News > Review of final mix - "A Night at the Opera" DTS

Added on 01-Feb-2002

DVD-AUDIO Review has had the chance to rate the final mix of the DVD-Audio release of "A Night At The Opera"When 5.1 channel surround sound music mixes first made their way onto

the scene, there were several bands that came to mind that I felt could

truly benefit from the extra discreet channels. Keep in mind that most

of my radio listening and concert going occurred from the mid 70's and

through the 80's. My personal short list of Pop/Rock groups that, to me,

have real potential in the digital surround sound realm include (in no

particular order) Pink Floyd, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, pre-'80's

Genesis and Queen. I'm sure there are others, but I know that the

creative instrumentals and vocals of these bands would provide some

unique listening experiences in 5.1

After a delay, the much anticipated Queen title, "A Night At The Opera",

makes it's way into music stores in April. Let me tell you, this disc is

worth the wait. This is probably the best surround mix for music I've

ever heard, and that includes Alan Parsons On Air DTS and the Steely Dan

concert DVD.

"A Night At the Opera" is a popular title from the 70's and is

responsible for such memorable hits as "You're My Best Friend" and

"Bohemian Rhapsody." I couldn't just sit down and pretend I've never

heard it before. Instead, I approached this familiar album looking for a

more enjoyable and much improved listening experience. I got more than I

bargained for, and I'm not even set up for DVD-audio yet! I listened to

the DTS 5.1 track that plays on any DVD player--in this case, my Pioneer


Don't forget, this is DVD-Audio we're talking about, so we're treated to

some visuals along with our audio. In this case, from the menu screen we

get the following choices: TRACKS, VIDEO, GALLERY, LYRICS, CREDITS, DTS


After choosing the DTS 5.1 Digital Surround option from the AUDIO

screen, the first thing I did was listen to the tracks. Automatically, I

was shown the lyrics to the opening track, "Death On Two Legs". The

track began and almost immediately I felt the impact of a great 5.1

re-mix. Piano is heard from the rear surrounds and then Brian May's

screaming guitar blasted from the left main front. Lead singing came in

from the center channel. Ah, but when I think of Queen, I think of the

signature background vocals that set this band apart. When the music

abruptly stopped and those vocals kicked in behind me, I knew that this

was going to be a special listening experience. "Seaside Rendezvous,"

track #7, is classic Queen: An upbeat, somewhat ragtime song with all

the patented Queen staples; dueling piano playing (both standard and

electric), great vocals by Freddie Mercury, and cool percussion effects

coming from the rear surrounds. I believe the kazoo even makes an

appearance from the front left main speaker. This is a fun tune to

listen to and it makes very creative use of 5.1 discreet channels. Track

#8, "The Prophets Song", features a voice-only segment that will have

your head spinning trying to figure out which speakers the echos are

coming from -- lots of fun!

For you "Bohemian Rhapsody" fans, this disc gives you double the

pleasure. Not only do you get the audio track but you also get the

original music video as seen on MTV, totally re-mixed in 5.1. It's a

real treat for die-hard Queen fans or those younger kids that have just

recently discovered the classic tune from "Wayne's World." By the time I

got to the Bohemian Rhapsody audio track, I had already heard ten songs

so I was anxious to hear what 5.1 DTS would do to this classic. "Easy

come, easy go" (left and right mains), "A little high" (rear left

surround), "little low" (rear right surround), and that brought a smile

to my face. In short, the surround sound treatment for this classic song

will not disappoint you.

Accessing the GALLERY section from the main menu will give you ten

photos that you can scroll through with your remote, including close-ups

of the band members and concert action shots. Going to LYRICS, yo

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

What do you think?