Cat Stevens Tea For The Tillerman 200g LP
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The Audio Beat 2011 Recording Of The Year! Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 208/500!
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound & Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes!
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings on 200 Gram Vinyl!
Packaged in Deluxe Original British Island Gatefold Jacket!
Michael Fremer Rated 10/10 Music, 10/10 Sonics in his August 2011 reviews on musicangle.com! Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the August 2011 Issue of Stereophile!
TAS Harry Pearson's Super Disc List!
"Low level previously buried detail exposed on dead quiet, beautifully pressed vinyl from Quality Record Pressings!" - Michael Fremer, Editor, musicangle.com, Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile Magazine
The Very First Title Pressed at Quality Record Pressings Is... Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman!
One of the all-time most classic audiophile records is Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman from 1970. There are so many things perfect about this release. First and foremost, it's a masterpiece of a record. It's that rare record that couples breathtaking sound with hit after hit after hit. In fact, to list the hits would be to list the entire song list. Quality Record Pressings couldn't have picked a better vehicle for which to show off what will be one of the highest quality records ever pressed!
The Absolute Original Analog Masters were used, and the tapes were in impeccable condition! The tapes were last used in December 1999 when Ted Jensen at Sterling, along with producer Paul Samwell-Smith, remastered the Cat Stevens catalog for CD.
In 1970, Lee Hulko at Sterling Sound cut Tea For The Tillerman for A&M Records in the U.S. and Island Records in the UK using a Telefunken M10 tape machine and a Neumann VMS 66 lathe with a Neumann SX68 cutterhead. Hulko started Sterling in 1968 and was its original mastering engineer. He's considered among the first engineers to advance mastering from just transferring music from tape to lacquer to an art where attention is paid to all the details that result in better sound. Hulko's original mastering notes were also found from more than 40 years ago!!! It's incredible, but Sterling still has all of their notes filed away.
So, this album was originally cut at Sterling - as were all of the early original Cat Stevens albums - and the tapes were last used at Sterling. How appropriate then that Quality Record Pressings should go back to Sterling for this monumental reissue. Using the original tapes, George Marino handled the mastering this time. He used an Ampex ATR-102 tape machine, another significant point of interest. While Ampex has long been revered for their sound, they had never made a preview version so that a mastering engineer could cut a lacquer from an Ampex machine. Mike Spitz at ATR Services made a unique preview modification for Sterling so that they could cut this record using an Ampex. Marino then used a Neumann VMS 80 lathe with a Neumann SX 74 cutterhead.
"I think we've gotten something quite a bit better than what was originally issued," Marino says. "I think this version is much more representative of what was on the tape. And that's not a criticism of what was originally done." Marino also points out that since the original issue, there have been advancements in cutting lathe technology that make the improvements of this reissue possible.
"You didn't have the same number of options that you have in the new Neumann electronics," Marino says. "With the new one, they give you more variations to work with. Let's say there's a nice kind of present sounding acoustic guitar on the left channel and then all of the sudden there's a drum peak with cymbal crashes and stuff and that stuff happens to be on the left channel. Being the vocal is down the center, you can drive the high frequency limiter from the right channel. So you can set a threshold on the right channel and grab the vocal without wiping out some of the musical peaks on the left channel. This is what I talk about when I say that we have technical advantages that they didn't have."
Marino also chose to use a wide-track stereo head for this project, which he said allows for better signal-to-noise than the normal stereo head. And he also decided against using tube electronics, as would have been used originally, because he says that while the tubes allowed for more warmth, they also made the sound duller. "You wind up wanting to put a little top-end EQ or something to get a little something back (when using tubes)," Marino explains of his decision.
Marino says that he is very pleased with the results. "A great record. A classic," he says. "And those tapes were in excellent, excellent condition. Musically, I think we've got something that sounds richer and more natural. It sounds more correct. I had to do very, very little to the tape regarding EQ processing or anything."
To package this reissue, Quality Record Pressings decided to do a facsimile of the original British Island gatefold jacket rather than the non-gatefold U.S. version. This British jacket also has a textured paper stock on the inside and is glossy on the outside. Additionally, the original pink Island label was used.
So there you have it. Quality Record Pressings is off and pressing in a big, big way! Finally, they are ready to unveil the innovations in record pressing that they have been working on for more than a year. Among those innovations are the installations of microprocessors on the presses so that all of the presses functions are performed with absolute precision. For example, they have developed a dye with an imbedded temperature sensor that we can use to cycle the presses. Rather than having the presses close and open based on time - as it's been to date - these presses will close and open based on temperature, the far more accurate indicator of when the record is ready. They also have a plating department in Quality Record Pressings, run by the best plating man in the business, Gary Salstrom.
Tea For The Tillerman is one of Cat Stevens' finest albums and a gem in the crown of early 1970s singer/songwriterdom. Stevens manages to have his cake and eat it too, simultaneously achieving pop accessibility and artistic relevance. The feel is decidedly gentle and spare. Apart from the occasional string section, Stevens is accompanied only by a three-piece band as he sings his introspective lyrics with appreciable favor.
"With its chamber-pop arrangements, Tea for the Tillerman is one of the British folkie's most ambitious albums. Both the hit single "Wild World" and the bleak ballad "Hard-Headed Woman" find him condemning his ex, Patti D'Arbanville — who later shacked up with Mick Jagger." - www.rollingstone.com
Fremer Rated 10 out of 10 for Music, 10 out of 10 for Sound!
"The first play on my Dual 1219 brought gasps because the sound was so far superior to the A&M. It was razor sharp in the best sense of the word, with black backgrounds and a dynamic thrust missing from the lackluster American pressing. Wow!... Tea For the Tillerman is a great choice for an inaugural album to launch a new pressing plant in my opinion, and if this release is any indication of what we can expect from Chad Kassem’s new venture, we’re in for some great vinyl!!!!!" - Michael Fremer, musicangle.com, Music 10/10, Sound 10/10
Click Here to read the entire review!
• Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound!
• Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes!
• 200 Gram Vinyl
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• Packaged in the Original British Island Gatefold Jacket
• Detailed Textured Inside Paper Stock and Glossy Outside Cover
Cat Stevens, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alun Davies, 2nd guitar
John Ryan, bass
Harvey Burns, drums
Jack Rostein, solo violin
Del Newman, string arrangement
1. Where Do the Children Play?
2. Hard Headed Woman
3. Wild World
4. Sad Lisa
5. Miles From Nowhere
6. But I Might Die Tonight
7. Longer Boats
8. Into White
9. On The Road To Find Out
10. Father And Son
11. Tea For The Tillerman
||tea for the tillerman
|Analogue Productions has won my heart with this outstanding release.Not only is the sound quality first rate, but the graphics will make your legs wobble! Spend the extra money for this version and you wont be sorry|
|- PHILIP SAULNIER, NH|