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: The Only Flame In Town
A2: Home Truth
A3: Room With No Number
A4: Inch By Inch
A5: Worthless Thing
A6: Love Field
B1: I Wanna Be Loved
B2: The Comedians
B3: Joe Porterhouse
B4: Sour Milk-Cow Blues
B5: The Great Unknown
B6: The Deportees Club
B7: Peace In Our Time
Elvis Costello wasn't in a happy place when he began writing Goodbye Cruel World. His marriage collapsed between the record's start and finish. He was also dealing with what he deems the "dreadful 80s" - a period in which the importance of videos trumped musical merit, the government in his native England engaged in controversial conflicts, and nuclear threats hovered over daily life like a black cloud. What possible good came out of the age? A smart batch of songs that stands up to many of the singer-songwriter's better-known works and an underrated record that now sounds better than ever.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180 gram vinyl at RTI, this collectable edition of Goodbye Cruel World joins Mobile Fidelity's acclaimed Costello reissues series in presenting the icon's most vital records in rich, dynamic, three-dimensional analogue sound. Akin to many albums from the era, Goodbye Cruel World was hampered by bright, slick textures on the original pressings and digital counterparts. Here, Costello's fare is revealed to possess a warmer, more organic and intimate character. Costello's voice, as well as his band's nimble rhythms and Steve Nieve's R&B-spiked piano, occupy their own spaces amidst a wide, unconstrained soundstage.
The improvements rendered by this numbered, limited-edition LP bring significantly new perspective to Costello's mordantly witty songs addressing everything from stark romantic loss to erotic desire. Produced by the hit-making team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, Goodbye Cruel World reflects the polish of the day in places but now reveals a deeper soulfulness, grit, and honesty. Such aspects particularly come to fore on multiple tunes featuring saxophonists Gary Barnacle, trombonist Jim Paterson, and percussionist Luis Jardim - the very first guests ever welcomed on an Attractions album.
With added instrumental assistance, Costello and Co. traverse styles ranging from rambunctious new-wave rock ("The Deportees Club") to frisky New Orleans-derived blues ("Sour Milk Cow Blues") to suave, jazzy pop ("The Only Flame In Town"). In the closing "Peace In Our Time," a sobering albeit optimistic song whose verses still apply to contemporary times, Costello crafts the finale to a socio-politically conscious trilogy that began with "Shipbuilding" and "Pills and Soap." It alone is the worth the price of admission to a record that's long deserved a better reputation and, with Mobile Fidelity's reissue, finally gets its just desserts.
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 Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL 1-432
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog, 180g Series
Format: Vinyl LP, 180 gram, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Numbered, Gatefold