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…)
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…)
You’ll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this classic Ferry album from 1985
This copy was super big, full and lively with plenty of presence and bottom end weight
On this record, bigger bass and punchier drums make all the difference in the world
“Instead of ragged rock explosions, emotional extremes, and all that made his ’70s work so compelling in and out of Roxy, Ferry here is the suave, debonair if secretly moody and melancholic lover, with music to match…”
Excellent sound and quiet vinyl on both sides! If you’ve spent any time with this album, you will be blown away by how great both sides of this copy sound.
Key Listening Test
The song Valentine, the second track on side two, is a key test for that side. 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.(more…)
Our shootout winner for side two and only the second copy to hit the site in many years – Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, Double Plus (A++) on one
For material and sound I consider this to be the best of Bryan Ferrry’s solo albums – it’s a blast from start to finish
The energy, presence, bass, and dynamic power (love that horn section!) place it well above his other side projects
4 Stars: “The title track itself scored Ferry a deserved British hit single, with great sax work from Chris Mercer and Mel Collins and a driving, full band performance. Ferry’s delivery is one of his best, right down to the yelps, and the whole thing chugs with post-glam power.”
We shot out a number of other imports and this killer side two is As Good As It Gets. The presence, bass, and dynamics place it head and shoulders above the competition. It has what we like to call Master Tape Sound — right in every way.(more…)