Another top recording from Hugh Padgham, the man who engineered The Police’s best sounding album, Synchronicity, as well as Phil Collins’ first album. He gets the Big, Rich, Smooth Rock Sound during the ’80s like few others we know of. Tons of bass too. We also quite like the big drums and meaty guitars he was able to bring to XTC’s English Settlement (a record we just never see anymore; wonder where they all went?).
Our Genesis offerings unfortunately tend to be few and far between; this is in fact the first time we’ve done Abacab, mostly because the bulk of the copies we’d played over the years left much to be desired sonically. We’re happy to report that the best pressings of Abacab can really rock, with rich, full-bodied, smooth sound that begs to be turned up good and loud. Not many records from the ’80s have that sound. (more…)
As Good As It Gets Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish for Collins’ second studio album – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
This is the last of the albums Phil recorded in analog, and of course the sound is big and rich – you will not believe all the space and ambience on this copy
Includes Phil’s killer version of the Supreme’s classic, “You Can’t Hurry Love”
4 stars: “… the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.
Fortunately, the recording quality of this album is still analog and can be excellent, thanks to hugely talented engineer and producer Hugh Padgham (Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.).(more…)
With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both side, this vintage UK pressing sounds rich, smooth and sweet – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
Some of the band’s most sophisticated hits: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Invisible Sun, Spirits In The Material World, and more
Hugh Padgham took over engineering duties for Ghost and The Police’s next album, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the quality of their recordings
“This album has more variety than the menu in a Bangkok brothel. In particular, Sting’s voice has taken on a new depth and fresh maturity. The opening song, ‘Spirits In The Material World’, may have what sounds like a dumb title, but the song is a dream of close harmonies and nicely understated drums.” Record Mirror
If you’re looking for big hits, this album is for you. I mean, get three tracks in and you’ve already heard Spirits In The Material World, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and Invisible Sun — not a bad way to get things started! (more…)
This copy of Sting’s fourth solo album boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
Engineer/Producer Hugh Padgham once again achieved his trademark sound in the studio – Spacious, Lively and Powerful
4 1/2 stars: “… his best solo record. In places, it’s easily as pretentious as his earlier work, but that’s undercut by writing that hasn’t been this sharp and melodic since the Police, plus his most varied set of songs since Synchronicity… as an album, Ten Summoner’s Tales is more consistently satisfying than anything else in his catalog.”
I was selling new, import vinyl back when this record came out in 1993. Most new Pop and Rock albums were only released on CD and Cassette in America by then, so the only way to get a record like this on vinyl was to buy the import. The problem is that now, looking back, there wasn’t enough demand on either side of the pond for the labels to produce more than a small run of vinyl. With supply having a hard time keeping up with demand, the price naturally goes up, up and away, typically around a hundred bucks for a copy of unknown and often dubious quality (more…)
A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! This smokin’ hot British pressing just couldn’t be beat in our huge (and very enjoyable) shootout. The sound on this bad boy positively JUMPS out of the speakers and fills the room! Both sides are incredibly big and bold with superb clarity, amazing transparency, considerable dynamics and loads of energy. The sound is ridiculously full-bodied with texture and weight to all the various elements. If you’re a fan of this album, widely regarded as Gabriel’s masterpiece, your mind is going to be BLOWN. (more…)
This Minty British LP has two AMAZING SIDES! Song after song, Collins’ songwriting and musicianship shine with this breakout record. The sound on these Hot Stampers is VIBRANT! Side one has SUPERB extention on the top, PUNCHY BASS and excellent texture on the drums and percussion. Side two has BIG SOUND with really spacious strings and vocals.(more…)
Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.
Until we heard some of the better copies we were simply not able to appreciate just how important good bass definition and serious weight down low are to the sound of this record. When the bass is wooly or thin, as it is on so many copies — not clear, not deep, not full enough — it throws the rest of the mix off. When the bass is huge and powerful the music itself becomes huge and powerful.
The copies with the big bottom end are the only ones that really make you sit up and take notice of just how good these songs are.(more…)
Great sound throughout with both sides of this original UK pressing rating a solid Double Plus (A++) and playing quietly
Hugh Padgham discovered an amazing drum sound on Peter Gabriel’s 3rd album, and he really went to town with it on this one, Collins’ debut (and Masterpiece)
His most consistent songwriting and many of his biggest hits – In The Air Tonight sounds amazing, but practically everything here does
4 1/2 stars: “Collins proves himself a passionate singer with a gift for both deeply felt ballads and snarling rockers.”
Collins’ songwriting and musicianship shine on this breakout debut, the first and clearly the best of all his solo albums. We’ve tried to do some of his other albums but nothing we’ve played seems remotely as well recorded as this album from 1981.
There may be some hope for Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982), but Phil’s third album, 1985’s No Jacket Required, sounds digital and ridiculously processed. I suppose not many albums from 1985 weren’t, but it’s still an unfortunate development for us audiophile types who might’ve wanted to enjoy these albums but are just not able to get past the bad sound.(more…)