An exceptional pressing, with Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
Both sides of this hit-packed 1987 Ferry UK pressing are big, rich and tubey – dramatically fuller than most of the others we played
Kiss & Tell and The Right Stuff are two of the bigger bangers here, and they both sound the way they should – big and clear
Four Stars in AMG: “Bete Noire sparkles as the highlight of Ferry’s post-Roxy solo career… Here, his trademark well-polished heartache strikes a fine balance between mysterious moodiness and dancefloor energy…”
Bigger, richer and cleaner than nearly any other copy we played. Almost no grain or congestion – just sweet, sweet sound like you have never heard on this album before.
There’s much less phony processing and grit on Ferry’s voice than on most of the copies we played. The space and ambience are likewise excellent. The sound by track two is actually quite good (track one being a bit dull as a rule).(more…)
A strong copy, with a Double Plus (A++) side two and a side one that’s nearly as good
These two sides show us just what a monster rocker this album can be when it’s mastered and pressed right
I’m a big fan of the record – it’s as original and as moving as practically anything the man ever did
Bryan Ferry owned the ’70s as much as David Bowie did; they’re both artistic giants in my book
It’s been years since I last played this album, and I’m happy, ecstatic even, to report that it sounds way better than I remember it. In the old days, I recall it sounding dry, flat and transistory. Now it’s BIG and BOLD, revealing a band that’s on fire in the studio.
These two sides show us just what a monster rocker this album can be when it’s mastered and pressed right. The reviews were mixed when the album was released in 1978 but time has been kind to it — after hearing the killer copies I would rank it up at the top with the best of Ferry’s and Roxy’s bodies of work.
We were a bit surprised to find that the domestic copies we played were clearly better sounding than the UK imports. It may be counterintuitive but these are the kinds of things you find out when doing shootouts. We have little use for intuitions (UK recording, UK pressing) and rules of thumb (original equals better). Hard data — the kind you get from actually playing the records — trumps them all.(more…)
This British original pressing caused me a great deal of consternation. I’ve always been a big fan of this album — so much so that I even have the CD of it in my car — and I was under the impression that the sound was quite good. But playing a few British originals like this one caused me to have my doubts. The sound was aggressive and hard. I suspected the absolute phase might be reversed, and sure enough it was. But even after correcting for the improper phase the sound is not what I would have hoped for. It’s a bit “grungy” and lacks the extreme highs that would sweeten the overall presentation.
So if you can put up with less than state of the art sound you may find yourself thoroughly enjoying this one. Side one rocks hard from start to finish, more than any other Ferry album.(more…)
The domestic pressings are Direct Metal Mastered, the imports are not. Not being mastered DMM did not seem to confer any real benefit to the sound, which to us was a bit counterintuitive, but that’s the reason we do shootouts, so we know the actual sound of the vinyl rather than the sound our biases would lead us to expect.
The sound is big, rich and solid, with much less processing and grit on Ferry’s voice than most copies. The space and ambience are excellent. The sound by track two is actually quite good (track one being a bit dull).
Bigger, richer and cleaner than any copy we played. No grain, no congestion, just sweet, sweet sound like you have never heard for this album before.(more…)
This domestic pressing has STUNNINGLY GOOD SOUND on side two! It’s the best we’ve ever heard the album — super high-resolution transparency coupled with amazing immediacy. And talk about energy — the sound here positively JUMPS out of the speakers!
This side two blew our minds with its distortion-free sound, transparency and its punchy, note-like bass. The recording space is wall to wall HUGE, with amazing depth and three-dimensionality that’s only hinted at by most of the pressings we played. It’s meaty and punchy down low and there’s plenty of extension up top. (more…)
Both sides are blessed with the kind of early ’70’s Tubey Magical Analog Sound that’s been lost to the world of recorded music for decades — decades I tell you!
Nobody can manage to get a recording to sound like this anymore and it seems as if no one can even remaster a recording like this anymore, if our direct experience with scores of such albums counts as any sort of evidence.(more…)
AN AMAZING COPY OF THIS VERY FUN ALBUM! We had a nice stack of British copies and this one had an unbeatable A+++ side one backed with a killer A++ – A+++ side two, both on very quiet vinyl. Anyone who digs Roxy Music or Bowie’s Pin-Ups is going to find a lot to like here. Check out the cool cover of A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall that kicks off side one!
Most of the copies we played didn’t come near this one in terms of presence or energy. The sound positively JUMPS out of the speakers and fills the room! There’s loads of tubey magic, big punchy drums, and depth to the soundfield.(more…)
The song Valentine is a key test for side two. Note how processed Ferry’s vocals are; on the best copies they will sound somewhat bright. The test is the background singers; they should sound tonally correct and silky sweet. If Ferry sounds correct, they will sound dull, and so will the rest of the side. That processed sound on his vocal is on the tape. Trying to “fix” it will ruin everything.
On the top copies, the lead on the very next track, Stone Woman, is tonally correct. These two tracks, two of the best on the album, together make it easy to know if your copy is tonally correct in the midrange. Track two: background vocals. Track three: lead vocal. Easy enough.(more…)
It’s been years since I last played this album, and I’m happy, ecstatic even, to report that it sounds far better than I remember it sounding. In the old days I recall it as somewhat dry, flat and transistory. Now it’s BIG and BOLD, revealing a band that’s on fire in the studio.
This White Hot side two had by far the most energy of any side we played, showing us just what a monster rocker this album can be when it’s mastered and pressed right. The reviews were mixed when the album was released in 1978 but time has been kind to it — after hearing the killer copies I would rank it up at the top with the best of Ferry’s and Roxy’s work.
The first three tracks are uptempo barn burners sure to get you out of any funk you may find yourself in, day or night.(more…)