SOME STUFFS: Loggins & Messina second album, Sly & The Family Stone’s “Greatest Hits” get the SACD audiophile treatments

Audio Fidelity: Loggins & Messina/Sly & The Family Stone photo AFLogginsSly_covers_zpsyoegnicw.jpg

  • As a lifelong fan of Loggins & Messina, this new audiophile pressing on Audio Fidelity is going to be worth waiting for. Some call this the debut album by Loggins & Messina, at least by name but in truth, it’s their second album, their follow-up to the amazing 1971 album Sittin’ In. For most fans of pop music, this is the album that features their biggest and arguably only hit, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”. However, this album is also known for a number of key album tracks, including the amazing “Angry Eyes” (later covered by The Pointer Sisters), along with “Thinking Of You” and “Golden Ribbons”. This 1972 album helped keep the band on the charts and on the radio, with “Your Mama Don’t Dance” still getting airplay 43 years later.

    Steve Hoffman did the remaster on the regular CD audio.

  • Released in 1970, Sly & The FamilY Stone’s Greatest Hits was released while Epic Records was waiting for new music from Sly and friends. His performance at Woodstock in 1969 had been released in the film in March of 1970 and they wanted to be sure he would supply fans with new music. He wasn’t working on that pace, or any pace. Some have said Sly was working on what would become There’s A Riot Goin’ On but whatever was happening, it wasn’t driving him to finish anything new. Epic Records decided to do what was best by putting together a compilation of all of the hits Sly & The Family Stone had between 1967 and 1969 and give it to fans, which helped. As the saying goes, most greatest hits albums are usually the sign of death for an artist but not with Sly, for many of those songs were still getting a lot of airplay on many radio stations.

    The interesting thing about the Greatest Hits package is that a lot of the singles were mono only, in that proper stereo mixes were not made, since they weren’t intended for release on an album, back when it was customary to release mono and stereo mixes. What Epic Records did was “electronically reprocess” some songs to be fake stereo, so one channel had a lot of high end, the other channel had a lot of low end. Then something happened. A few years later, when quadraphonic albums were the hip thing to do, they went to the multi-tracks to make all new mixes for the album. In the process, by making quad mixes in stereo for the vinyl pressing, it essentially was the first time three songs made their stereo debut, including “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”, and “Hot Fun In The Summertime”. For the longest time, the quad mix became the hit album to get for those who preferred hunting down true stereo mixes. Slightly different stereo mixes were later released on compilation albums in the 80’s and 90’s but now you’ll be able to it in all of its true quadraphonic glory on the SACD. No word on if the stereo or quad-in-stereo mix was remastered.

    (Mahalo nui to Tom Hayes for the tip on both discs.)

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