Limited to 8,000 numbered copies, pressed on MoFi SuperVinyl at RTI, and mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s ultra-hi-fi UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP collector’s edition enhances the music for generations to come. Surpassing the sonics of any prior version, it provides a clear, transparent, ultra-dynamic view of a record that won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The expanse and depth of the soundstage, fullness of detail, reach of the omnipresent electric piano, and natural bloom and decay of individual notes all reach demonstration-grade levels.
Visually, the lavish packaging and gorgeous presentation of the UD1S Still Crazy After All These Years pressing befit its select status. Housed in a deluxe box, it features special foil-stamped jackets and faithful-to-the-original graphics that illuminate the splendor of the recording. No expense has been spared. Aurally and visually, this UD1S reissue exists as a curatorial artifact meant to be preserved, touched, and examined. It is made for discerning listeners that prize sound quality and production, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the art – and everything involved with the album, from the images to the finishes.
The newfound immediacy, presence, texture, and dark-black backgrounds provided by Mobile Fidelity’s UD1S set showcase the scope and craft of Simon’s alluring melodies – as well as the intentional conflict between the tense lyrical content and the deceivingly pleasant aura. Still Crazy After All These Years resonates with a decided nasty streak and delves into adult romance with rapier wit. Indeed, in its original review of the album, Rolling Stone pertinently observes, “There is something ominous about the disparity between Simon and Phil Ramone’s typically elaborate, creamy production and the downbeat theme of the album.”
Nowhere is the distinction more pronounced than on the seductive, irony-rich smash “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Interviewed decades ago about its creation and appeal, Simon explained what makes the track structurally distinct. “I was studying harmony with [bassist Chuck Israels]. Instead of using a minor chord, I use a major chord and go up a step. It is hard to get an interesting key change. I also like to write a bridge and just jump a whole tone up.” Needless to say, the approach worked. The song remains Simon’s most successful solo hit, and joins three other tunes from the record to have climbed into the Top 40.
The other charting numbers – the loose-limbed title track (complete with a Michael Brecker saxophone solo), “Gone at Last” (a duet with Phoebe Snow), and “My Little Town” (which reunited Simon with his former partner Art Garfunkel for the first time in nearly five years) – prove equally sharp. In certain ways, Still Crazy After All These Years plays as the musical complement to Woody Allen’s signature film Annie Hall, which, coincidentally, Simon would appear as a sleazy record producer. Relatedly, “Have a Good Time” witnesses Simon laughing his way through thinly disguised depression while the kiss-off “You’re Kind” distills a splintered romance down to the preference of keeping a window open or closed.
“And you’re good, you’re so good/You introduced me to your neighborhood” Simon sings, slicing through pain with stinging zingers and a coy grin that announce the turning over of a new leaf, which culminated with his performing on “Saturday Night Live” in a turkey costume. But that’s a story for another day.
AVAILABLE TO PREORDER NOW
1 Still Crazy After All These Years
2 My Little Town
3 I’d Do It for Your Love
4 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
5 Night Game
6 Gone at Last
7 Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy
8 Have a Good Time
9 You’re Kind
10 Silent Eyes
11 Slip Slidin’ Away
12 Gone at Last (Original Demo with The Jessy Dixon Singers)
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You don’t need to be ‘Old & Wise’ to know this is an absolute essential!Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s RTI pressed 180g 45RPM 2LP and hybrid SACD versions of Eye in the Sky feature succulent warmth, magnificent balance, low-end heft, and see-through transparency that take you into the studio with Parsons at Abbey Road Studios. Each note seems perfectly placed, every sequence painstakingly considered. Boasting front-to- back depth, concert-hall-level separation, realistic presence, and bang-on accuracy, the reissues illustrate the lasting importance of perfectionist-minded engineering and recording techniques. These releases will test the capabilities of the world’s finest stereo systems. There’s more information, more texture, more nuance— more of everything to be experienced. British progressive rock would never again sound so sophisticated, suave, or steady.
#338 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Big Brother and Joplin Convey Fearlessness, Toughness, and Synergy on Every NoteIn many facets, Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills is the quintessential album to spring from the outcome of the Summer of Love. Best known as Janis Joplin's major-label debut, the 1968 set arrived when the countercultural movement was in full swing and before co-optation, drugs, and violence signaled the fall of the era. Ranked #338 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it puts a female singer in the prominent position traditionally given to a male and showcases a band pouring a potent cocktail of fiery psychedelic, blues, and folk sounds that informed the unfettered creativity of the San Francisco scene. Produced by John Simon, Cheap Thrills also features one of the most iconic and elaborate album covers in history.
Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging BopBill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New York’s Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.
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