AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Epic - BN 26349 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production
The quality of this reissue is in keeping with Speakers Corner's legendary standards. Original analog tapes have been used for cutting the lacquers, and the entire process used for creating this record was free of any digital effects. The results on my turntable are luxuriously black backgrounds (due to the Pallas pressings), exceptional dynamics and three-dimensional presentation of images. As with many albums of the period, a number of cuts are plagued by instruments being panned hard left or right in the mix. However, the utterly natural richness of the recording makes those engineering decisions a very minor distraction. I had only heard a scratchy dollar-bin version of the US pressing several years back, so the effect of listening to the Speakers Corner reissue reminded me of the time I watched the fully restored print of Rear Window: I knew the movie was a half-century old, but it still seemed utterly present and new. Vinyl this good makes it hard to return to digital files - The Audio Beat
Speakers Corner Records re-mastering to 180-gram vinyl is flawless. The overall mix is balanced and the pressing is of superior quality.The infared cover photo is compelling and nostalgic.-AudiophileAudition
Donovan Philip Leitch may well share a proletarian origin with several of the folk bards of his time. But comparisons with the top dog Dylan have worn thin and are not worth the effort since Donovan never was neither vocally nor thematically brusque – and moreover he created his own standards. He quickly converted the pacifist message of "The Universal Soldier" into positive thoughts and his poetry was concerned with history, sagas, myths and magic. »Lord, kiss me once more, fill me with song he prays in "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", and if this makes you sentimental then you are on the right wavelength.
However, the seller of hope (Donovan on Donovan) triggers off a few psychedelic nerve tracts: whether it be a personal experience in echo form ("Sun") or the "sprechgesang" and whistling of a vocal group ("Little Boy In Corduroy") – light, gentle but perceptibly formed. That Donovan set far more than cheerful texts to the guitar is proven by the use of sawing stationary sound of the organ, low-register string passages and subtle rhythms, which raises his song repertoire miles above routine. A nice 'folksy guy' who merely loves the sun, moon and stars just cannot exist in times of war.
Donovan’s 1967 release Wear Your Love Like Heaven is one of his brightest and most upbeat albums. Also released as the first half of the landmark t A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, it finds Donovan in mostly electric mode, and taking an increasingly active production role that he would maintain for the rest of his career.
Separately released in the U.S. as the pop record from 1967's double-LP A Gift From a Flower to a Garden, Wear Your Love Like Heaven stands on its own as one of the brightest, most pleasant works Donovan ever recorded. The title track and "Oh Gosh" were the only nods to the charts (and, tellingly, the only songs produced by Mickie Most). For once in Donovan's career, the remainders far outshone the singles, with brisk, breezy productions and the thoughtful playing of an actual band behind Donovan -- usually just bass, keyboards, and soft, whisking drums or bongos. Donovan's voice is better than ever, playful and unassuming on romps like "Mad John's Escape," "Skip-A-Long Sam," and "Oh Gosh," while expressive and controlled for the slower material. He also makes evocative folkie nostalgia work much better than it should on "Sun" and "Little Boy in Corduroy," helped by the breathy flute playing of Harold McNair.
This Speakers Corner production was manufactured 100% analogously, with the use of the analogue mastertape and analogue mastering. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: October 1967 at CBS Studios London by Michael Ross Trevor
Production: Ashley Kozak
Donovan (vocals, guitar)
Mike O'Neil (organ,piano, harpsichord,)
Eric Leese (guitar)
Harold McNair (flute)
Mike Carr (vibraphone)
Jack Bruce, Cliff Barton (bass)
Keith Webb (drums)
Candy John Carr (conga, bongo)
1. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
2. Mad John’s Escape
3. Skip-A-Long Sam
5. There Was a Time
6. Oh Gosh
7. Little Boy in Corduroy
8. Under the Greenwood Tree
9. The Land of Doesn’t Have to Be
10. Someone Singing
25 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.
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!