mobile-fidelity

4

On this day in music history: August 30, 1965 - “Highway 61 Revisited”, the sixth album by Bob Dylan is released. Produced by Bob Johnston and Tom Wilson, it is recorded at Columbia Studio A in New York City from June 15 - August 4, 1965. The second “electric album” by the prolific singer/songwriter features the first side with Dylan backed by musicians including Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks, while the second side is primarily acoustic ballads. The album has more of a blues oriented sound than his previous work, inspiring the albums title which is the highway that runs from Dylan’s hometown of Duluth, MN down to the Mississippi Delta. It features several songs that become standards in Dylan’s catalog including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2 Pop), “Ballad Of A Thin Man”, “Tombstone Blues” and “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”. The album becomes one of his most acclaimed and best selling albums. “Highway 61” is remastered and reissued in 2003 as a limited hybrid SACD in digi-pak packaging by Sony, before reverting to a standard redbook CD only release. In 2014, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab reissues “Highway 61” as a double vinyl LP set mastered at 45 RPM, and as a hybrid SACD. “Highway 61 Revisited” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002.

youtube

On this day in music history: October 5, 1973 - “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, the seventh album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Château d'Hérouville in Hérouville, France in May 1973. Issued as the follow up to “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player”, initial recording begins in Kingston, Jamaica at Dynamic Sound, where The Rolling Stones have just completed work on their album “Goat’s Head Soup”. However, technical problems with the studios sound system, dissatisfaction with the studio piano and political unrest on the island, they move the recording sessions to France, where John has recorded his two previous albums (“Honky Chateau”, “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player”). Consisting mostly of material written by Elton and Bernie Taupin over three days in Jamaica, one earlier song, “Grey Seal” (originally the B-side of “Rock & Roll Madonna” in 1970) is re-recorded for “Goodbye”. The album is a commercial and artistic triumph upon its release, and is regarded as a landmark release in Elton John’s career. It spins off three singles including “Bennie And The Jets” (#1 Pop) and the title track (#2 Pop), becoming John’s biggest selling studio album. Originally issued on CD in 1985 as a two disc set (due to the original seventy two minute time limit for CD’s initially), it is reissued in 1990 as a single disc with its seventy six minute plus running time fitting comfortably on one CD. It is remastered and reissued in 1995, but due to its running time, no additional bonus tracks are added. It is remastered again in 2003 and released as a two CD + DVD Deluxe Edition hybrid SACD. The first disc features the original seventeen song album, both with the original stereo mix. Disc two features a new 5.1 surround mix, along with non-LP B-sides. Disc three is a DVD featuring a nearly hour long documentary about the making of the landmark album, featuring interviews with Elton John, Bernie Taupin, his band and others involved in its recording. The album is also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2003. “Goodbye” is remastered and reissued on vinyl and CD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 1984. Out of print in the format since 1989, it is remastered and reissued in 2014 as part of UMe’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series. It is pressed on translucent yellow and standard black vinyl. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” spends eight weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 7x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: August 27, 1980 - “Wild Planet”, the second album by The B-52’s is released. Produced by Rhett Davies and The B-52’s, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios  in Nassau in The Bahamas in April 1980. Following the critical and commercial success of their self-titled debut, the Athens, GA based New Wave band return to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell’s studio in the Bahamas, to record the follow up. Much of the material on the album are songs The B-52’s have been performing live since 1977, but did not make the final cut of the first album. Recorded in just a few weeks, it produces a number of songs that become staples of the band’s repertoire including “Private Idaho” (#74 Pop, #5 Club Play), “Party Out Of Bounds", “Quiche Lorraine” and “Give Me Back My Man”. It is well received by fans and critics upon its release, and today is regarded as a New Wave classic. The album is remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2011 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, as part of their Silver Label series. “Wild Planet” peaks at number eighteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: October 1, 1982 - “The Nightfly”, the debut solo album by Donald Fagen is released. Produced by Gary Katz, it is recorded at Soundworks Digital Audio/Video Studios, Automated Sound in New York City, and Village Recorders in Los Angeles, CA from Mid 1981 - Mid 1982. Following the demise of Steely Dan after the release of their seventh album “Gaucho”, Donald Fagen begins work on his first solo album. With nearly all of the material being written by Fagen himself, the album is an autobiographical look at his childhood growing up in suburban New Jersey during the 50’s and early 60’s. It features a number of top notch musicians, many of which had played on past SD albums including Larry Carlton, Rick Derringer, Steve Khan, Hugh McCracken, Dean Parks (guitars), Chuck Rainey, Anthony Jackson, Will Lee, Abraham Laboriel, Marcus Miller (bass), James Gadson, Ed Greene, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Jordan (drums), Michael Omartian, Greg Phillinganes, Rob Mounsey (keyboards), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone), and Randy Brecker (flugelhorn, trumpet). The album is a critical and commercial success, earning several Grammy nominations, including ones for Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year in 1983. Recorded and mixed on digital recording equipment (Mitsubishi 32 track digital multi-track), the album is as lauded for its outstanding sound quality as it is for its musical content, being a pivotal release in digital recording gaining popularity in the 80’s and beyond. It spins off two singles including “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)” (#26 Pop, #8 AC, #54 R&B), and “New Frontier” (#70 Pop, #34 AC).  A favorite of audiophiles since its original release, the album is released as a half-speed mastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 1983. It is later remastered and reissued as a DVD-A disc by Warner Bros Records in 2003, featuring the original stereo mix, a newly remixed 5.1 surround mix, and the original music video for “New Frontier” as an added bonus. Rhino Records also reissues the album as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2010. It is also issued as a hybrid SACD disc in Japan in 2011, including the original stereo mix, and the 5.1 surround mix, remixed by Elliot Scheiner. The classic title is scheduled to be reissued as a limited edition double vinyl “One-Step Series” LP box set by the label on October 13, 2017. Mastered at 45 RPM, the set is limited to 6,000 numbered copies. “The Nightfly” peaks at number eleven on the Billboard Top 200, number twenty four on the R&B album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: July 1, 1968 - “Music From Big Pink”, the debut album by The Band is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at A&R Studios in New York City and CBS Studios in Los Angeles, CA in Early 1968. The album takes its title from a house in West Saugerties, NY where the band members Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson are living after working with Bob Dylan as his backing band. Paired with producer John Simon (Big Brother & The Holding Company, Blood, Sweat & Tears), they record the album over a few months time in New York and Los Angeles. The album generates several of the bands signature songs including “The Weight” (#63 Pop), “Tears Of Rage”, “This Wheel’s On Fire” and “I Shall Be Released”. The LP’s iconic cover art features a painting by Bob Dylan, and the album’s inner gatefold photos are taken by famed photographer Elliott Landy. Receiving solid reviews from critics upon its release, its initial sales are modest until it attracts the attention of, and is praised publicly by numerous high profile musicians including Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Al Kooper who writes a glowing review of the album in Rolling Stone magazine. First released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in 2000 with eight additional bonus tracks. The album is also remastered again released as a hybrid SACD and vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2009 and 2012 respectively. “Music From Big Pink” peaks at number thirty on the Billboard Top 200, is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1998.

dailymotion

On this day in music history: June 27, 1989 - “The End Of The Innocence”, the third album by Don Henley is released. Produced by Don Henley, Mike Corey, Mike Campbell, Bruce Hornsby, Greg Ladanyi, Danny Kortchmar and Stan Lynch, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from Early 1988 - Early 1989. Following the success of “Building The Perfect Beast”, nearly four years pass before Don Henley begins recording the follow up. Working again with Danny Kortchmar and Greg Ladanyi, he co-produces his new album with Mike Campbell (guitar, keyboards) and Stan Lynch (drums) (Tom Petty), keyboardist Mike Corey (Rod Stewart) and pianist Bruce Hornsby. Henley also surrounds himself with a number top studio players and high profile musicians including Wayne Shorter (soprano sax), David Paich (keyboards), Jeff Porcaro (drums) (Toto), Guns ‘N Roses front man Axl Rose, Stanley Jordan (guitar), Steve Jordan (drums), Pino Palladino, Larry Klein (bass), Take 6, J.D. Souther, Ivan Neville, Melissa Etheridge, Patty Smyth, Valerie Carter, Edie Brickell, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters and a pre-fame Sheryl Crow (background vocals). The title track “The End Of The Innocence” (#8 Pop, #1, #2 AC) begins with a piano instrumental written by Bruce Hornsby. Henley’s lyrics are inspired in part by a friend that he finds out is being indicted for securities fraud. It speaks of how many of the baby boomer generation’s idealism and desire to change the world in their youth, have given way to materialism and nihilism as they begin to enter middle age. Then recent current events including the Iran-Contra scandal and America under Ronald Reagan’s presidency are also reflected upon. The song is supported by a memorable music video directed by David Fincher, which wins Henley an MTV VMA for Best Male Video in 1990. Other stand out tracks include the singles “Heart Of The Matter” (#21 Pop, #3 AC), “The Last Worthless Evening” (#21 Pop, #5 AC), and “New York Minute” (#48 Pop, #5 AC). Don Henley his second Grammy Award as a solo artist for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the title track in 1990. In spite of becoming his best selling solo album, it marks the beginning of the end of Henley’s relationship with Geffen Records. Constantly at odds with label boss David Geffen over the terms of his recording and song publishing contracts, Henley seeks to break his ties with Geffen in 1993. The label responds by filing a $30 million dollar breach of contract suit against the musician, stating that Henley owes them two more albums and a greatest hits compilation. The suit drags on until 2000 when he finally parts with Geffen and signs with Warner Bros Records. “Innocence” is remastered and reissued as a gold CD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and as a DTS 5.1 surround mix by DTS Entertainment in 1998. “The End Of The Innocence” peaks at number eight on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: July 2, 1981 - “4” (aka “Foreigner 4”), the fourth studio album by Foreigner is released. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Mick Jones, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from February - May 1981. Coming two years after the hard rocking “Head Games” album, the Anglo American rock band continue to move in that musical vein, balancing it out with more pop oriented material. Originally titled “Silent Partners”, the title is changed before the albums release. The project also features guest musicians such as keyboardist Thomas Dolby (“She Blinded Me With Science”) and saxophonist Jr. Walker (“Shotgun”, “What Does It Take To Win Your Love”). It spins off four singles including “Urgent” (#4 Pop), “Waiting For A Girl Like You” (#2 Pop for 10 weeks) and “Juke Box Hero” (#26 Pop). The albums cover art of a film head leader designed by Bob Defrin is used after the original artwork designed by Hipngosis (Storm Thorgerson) is rejected after the title change. Defrin’s design is also used for the US single picture sleeves with each one being distinguished with slight alterations to the background, and by their release order with the numbers “1” through “4” on the front. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001, with two additional bonus tracks included. Along with the original stereo mix, “4” is also remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and issued as a separate DVD-A disc. It is also reissued as a hybrid SACD and vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2013. Both Rhino Records and Music On Vinyl reissue the title as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Another limited edition LP pressed on red vinyl is issued by Rhino Records as part of their “Rocktober” reissue series in October of 2016. “4” spends ten weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200 (non-consecutive), and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: June 12, 1979 - “Candy-O”, the second album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA in February 1979. Released six days shy of one year after their self-titled debut, The Cars’ sophomore album is recorded shortly after the band come off of the promotional tour for the first one. With their first album still sitting comfortably in the Top 30 on the Billboard Top 200, the bands’ label Elektra Records wants to hold back the release for several more months until the others momentum begins to wane. However, with Ric Ocasek already writing songs for the next album, they are insistent that Elektra not delay the release. Like their debut, “Candy-O” features all newly material written by Ocasek and bassist Benjamin Orr, with the leftover songs from the first being scrapped in favor of the new ones. Working once again with producer Roy Thomas Baker, The Cars take a slightly different approach, wanting to make their sophomore “less slick” sounding than the previous one, and also being more democratic in choosing the final group of songs the album. Initially, the track “Double Life” was going to be dropped, but when the other band member outvote Ocasek, it is reinstated. The albums striking cover artwork is illustrated by artist Alberto Vargas, famous for his paintings appearing in major publications including Playboy and Esquire magazines. Drummer David Robinson suggests to his band mates that they hire the then 83 year old artist, who agrees to come out of retirement to create the cover. The model featured in the painting is actress Candy Moore, best known for playing Lucille Ball’s daughter Chris on the 60’s sitcom “The Lucy Show”. Having previously been married to actor Paul Gleason (“The Breakfast Club”, “Die Hard”), Moore and Robinson date briefly not long after the release of “Candy-O”. The new album is well received by fans and critics alike, spinning off three singles, including “Let’s Go” (#14 Pop) and “It’s All I Can Do” (#41 Pop). First released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 24K gold CD and 180 gram LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2011. It is also issued on colored vinyl (red) as part of the box set “The Elektra Years - 1978 -1987 in 2016. "Candy-O” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: November 9, 1981 - “Business As Usual”, the debut album by Men At Work is released (US release is on April 22, 1982). Produced by Peter McIan, it is recorded at Richmond Recorders in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia from Spring - Autumn 1981. The first release by the Australian rock band is an immediate smash in their native continent, spinning off four hit singles and spending spending five weeks at number one on the Australian album charts, selling over 150,000 copies (3x Platinum in that country). CBS Records in the US initially passes on releasing the album, feeling that it won’t be a hit with American audiences. It is only after Deputy President Dick Asher orders either Al Teller at Columbia or Don Dempsey at Epic to option it for release, that is finally is released by Columbia stateside. After getting off to a slow start, the album begins to steadily climb the chart, gaining momentum throughout the Spring and Summer of 1982, both through extensive touring of the US, and the heavy rotation of their videos on MTV. It spins off the smash singles “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under” (both Pop #1), and wins the band a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983. The original international release of the album features the cover artwork with a white background. The North American release is printed with a yellow background. Originally released on CD in 1983, it is remastered and reissued in 2003 with four additional bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2016, as part of their “Silver Label Vinyl” reissue series. It is reissued again by Music On Vinyl in 2017, as a double vinyl set. The first disc contains the original ten song album, coming with the “Still Life” EP. “Business As Usual” spends fifteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: July 29, 1980 - “Voices”, the ninth album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Daryl Hall and John Oates, it is recorded at The Hit Factory and Electric Lady Studios in New York City from April - May, September - November 1979. Following the release of three critically acclaimed, but poor selling albums (“Beauty On A Back Street”, “Along The Red Ledge”, and “X-Static”), the duo rebound with what becomes their biggest selling release to date. Taking the production reigns of their records for the first time in their career, Hall & Oates successfully bridge the gap between the more musically eclectic aspects of their music by combining it with a more streamlined and radio friendly pop sound. The album spins off four singles including “You Make My Dreams” (#5 Pop), “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (#12 Pop) and "Kiss On My List” (#1 Pop). The album also features the duos original version of “Everytime You Go Away”, which becomes a number one single for Paul Young in July of 1985. The success of “Voices”  set the duo on the path to scoring a total of five #1 singles and twenty top 40 hits during the 80’s. That achievement makes them the most successful pop music duo in history. First issued on CD in 1983, it is remastered and reissued in 2004 by BMG Heritage. It is also remastered and reissued as a hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2013, with a 180 gram vinyl LP being released by the label in 2014. “Voices” peaks at number seventeen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: November 9, 1973 - “Piano Man”, the second album by Billy Joel is released. Produced by Michael Stewart, it is recorded at The Record Plant and Devonshire Studios in Los Angeles, CA in September 1973. Joel’s debut album for Columbia Records, it is his first release after experiencing legal problems with former manager Artie Ripp and his label Family Productions following the botched release of his debut album “Cold Spring Harbor”. Part of the legal settlement after separating from Ripp requires that Joel’s albums to carry the Family Productions logo until 1986, as well as paying Ripp a percentage of royalties from his record sales. The title track (#25 Pop, #4 AC) is inspired by the year and a half Joel spends working in a piano bar in Los Angeles. The song and album proves to be his breakthrough and also includes the classics “Captain Jack” and “The Ballad Of Billy The Kid”. The album is remastered and reissued in 1998 as an Enhanced CD with a live performance clip of the title track included as a bonus. In 2011, audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remasters and reissues the album as a hybrid SACD and as a 180 gram vinyl LP. “Piano Man” peaks at number twenty seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: August 23, 1982 - “Upstairs At Eric’s”, the debut album by Yazoo is released (UK release is on August 20, 1982). Produced by E.C. Radcliffe and Yazoo, it is recorded at Blackwing Studios in London from February - June 1982. Quickly growing weary of touring and having musical differences with his band mates, Depeche Mode founding member and keyboardist Vince Clarke leaves the band in November of 1981 as they are having their initial success throughout Europe. Soon after, Clarke responds to an advertisement in the music trade paper the Melody Maker. The ad is placed by a singer named Alison Moyet, also from Clarke’s hometown of Basildon. Hitting it off immediately, the pair begins working on music together. Calling themselves Yazoo, they record “Only You”, penned by Clarke while he’s still a member of Depeche Mode. Playing the finished track for Mute Records founder Daniel Miller, at first he isn’t impressed. After playing it for Clarke’s music publisher, Miller re-evaluates the song and decides to release it. Issued in the UK on March 15, 1982, “Only You” (#2 UK, #67 US Pop) is an immediate smash, hitting the top five in England and making the charts in several other European countries and Australia. The record label requests that Yazoo quickly follow it up with a full album. Clarke and Moyet record at Blackwing Studios, owned by recording engineer Eric Radcliffe, who also co-produces it with them. The album’s title is also named after Radcliffe. Their second single “Don’t Go” (#3 UK, #1 US Club Play) is released in the UK in July of 1982, it too becomes a hit. In the US, Sire Records opts to release the track “Situation” (#1 US Club Play, #73 Pop) instead. Quickly written by Clarke and Moyet, the song is originally issued in the UK as the B-side of “Only You”. Featuring Alison Moyet’s powerful blue eyed soul inflected vocals front and center, it creates an instant sensation on American dance floors, shooting to the top of the US dance chart. “Situation” is added to the US release, removing the track “Tuesday”. Just after that single is released, Sire shortens their name to Yaz to avoid legal trouble from the American blues label Yazoo Records. The full album follows in August of 1982, selling more than 300,000 copies in the UK, also becoming a major hit internationally, and spinning off a total of three singles including “The Other Side Of Love” (#13 UK). Originally released on CD in 1986, it is remastered and reissued in 2008. Out of print on vinyl since the early 90’s, the album is remastered and reissued by US audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2012, as part of their “Silver Label Series”. “Upstairs At Eric’s” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number thirty seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, number ninety two on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the UK by the BPI, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: June 6, 1978 - “The Cars”, the debut album by The Cars is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker. it is recorded at AIR Studios in London in February 1978. Written over a period of two years, the material that makes up The Cars debut release are largely composed by guitarist and primary lead vocalist Ric Ocasek and bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr. The bands demo of the track “Just What I Needed” receives airplay on local Boston radio station WCBN, which creates enough buzz to attract the attention of Elektra Records who sign them. Paired with producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Free). They travel to London to record at George Martin’s AIR Studios. Recorded in just two weeks worth of studio time, the first album by the Boston based new wave/rock band becomes a staple of album oriented rock radio (AOR), soon after its release and beyond. It spins off three singles including “Just What I Needed” (#27 Pop), “Good Times Roll” (#41 Pop), and “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35 Pop) and spends over two and a half years (139 weeks) on the Billboard pop album chart. The albums iconic cover photo features a shot of Russian born model Natalya Medvedeva. Regarded as a landmark new wave rock album, it is The Cars best selling studio release. The track “Moving In Stereo” is further immortalized when it used to great comic effect in the 80’s teen comedy “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”. The song is featured in a sequence when Brad (Judge Reinhold) is fantasizing about Linda (Phoebe Cates)  while gazing at her out of the bathroom window. The scene ends with Linda accidentally walking in on Brad in the bathroom, catching him red handed. The album is first remastered and reissued on CD in 1999 as two disc deluxe edition with the original nine song album on the first disc. The second CD features thirteen bonus tracks including live performances and demos. It is also released as a hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2015. “The Cars” is also reissued on vinyl by Rhino Records in January of 2016, as part of their “Start Your Ear Off Right” series, pressing the LP on blue translucent vinyl, also replicating the original packaging and inner sleeve. Another colored vinyl pressing (yellow) of the album is issued as part of the box set "The Elektra Years - 1978 - 1987” in June of 2016. “The Cars” peaks at number eighteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: September 22, 1969 - “The Band”, the second album by The Band is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at 8841 Evanview Drive in West Hollywood, CA and The Hit Factory in New York City from Early - Mid 1969. Issued as the follow up to their acclaimed debut “Music From Big Pink”, The Band decide on a dramatic change of scenery to work on their next release. The album is recorded in a rented home in the Hollywood Hills owned by entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.. The home’s pool cabana is converted into a recording studio for the duration of the sessions. It yields a number of classic songs including “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25 Pop), “Rag Mama Rag” (#57 Pop), and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. The LP cover features a sepia toned photo of the band by photographer Elliot Landy, becomes known as “The Brown Album” by fans for the brown colored border around the front and back of the album jacket.  The original US vinyl pressing of the album cut by mastering engineer Bob Ludwig (indicated by the initials “RL” in the run out groove), is made using the first generation master tapes, is regarded as the best sounding pressing of the LP. Subsequent cuts use 1:1 safety copies including later reissues due to the original masters either being lost or not being accessible. “The Band” is first remastered and reissued in 2000 on CD with seven additional bonus tracks including alternate versions of several songs, and the non-LP B-side “Get Up Jake” in true stereo for the first time (originally issued as the B-side of “Ain’t Got No Home” in 1973, erroneously listed on the single as being from their live album “Rock Of Ages”). It is also reissued as a hybrid SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc) and vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2013. The album is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, and is selected for preservation by The National Recording Registry of The Library Of Congress in 2009, for its ongoing historic and cultural significance. “The Band” peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

youtube

On this day in music history: August 15, 1981 - “Pretenders II”, the second album by The Pretenders is released. Produced by Chris Thomas, it is recorded at Wessex Studios in London and EMI Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France from Late 1980 - Mid 1981. With the major success of their self-titled debut album, The Pretenders feel palpable pressure from their record label to quickly follow it up with another album. But the band are unable to comply due to the lack of having new songs written. Work begins on their sophomore effort in late 1980, with much of the material being written while the band is touring in support of the previous album, recording during breaks in their busy schedule. The twenty month gap between albums is filled by the release of the stand alone singles “Message of Love” and “Talk of the Town” in the UK, which are also both included on a five track EP titled “Extended Play” in the US (released in March 1981). The album is reissued in 2006 as two CD edition with a remastered version of the original album on disc one, with the second disc containing live versions of several songs, demos and alternate takes. The album is remastered and reissued by Rhino Records in 2006 as a double CD set, with the second disc containing a live concert recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on September 4, 1981. Audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab also releases the album as a hybrid SACD in 2010. “Pretenders II” peaks at number ten on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.