Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-445 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Bill Withers' Smooth Soul Voice, Mellow Grooves, and Gospel Accents Inform Beloved Work: Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, and Stephen Stills Among Guest Instrumentalists on Greatest Hits
Essential Bill Withers' Greatest Hits Compilation Includes Ubiquitous Classics Such as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me," "Lovely Day," "Use Me," and "Grandma's Hands"
Mobile Fidelity 180g LP Pressed at RTI: Roots R&B Has Never Sounded Better on Any Format
Bill Withers created mellow, downhome-style soul for barely more than a decade before retreating from the industry to pursue craftsman interests. Yet over the course of the handful of albums he made for Sussex and CBS, the Appalachian native struck lasting emotional chords in legends ranging from Booker T. Jones to Stephen Stills – not to mention the millions of listeners that fell under the spell of now-standard tracks such as "Lean on Me," "Use Me," and "Ain't No Sunshine." The antithesis of the sweaty R&B shouter that prowled the edge of stages, Withers dealt in calm and vulnerability, qualities that come to fore on the seminal Bill Withers' Greatest Hits.
Pressed on 180g LP at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's vinyl reissue of the 1981 compilation provides a transparent view of Withers' relaxing timbre and the subtle grooves underlining his arrangements. Characteristics ranging from the tension of the guitars, funky bends of the bass, whisper-soft coo of the formal strings, airiness of the backing harmonies, and sharpness of the snare drum emerge with utmost clarity and lifelike presence. Always prized for its naked honesty and pure conviction, Withers' music positively caresses the senses on this LP, the unadulterated production and beautiful soundscapes revealed anew with each listen.
Incredibly, Withers almost never got a shot at recording. After receiving a deal from Sussex while laboring as a toilet-seat manufacturer, he landed in the care of Stax bandleader Booker T. Jones, who gathered most of his fellow MG members – along with Stills and Jim Keltner – to assist in Withers' debut. Two takes from those sessions, the Grammy-winning "Ain't No Sunshine" and devotional "Grandma's Hands," are included here, and showcase the vocalist's incredible breath control, folksy drawl, and restrained phrasing. They also indicate his penchant for converting biographical experience into eminently catchy combinations of pop, gospel, blues, and soul.
Evidence of Withers' crossover appeal is found not only via his chart successes on both the pop and R&B charts, but in the DNA of his best work. There's not one forgettable moment on Greatest Hits. Covered by the likes of Fiona Apple, Mick Jagger, Isaac Hayes, Alicia Keys, and dozens more, "Use Me" rides a riveting clarinet riff and urban tempo to express the double-edged feelings associated with an edgy relationship. On the loping "Who Is He (And What Is He to You?)," Withers again splits the bitter and sweet. For the Latin-tinged "Lovely Day," Withers holds a single note for 18 seconds and composed a song that's been sampled and rerecorded countless times by artists spanning Diana Ross to R. Kelly. And with "Lean on Me," the West Virginian devised a masterpiece that's been for more than four decades part of the classic American songbook, an updated hymn carried to immortality by members of the Charles Wright & 103rd Street Rhythm Band.
A veritable template for British soul contemporaries like Sam Smith and an extension of the timeless fare explored by Van Morrison, Curtis Mayfield, and Al Green, Bill Withers' Greatest Hits belongs in every music lover's library. Secure your lowest-numbered copy of this seminal edition
Numbered, Limited Edition
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Bill Withers Bill Withers' Greatest Hits Track Listing:
1. Just the Two of Us
2. Use Me
3. Ain't No Sunshine
4. Lovely Day
5. I Want to Spend the Night
6. Soul Shadows
7. Lean on Me
8. Grandma's Hands
9. Hello Like Before
10. Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
RTI HQ-180 Vinyl
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.