Blu-ray Audio: Damn The Torpedoes

AR-TPDTTBD[1].jpgTom Petty and The Heartbreaker's release of Mojo on Blu-ray (audio only) was such an outstanding surround listening experience, I was concerned about potentially being underwhelmed by the subsequent 5.1 remix of his seminal 1979 release, Damn the Torpedoes (DTT) on the format. 

The good news is I am very pleased and suspect you will be too!

DTT is a great rock record that sounds awesome on radio. On CD, the album lost some of its heart. The stereo mix on the Blu-ray disc accordingly sounds much fuller on the 96/24 PCM track than CD (I don't own DTT on LP). This is likely that original tight-for-radio master that made the record a classic, sans CD compression. Snares now sound like real drums, not the "snap" it was reduced to on CD. Now you can feel the chiming tambourines on tracks like "Refugee."

Where DTT Blu-ray really shines is in the 5.1 mix, making for a completely different listening experience that could only result from a remix from the multi-track masters. It plays true to the original, but is bigger! The mix keeps your attention front and center, yet fills out the surrounds with big room ambiance, particularly, Benmont Tench's keyboards. 

This makes the 5.1 mix much more enjoyable to simply listen to than the original stereo. Suddenly, DTT is presented as a fatter, rounder recording in line with the productions Jeff Lynne crafted for Petty in years ahead. This music deserved a big presentation like this. 

Should you get DTT on Blu-ray? If you plan on listening in 5.1, yes! It comes with many bonus tracks (period b-sides, outtakes, live tracks, etc.) and has a nice booklet with detailed liner notes. You can get it for under $25 on Amazon so if you love Tom Petty and surround sound, this is essential listening.

While you are at it, spring for Mojo on Blu-ray. Its a different era of Petty's music, no doubt. But, it rocks like mad and sounds amazing in 5.1 -- like lying in a deep field of high grass and flowers listening to Led Zeppelin jamming at a Summer blues festival while staring up at a cloud free sunny sky. Essential.

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