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Speakers Corner / Chess - LP 1449 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Pure Analogue Audiophile Remaster - Pressed at Pallas Germany - Limited Edition
AAA 100% Analogue This Speakers Corner LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head 25 Years pure Analogue
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the April 2011 Issue of Stereophile!
Great musical events are often born of both positive and negative energies clashing with one another. And so it was at the Newport Festival in 1960, which had already been rocked by violent tumults even before it started. The allures of commerce raised its ugly head; the Mingus Band wanted their share and named a fee that the organizers were not willing to fulfill. The echo came quickly:
Charles Mingus and Max Roach organized their own festival in the near-by Cliff Walk Manor Hotel, and the "Newport Rebels" were born. Tempers escalated during the Saturday night concert and commotion broke out when masses of drunken teenagers got into a fight with the security personnel. Newport was on the brink of disaster. In the midst of this explosive atmosphere, and standing on the (quite literally) rotten planks of the festival stage, Muddy Waters performed songs which captured his audience's ears and heart, and called attention to his unique Chicago blues.
For many white people, this night was the very first time that they heard and saw a live performance by a black band. Numbers such as "I Got My Brand On You", "Hoochie Coochie Man", and "Tiger In Your Tank" are just as legendary as the members of the band, first and foremost James Cotton with his mouth organ and Otis Spann on the piano, who is also to be heard as a vocalist in "Goodbye Newport Blues". About half-an-hour of highly concentrated, honest and passionate songs - just pure and unadulterated Muddy Waters' blues. "Waters was starting to draw a wider pop audience when he performed this live concert. It's got his classics — "Hoochie Coochie Man"; the set closer,
"Got My Mojo Working" — with a band that's tough, tight and in the groove. James Cotton's harmonica jams are a special treat."
For many back in the early '60s, this was their first exposure to live recorded blues, and it's still pretty damn impressive some 40-plus years down the line. Muddy, with a band featuring Otis Spann, James Cotton, and guitarist Pat Hare, lays it down tough and cool with a set that literally had 'em dancing in the aisles by the set closer, a rippling version of "Got My Mojo Working," reprised again in a short encore version. Kicking off the album with a version of "I've Got My Brand on You" that positively burns the relatively tame (in comparison) studio take, Waters heads full bore through impressive versions of "Hoochie Coochie Man," Big Bill Broonzy's "Feel So Good," and "Tiger in Your Tank." A great breakthrough moment in blues history, where the jazz audience opened its ears and embraced Chicago blues. This album was in print almost continuously on vinyl for 20-plus years,
Muddy Water, guitar, vocals
Otis Spann, piano, vocals
Tat Harris, guitar
James Cotton, harmonica
Andrew Stephenson, bass
Francis Clay, drums
1. Got My Brand On You
2. I'm Your Hoochie Koochie Man
3. Baby, Please Don't Go
4. Soon Forgotten
5. Tiger In Your Tank
6. I Feel So Good
7. Got My Mojo Working
8. Got My Mojo Working, Part 2
9. Goodbye Newport Blues
Recorded July 3, 1960 live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, R.I.
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 20 Years pure Analogue
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!