Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman Limited Edition 200g Vinyl LP
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Limited Edition 200g Vinyl LP from Analogue Productions
1970 Classic Mastered from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes by George Marino and Pressed at QRP: Packaging Faithfully Reproduces Original Gatefold Jacket wth Textured Paper Stock
The very first vinyl title pressed by Analogue Productions' Quality Record Pressings is an absolute gem. A folk-pop landmark immediately recognized the world over by its title alone, Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman has forever been an audiophile reference LP, but never before has anyone experienced it with such detail, enhanced signal-to-noise ratio, transparency, frequency extension, and just plain life-like richness that's afforded here. Everything from Stevens' prized vocals to the cymbal crashes is rendered with jaw-dropping realism. As you might expect, no expense was spared in getting everything right.
Mastered from the absolute original analog master tapes at Sterling Sound by iconic engineer George Marino, who consulted the original mastering notes at Sterling Sound, where the initial release was also mastered and cut, this dead-quiet 200g LP was cut utilizing an Ampex ATR-102 tape machine, Neumann VMS 80 lathe, and Neumann SX 74 cutterhead, all impeccable devices. No wonder Marino feels like he's struck gold.
"I think we've gotten something quite a bit better than what was originally issued," Marino says, talking about the mastering process. "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." He also notes that, in the time that's elapsed since the original record was released, advancements in cutting lathe technology made myriad improvements possible.
"You didn't have the same number of options that you have in the new Neumann electronics. 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."
Marino also employed a wide-track stereo head for better signal-to-noise ratio and couldn't be more pleased with the finished product. "A great record. A classic. 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 top it off, Analogue Productions has packaged Tea for the Tillerman in a faithful replication of the original British Island gatefold jacket that features a textured paper stock on the inside and a glossy outside. This is different than the non-gatefold US edition. In addition, Analogue Productions is utilizing the original pink Island label. Sound, performance, looks, presentation, investment: This is a must-own LP.
For those that don't know, Stevens' highly regarded Tea for the Tillerman came only seven months after the start of his comeback with Mona Bone Jakon. Its arrangements, performances, and songs are all enveloped in a confident grace and beauty. Stevens pulled off a rare feat with Tea for the Tillerman in that he achieved pop accessibility without having to sacrifice artistic relevance.
"Surfaces are CD-quiet. Music emerges from between your speakers in a lush, full-bodied way that will convince those with top systems that they are experiencing a live, intimate performance. Bottom line, if you love Tea for the Tillerman, this is the one you want. …The sound quality on this record is the best I’ve ever heard. If all the LPs in my collection sounded this good, I’d never have bought a CD player."
– Jeff Dorgay, TONE Audio
“The attack of the pick on the guitar strings is astonishingly clean and detailed. Depth is pronounced and because of both the blackness of the backdrop and the precision of both the state of the art plating and the technological breakthroughs achieved in the retro-fitted presses, the resolution of low level detail reveals a host of details that are either buried or glossed over on the other versions I’ve heard and own.”
– Michael Fremer, Music Angle
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Track Listing:
1.Where Do the Children Play?
2.Hard Headed Woman
5.Miles From Nowhere
6.But I Might Die Tonight
9.On the Road to Find Out
10.Father and Son
11.Tea for the Tillerman
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