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: Feels Like The First Time
A2: Cold As Ice
A5: The Damage Is Done
B1: Long, Long Way From Home
B2: Woman Oh Woman
B3: At War With The World
B4: Fool For You Anyway
B5: I Need You
The moment Head Games begins, a nastier, grittier tone is established, and it becomes apparent that Foreigner is bringing something new to the table. Namely, an edgier, leaner sound built around stronger guitars and harder rhythms. The heaviest record of the band's career, the 1979 effort functions as irrefutable proof that the quintet rocked as hard as anybody in the mainstream and did so without losing sight of the melodies that put it at the top of the charts. And with Head Games, there Foreigner would stay.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Our collectable audiophile edition of this longtime favourite classic-rock staple bursts with tremendous dynamics, soaring vocal timbres, punchy dynamics, and newfound instrumental separation. With more emphasis placed on Mick Jones' guitar riffs and meatier grooves, you may just find yourself investing in a new power amp to get every last degree of detail that's been uncovered! Longtime fans will be thrilled to hear the subtle nuances now fully discernible amidst a gargantuan soundstage.
Joined by new bassist Rick Wills, and guided by Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker, Foreigner goes for broke, ratcheting up the muscularity on hard-hitting fare such as the hit single "Dirty White Boy," "Seventeen," and the aptly titled "Rev on the Red Line." However, the group maintains its trademark equilibrium, pushing the limits on toughness yet retaining a diamond-in-the-rough smoothness that allows the band's hummable choruses and winding hooks to take hold.
Moreover, the band expands its use of synthesizers to wonderful effect. The smash title track, through which mesmerising keyboard passages coarse, is a prime example of Foreigner's slight albeit thrilling sonic evolution, the net result upping the drama, fanfare, and colour. At the time, the combination was a breakthrough idea. Is it any wonder Head Games sold more than 5 million copies?
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 Ian McDonald, Mick Jones (2), Roy Thomas Baker
Engineered by Geoff Workman
Half-speed mastered from the Origial Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich, Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL 1-338
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog, 180g Series
Format: Vinyl LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Numbered