Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2214 - SACD Hybrid Stereo
Numbered Limited Edition - Hybrid SACD Plays on All CD Players
Mastered by Shawn R Britton from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc Hybrid SACD
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's numbered hybrid SACD of the 1971 effort underlines the escapist peace of Crosby's music and brilliance of Stephen Barncard's engineering. Equally important, it reveals Crosby's unsurpassed vocal performances and the inspired contributions of the many illustrious Bay Area colleagues and friends – Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, key members of the Grateful Dead, and several members of the Jefferson Airplane included – that allow If I Could Only Remember My Name to function as an altered-consciousness paean to community, harmony, and necessary emotional release (and suspension).
Always renowned for gorgeous sonics, the album takes on deeper transcendental qualities and resonates with more spiritual energy on Mobile Fidelity's reissue. Listeners can now fully hear and see into the fabric of each song, witness the notes seemingly dissolve into thin air, and perceive why Barncard – who, a year before, helmed the Grateful Dead's American Beauty – cited the echo chamber at Wally Heider Recording as "probably the best chamber I've used anywhere, anytime. It was magic. That's what you hear on [Jerry] Garcia's pedal steel on ‘Laughing.'" Other examples of the so-called "magic" extend to the completely live take (and organic realism) of "Cowboy Movie," live autoharp and natural tonality on "Traction in the Rain," and the subtle phasing blending with the live-to-mono immediacy of Crosby, Nash, and Young's vocals on "Music Is Love."
Ranked one of the 40 Greatest Stoner Albums by Rolling Stone, which rightly declares it a "super-stoned campfire jam," If I Could Only Remember My Name is furthered by the fact it's rooted in deep-seated sorrow and haunting sadness – namely, the death of Crosby's then-girlfriend in a car accident. Originally, the singer intended to bottle up his feelings, but as sessions proceeded and the work primarily came together on the spot, the truth began to trickle out. While it lacks a narrative arc or straightforward lyrics, the nine-track record lands upon something richer than obvious words: That of a distinct, persistent vibe indicative of a nagging, ominous reality lurking beneath a warm, hazy, supportive surface.
From the slack acoustic underpinnings of the raga-like opener to the improvised "cosmic skydrop" that serves as the closing "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here," nothing in the entire Crosby, Stills & Nash canon – or that of any artist's oeuvre, for matter – orbits the same galaxy as If I Could Only Remember My Name. This is a journey that demands to be heard in full, an expressive and sensitive adventure whose paths are lined with sublime group harmonies, acoustic guitars, repeated chants, and tasteful percussion. Despite the pedigree of the musicians involved, the effort remains free of ego, showiness, and drama. Created before Crosby began his slow descent into headline-worthy addiction and malaise, the album survives as proof of his long-underrated vision and ability to knot together pop, rock, jazz, classical, and mystical strains into a cohesive whole.
Engineer – Stephen Barncard
Performers – Bill Kreutzmann, David Crosby, , David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, Ethan Crosby, Gary Burden, Grace Slick, Graham Nash, Gregg Rolie, Henry Diltz, Jack Casady, Jerry Garcia, Joni Mitchell, Jorma Kaukonen, Laura Allen, Michael Shrieve, Mickey Hart, Neil Young, Paul Kantner, Phil Lesh, Robert Hammer , Ronald Stone, Stephen Barncard
Producer – David Crosby
Music Is Love
Tamalpais High (At About 3)
What Are Their Names
Traction in the Rain
Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)
I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here
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.