AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Sussex - SXBS 7006 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
Mastered by Maarten De Boer at Emil Berliner
AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 30 Years Pure Analogue
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time - "Ain't No Sunshine" -
"…This doesn't sound like a debut because it is backed up by years of song writing and a mature, soulful voice that is honest and warm. This is a superb album for the quality of songs, singing and a backing that contained Stephen Stills (guitar), Donald 'Duck' Dunn (bass) and Jim Keltner (drums) among others…This is a beautiful sounding LP and Speakers Corner has done a superb job as ever. Bill's Greatest Hits sounds pale by comparison." Recording = 9/10; Music = 10/10 – Jason Kennedy, Hi-Fi+, Issue 56
Just As I Am served as the launching pad for one of the most prolific songwriting careers of our time. Just As I Am catapulted Bill Withers into super-stardom in 1971. Featuring the worldwide mega-hit and Grammy Award-winning "Ain't No Sunshine", Just As I Am, Withers' debut album, established him as one of the premier singer/songwriters of the era and brought the world a fresh look at Rhythm & Blues.
Equipped with an acoustic guitar and backed by three-quarters of Booker T. & the MGs and Stephen Stills on guitar, Bill Withers recorded one of the biggest albums of the '70s, producing the timeless hit "Ain't No Sunshine" along with the other Withers essentials "Harlem", "Grandma's Hands", and "I'm Her Daddy".
As a testament to his talents, Bill Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. "When the 31-year-old Withers recorded 'Sunshine,' he was still working at a factory making toilet seats for 747s. He intended to write more lyrics for the part where he repeats the phrase 'I know' 26 times, but the other musicians told him to leave it." -
In a career laden with highlights and hallmarks in the annals of soul history, Just as I Am gets rather overlooked as one of the best soul debuts ever issued. , Just as I Am gets cleaned up and presented to a new generation of listeners who may have missed out the first time. And with this remastering comes an intimacy, warmth, and immediacy to the recordings that was only hinted at with previous versions; it's almost as if Withers is in a living room singing to a small group of people, rather than making a record. Of course, the instantly recognizable anthem "Ain't No Sunshine" gets all of the acclaim it so richly deserves, but tracks like "Harlem" and "Better Off Dead" also warrant kudos for the intensity and maturity of their performances. Even when he's doing covers, Withers treats them as if they are his own compositions and handles them with great delicacy.
Al Jackson, drums
Jim Keitner, drums
Booker T. Jones, guitar, keyboards
Stephen Stills, guitar
Bill Withers, guitar
Bobbie Hall Porter, percussion Donald "Duck" Dunn, bass Chris Ethridge, bass
2. Ain't No Sunshine
3. Grandma's Hands
4. Sweet Wanomi
5. Everybody's Talkin'
6. Do It Good
7. Hope She'll Be Happier
8. Let It Be
9. I'm Her Daddy
10. In My Heart
11. Moanin' And Groanin'
12. Better Off Dead
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.
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!