Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-433 - 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
Known in his youth as the "angry young man," Elvis Costello waited until 1986 to create the most vicious record of his career. Stripped to the studs and produced by Nick Lowe, Blood and Chocolate seethes with vindictiveness, spite, and rancor. The 11-track effort clatters with raw rock n' roll menace and clangs with darkly humorous intent. Venomous, acerbic, and aggressive, it values rhythm and attack over harmony and melody. A volatile rite of passage on which harsh Telecaster riffs cut like razor blades and Costello spits words as if they were Molotov cocktails tossed at enemies, this is the satisfying sound of emotional catharsis.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, this collectable edition of Blood and Chocolate joins Mobile Fidelity's acclaimed Costello reissues series in presenting the icon's vital records in rich, dynamic, three-dimensional analog sound. That's never been truer than it is here. Costello and Co. recorded the songs in a large room at London's Olympic Studios while playing at stage volumes, an unconventional approach that nonetheless suited the music's raw feel. Nearly every track was done in three takes or less, with minimal vocal fixes and overdubs added immediately afterward. Such energy, spark, force, and pace thrive on this reissue.
Capturing the decibel-laden atmosphere that heightens the rhythmic pace and elevates the urgency of the deliveries, Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP delivers the band's performances with wall-of-sound hugeness and booming authority. And while this isn't a record where subtlety reigns, listeners can now discern the acoustic guitar strummed by Lowe for the foundation of the savage "Uncomplicated" as well as the nuanced final bars of the inimitable "I Want You" on which each member's instrumental track is switched off to bleed into Costello's vocal microphone. Indeed, for all the apparent chaos, Steve Nieve's keyboards even get accurate placement and imaging on this incredible pressing. Then there's the temperament of the songs themselves—perhaps best described by Costello.
"The album title and Eamon Singer's crude cover painting reflected some intense and uncertain situations. The record might have well been a blurred polaroid: a smashed-up room, a squashed box of chocolates, some broken glass and a little blood smeared on the wall," wrote the singer in 2002. "The album [is] a pissed-off 32-year-old divorce's version of the musical blueprint with which I had begun my recording career with the Attractions." Indeed, the band—on the verge of fraying at the seams and at each other's throats in close confines—pummels twanging chords, beats up on notes, turns up amplifiers, and eyes everything with great suspicion.
Lyrically, Costello has seldom been wittier, sharper, or more malicious. The snarling, tables-turning "I Hope You're Happy Now" joins Bob Dylan's "Positively Fourth Street" as among the most lacerating kiss-off tunes ever penned. Similarly sarcastic, "Next Time Round" lends a pop rave-up air to the album's otherwise dark assault. The bloodletting "Crimes of Paris" and "Poor Napoleon" (featuring Pogues singer Cait O'Riordan playing the role of "the voice of pity") confront the consequences of traumatic relationships and lustful choices with a savvy intellect. Given the mood and mindset of everyone and everything involved, it's no surprise that Costello and the Attractions wouldn't again work together until eight years later. Saying that Blood and Chocolate was worth the sacrifice is an understatement.
Bass, Saxophone Bruce Thomas
Drums, Saxophone Pete Thomas
Piano– Steve Nieve
Producer – Colin Fairley, Nick Lowe
Vocals – Napoleon Dynamite
Written-By – MacManus/Costello
Elvis Costello Blood and Chocolate Track Listing:
I Hope You're Happy Now
Tokyo Storm Warning
Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head
I Want You
Honey, Are You Straight or Are You Blind?
Battered Old Bird
Crimes of Paris
Next Time Round
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.