I’m a huge fan of this music. It’s the only album Jennifer Warnes ever made that I would consider a Must Own record or a Desert Island Disc.
In my humble opinion it’s clearly her MASTERPIECE.
Key Test for Side One
Listen to the snare drum on Bird on a Wire. On most copies it sound thin and bright, not very much like a real snare. Let’s face it: most copies of this record are thin and bright, and that’s just not our sound here at Better Records. If the snare on Bird sounds solid and meaty, at the very least you have a copy that is probably not too bright, and on this album that puts it well ahead of the pack.
While you’re listening for the sound of that snare, notice the amazing drum work of Vinnie Colaiuta, session drummer extraordinaire. The guy’s work on this track — especially with the high hat — is GENIUS.
Key Test for Side Two
Listen to the sound of the piano on Song of Bernadette. If it’s rich and full-bodied with the weight of a real piano, you might just have yourself a winner. At the very least you won’t have to suffer through the anemically thin sound of the average copy.
In-Depth Track Commentary
First We Take Manhattan
Don’t expect this song to ever be tonally correct. It runs the gamut from bright to too bright to excrutiatingly bright. Steve Hoffman told me that he took out something like 6 DB at 6K, and I’m guessing that that’s the minimum that would need to come out. It’s made to be a hit single, and like so many hit single wannabes, it’s mixed bright. (more…)