- You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this UK copy of the band’s 1987 release – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This British pressing boasts a wonderful combination of material, performance, and sonics from these German Studio Wizards
- A true Demo Disc with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink sound
- “…pounding drums, emotional vocals, downright evil backgrounds and completely zany, crazy and fun experiments in music production.”
Killer sound for this famous audiophile recording! The British and German import copies in our experience are the only ones that are made from master tapes; the domestic copies we played were not competitive, being clearly sourced from dubs.
If you like studio extravaganzas, the kind that 10cc and Supertramp are famous for in the Classic Rock world, you should get a kick out of this modern updating and one-upping of that sound. When you turn this record up it rocks like crazy. It’s clear these guys sweated the details of this recording; I know of nothing from 1987 that can touch it.
This vintage British Mercury pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the best sides of One Second from 1987 have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes even as late as 1987
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.
When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of “contender.” Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.
It may not be rocket science, but it is a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to ensure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.
What We’re Listening For on One Second
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks for the guitar, piano, horns and drums, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt — Boris Blank in the case — would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Moon on Ice
Call It Love
Le Secret Farida
The Rhythm Divine
Dr. Van Steiner
Si Senor the Hairy Grill
One Second expands the Eurodisco approach of Stella, and while it’s considerably less adventurous than Yello’s earlier works, it’s engaging dance music, highlighted by some clever uses of Latin rhythms and vocal cameos from Billy Mackenzie and Shirley Bassey.
No other band could lay claim to having “electro, synth-pop & latin” as its three defining genres – and that doesn’t even scrape the surface of what Yello was, or is. When no genre or style aptly fits an act, I have to use the word “eclectic”, and that is exactly what One Second is.
An amalgamation of influences, with pounding drums, emotional vocals, downright evil backgrounds and completely zany, crazy and fun experiments in music production. Yello always was well beyond the constraints of a typical pop act and One Second exhibits this blatant disregard for standards as well as any of their releases. It may not have a monster hit like Stella did, but it is quite a bit more advanced and detailed than its predecessors.
The Rhythm Divine will probably go down as its most popular track but it’s only one slice in a very rich, decadent pie. Listen from beginning to end and scratch your chin wondering how you could even try to have an ounce of the creativity that these two Swiss gents have. Aural bliss!
AMG on Yello
The ambitious Swiss electronic duo Yello comprised vocalist/conceptualist Dieter Meier — a millionaire industrialist, professional gambler, and member of Switzerland’s national golf team — and composer/arranger Boris Blank.
Meier, a former solo artist who also spent time with the group Fresh Colour, began collaborating with Blank in 1979, and the duo bowed with the single “I.T. Splash.” – AMG