AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Columbia PC 33812 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Mastered by Willem Makkee - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production
Speakers Corner has released a dazzling re-mastered 180-gram vinyl of Herbie Hancock’s fusion classic, The multi-faceted, layered sound is expansive, but never fulsome. The softer, blended synthesizers and Fender tonality is terrific. When a sharper instrumental tone is introduced (soprano saxophone, harmonica) it intermingles perfectly. The front and back cover art by Nobuyuki Nakanishi is stunning, especially in 12” format, and the protected album sleeve is a nice touch.Sound 4.5/5 Audiophileaudition
After his early avant-garde years with Blue Note Records, Herbie Hancock achieved much success with pop music fans by gradually turning towards a mixture of Afro-American styles in which he combined soul, jazz and funk.
Having composed the soundtrack to Bill Cosby’s animated children’s show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" and released a popular family-orientated album entitled "Fat Albert Rotunda", Hancock stated that instead of looking for jazz musicians who could play funky music, he had searched for funk musicians with a feeling for jazz.
That this concept functions only too well is demonstrated in the funky album "Man-Child", which features such brilliant jazz musicians as Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin and Ernie Watts. But wait! There’s no narcissistic showing off here as in a jam session.
The whole band performs as one, playing concentrated grooves around Hancock’s carefully intertwined electronic sounds. The result is a fast-paced funky style, due to the collective efforts of the band, although each member is given ample opportunity to show off his prowess in short solo interludes and thus delight the listener with his unique style.
Perhaps the funkiest album of Herbie Hancock's early- to mid-'70s jazz/funk/fusion era, Man-Child starts off with the unforgettable "Hang Up Your Hang Ups," and the beat just keeps coming until the album's end. "Sun Touch" and "Bubbles" are slower, but funky nonetheless. Hancock is the star on his arsenal of keyboards, but guitarist Wah Wah Watson's presence is what puts a new sheen on this recording, distinguishing it from its predecessors, Head Hunters and Thrust. Others among the all-star cast of soloists and accompanists include Wayne Shorter on soprano sax, Stevie Wonder on chromatic harmonica, and longtime Hancock cohort Bennie Maupin on an arsenal of woodwinds.
Herbie Hancock, keyboards
Bud Brisbois, trumpet
Garnett Brown, trombone
Dick Hyde, tuba, bass trombone
Wayne Shorter, soprano saxophone
Bennie Maupin, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, saxello, bass clarinet, flute
Jim Horn, saxophones, flute Stevie Wonder, harmonica
David T. Walker, guitar Wah Wah Watson, guitar, voice bag, synthesizer Henry Davis, electric bass James Gadson, drums Bill Summers, percussion
1. Hang Up Your Hang Ups
2. Sun Touch
3. The Traitor
5. Steppin' In It
Recording: July 1975 at Wally Heider Recording Studios, San Francisco / Village Recorders, Los Angeles / Funky Features, San Francisco / Crystal Studios, Los Angeles
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!