Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artefacts.
With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware.
A1: All I Really Want To Do 4:02
A2: Black Crow Blues 3:12
A3: Spanish Harlem Incident 2:22
B1: Chimes Of Freedom 7:09
B2: I Shall Be Free No. 10 4:45
B3: To Ramona 3:50
C1: Motorpsycho Nitemare 4:31
C2: My Back Pages 4:20
C3: I Don't Believe You 4:20
D1: Ballad In Plain D 8:15
D2: It Ain't Me Babe 3:30
The ever-evasive Bob Dylan never explicitly stated exactly what represented the "another side" of himself referenced in the title to his second 1964 record. Yet the whimsical moods, hallucinogenic prose, humorous angles, transparent mistakes, and noncommittal themes give a pretty clear idea at what the Bard hinted as he emerged from being labeled as a reluctant generation spokesperson and folk savior after releasing two highly intellectual, socially pioneering sets replete with protest songs. Dylan needed to take a breath, step back from the drama, and reevaluate his surroundings. Experienced in mono, Another Side of Bob Dylan is all that and more.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 3,000 copies, our 180g 45RPM 2LP set illuminates Dylan's emotional condition – he laughs in the midst of songs, experiences a few false starts, hits a couple of bum notes, occasionally sings as if he's stumbling down a Manhattan sidewalk after having one too many at a smoky pub, prizes rawness over perfection – with microscopic accuracy and unparalleled directness. The preferred mix at the time of the recording, the mono version presents Dylan as he and his producers originally intended. Since the separation of the stereo versions isn't as sharp, this mono edition places Dylan's vocals in the heart of the musical action and as one with the accompaniment. It paints listeners an incredibly accurate portrait of the attention-getting, concrete mass of sound that features no artificial panning and straight-ahead immersion into the music. This is how almost everyone first heard this timeless album – making the mono mix all the more historically valuable and truthful.
The uninhibited joie de vive is discernible in the rattling piano lines on "Black Crow Blues," seemingly subconscious ramble of the hysterical folk rhyming of "Motorpsycho Nightmare," bluesy dream sequencing throughout "I Don't Believe You," and intentionally out-of-tune yodeling during "All I Really Want to Do." On a majority of the prized set, Dylan lets his guard down, but does so in clever manners that speak to his surrealist imagination and biting wit. He possesses the rare ability to make planned strategies appear spontaneous, to challenge audiences with stinting wordplay and minimalist melodies that provide a deceptive false security.
And so the apparently autobiographical and self-aware "My Back Pages," one of the earliest examples of Dylan's immersion into symbolist prose and abstract metaphor, remains controversial for its on-the-surface denouncement of his earlier condemnations of social institutions and injustices. Peeled back, the tune is a brilliant release – an essential escape hatch for Dylan to both relieve himself of unneeded pressures and distance himself from pundits. As an indelible piece of art, it succeeds in masquerading obvious meaning while simultaneously forcing listeners to question their own actions.
As is the trifecta of relationship-themed compositions that closes the record, as well as the eternal "Chimes of Freedom," the standard that journalist Paul Williams dubbed Dylan's "Sermon on the Mount." Its inseparable conjunction of apocalyptic imagery, personal emotion, allusive lyricism, balladic alliteration, and inclusive sympathy signaled that, having already eviscerated the rules associated with pop and folk music, Dylan had just begun his assault on our consciousness, making Another Side of Bob Dylan that much more mysterious, unequivocal, and requisite.
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's founding fathers - Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL's most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customised reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs only utilise first generation original master recordings as source material for their releases. MFSL then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master's sonic information. The lacquers are then plated in a specialised process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial playback, but as the disc is played more, a high-quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). MFSL further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors' items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
Produced by Tom Wilson
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich and Shawn Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL2-461
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog 45RPM 180g Series
Format: 2 x Vinyl LP, 45RPM, Limited Edition, Numbered, Reissue, Remastered, Mono
Genre: Folk, World and Country