Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2193 - SACD Hybrid Stereo
2,000 Numbered Limited Edition - Hybrid Sacd Plays On All CD Players
Mastered by Rob LoVerde from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Half-Speed Mastered 11.2Mhz Quad DSD on the Mobile Fidelity THE GAIN HD SYSTEM
Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach first collaborated on "God Give Me Strength," a sweeping ballad that functioned as the centerpiece in Allison Anders' Grace of My Heart. It was a stunning song in the tradition of Bacharach's classic '60s work and it was successful enough that the composers decided to collaborate on a full album, Painted from Memory. Wisely, they chose to work within the stylistic parameters of Bacharach's '60s material, but Painted from Memory never sounds like a stylistic exercise. Instead, it's a return to form for both artists. Bacharach hasn't written such graceful, powerful melodies since his glory days, and Costello hasn't crafted such a fully realized album since King of America. It's a testament to both that even if the album is clearly in Bacharach's territory, it feels like a genuine collaboration. Often, the music not only evokes the spirit of Dionne Warwick, it's reminiscent of Elvis' torching ballads for Trust.
Costello keeps Bacharach from his schmaltzier tendencies, and Bacharach keeps Costello from overwriting. With its lush arrangements, sighing brass and strings, gentle pianos, and backing vocals, it's clearly a classicist album, yet it sounds utterly timeless. Its melodies are immediate, its emotions subtle, its impact lasting -- and, with that timeless sound, Painted from Memory illustrates that craft cannot only be its own reward, it can be genuinely moving
An Unforgettable Exhibition of Stellar Melodies, Gorgeous Arrangements, and Fully Bared Emotion: Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach's Brilliant Painted from Memory a Collaboration for the Ages
Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach's Painted from Memory endures as an extraordinary exhibition of prime music making, gorgeous arranging, and naked emotion. Having transpired after the pair teamed up on "God Give Me Strength" for a film soundtrack (and the closing track here), the album has since gone on to become one of the most respected – and admired – projects of each artist's considerable careers. Its expert employment of melody and harmony imparts a timelessness that stretches back to pop's golden age and icons such as Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra. Further boosted by meticulous production, it has long called out for audiophile treatment. Mobile Fidelity's analog reissue brings it all full circle.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed on dead-quiet 180g vinyl at RTI, and strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's of Painted from Memory transforms the 1998 set into an essential component of any library. Always an effort that rewarded solitary listening, it now breathes with ravishing openness, reveals crystalline detail, unfolds against jet-back backgrounds, mesmerizes with a rainbow of textures, and constantly engages with its impossible smoothness. For the first time, the scope of the intricacies, nuances, and phrasings embedded in Bacharach's meticulous compositions can be experienced in full. The orbit of the bridges, refrains, and codas beguiles the senses. Ditto the poetic reach of Costello's singing and lyrics.
Indeed, the level of care and concern invested into every passage of Painted from Memory is immediately gleaned by the ravishing sonics afforded on this collectable edition – amazingly, the first time this title has been available on SACD. Reference-grade presence, tonality, and balance help capture the sweep of the strings, colorful blush of the horn accents, and weight of the piano. Steve Nieve's keyboards, Greg Cohen's bass, Dean Parks' guitar, and Jim Keltner's drums seemingly appear right in the room. Rather than smear together or jockey for position, each instrument enjoys its own place and simultaneously sounds part of the rich, lush, complex albeit completely interwoven tapestry. Graceful, elegant, and classicist-minded, Painted from Memory is a genuine masterpiece – and a true collaboration.
No wonder Costello dedicated a large portion of a chapter from his Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink memoir to his time with Bacharach. Among his insights, Costello explains how crafting the album forced him to be a better writer and singer – and a better listener, stating: "Writing those first songs with Burt Bacharach required me to listen to what the music was really saying to me. Sometimes it was speaking so quietly that I needed to listen very intently. I needed time for the meaning and feeling that I sensed in the music to be confirmed by my own words. The strange thing was that the title of a song often came to me in an instant, but then would begin the more excruciating task of negotiating Burt's spacious melodies and rhythmic subtleties."
The very aspects Costello discusses come to the forefront on remarkable torch pieces such as the intensely dramatic "This House Is Empty Now," melancholic "Thief," and Grammy-winning "I Still Have That Other Girl." In addition to Bacharach's suave, sophisticated, strikingly exquisite orchestrations, Costello's vocals carry the day. Straddling two octaves and sighing with pain, bittersweet romance, and wistful reflection, his baritone stretching to convey highs and lows with crooner-like poise, breadth, and fastidiousness. Thrilling, distinctive, and memorable, the performances are just like the entirety of Painted from Memory itself – unforgettably great.
Secure your copy of this strictly limited release
In the Darkest Place
I Still Have That Other Girl
This House Is Empty Now
Tears at the Birthday Party
Such Unlikely Lovers
The Long Division
Painted from Memory
The Sweetest Punch
What's Her Name Today?
God Give Me Strength
Mobile Fidelity believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artifacts.
New Ultradisc UHR GAIN HD mastering technology, designed to achieve "a higher level of musical accuracy, resolution and fidelity
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) has introduced its Ultradisc UHR GAIN HD with 4X DSD digital mastering technology. The Ultradisc UHR (Ultra-High Resolution) GAIN HD mastering process utilizes 4X DSD direct-to-CD conversion and a newly implemented mastering chain to achieve a higher level of musical accuracy, resolution and fidelity from CD.
GAIN stands for Greater Ambient Information Network, "and that's an indication of exactly what listeners will hear with our new mastering process," "The GAIN HD 4X DSD process delivers a subtle but significant improvement in low-level detail, ambient information and 'air,' and perhaps most importantly, a relaxed ease in the musical presentation that simply sounds less 'reproduced' and more natural and involving."
The GAIN HD mastering chain starts with Mobile Fidelity's custom Studer tape playback deck with proprietary reproducer electronics and tape head designed by legendary engineer Tim de Paravicini. "Thanks to this one-of-a-kind tape machine, we're pulling off more musical information from the master tapes from the get-go," . From there the signal is directly coupled to MFSL's 4X DSD A/D converter which samples at 11.2 MHz or 256fs, or 256 times the CD sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. The 4X DSD file is then downsampled to 1X DSD for the SACD layer and the 4X DSD file is also downsampled to 44.1 kHz for the CD layer. The result is better resolution in both formats.
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the leader in audiophile recordings since it was founded in 1977 by producer and recording engineer Brad Miller. The company's first half-speed-mastered Original Master Recording LPs set a remarkable new sonic benchmark for vinyl playback and through the decades MFSL has continued to redefine the state-of-the-art in LP, CD and high-resolution digital sound with technologies including the Ultradisc 24-karat gold-plated CD, GAIN 2 mastering system, Ultradisc UHR (Ultra High Resolution) SACD disc and other breakthroughs.
"For almost four decades Mobile Fidelity has been completely dedicated to furthering the development and acceptance of audiophile recordings. This has never been more important than today, where compressed audio and compromised sound encroach upon us more and more." He concluded, "If anything, this gives us all the more reason to do what we're doing with our newest technology upgrades - which is to bring music lovers and audiophiles closer than ever to listening to master-tape-quality sound in their home and enjoying a growing number of recordings the way the artists and producers intended them to be heard."
It is worth noting that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab stands out as one of few record labels that independently invests in research and development of audio technology. With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware. Mobile Fidelity is pleased to work with a variety of engineering legends and companies including Tim de Paravicini, Ed Meitner, Pass Labs, Theta Digital and Sony Electronics.
Our joint efforts to seek out the ultimate audio experience, has resulted in significant advances for the technology of music reproduction.
GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR™ Hybrid SACD and Ultradisc II™ 24kt Gold CDs
For over twenty years, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has continually searched for the ultimate audio experience. During this search MFSL engineers and associates created The GAIN™ System, a proprietary mastering technology which brought warmth and ambience to the compact disc format. A few years ago - with higher resolution formats on the horizon - the vision of GAIN 2™ began. As it stands today, GAIN 2™ is one of the greatest technical advancements in analogue and digital technology in the last ten years. It consists of a series of critical modifications and new components to Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering chain.
We feel that GAIN 2™ has come extremely close to meeting this goal. The key accomplishments of GAIN 2™ System are 1) the ability to extract all the musical information as possible through the Ultra High bandwidth analogue tape playback system with proprietary custom tape playback heads, reproducer electronics and 2) transparently capturing and storing that information with the Direct Stream Digital recording system.