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: Let Them All Talk
A2: Everyday I Write The Book
A3: The Greatest Thing
A4: The Element Within Her
A5: Love Went Mad
B1: TKO (Boxing Day)
B2: Charm School
B3: The Invisible Man
B4: Mouth Almighty
B5: King Of Thieves
B6: Pills And Soap
B7: The World And His Wife
Punch the Clock is Elvis Costello & the Attractions' most British record, a return to mainstream pop craft loaded with clever barbs and insightful social commentary that nearly landed the headliner in serious trouble with government representatives. Produced by the English hit-making team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the jumpy and horn-accompanied 1983 effort includes Costello's first-ever American Top 40 hit ("Everyday I Write the Book") and a smooth sheen that reinforces the material's commercial intent and catchy appeal.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's numbered edition 180g LP presents the hyper-literate fidelity and refined melodies in astonishing sonics, navigating the multiple layers of information, brassy effects, and background vocals to present a unified whole replete with stellar front-to-back depth. Akin to the reissue label's previous acclaimed Costello reissues, Punch the Clock is vastly improved, the opened-up perspective, pronounced instrumental separation, and textural clarity enhancing all the details within the grooves.
Fresh from making a country tribute album and a large-scale set flush with complex arrangements, Costello and Co. return to straight-ahead pop given a decidedly British accent and soulful backing vocals. Conscious of the Merseybeat sound and success of Dexy's Midnight Runners, Costello tints songs with new-wave characteristics, splashy horns, and spontaneous vocal-response support courtesy of female duo Afrodiziak, one member of which later attained fame with Soul II Soul. Steve Nieve's bounding piano lines dance throughout the arrangements, adding witty pizzazz and delicate allure to already-tuneful fare like "The Element Within Her" and "Mouth Almighty."
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 & 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 1-389
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog, 180g Series
Format: Vinyl LP, 180 gram, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Numbered, Gatefold