Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2143 - SACD Hybrid Stereo
Numbered Limited Edition - Plays on All CD Players
Half Speed Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc SACD
Possibly the greatest jam band gig ever recorded. Greg Allman's rich B3 sound cannot be played too loud, neither can Duane's brilliant screaming guitar. I was looking for rich DSD sound on a SACD release of this classic, and this wonderful Mofi offering delivers.5/5 cdreview
Fillmore East is synonymous with some of the greatest concerts ever staged. Yet the vaudeville venue belongs to one group: The Allman Brothers Band. This groundbreaking double album is why. As the collective’s breakthrough, it broadcasts to the world wowing improvisational flights and seamless musical fusion the likes of which no one had ever heard. In communion with the crowd, the band establishes an interactive blueprint for all shows that followed, while its high-wire displays of powerhouse soloing and time-stretching arrangements remain the stuff of hall-of-fame legend.
Mobile Fidelity’s collectable hybrid SACD of At Fillmore East joins the unparalleled reissue imprint’s other Allman titles in presenting the inimitable ensemble’s music in the most lifelike, uncompromising fidelity possible. Myriad versions of the 1971 set exist, yet none possesses the audiophile sensibilities found here—sonic traits that whisk the listener to the midst of the Fillmore East for four gigs performed on March 12 and 13, 1971, plunking them down in a fifth-row seat surrounded by fervent fans and a smoke-filled atmosphere. Every slippery bottleneck note, every aching vocal moan, every soulful purr from the organ, every gritty interlocking riff comes across with unfettered clarity and realism.
While the record features multiple works the band never laid down in a studio, At Fillmore East is a meticulously conceived affair. The Allmans prepped rough sketches and layouts of the tunes, carving out spaces for each member’s solos, and leaving the direction of such entirely up to the individual. As a result, the effort—anchored by iconic producer Tom Dowd’s stellar production—presents a jazz-drifting rock band benefiting from both a sense of assured direction as well as opportunistic freedom.
Indeed, At Fillmore East is the rare sounds of a group letting it all go, fearlessly maneuvering through bluesy shuffles, exquisite laments, graceful instrumental passages, and frenetic swamp-laden boogies. Achieved via a combination of virtuosic skill, visionary ambition, and natural chemistry, the six-piece burns white-hot with intensity and persuades via a padlock-tight rhythm section on which Duane’s searing slide playing and Gregg’s bottom-of-the-stomach vocals glide, each aural utterance coaxing on their respective mates to strive for new heights.
The evidence abounds on the rollercoaster thrills of the dipping and diving “Whipping Post”; the biscuit-and-gravy purity of an aptly tempestuous “Stormy Monday,” complete with harmonica from guest Tom Doucette; the flaming inertia established on the celebratory “Hot ‘Lanta”; and the jam-heavy hopscotch of an elastic “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” one of numerous standout moments for lead guitarist Dickey Betts. It seems as if everyone knew what they were experiencing.
“The audience would kind of play along with us,” revealed Gregg Allman, years later. They were right on top of every single vibration coming from the stage.” Add to this symbiosis hallmark front-and-back cover photography by Jim Marshall, and you have a record so steeped in lore, it’s almost myth. But it’s real. And oh, how it now sounds so glorious.
Super Audio CD• SACD Stereo SACD Layer
• This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Mastered From Original Master Tapes
Arranged By – The Allman Brothers Band
Bass – Berry Oakley
Drums – Jai Johanny Johanson
Drums – Butch Trucks
Lead Guitar – Dick Betts
Lead Guitarr – Duane Allman
Organ, Vocals – Gregory Allman
1. Statesboro Blues
2. Done Somebody Wrong
3. Stormy Monday
4. You Don’t Love Me
5. Hot ‘Lanta
6. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
7. Whipping Post
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.