Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2196 - SACD Hybrid Stereo
2,500 Numbered Limited Edition - Plays On All CD Players
Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR SACD
Wave That Flag: Grateful Dead's From the Mars Hotel Spotlights Elementary Strengths of Each Band Member and Features "U.S. Blues," "Unbroken Chain," "China Doll," and More
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System, Limited to 2,500 Numbered Copies: Hybrid SACD of Audiophile Favorite Boasts Tremendous Transparency
Welcome, friend. You've just checked into the Mars Hotel. The Wall of Sound, the greatest PA system ever constructed, is freshly built and ready to go. Phil Lesh is busy experimenting with a low-frequency concept known as "Earthquake Bass." Jerry Garcia is smiling, fresh from blaring a tongue-in-cheek anthem titled "U.S. Blues" that serves as both an irresistible rallying cry of pride and ironic commentary. And the Grateful Dead's interplay continues to wow, peaking on "Unbroken Chain," the most obvious example yet of the group's shared chemistry and individual talents. Yes, we're certain you'll enjoy your stay. In the lobby, you'll find decoratively funky "Scarlet Begonias." Do we need mention the music, performances, and sights sound and look better than ever?
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and strictly limited to 2,500 copies, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD of From the Mars Hotel comes on as both an audiophile delight and Deadhead's dream. Vastly improving upon the long-out-of-print 1984 MoFi version that currently commands upwards of hundreds of dollars on the aftermarket, the new version takes advantage of enhancements to the cutting system, pressing process, and mastering gear. MoFi's engineers have taken every precaution in honing the sound and feel of the Dead classic.
Originally made in a modern facility dubbed Studio A – a large cinderblock room that Columbia Records specially outfitted for Simon and Garfunkel, who, ironically, split up before they could use it – From the Mars Hotel was primarily recorded live to 16-track machines. After laying down the basic structures, a few overdubs got added, most notably in the form of John McFee's rustic pedal-steel guitar accents on one track and Ned Lagin's spacey synthesizer passages on another. Always prized for its superb fidelity, the effort possesses an uncanny sense of airiness around the vocals, brilliant microdynamics, excellent transients, reference-caliber balance, accessible tonalities, and the distinctive aura of a real band playing in a defined space.
With Keith Godchaux's spry quick-finger piano notes adding a barroom blues feeling and wife Donna Godchaux's soaring background vocals bringing up the rear, the Dead puts a vibrant spring into the step of contagious fare such as the rousing "U.S. Blues," down-and-dirty funky soul of "Loose Lucy," and slippery "Money Money." These songs stand as some of the loosest black-inspired music the Dead composed. And why not? True to the era's burgeoning mix of soul, R&B, psychedelic rock, and dance, the collective places its own memorable stamp on the day's popular fusion.
Yet From the Mars Hotel earns its stripes as a must-own album for Deadheads and traditional listeners alike because of the manners in which the six band members communicate, bond, react, and create. Singing lead on the high country of "Pride of Cucamonga" and interlocking centerpiece "Unbroken Chain" while threading the record's golden tapestries with silvery bass lines that cradle, shift, and anchor the arrangements, Lesh turns in a heroic individual performance.
Each of his mates maximize their own techniques: Garcia lending equal doses of sincerity and salaciousness; Bob Weir hunting, pecking, and jabbing guitar phrases into the flux; drummer Billy Kreutzmann demonstrating jazz-like flair, flawless timing, and rhythmic wit. It's no wonder that many Deadheads, if forced to choose, would select "Unbroken Chain" as the premier example of third-era Dead interaction. Relatively concise, eminently soothing, and named for a crumbling hotel down the street from Studio A, From the Mars Hotel forever dispels the tired notions that the Dead never succeeded in the studio after leaving Warner Bros. and aimlessly drifted (the longest track here clocks in at a scant 6:45).
Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Donna Godchaux, Jerry Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Phil Lesh
Pride Of Cucamonga
Ship Of Fools
Mobile Fidelity believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artifacts.
It is worth noting that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab stands out as one of few record labels that independently invests in research and development of audio technology. With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware. Mobile Fidelity is pleased to work with a variety of engineering legends and companies including Tim de Paravicini, Ed Meitner, Pass Labs, Theta Digital and Sony Electronics.
Our joint efforts to seek out the ultimate audio experience, has resulted in significant advances for the technology of music reproduction.
GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR™ Hybrid SACD and Ultradisc II™ 24kt Gold CDs
For over twenty years, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has continually searched for the ultimate audio experience. During this search MFSL engineers and associates created The GAIN™ System, a proprietary mastering technology which brought warmth and ambience to the compact disc format. A few years ago - with higher resolution formats on the horizon - the vision of GAIN 2™ began. As it stands today, GAIN 2™ is one of the greatest technical advancements in analogue and digital technology in the last ten years. It consists of a series of critical modifications and new components to Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering chain.
We feel that GAIN 2™ has come extremely close to meeting this goal. The key accomplishments of GAIN 2™ System are 1) the ability to extract all the musical information as possible through the Ultra High bandwidth analogue tape playback system with proprietary custom tape playback heads, reproducer electronics and 2) transparently capturing and storing that information with the Direct Stream Digital recording system.