Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2199 - 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 UHR™ SACD
Songs for All Time: Simon and Garfunkel's Kaleidoscopic Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Includes "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," "Homeward Bound," and "The 59th Street Bridge Song"
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System for Supreme Sound: Hybrid SACD Brings to Light Meticulous Production, Harmonies, and Tones in Lifelike Clarity
The liner notes pioneering writer Ralph J. Gleason penned for the back cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme ring as true now as they did upon the record's original release in 1966. He mused: "Today's popular music is in good shape indeed – at least the portion of it represented by this album. It has strength and it has beauty, it has lyricism, meaning and, above all, that quality of broad appeal which still retains form. And its music speaks for more than the moment. The songs in this album are songs for all time." Indeed, they are, and they can now be experienced in the highest fidelity they've ever enjoyed.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system, this hybrid SACD presents the famed duo's landmark third record in superlative sound. Reflecting the perfectionist-minded nature of Bob Johnston's meticulous production and the group's painstaking arrangements, Mobile Fidelity's reissue brings to light textures, nuances, details, and microdynamics obscured on prior editions. The hyper-realistic results give you a seat at the recording studio.
The first Simon and Garfunkel set captured on an eight-track recorder, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme here bursts with colors crucial to the scope of the songs. Separation between vocals and guitars, images of individual players, and the dimensions of the wide-spanning soundstages all flourish. Harmonies crest and seemingly float on bypassing clouds. Acoustic passages blossom with lifelike structure and tone. The intent of deliberate euphonic variations – like those between the pair's singing and Charlie O'Donnell's spoken news report on the closing "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night," which function as both poetic and social commentary – is made clearer by way of the SACD's reference-caliber transparency.
Such punctiliousness is exactly what the duo pursued during their four months in the studio, considered then by record-company executives to be borderline excessive. Yet there's no arguing with the end results of a benchmark work Rolling Stone named the 202nd Greatest Album of All Time. Again, it proves wise to refer again to Gleason, whose observations about Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme's character remain spot-on.
"There's a delicate musical design of almost lapidarian detail. It has vitality but it is control, the sounds being made deliberately for the artist's conscious purpose," he notes, before continuing, "Take the glorious kaleidoscope of rushing feelings, blowing winds, shifting colors, bursting moods of joy and exultation in ‘Cloudy.' The song is effervescent, one is refreshed hearing it."
Revitalization – and the wellspring of emotions that accompany it – endure as the most attractive aspect of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Simon and Garfunkel achieve the feat time and again via interwoven harmonies, folk devices, revealing contrasts, vocal blending, spiritual imagery, and soaring melodies. The material is at once beautiful and evocative, pristine and natural, serious and joyful, pertinent and accessible. And while the individual appeal of chestnuts like "Homeward Bound," "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," "The 59th Street Bridge Song," and "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her" remain iconic, the sum of the whole makes this 1966 masterwork a paramount expression of unbridled creativity and communal vision.
1. Scarborough Fair/Canticle
4. Homeward Bound
5. The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
6. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
7. The Dangling Conversation
8. Flowers Never Bend in the Rainfall
9. A Simple Desultory Philippic
10. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
11. A Poem on the Underground Wall
12. 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night
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.