AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-389 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
AAA 100% Analogue - Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Pure Analogue Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Ttape
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
Costello & the Attractions Return to Mainstream Pop on Slick-Sounding 1983 Album Mobile Fidelity LP Digs Into Smooth Tones, Brassy Effects, Limber Bass Lines, Multiple Layers of Production Includes Sparkling Top 40 Hit “Everyday I Write the Book” As Well as Timeless Political Songs “Shipbuilding” and “Pills and Soap” Razor-Sharp Wit, Concise Melodies on Display Throughout; Jazz Legend Chet Baker Guests Punch the Clock is Elvis Costello & the Attractions’ most British record, a return to mainstream pop craft loaded with clever barbs and insightful social commentary that nearly landed the headliner in serious trouble with government representatives.
Produced by the English hit-making team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the jumpy and horn-accompanied 1983 effort includes Costello’s first-ever American Top 40 hit (“Everyday I Write the Book”) and a smooth sheen that reinforces the material’s commercial intent and catchy appeal. Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited edition 180g LP presents the hyper-literate fidelity and refined melodies in astonishing sonics, navigating the multiple layers of information, brassy effects, and background vocals to present a unified whole replete with stellar front-to-back depth.
Akin to the reissue label’s previous acclaimed Costello reissues, Punch the Clock is vastly improved, the opened-up perspective, pronounced instrumental separation, and textural clarity enhancing all the details within the grooves. Fresh from making a country tribute album and a large-scale set flush with complex arrangements, Costello and Co. return to straight-ahead pop given a decidedly British accent and soulful backing vocals. Conscious of the Merseybeat sound and success of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Costello tints songs with new-wave characteristics, splashy horns, and spontaneous vocal-response support courtesy of female duo Afrodiziak, one member of which later attained fame with Soul II Soul. Steve Nieve’s bounding piano lines dance throughout the arrangements, adding witty pizzazz and delicate allure to already-tuneful fare like “The Element Within Her” and “Mouth Almighty.” The more direct, hook-ready approach also manifests on numbers such as “Let Them All Talk” and “Charm School,” tunes that also illustrate the contrasts in romantic theme. While remaining deeply cynical, as was his longtime hallmark,
Costello unfurls two compositions on which love and marriage are viewed in a positive light. Yet he spares no one, nothing, and minces no words with “Shipbuilding” and “Pills and Soap,” fare that remains revered in his native country as well as abroad. For “Shipbuilding,” a brilliantly disguised 88s-clinking protest against war influenced by the Falkan Conflict, Costello enlists jazz legend Chet Baker to deliver a masterfully poignant, bluesy trumpet solo that echoes throughout the coda. On the hip-hop-inspired “Pills and Soap,” a thinly veiled metaphor addressing Britain’s abusive sociopolitical state and royal officials, the bespectacled bandleader invents a thoroughly unique quasi-rap draped over a drum-machine beat and Nieve’s bold piano chords. Bracing.
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
Elvis Costello, epiphone, Gretsch and Fender guitars, 'One-finger' Synclavier and Casiotone
Steve Nieve, Bosendorfer piano, Emulator Fairlight CMI, Vox organ, Hammond organ, Synclavier
Bruce Thomas, Electric Wal bass guitar
Pete Thomas, Gretsch drums, Sabian cymbals
The TKO Horns
Jim Paterson, trombone
Jeff Blythe, alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet
Paul Speare, tenor sax, flute
Dave Plews, trumpet
Stuart Robson, trumpet and flugelhorn on "The World And His Wife"
Caron Wheeler, backing vocals
Claudia Fontaine, backing vocals
Chet Baker, trumpet solo on "Shipbuilding"
David Bedford, string arrangements
Morris Pert, percussion
1. Let Them All Talk
2. Everyday I Write the Book
3. The Greatest Thing
4. The Element Within Her
5. Love Went Mad
7. The World and His Wife
8. TKO (Boxing Day)
9. Charm School
10. The Invisible Man
11. Mouth Almighty
12. King of Thieves
13. Pills and Soap
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.