recording tecniques. I have the disc, listened to it a few times, and do not care for it a lot. The effects are supposed to be more pronounced through headphones. Unfortunately, Amazon and Itunes do not have clips to listen to. For more conventionally recorded music with wide, rich, expansive soundstage, for female vocals, I would recommend K.D. Lang's "Ingenue" and Louise Taylor's "Written in Red". I love Bill Frisell's "East West" album, especially the West disc. It has some of the wide left and wide right sound effects reminiscent of Q sound. Frisell is an electronics tinkerer, often doing live loops and playing them back during shows. Perhaps he has done some phase trickery with this recording. A few other titles with VERY discrete placement of the instruments/vocalists in the soundstage, I like Branford Marsalis's "Trio Jeepy", Jesse Syke's "Oh, My Girl" and "Reckless Burning", and another Cowboy Junkies recommendation "Whites Off Earth Now" a series of classic blues numbers played sloooow, and sung beautifully by Margo Timmons.
"God Bless America"-Mormon Tabernacle Choir
"Strange Times" - The Moody Blues
"Blue Moon Swamp" - John Fogerty
"Pyramid" - Alan Parsons Project
"Possibilities" - Herbie Hancock
"Sophie Millman" - Sophie Millman
"Still Life" - Van Der Graaf GEnerator
"Smooth Island Jazz" - Various
"The Planets" - Holst - Dutoit/Montreal Symphony
"Mutual Respect" = Ken Clark
"Gold" - Neil Diamond
"Gold" - Dusty Springfield
Good call on the QSound discs for awesome staging! I looked at their list of supported albums and the only one on the list I owned is Madona's Immaculate Collection (don't ask). Plopped it into the CDP and WOW, it has incredibly wide & deep sound staging. I'm not that familiar with the original releases on this compilation (really, I'm not), so I can't comment on what it does to the SQ. But it sounds like Madona to me - highly stylized and overly processed - now with wall to wall and ceiling to floor sound. I say give Qsound a try. It's a fun alternative to "normal" stereo - kind of a poor mans multichannel.
On a personal note, I had great fun dancing with my girls in the immerse pulsating ear buzzing sound stage music. YMMV :)
agree with timrhu on the laurie anderson life on a string suggestion. my most played piece of music! this is not for everone but tool 10000 days is also a tremendous recording and during wings for marie prt 1 and 2 the thunder and subtle vocal comes from all over...much from behind and above. i happen to be a fan as well but it is outstanding. lateralus, the previous tool recording is also outstanding.
danny cary's drums truly show off my wattpuppy's skills!