Speakers Corner / RCA LSP-4807 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 4260019712240
Mastered from the Original Mastertapes by Willem Makkee at Emil Berliner
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition - Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 20 Years pure Analogue
It is well known that comparisons seldom get to the root of the matter, but in the case of Lou Reed, for example, they certainly reveal the unassuredness of those people who made them. Is he or isn’t he the Chuck Berry or Sergeant Pepper of the Seventies, or is he deliberately building up an image of himself as an ultra-sensitive Frankenstein, who lived out his neuroses and drug trips in horrific sound? "Some records are so unbelievably repulsive," raged the magazine Rolling Stone,
"that one would best like to take physical revenge on the artists who commit such offences." "David Bowie counted the former Velvet Underground leader as a major inspiration — and paid back the debt by producing Transformer. The album had glam flash courtesy of Ziggy Stardust guitarist Mick Ronson as well as Reed's biggest hit, "Walk on the Wild Side" — which brought drag queens and hustlers into the Top Twenty — and the exquisite ballad "Perfect Day." It was Reed's first producer, VU impresario Andy Warhol, who inspired the lead cut when he suggested "Vicious" as a song title.
"You know, like, 'Vicious/You hit me with a flower,' " Warhol elaborated. Reed took him at his word, penning the song and cribbing the lines verbatim." - www.rollingstone.com The album Transformer, however, can by no means be classified as a case of "acoustic bodily harm." It appeared just a few months after the somewhat unsuccessful appearance of Lou Reed’s fairly underground first release and rocketed straight into the charts. This production had two British guardian angels to help it on its way, namely David Bowie and Mick Ronson, both of whom obviously knew how to steer Reed’s songwriting qualities into safe waters, without wavering down its biting sarcasm and humorous provocation. And that’s why grating guitar rock ("Vicious") is found alongside a bittersweet, tender ballad ("Perfect Day") and even an old-time jazz parody ("Goodnight Ladies") which is sung with a tongue as heavy as lead.
Why then compare this highly original music mix with others, when it’s so much easier to hear this record for what it is - a truly cult album?
Lou Reed, vocals, guitar
David Bowie, backing vocals
Mick Ronson, backing vocals, guitar, piano, recorder
The Thunder Thighs, backing vocals
Klaus Voormann, bass guitar
Herbie Flowers, string bass, bass guitar, tuba
Ronnie Ross, baritone sax
John Halzey, drums
Barry Desouza, drums
Ritchie Dharma, drums
2. Andy's Chest
3. Perfect Day
4. Hangin' 'Round
5. Walk on the Wild Side
6. Make Up
7. Satellite of Love
8. Wagon Wheel
9. New York Telephone Conversation
10. I'm So Free
11. Goodnight Ladies
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head
Are your records completely analogue?
Yes! This we guarantee!
As a matter of principle, only analogue masters are used, and the necessary cutting delay is also analogue. All our cutting engineers use only Neumann cutting consoles, and these too are analogue. The only exception is where a recording has been made – either partly or entirely – using digital technology, but we do not have such items in our catalogue at the present time
Are your records cut from the original masters?
In our re-releases it is our aim to faithfully reproduce the original intentions of the musicians and recording engineers which, however, could not be realised at the time due to technical limitations. Faithfulness to the original is our top priority, not the interpretation of the original: there is no such thing as a “Speakers Corner Sound”. Naturally, the best results are obtained when the original master is used. Therefore we always try to locate these and use them for cutting. Should this not be possible, – because the original tape is defective or has disappeared, for example – we do accept a first-generation copy. But this remains an absolute exception for us.
Who cuts the records?
In order to obtain the most faithful reproduction of the original, we have the lacquers cut on the spot, by engineers who, on the whole, have been dealing with such tapes for many years. Some are even cut by the very same engineer who cut the original lacquers of the first release. Over the years the following engineers have been and still are working for us: Tony Hawkins, Willem Makkee, Kevin Gray, Maarten de Boer, Scott Hull, and Ray Staff, to name but a few.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and others, including of course Speakers Corner, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes.
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s.
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive.
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source!
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer. The only exceptions are when existing metal parts are superior to new ones that might be cut, which includes our release of “Elvis is Back”, which was cut by Stan Ricker or several titles from our Philips Classics series, where were cut in the 1990s using original master tapes by Willem Makkee at the Emil Berliner Studios. In those cases we used only the original “mother” to produce new stampers.
In addition, we admit to having one digital recording in our catalogue: Alan Parsons’ “Eye in the Sky”, which was recorded digitally but mixed to analogue tape that we used to cut lacquers.
In closing, we want to insure our loyal customers that, with but a few exceptions as noted, our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers.
60 Years Pallas
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!