It’s a new year again, so it’s time to look back on fan favorite releases from last year in surround sound and immersive audio. The Grammy Award for Best Immersive Audio Album, formerly Best Surround Sound Album, was first awarded in 2005. Since then, the Recording Academy has always annually recognized the best of the best in surround sound and immersive audio experiences. As music formats have evolved and expanded over the years, so have the audiophile fans - so much so that IAA wants to make sure your voices are heard.

IAA offered our first Listener’s Choice Award in 2020 and followed it up with an even more successful 2021 campaign - and we’re happy to announce its return for music released in 2022!

Now through January 20, we'll be accepting nominations for YOUR PICK of the Best Immersive Audio Album of 2021-22. The release dates for albums to be eligible are between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022 (the same as the Recording Academy guidelines).

We’re also doing something a little special this year. To acknowledge the difference and impact of different formats in which artists now release their music, we are hosting 2 distinct categories: one for the best immersive audio album you streamed in 2022, and one for the best immersive audio album you downloaded or purchased on physical disc. Nominate for either or both categories as you wish!

The deadline for submitting your nomination is Friday, January 20th at 12:00pm PT. 

Nominations will be tallied and 5 finalists selected for final round voting shortly thereafter.

We’ve outlined some choices below, for your consideration. Now is the time for fans to speak!

Submit your nominations for the 2023 IAA’s Listeners’ Choice Award here!

Artist: The Beatles
Title: Let It Be (1970)
Label: Apple/UMe
Format: 4CD /Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Giles Martin & Sam Okell (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 10/15/21

(beatles let it be deluxe blu-ray 5.1 atmos)

The idea was really a simple one, and yet quite brilliant at the same time. Paul McCartney was eager for The Beatles to play live in an attempt to bring the band back together as a unit. This new album project was given the name Get Back. Unfortunately, things didn't work out as planned and the newly-retitled Let It Be was widely seen as a step back for The Beatles upon its original release in May 1970,

Once again, Giles Martin’s sympathetic remix in stereo, 5.1 surround & Dolby Atmos has exceeded expectations. As with his prior 5.1 mixes for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The White Album (1968), and Abbey Road (1969), Martin puts the listener in the center of the music. The original album has never sounded better, and the additional material (including the original 1969 Glyn Johns mix) is simply brilliant.

Artist: The Tragically Hip
Title: Road Apples (1991)
Label: UMe
Format: 4CD /Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Richard Chycki (5.1, 7.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 10/15/21

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The Canadian rockers’ second studio album celebrated its 30th anniversary with a massive reissue including multiple LPs, CDs, and an audio-only Blu-Ray disc with Richard Chycki’s stereo & immersive remixes.

In April 2022, Chycki told us the following about the project:

 “An artist like The Tragically Hip is very earthy and organic, so a more stripped back immersive environmental approach was definitely the way to go. Imagine leaning against the pool table in the room where the band was performing and watching them perform a track: that was the mix approach.

I was very fortunate that [original engineers] Bruce Barris and Don Smith captured the ambience of various parts of the mansion in which they recorded the album, offering me a great template to re-create a multichannel version of it. Effects and placements are definitely three-dimensional, but the amount of mix motion is limited as that would quickly come across as gimmicky in this particular situation.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Chycki here!

Artist: The Pineapple Thief
Title: Nothing But The Truth (2022)
Label: Snapper/KScope
Format: Blu-Ray, Digital Download, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Bruce Soord (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 10/22/21

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Originally performed live via streaming to a worldwide audience in April 2021, Nothing But The Truth is a roughly 90-minute concert film shot on an elaborate soundstage with multiple cameras. Each song was truly recorded in one take, with minimal editing or other studio trickery. Due to popular demand, the band have reissued the film on Blu-Ray disc complete with new 5.1 & Dolby Atmos immersive mixes.

The 5.1 & Atmos mixes are rather clever in the sense that the position of each band member’s instrument or vocal matches their position on-screen. Bandleader Bruce Soord is in the center of the soundstage, with the band and camera crew surrounding him. Gavin Harrison’s drum kit faces him, while session guitarist George Marios is standing directly behind him. Bassist Jon Sykes is off to the left and keyboardist Steve Kitch is on the right.

In July 2022, Soord told us the following about the project:

“Yeah, [it] was almost perfect. We're all in a circle with the camera going around: Gavin’s drums in the front, [rhythm guitarist] George [Marios] in the back. Steve on one side, and [bassist] John [Sykes] on the other. I placed everything in surround just as it was in the video. It worked really well and sometimes when the camera was moving, you could get away with moving some things around as well. It was good fun.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Soord here!

Purchase Nothing But The Truth in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Tori Amos
Title: Ocean To Ocean (2021)
Label: Decca/UMe
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Adrian Hall (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 10/29/21

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Ocean To Ocean is Tori Amos’ sixteenth studio album and first immersive release. Mixed in stereo & Dolby Atmos by Adrian Hall, the album is demo material for anyone with an Apple Music or Tidal subscription. Right from the beginning of “Addition Of Light Divided,” vocals swirl around the listening position and distinct percussive elements appear largely-isolated in the height speakers.

Artist: Air
Title: 10,000 Hz Legend (2001)
Label: Warner/Rhino
Format: 2CD/Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Bruce Keen (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 11/5/21

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Though Air’s 10,000 Hz Legend (2001) was released right around the time that the major record labels began their short-lived foray into 5.1 surround music (via the audiophile Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio formats), fans would ultimately have to wait two decades for a surround sound edition. The new 20th anniversary Blu-Ray disc includes not only a 5.1 surround remix, but a Dolby Atmos version of the album as well.

This is a full-on immersive experience, with the rear speakers utilized for far more than just ambient reflections. There are synthesizers and harmony vocals popping up from behind and even swirling around the room on occasion. The voices in “Radio #1” alternate from different speakers, while “The Vagabond” features harmonica and percussion isolated in the center channel.

Artist: Kiss
Title: Destroyer (1976)
Label: UMe
Format: 4CD/Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 11/19/21

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In a first for Kiss, the 45th anniversary super deluxe reissue of Destroyer (1976) includes an audio-only Blu-Ray disc with new 5.1 surround & Dolby Atmos remixes from Steven Wilson. Originally produced by Bob Ezrin, the album features the classic songs “Detroit Rock City” and “Shout It Out Loud.”

Wilson’s immersive mixes are revelatory, with the car sound effects in “Detroit Rock City” swirling around-the-room as backing vocals burst from the rear channels. The famous twin guitar solo midway through comes blasting from above. You’ve never heard the album quite like this.

Artist: Santana
Title: Santana III (1971)
Label: Sony Japan
Format: SACD
Immersive Mix By: Larry Keyes & Al Lawrence (‘70s Quadraphonic)
Release Date: 11/24/21

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Sony Japan’s ongoing series of deluxe Super Audio CD reissues featuring rare ‘70s quadraphonic mixes has been an unexpected delight for audiophiles in recent years, covering artists such as Jeff Beck, Miles Davis, and now Santana.

Much like 2020’s lauded Santana (1969) and Abraxas (1970), the third album features a very inventive surround mix that spreads the chaotic tapestry of percussion, vocals, and guitars wide across the four-channel soundscape. Even in the age of 10 or 12-channel Dolby Atmos, four-channel quadraphonic is still a remarkable listening experience.

Artist: The Band
Title: Cahoots (1976)
Label: UMe
Format: 4CD/2LP/Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Bob Clearmountain (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 12/10/21

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Following the format established for the deluxe editions of Music From Big Pink (1968), The Band (1969), and Stage Fright (1970), Cahoots (1971) features several CDs, vinyl, and an audio-only high-resolution Blu-Ray disc with new stereo & immersive remixes.

The 5.1 surround & Dolby Atmos mixes drop the listener right in the center of the band, with the rear speakers utilized primarily for horns (most notably in the opening track, “Life Is A Carnival”), Robertson’s electric guitar, and Garth Hudson’s keyboards. The bulk of the rhythm section is isolated in the center speaker, while The Band’s trademark three part harmonies are mixed left-center-right across the front stage. There are even some fun swirling effects, like the guitar solos in “Smoke Signal” gradually moving from speaker to speaker around the room.

Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: The Zealot Gene (2022)
Label: InsideOut/Sony
Format: 2CD/Blu-Ray
Immersive Mix By: Jakko M. Jakszyk (5.1)
Release Date: 1/28/22

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It’s been nearly twenty years since Jethro Tull released what was once thought to be their final studio album, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003). Since then, there have been line-up changes, tours, a brilliant reissue series, and three solo studio albums from frontman Ian Anderson (including 2012’s brilliant Thick As A Brick 2, a sequel to Jethro Tull’s classic 1972 album Thick As A Brick).

The 5.1 mix is breathtaking and unquestionably the best way to experience The Zealot Gene.  The surround effect is often subtle, but effective. The backing vocals are frequently placed in the rear speakers, while Anderson’s lead vocal is isolated in the center channel. Overall, the album sounds very inviting and engages the listener differently than the regular 2-channel stereo mix.

Artist: The Bob James Trio
Title: Feel Like Making LIVE! (2022)
Label: EvoSound
Format: SACD, CD/Blu-Ray, CD/Ultra-HD Blu-Ray, Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: Hideo Arimajiri (5.1, Dolby Atmos & Auro-3D)
Release Date: 1/28/22

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Perhaps best known for a string of hits in the mid-1970s, such as “Angela” (used as the theme to the television series Taxi Driver), "Westchester Lady,” "Tappan Zee,” and “Nautilus” (often cited as one of the most-sampled songs of all time), jazz pianist Bob James celebrates his 81st birthday with this fantastic new live-in-the-studio release.

The 5.1 surround mix is surprisingly effective, considering there are only three instruments (electric piano, upright bass, and drums) in play for the majority of the album. Bob James’ Rhodes piano is mixed in stereo across the left side of the room, while Billy Kilson’s drum kit spans the right side of the room. Michael Palazzolo’s bass is mostly isolated in the center speaker, though some dry signal does spill over into the front channels.

Purchase Feel Like Making LIVE! in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Paul Draper
Title: Cult Leader Tactics (2022)
Label: Snapper/Kscope
Format: 3CD/DVD
Immersive Mix By: Paul ‘P-Dub’ Walton (5.1)
Release Date: 1/28/22

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Paul Draper is a British singer-songwriter best known as the frontman and lyricist for the art-rock band Mansun, who achieved commercial success and cult status in the U.K. throughout the late-90s with their albums Attack Of The Grey Lantern (1997) and Six (1998). Cult Leader Tactics, his latest studio album, is a conceptual project that satirizes the idea of self-help books while also addressing heavier themes relating to politics and human nature.

The deluxe edition features two extra CD’s worth of acoustic renditions and outtakes, plus a DVD with Paul ‘P-Dub’ Walton’s stereo & 5.1 surround mixes. Walton’s 5.1 take on the album opens things up nicely, with the rear speakers engaged for percussion, synthesizers, backing vocals, and some sound effects. There’s a particularly fun bit in “U Killed My Fish” where Draper’s voice bounces from speaker to speaker.

Artist: Tears For Fears
Title: The Tipping Point (2022)
Label: Concord
Format: Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 2/25/22

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The Tipping Point is Tears For Fears’ first studio album since Everybody Loves A Happy Ending (2004) and the third to receive a surround sound release, following the 30th anniversary remixed re-releases of Songs From The Big Chair (1985) and The Seeds Of Love (1989).

Initially intended only for spatial audio release on streaming platforms, Paul Sinclair of was able to convince Concord Records to release the immersive mixes on a limited-run Blu-Ray disc. The DTS-HD 5.1 mix is a complete deconstruction of the album, with every last detail of the dense production exposed in the expanded soundfield. All the various processed or double-tracked vocal layers have been separated into different speakers while the lead stays focused in the center channel, stripped of all effects.

In July 2022, Steven Wilson told us the following about the project:

“Since it was a new record, I felt I had license to do things a bit differently. There was a track called “End Of Night” that I felt was too cluttered. So I took a few things out, and Roland [Orzabal] agreed that the original mix was a bit congested. I figured if he felt that way, then I’m going to be a bit more revisionist. I replaced some of the reverbs with spring reverbs, to try and get the track a bit more organic-sounding. I was definitely more bold with that project, in a way I wouldn’t have been if this was a song that's been out there for years already.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Wilson here!

Artist: Giancarlo Erra & Tim Bowness
Title: Memories Of Machines (2011)
Label: Snapper/Kscope
Format: CD/DVD-Audio
Immersive Mix By: Giancarlo Erra (5.1)
Release Date: 2/25/22

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Originally issued in 2011 under the title of Warm Winter, Memories Of Machines is a collaboration between British musicians Tim Bowness (half of the duo No-Man, along with Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson) and Giancarlo Erra (lead vocalist and songwriter for Nosound).

Erra’s 5.1 surround mix doesn’t disappoint. Most songs have Bowness’ voice front and center (though not solely in the center speaker), while the hard-panned acoustic and electric guitars are pushed further out towards the back corners. The drum kit fills up the entire listening space, with even a fair amount of dry kick signal in the rear speakers. Some of the backing vocal parts (such as Bowness’s refrains in “Before We Fall” and “Lucky You, Lucky Me”) and mellotron flourishes appear directly behind the listener’s head, while the keyboard solo in “Schoolyard Ghosts" spans the right side of the room.

Artist: Elton John
Title: Diamonds (2017)
Label: UMe
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Greg Penny (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 3/25/22

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After years of waiting for more of Sir Elton’s music in surround sound, following the acclaimed 5.1 SACD releases of several key ‘70s albums, fans were finally treated to the massive Diamonds compilation newly-remixed by mix engineer Greg Penny in Dolby Atmos. Diamonds includes a number of hit singles previously unavailable in immersive audio, such as “Crocodile Rock” from Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player (1972) and “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” from Blues Moves (1976).

Artist: Rush
Title: Moving Pictures (1981)
Label: UMe
Format: 3CD/5LP/Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Richard Chycki (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 4/29/22

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Moving Pictures (1981) is the latest classic Rush album to receive a deluxe reissue, following the box sets of Permanent Waves (1980), Hemispheres (1978), and A Farewell To Kings (1977) in 2020, 2018, and 2017 respectively. Longtime collaborator Richard Chycki was tasked with remixing the album in 5.1 & Dolby Atmos, despite having already created a 5.1 mix in 2011 for the DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray Audio releases.

Artist: The Doors
Title: L.A. Woman (1971)
Label: Warner/Rhino
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Bruce Botnick & John Densmore (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 5/6/22

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Over a decade after The Doors’ catalog received brand-new stereo & 5.1 remixes for the 40th anniversary Perception box set, original mix engineer Bruce Botnick and drummer John Densmore reconvened to give the entire catalog the Dolby Atmos treatment. “Riders On The Storm” truly comes alive in the immersive format, with the thunderstorm sound effects now relegated to the height speakers.

Artist: Robert Fripp
Title: Exposure (1979)
Label: DGM
Format: DVD/Blu-Ray
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson, David Singleton (4.0, 5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 5/20/22

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Discipline Global Media capped off their acclaimed King Crimson reissue campaign with a huge celebration of founder Robert Fripp’s 1979 debut solo album. The Exposures box set features a whopping 32 discs, including multiple versions of the original Exposure album - plus the additional solo works Under Heavy Manners and The League Of Gentleman - remixed in stereo, 5.1 & Dolby Atmos by longtime collaborator Steven Wilson. For the casual fan, a more economical CD/DVD edition includes Wilson’s stereo & 5.1 remixes of the Exposure “4th Edition.”

Artist: The Pineapple Thief
Title: Give It Back (2022)
Label: Snapper/KScope
Format: Blu-Ray, Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: Bruce Soord (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 5/20/22

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Issued in the midst of their 2022 Versions Of The Truth tour, The Pineapple Thief’s latest studio release revisits older material in a fresh new light. Recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown, Give It Back (2022) is a collection of twelve older songs from the albums 137 (2002) Ten Stories Down (2004), Little Man (2006), and All The Wars (2012) re-recorded, remixed & “re-wired” with Gavin Harrison’s drumming and new vocals by Bruce Soord.

The 5.1 surround sound mixes are every bit as impressive as fans have come to expect from Soord. Harrison’s drums and Soord’s vocals hold down the fort upfront, while the rear speakers fill up with backing vocals, keys, rhythm guitars, and percussion. The highs are crisp yet not overbearing, whereas the low end is powerful but not excessive. The band sounds absolutely huge and even more powerful in this format.

Purchase Give It Back in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Lyle Lovett
Title: 12th Of June (2022)
Label: Verve/UMe
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Chuck Ainlay (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 5/20/22

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12th Of June is Lyle Lovett’s first studio album in nearly a decade, and his first immersive release since the 5.1 DTS-CD edition of Joshua Judges Ruth from 1992. The new Dolby Atmos is expertly-handled by Chuck Ainlay, best known for the grammy-award winning 5.1 remix of Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms.

In July 2022, Ainlay told us the following about the project:

“He's sort of been touring that record. Nearly all the songs had been performed live at some point over the last few years. So the idea of the record was like, “Okay, this is where the large band is at right now.”

I've seen the live show a number of times, so it was fun to imagine the idea of being in the room with the band. We actually did that recording live. Not everyone could be in the same room because of [instrument] bleed, but the full horn section and background singers were tracked at the same time as everything else. It was such a fun record to make.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Ainlay here!

Artist: xPropaganda
Title: The Heart Is Strange (2022)
Label: ZTT/UMe
Format: Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Stephen Lipson (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 5/20/22

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The second limited-run immersive Blu-Ray release from continues the ‘80s synth-pop revival, complete with 5.1 surround & Dolby Atmos mixes. The Heart Is Strange retains Propaganda’s unique synth-pop/new-wave sound (complete with passages of German spoken word) while also updating it for the 21st century.

The 5.1 surround mix is excellent, with the rhythm section and lead vocal nailed down to the front channels while synthesizers, backing vocals, brass, and the occasional guitar appear in the rears. The call and response vocals in “Beauty Is Truth” alternate between the front and rear speakers, and the sax solo in “The Wolves Are Returning” frenetically swirls around the room. Curiously enough, this is actually a quadraphonic mix in all but name: the center speaker sees minimal use for the duration of the album.

Artist: George Michael
Title: Older (1996)
Label: Virgin
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Frank Filipetti (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 6/17/22

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George Michael’s third studio album celebrated its 25th anniversary, complete with an expanded deluxe reissue and brand-new Dolby Atmos remix from Grammy-award winning mix engineer & producer Frank Filipetti. Best known for his acclaimed 5.1 remixes of Billy Joel’s The Stranger and 52nd Street, Filipetti’s Atmos take on the album makes full use of the expanded soundstage.

In September 2022, Filipetti told us the following about the project:

“...I just did three George Michael albums in Atmos & 360RA and his vocals are all over the place. Sometimes it's in the center, other times left and right with some center divergence. I’ll even move it out into the room on occasion, depending on the mix. I love having the ability to play around like that.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Filipetti here!

Artist: Porcupine Tree
Title: Closure/Continuation (2022)
Label: Sony/Music For Nations
Format: 3CD/Blu-Ray, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 6/24/22

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Porcupine Tree had been inactive since concluding their world tour for The Incident (2009) in 2010, and frontman Steven Wilson’s public comments in the ensuing few years seemed to indicate a permanent hiatus – until early 2021, that is, when he commented that the band may reform when fans least expect it. True to his word, Closure/Continuation was announced in October 2021 with minimal advance publicity.

Both the 5.1 & Dolby Atmos mixes are up to Wilson’s usual extremely high standard, with the additional speakers used for distinct instrumentation rather than merely delays and reverberation. The Dolby Atmos mix is an incredible listening experience, with the various guitar, synth, vocal, and percussion layers occupying all angles of a three-dimensional dome of sound.

Artist: Monkey House
Title: Remember The Audio (2022)
Label: Alma Records 
Format: Streaming, Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: John “Beetle” Bailey
Release Date: 7/13/22

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Monkey House is the brainchild of Canadian singer-songwriter Don Breithaupt, founded in 1992 to perform songs Breithaupt felt were too complex or eclectic for other acts he’d been collaborating with at the time.

Recorded at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios and mixed by Juno/Grammy award-winning engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, Remember The Audio is truly an audiophile release. Bailey’s Dolby Atmos mix is undoubtedly the best way to experience this album, it’s stunning and makes full use of the immersive medium. 

Remember The Audio has been available to stream in Dolby Atmos on Apple Music since its July 2022 release, but the new Dolby Atmos MKV files from IAA’s shop provide an infinitely more rewarding experience for audiophiles. With lossless Dolby TrueHD, the detail and clarity from the ADM master file is much better preserved.

Purchase Remember The Audio in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Mary Fahl
Title: Can’t Get It Out Of My Head (2022)
Label: RIMAR 
Format: CD/Blu-Ray, Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: Ronald Prent (5.1)
Release Date: 7/22/22

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Perhaps best known for her tenure as lead singer of the band October Project in the late 1990s, American singer/songwriter Mary Fahl quickly became a well-known figure in the immersive music community following the re-release of her From The Dark Side Of The Moon (2006) album on Blu-Ray in March 2020. Over two years later, Fahl and Dark Side-collaborator Mark Doyle have re-emerged with an eclectic covers album once again available in 5.1 surround. 

Overall, the 5.1 surround mixes are excellent. Listeners should expect little in the way of swirling and other motion-related trickery, but they do provide a nice ‘enveloping’ feel with much of the orchestration and harmonies coming from behind. What really sets the 5.1 experience apart from the already excellent stereo mix is the isolation of Fahl’s vocals to the center speaker; it really feels like she’s right there in the room during some of the sparser passages.

Purchase Can’t Get It Out Of My Head in the IAA Shop!

Artist: The Grateful Dead
Title: American Beauty (1970)
Label: Warner/Rhino
Format: Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 8/20/22

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Much to the surprise of the audiophile world, immersive mixing wizard Steven Wilson announced on social media in late August 2022 that he’d remixed The Grateful Dead’s classic 1970 album American Beauty in Dolby Atmos.

Unsurprisingly, Wilson’s Atmos mix is absolutely incredible. What he’s achieved is simply remarkable, especially for an album of this vintage. Nearly every instrument is assigned to its own speaker for an ultra-wide immersive presentation, yet the massive soundstage still gels and retains the feel of the original stereo mix.

Artist: A Bad Think
Title: X (2022)
Label: Windmark Recordings
Format: Blu-Ray, Digital Download, Streaming
Immersive Mix By: Bob Clearmountain (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 8/19//22

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Just over a year after the release of his prior solo album Lifelike (2021), musician/producer Michael Marquart has impressively managed to write and record an entirely new 11-track album. To the delight of audiophiles and immersive music fans, Bob Clearmountain is involved once again. This time, he’s mixed the stereo & Dolby Atmos concurrently with no unique 5.1 option.

As with most Clearmountain 5.1 and Atmos mixes of studio material, the separation of the instruments is extreme. The center channel once again acts as the focal point of the surround presentation, featuring not only dry lead vocals but also bass guitar, kick drum, lead guitar, and percussion. The song “One More Chance” starts off sounding almost like a mono recording pinned to the center speaker.

Purchase X in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Alan Williams
Title: Currents (2022)
Label: Blue Gentian Records
Format: Blu-Ray, Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: Alan Williams (5.1)
Release Date: 8/19//22

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Alan Williams is a New England-based musician and chairman of the Department of Music at UMass Lowell, currently performing both solo and with the folk / rock trio Birdsong At Morning. Currents marks a strong continuation from Wiliams’ prior solo release Evidence Unearthed (2020), with even more variety in terms of style, arrangement, and instrumentation.

The 5.1 surround mix is equally engaging. “Think Of The Night” makes for an explosive opening number, with the massive-sounding drum kit filling the entire listening space. Williams’ commanding lead vocal emanates from the front and center speakers, with acoustic guitars and strings percolating from the rear.

Purchase Currents in the IAA Shop

Artist: Bill Nelson’s Red Noise
Title: Art/Empire/Industry (The Complete Red Noise) (1978-79)
Label: Cherry Red/Esoteric Recordings
Format: 5CD/DVD
Immersive Mix By: Stephen W Tayler (5.1)
Release Date: 8/26/22

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As a sort of capstone to Esoteric/Cherry Red’s successful series of Be-Bop Deluxe reissues, Art/Empire/Industry captures the entire output of Bill Nelson’s Red Noise. Stephen W Tayler has created new stereo & 5.1 surround mixes of the entire Sound-On-Sound (1979) album plus several never-before-heard bonus session recordings.

Artist: Marillion
Title: Holidays In Eden (1991)
Label: EMI/Parlophone
Format: 4CD/Blu-Ray
Immersive Mix By: Stephen W Tayler (5.1)
Release Date: 9/16/22

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The seventh entry in Marillion’s successful EMI reissue series, the Holidays In Eden 4CD/Blu-Ray set includes new stereo & 5.1 surround mixes from Stephen W Tayler. 

In March 2022, Tayler told us the following about the project:

“It was fascinating to be invited to re-address this album. I was not familiar with the music itself, moreso with the production and engineering techniques of the time period in which it was originally released. There was a particular type of sound from around 1989-91 that seems to have not aged well, particularly the roomy ‘gated’ drums and the use of SSL consoles.

When it came to mixing Holidays In Eden, I wanted to bring more groove, color, and weight to the rhythm section, with a bit less emphasis on the off-beat snare for a bit more timeless sound.

I wanted to keep the character of the original mix, but give it a bit more analogue warmth, punch and emotion – and of course create the surround experience – along with awesome great bonus material! Such lovely chaps to be involved with, a complete pleasure.”

Read the rest of IAA's interview with Tayler here!

Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Animals (1977)
Label: Legacy Recordings
Format: SACD, Blu-Ray
Immersive Mix By: James Guthrie (5.1)
Release Date: 9/16/22

(pink floyd animals 5.1 blu-ray james guthrie roger waters)

Pink Floyd’s classic 1977 concept album Animals is set to be reissued at last in mid-September 2022, with new stereo & 5.1 surround mixes courtesy of longtime Floyd collaborator James Guthrie. Though the remixes were completed in 2018, infighting between band members resulted in a delayed release.

The 5.1 mix is absolutely incredible. Guthrie strikes a perfect balance between all five speakers, bringing out hidden details in every song. The animal sound effects in particular are extremely effective in surround. The album’s various effects and layered sounds, such as the crying guitars in “Dogs” or Waters’ vocal morphing into a synth in “Sheep,” lend themselves perfectly to the format. The sonic textures of the music come through with newfound clarity in 5.1, allowing listeners to hear the originality and creativity behind the classic album.

Artist: Lori Lieberman
Title: Truly (2022)
Label: DriveOn Records
Format: Digital Download
Immersive Mix By: Bob Clearmountain (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 9/30/22

(lori lieberman truly dolby atmos mkv download)

Unlike her previous 18 albums, Lori Lieberman’s newest recording Truly represents a departure for the singer-songwriter. Here, she comes forward as an interpreter of compositions from the American Songbook, choosing to record some of her favorite music from Bobby Short, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Doris Day.

Recorded live at Apogee Studios, Truly was engineered by the legendary Bob Clearmountain and Brandon Duncan, mixed in Dolby Atmos by Clearmountain, and mastered by multi-Grammy Award recipient Darcy Proper.

Purchase Truly in the IAA Shop!

Artist: Ultravox
Title: Rage In Eden (1981)
Label: Chrysalis/Parlophone
Format: 5CD/DVD
Immersive Mix By: Steven Wilson (5.1)
Release Date: 9/30/22

The follow-up to 1980’s Vienna, Rage In Eden (1981), was reissued in late September 2022 in the same 5CD/DVD configuration as 2020’s successful Vienna deluxe edition. Once again, Steven Wilson has been tapped to create new stereo & 5.1 surround mixes.

This 5.1 remix is every bit as engaging as Vienna’s, with pronounced front-to-back channel separation and extensive use of the rear speakers for isolated guitars, synthesizers, and backing vocals. Even the Penteo upmixes of “The Voice'' and “I Remember…” fill the room nicely – the other edges of the stereo image appear pushed out towards the rear speakers while the centered lead vocal and rhythm section stay upfront, but they retain the dark tonal profile of the original mix.

Submit your nominations for the 2023 IAA’s Listeners’ Choice Award here!

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