You may recall reading this bit about RHETT DAVIES engineering on Dire Straits’ debut:
“…until something better comes along, THIS IS HIS MASTERPIECE. It has to be one of the best sounding rock records ever made, with Tubey Magic mids, prodigious bass, transparency and freedom from hi-fi-ishness and distortion like few rock recordings you have ever heard.”
Well, something better has now come along, and it’s called Diamond Head.
It has some of the BIGGEST, BOLDEST SOUND we have ever heard. Diamond Head isn’t known as an audiophile album but it should be — the sound is GLORIOUS — wall to wall, floor to ceiling, and as rich and dynamic as it gets.
It’s clearly a BIG SPEAKER album. Play it one as loud as you can. The louder you play it the better it sounds.
The best copies have ROOM SHAKING DEEP BASS with the kind of WHOMP FACTOR that can drive this music to practically unexplored heights.
It’s also super TRANSPARENT, with a large, deep soundfield that really allows you to hear INTO the music and the studio space in which it was created. The clarity is SUPERB with all the detail and texture one could hope for, but the real kicker is the amount of ENERGY and musical DRIVE that this side has going for it. This is what the Master Tape is really capable of — Mind Bogglingly Good Sound.
Looking for TUBEY MAGIC? Rhett Davies is your man. Just think about the sound of the first Dire Straits album or Avalon. The best pressings of those albums — those with truly Hot Stampers — are swimming in it.
A Personal Favorite
This album basically became the set list for 801 Live, the concert collaboration between Eno, Manzanera and their fellow travelers. That album is one of my all time favorites too, and a Must Own for anyone who likes British Art Rock from the ’70s.
What both of these albums share is amazing guitar work. Manzanera was the guitarist for Roxy Music, and this album can be enjoyed simply as an exercise in hearing every possible kind of sound the guitar can make. It also helps to have Eno doing electronic treatments for the instrument and coming up with a whole new sound.
One listen to a song like Diamond Head is all it should take to make you a fan. If that song doesn’t do it for you, the rest of the album won’t either, but I can’t imagine how that could be.