Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always - 140g LP


Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always - 140g LP

Product no.: MOFI1-006

In stock

Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always - 140g LP
£31.99
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Mobile Fidelity - MOFI 1-006 - 140 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue

Numbered Limited Edition -   Pressed at RTI  

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

A highly entertaining reissue, First And Last And Always is a lesson in how to retain artistic vision while satiating the audiophile heart. —Paul Rigby Toneaudio

The template for all goth-rock records that followed, Sisters of Mercy’s First And Last And Alwaysstands as one of the—if not the most—influential albums of its kind ever released. Distinguished by Andrew Eldritch’s ghostly singing, which gives the impression of hearing a forlorn ghoul croon from a foggy English graveyard, the 1985 set is drenched in gloom, claustrophobia, black humor, and dance-ready beats that provide exhilarating contrasts.

Fans of the Cure, Depeche Mode, Love and Rockets, Peter Murphy, mid-period Nick Cave, and Joy Division will find it to be a new favorite record. Mastered on Mobile Fidelity’s world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI (the best record plant in North America), Silver Label numbered limited edition LP presents First And Last And Always with a fuller, richer sound that positively obliterates the thin, feeble sonic perspectives that have limited the music until now. Every aspect from Eldritch’s haunting singing to the group’s jangling guitars and prancing bass lines finally gain genuine definition.

Yet what’s most improved is the sense of atmosphere: Sisters of Mercy revel in painting tone poems, where the feel and effect are as essential as the notes that are played. This is now an atmospheric tour de force. Ever since it’s release, First And Last And Always has been aptly shrouded in mythology. Eldritch pushed the envelope during the recording sessions, literally walking into walls and repeatedly unable to maintain his focus. Strung out on amphetamines, dazed by days of no sleep, upset by a recent breakup, and eating little, the vocalist channeled his discord into somber lyrics and brooding singing. He’s framed by pulsing albeit lean, spare rhythms, patient tempos, and the clatter of a programmed drum machine that, in spite of its mechanical operation, sounds strangely organic. The songs evoke wet dungeons, walls-closing-in paranoia, and late-night strolls amidst the U.K.’s mysterious underground.

Despite its overall dark character, the record’s arrangements value spaciousness, putting a premium on room and minimalism that makes each note count. As a result, twinkling pianos and keyboards parallel steel-cutting guitars and low-tuned bass lines that, in combination with Eldrtich’s baritone, suggest glimmers of hope among the decay. Songs such as the shaking “Possession,” dramatic “Some Kind of Stranger,” and desperate “Marian” remain models of the gothic and post-punk disciplines more than 25 years after their debut. It’s no surprise that, given all of the tension and personality that infuse the album, Sisters of Mercy disbanded just months after its release.
 
It’s unlikely that any goth-rock album has ever sounded this good. This MoFi Silver Label LP will turn your room into rainy, dreary England, circa 1985, and expose you to one of the most harrowing vocal performances on record.
 
Originally released on Elektra in 1985 and reissued on LP via Mobile Fidelity’s Silver Label, First And Last And Always stands as Sisters of Mercy’s debut and one of the most influential goth records ever issued.
The lead track, “Black Planet,” showcases the new remastering to full effect. The song features an all-encompassing bass rhythm that, with every strike, infects the tune like mustard gas unleashed in a trench. On a poor master, the bass would threaten to suffocate the rest of the arrangement. But Mobile Fidelity keeps it in check with a distinct, sparkling, upper-mid sensitive guitar; the bass merrily sits on the edge of the soundstage.
 
Such attention to detail is shown in more subtle terms on “Walk Away,” which contains periods when singer Andrew Eldritch says too much in one breath, resulting in a slightly wavery and strained delivery. Again, on an inattentive master, the approach can sound both monotonous and monotone. Here, however, Eldritch’s voice modulates with a wide array of variation.
 
This pressing is also notable for the space that it provides the band. Yes, the soundstage is wide but, without the measure of instrumental separation it instils, the master would fail to fulfil its promise. For example, on “Marian (Version),” the music is layered like an aural lasagne. Percussion sits underneath the rhythm guitar and bass while vocals act as a dripping sauce. In the meantime, the metallic-tinted acoustic guitar is sprinkled about like an herb topping. Yum. On “Possession,” instruments are grouped between the speakers—recipe for disaster given the potential for each to stumble into another or, worse, merge into a glutinous blob. Not here. The band sounds compact, calm, well adjusted, and efficient, leaving the soundstage extremities to create an effective stereo vocal effect.
 
A highly entertaining reissue, First And Last And Always is a lesson in how to retain artistic vision while satiating the audiophile heart. —Paul Rigby Toneaudio

Features:
• Limited Edition -• Numbered -• MoFi Silver Label Vinyl Series
• Mastered and Cut on the famous MoFi Sound Lab state-of-the-art Tim de Paravacini-designed mastering system.

• Pressed at RTI on Audiophile-Grade 

 

Bass – Craig Adams
Drums – Doktor Avalanche
Guitar  – Gary Marx, Wayne Hussey
Voice – Andrew Eldritch
 

Selections:
Side A: 
1. Black Planet
2. Walk Away
3. No Time to Cry
4. A Rock And A Hard Place
5. Marian (Version)
Side B: 
1. First And Last And Always
2. Possession
3. Nine While Nine
4. Amphetamine Logic
5. Some Kind Of Stranger

 

 

Image result for mofi mobile fidelity sound lab

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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