- This outstanding copy of Foreigner’s sophomore release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from beginning to end – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- If you own the Half-Speed or any modern reissue, you won’t believe how much bigger, clearer and more energetic this pressing is
- Keith Olsen produced and engineered – he’s the man behind the amazing sound of Buckingham/Nicks and Fleetwood Mac (1975)
- 4 stars: “Foreigner promptly followed up its blockbuster debut with the equally successful Double Vision LP in 1978, which featured the FM mega-hits “Hot Blooded” and the driving title track.”
As I’m sure you know, there is a Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed Mastered version of this album currently in print, and an older one from the days when their records were pressed in Japan (#1-052).
We haven’t played the latter in years; as I recall it was as lifeless and sucked-out in the midrange as most of the other MoFis of that period, notably The Doors (#051) and Trick of the Tail (#062). Is there any doubt that the new MoFi will be every bit as bad or worse? If any of our Hot Stamper customers have purchased the current release, I would be interested in hearing how you think it stacks up against this copy.
This vintage Atlantic pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 Double Vision 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 in 1978
- 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 studio space
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 qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What’s key to the sound of Foreigner’s records? Obviously, the big one would have to be ENERGY, a subject we have discussed at length here on the site.
Next would be punchy ROCK BASS, followed by clear, present vocals. Those would be the big three.
But those are qualities that are almost never found on audiophile Half-Speeds. The remastering of those records usually leaves them lifeless and compressed, with sloppy bass and recessed vocals. For some reason audiophiles — including the audiophiles who produce them — like that sound.
We do not. In fact we can’t stand it. Which is why we will not be auditioning MoFi’s remastered pressing. If you are feeling adventurous (and have $30 to throw away) and want to do the shootout for yourself, please let us know how it went.
The sound of this pressing was jumping out of our speakers. Have you ever heard a Half-Speed do that? Almost never, and we’ve played them by the hundreds.
What We’re Listening For on Double Vision
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- 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, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also 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 instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Blue Morning, Blue Day
You’re All I Am
Back Where You Belong
Love Has Taken Its Toll
I Have Waited So Long
AMG 4 Star Review
Foreigner promptly followed up its blockbuster debut with the equally successful Double Vision LP in 1978, which featured the FM mega-hits “Hot Blooded” and the driving title track. Opting not to mess with a good formula, the band wisely sticks to the polished hard rock sound that made its first record such a hit. Aside from the big singles, other highlights include the swaggering “Love Has Taken Its Toll” and the more restrained “Blue Morning, Blue Day.” As always, Lou Gramm’s impeccable rock vocals lead the way, supported by Mick Jones’ tasteful, arena-sized guitar riffs.
The hard rock group that made a multiplatinum debut last year follows up with another spirited collection of rock’n’roll that perhaps should stand as a model for competitors, so strong is the material. The six-man ensemble of noted English and American musicians has found a successful formula for combining driving rock with a sense of melody and lyrical precision.
Guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Mick Jones has sharpened his writing skills so greatly that they contain more melody and are custom made for the outstanding vocals of Lou Gramm. The rich, textured vocals and harmonies are striking as are the guitar and bass Iines. Keith Olsen moves in as producer here (along with Jones and guitarist Ian McDonald) and draws all of Foreigner’s intensity. Best cuts: “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Back Where You Belong,” “I Have Waited So Long,” “Tramontane.”
– Billboard, 1978