Dolby Atmos streaming is the gift that keeps on giving, as fans continue to be treated to new immersive mixes of both contemporary and vintage music on a near-weekly basis.

Spring 2024 was absolutely jam-packed with exciting immersive releases, ranging from amazing reinventions of classics from past decades–including iconic titles such as Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs (1974), Billy Joel's Turnstiles (1976), and Jimi Hendrix's First Rays of The New Rising Sun (1997)–all the way to the latest albums from old stalwarts like Crowded House and Pearl Jam.

In the article below, we cast a spotlight on some of the best new Atmos tracks that became available to stream over these past few months. 

Howard Jones - "Things Can Only Get Better"

Howard Jones Dolby Atmos

To celebrate 40 years since the release of Howard Jones’ debut studio recordings, Cherry Red Records have released the Celebrating Together digital EP featuring new Dolby Atmos remixes of six classic songs from Bob Clearmountain. The recently-released CD/Blu-Ray deluxe editions of Jones' first two albums–1984’s Human’s Lib and 1985’s Dream Into Action–feature Clearmountain's Atmos mixes of five tracks ("The Prisoner" remains exclusive to streaming services) alongside Stephen W Tayler's new stereo & 5.1 surround mixes of the complete albums.

The keyboard intro to “Things Can Only Get Better” fills up the rear surrounds, with programmed drums and horns blasting in from the front stage. Howard Jones’ vocal resides primarily in the center speaker, while the big ‘80s ambience travels up to the height array. The call-and-response backing vocals during the chorus answer from behind, just as I’d hoped.

Read our full review of Celebrating Together here!

Gentle Giant - “Memories Of Old Days (2024 Remix)”

Originally released in August 1977 through Capitol Records in the United States and Chrysalis Records in the United Kingdom, The Missing Piece was Gentle Giant’s ninth studio album and now the latest to be reissued as part of an ongoing campaign from the band’s label Alucard Records. Out of all the Gentle Giant albums that Steven Wilson has remixed thus far, I’d argue this one offers the biggest sonic improvement over the original release. As with last year's Interview (1976) reissue, Wilson's Dolby Atmos mix of the album is available both via streaming and Blu-Ray disc.

The ambient sounds of children playing fade in from overhead in “Memories Of Old Days,” soon accompanied by sparkling acoustic guitars that emit their reverbs rear-ward. The ARP synthesizer (or is it a theremin?) appears centered in the rear surrounds, directly opposite Derek Shulman’s center-isolated lead vocal.

Read our full review of The Missing Piece (2024 Remix) here!

Madeleine Peyroux - “Please Come On Inside”

Acclaimed jazz singer, songwriter and interpreter Madeleine Peyroux will release Let’s Walk, her first album in six years, on June 28th. The collection–Peyroux's ninth studio release to date, and the first in which she co-wrote every song with longtime collaborator Jon Herington–is her most diverse, intimate, and bold work to date. The album was mixed in Dolby Atmos by Elliot Scheiner and mastered by Darcy Proper.

Scheiner is well-known in this space for his acclaimed work on the 5.1 surround mixes of classic albums like The Eagles’ Hotel California (1976) and Steely Dan’s Gaucho (1980), but this is the first time he’s created a Dolby Atmos mix. “Please Come On Inside” makes full use of the immersive soundstage, with the talkbox in the rear speakers playing nicely off Peyroux’s vocal upfront. The height speakers are an active part of the Atmos presentation as well, supplying keyboards, percussion, and Jon Herington’s guitar.

Jimi Hendrix - “Night Bird Flying”

In 1997, the Hendrix Estate and MCA Records released First Rays of The New Rising Sun–a freshly-sequenced compilation of 17 songs intended for Jimi Hendrix’s fourth studio album, all recorded between 1968 and 1970. Back in 2022, it was announced that Eddie Kramer had remixed First Rays in 5.1 surround sound for a forthcoming box set entitled Electric Lady Studios: A Jimi Hendrix Vision. The box set unfortunately never materialized, but a Dolby Atmos mix of the compilation–​​credited to Kramer and Chandler Harrod–became available to stream on May 10.

“Night Bird Flying” spreads Hendrix’s multi-tracked guitars all throughout the room to spine-tingling effect, with Mitchell’s drum kit upfront nicely counterbalanced by percussion in the rear. Jimi’s vocals appear omnipresent in the middle of the room, while his searing guitar leads wildly swirl all around the listener.

Crowded House - “Black Water White Circle”

Produced by Steven Schram (Paul Kelly, Midlife) and released through BMG Rights Management on May 31, the Australian rock band’s latest album Gravity Stairs is their second to feature the current lineup of Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom and Neil’s sons Elroy and Liam Finn. Schram’s Dolby Atmos mix is phenomenal and undoubtedly the best way to experience the album.

Each of the 11 songs are overflowing with layers of multi-tracked vocals, guitars, keyboards, and percussion, making it a perfect candidate for the format. That said, perhaps the most impressive track from an immersive standpoint would have to be “Black Water, White Circle.” Percussion hovers directly overhead, while different sets of layered background vocals alternate between the side and rear surround speakers.

Billy Joel - "All You Wanna Do Is Dance"

Though Billy Joel’s Turnstiles already received a quadraphonic release back in 1976, the album was just recently remixed in Dolby Atmos by longtime Joel collaborator Bradshaw Leigh. Leigh has already created Atmos mixes of several other classic records from Joel's catalog, including 1974’s Piano Man, 1978’s 52nd Street, 1982’s The Nylon Curtain, and 1983’s An Innocent Man

“All You Wanna Do Is Dance” is definitely a highlight, with the percussion scattered all throughout the listening space. The height speakers even get some action in this track, when the strings pop up from above towards the end. That said, I do miss the short percussion break at around the three-minute mark coming from the back left corner as in the quadraphonic mix.

Read our full review of Turnstiles here!

Snarky Puppy - “Flight”

Funk-fusion icons Snarky Puppy finally embraced immersive audio in 2022 by issuing a Dolby Atmos version of their Grammy-winning latest studio album Empire Central, mixed by Nic Hard. Much to fans’ delight, the band have now opted to revisit 2015’s Sylva with a brand-new immersive mix. Though the entire album is already available to stream in Atmos, a Blu-Ray release will follow in July.

Similar to his approach on Empire Central, Hard has again opted to drop the listener in the center of the band. The electric rhythm guitar that kicks off “Flight” stays locked to the side right channel, while the drum kit extends upward into the front heights. The lead synthesizer melody appears almost entirely isolated in the center channel, with its reverb traveling towards the back of the room.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Murder On The Dancefloor”

Earlier this year, the British singer-songwriter 2001’s smash quietly received a Dolby Atmos remix from expert producer/engineer David Kosten. Kosten’s Atmos mix is interestingly more of a quad experience, with the rhythm guitars and percussion separated out to the side surrounds while core elements like the drums and lead vocal stay upfront.

Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to ask Kosten about his experience remixing “Murder On The Dancefloor” in Atmos:

“...I only had a couple of days to hand in the Atmos mix, but the great (and lucky) thing about that track is how brilliantly-produced it was–once I started pulling up faders and recreating the balances, it sounded extremely close to the finished version. The only real trickiness was that they’d flown in bits and pieces from the demo vocal performance, so I got hold of the original multitrack of the demo and dropped in those few words in order to make it match.”

Read our full Q&A with David Kosten here!

Pearl Jam - “Something Special”

April 2024’s Dark Matter saw Seattle grunge icons Pearl Jam collaborating with producer Andrew Watt (The Rolling Stones, etc), who’d previously worked on frontman Eddie Vedder's last solo album Earthling (2018). The album was mixed in Dolby Atmos by Josh Evans and Nick Rives, the same team that handled the immersive remixes of prior albums Ten (1991), Vs. (1993), No Code (1996), Yield (1998), Lightning Bolt (2013), and Gigaton (2020). Notably, this is the first Pearl Jam Atmos release to receive a physical release on Blu-Ray in addition to streaming.

“Something Special” keeps Matt Cameron’s drums and Eddie Vedder’s instantly-recognizable vocals largely confined to the front stage, with electric rhythm guitars floating in from the side surrounds. Background vocals hover up in the rear heights during the chorus, while Mike McCready’s guitar solos appear suspended between the fronts and front heights.

Support IAA by purchasing the Dark Matter CD/Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition via this link!

Robin Trower - “Too Rolling Stoned”

Consistently hailed as one of the greatest ‘power trio’ blues-rock records, Robin Trower’s Bridge of Sighs (1974) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The four-disc deluxe edition from Chrysalis Records contains brand-new stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos remixes from Richard Whittaker, though the Atmos mix is also available to stream on Apple Music.

"Too Rolling Stoned” is definitely one of the more impressive tracks on the album from an immersive standpoint. Reg Isidore’s drums stay locked to the front stage along with James Dewar’s bass and vocals, while Trower’s guitar is pulled further out into the room towards the side speakers and the backing vocals appear isolated in the rears. The second half of the song is especially fun in Atmos, as the handclaps and ‘party noise’ extend from the back half of the room all the way up into the height array.

Support IAA by purchasing the Bridge of Sighs 3CD/Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition via this link!

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About the Author
Jonathan is an audio engineering enthusiast from New York with a passion for immersive audio, having amassed a formidable collection of multichannel optical discs and quadraphonic vinyl. He earned his undergraduate degree in Television-Radio from Ithaca College and Master's degree in Audio Technology from American University.