Mobile Fidelity Releases Edgar Winter Group and Patricia Barber SACDs [HFR]

They Only Come Out At Night by the Edgar Winter Group and Verse by Patricia Barber are now available on Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD discs from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Mobile Fidelity also has more SACDs coming in the near future – both from their Hybrid Stereo SACD series and their Hybrid Surround Sound SACD series of Classical Music reissues.

The label has also announced that their licensing agreements on three current Hybrid Stereo SACDs have ended and these Super Audio CD titles will be leaving the market in November. Here’s more on the latest releases and news from Mobile Fidelity.

They Only Come Out At Night
The Edgar Winter Group
SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2011)

The Edgar Winter Group’s They Only Come Out at Night was released by Epic Records in November 1972. It became a rock classic with several well known tunes including “Free Ride” and the rock synthesizer classic “Frankenstein”. The new Mobile Fidelity Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD edition includes an enhanced album booklet which includes liner notes from Edgar and Monique Winter on the story behind recording the album. (One wonders if this new edition would be even more popular with a 5.1 Surround Sound mix – since the album was issued in Surround Sound in the 1970’s – but I’m told that the Mobile Fidelity licensing of the Sony Music SACD series is for Mono and Stereo SACD releases only.)

Mobile Fidelity notes that “Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has re-mastered this timeless classic on the proprietary GAIN 2 System extracting every last musical nuance. Produced by Rick Derringer with Ronnie Montrose on guitars and engineered by Bill Szymezyk who later produced Hotel California and other Eagle hits, They Only Come Out at Night didn’t gain immediate commercial success. Winter and the band thought the song “Free Ride” was the most commercially feasible tune and after a disappointing brief appearance on the charts the band started talking about their next project. Meanwhile, a grass roots phenomenon was spreading across the country. Underground college FM stations all across the U.S. discovered a b-side tune called “Frankenstein”. Winter and his band mates basically had a great time jamming on “Frankenstein” but never considered the over 4 minute tune to be commercially viable. “Frankenstein” was soon one of the most frequently requested songs on mainstream AM stations and astonishingly climbed to #1 on the charts! The album reached the #3 position and the re-released “Free Ride” reached #14.”

Amusingly, the SACD erroneously has the sticker for the upcoming Byrds Mono/Stereo SACD on it’s cover. So you are told that the SACD contains “Original 1965 Mono Mixes featuring “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” and “All I Really Want To Do”. It’s nice to see that the album stickers are ready for the Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man SACD due out soon. I assume the labeling error will be corrected on future copies of this release.

The Mobile Fidelity SACD edition of They Only Come Out at Night was mastered by Mobile Fidelity Chief Engineer Shawn Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in Sebastopol, CA on the Gain 2 System. The Hybrid SACD was made by Sony DADC at their Terre Haute, Indiana plant.

Listening to the Stereo SACD tracks on this disc takes you back to the 1970s and some classic rock music. The best known songs on the album – Free Ride and Frankenstein – are very enjoyable in Stereo Super Audio CD. They feature fine stereo separation and nice reproduction of the band’s rock sound. The ARP sythesizer solo on Frankenstein is well imaged and it does indeed seem to come towards you in the room. Also worth mentioning is track 8 (Autumn) which has a nice guitar intro at the start of the song. All in all a nice job by Mobile Fidelity in bringing back a classic rock album from the 1970’s era.

Album Tracks
1. Hangin’ Around
2. When it Comes
3. Alta Mira
4. Free Ride
5. Undercover Man
6. Round & Round
7. Rock ‘n’ Roll Boogie Woogie Blues
8. Autumn
9. We All Had a Great Time
10. Frankenstein

Patricia Barber
SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2027)

Verse is the 5th Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD release by jazz singer Patricia Barber on the Mobile Fidelity label. It follows earlier Mobile Fidelity Stereo SACDs of her albums Cafe Blue (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2002), Modern Cool (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2003), Nightclub (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2004) and Companion (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2023).

This is the first Patricia Barber album where all of the songs were written by the singer. Verse features guest appearances by jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and guitarist Neal Alger.

According to Patricia Barber “The way I was hearing the songs in my head had more to do with the guitar than the piano. In a loose way, Verse is a Patricia Barber homage to Joni Mitchell.”

Mobile Fidelity says “Patricia Barber resides in the vanguard of the new school of female jazz vocalists. It all began with Cafй Blue in 1994. It hit like something inexplicable, introducing a voice one critic described as “a pure dark whisper straight up from the soul” and a distinct onstage persona that has been characterized as “a beat musician and a bop intellectual.” Barber has been exploring intriguing improvisational terrain beyond classic balladry and bop-infused standards for the last decade. Each album is more ambitious than the last, taking her deeper into avant-garde territory both lyrically and instrumentally. Verse is no exception. Ms. Barber continues releasing albums combining her uncanny ability to stake new claims on contemporary tunes with her prowess for composing witty and gorgeous tunes of her own. This new MoFi Hybrid SACD reveals all the subtle details in her playing and her vocal interpretations. This one really places the listener in the studio with the band. Phenomenal!”

Verse was produced by Patricia Barber and engineered by famed audiophile engineer Jim Anderson at Chicago Recording Company. The Mobile Fidelity SACD edition of the album was mastered by Mobile Fidelity Chief Engineer Shawn Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in Sebastopol, CA on the Gain 2 System. The Hybrid SACD was made by Sony DADC at their Terre Haute, Indiana plant.

As one might expect from listening to earlier Patricia Barber Super Audio CDs from Mobile Fidelity engineered by Jim Anderson and mastered by Shawn Britton, Verse is another sonic standout. Each song features wonderfully detailed vocals from Barber and instrumentation from her musicians. Of particular note is the reproduction of the guitar on track 2 (Lost In This Love) and the deep bass notes on track 7 (Regular Pleasures).

I agree with Mobile Fidelity that Barber can be avante garde in her take on the music. I’d encourage SACD fans to have a listen to the sound clips of the songs on this album before making a purchase to insure that the music is your cup of tea, so to speak. If so, you’ll find the SACD worthy of adding to your collection.

Patricia Barber – Vocals, Piano & Fender Rhodes
Michael Arnopol – Bass
Neal Alger – Guitars
Dave Douglas – Trumpet (Appears courtesy of RCA Victor Records Group)
Joey Baron – Drums
Eric Montzka – Drums

Album Tracks
1. Moon
2. Lost in This Love
3. Clues
4. Pieces
5. I Could Eat Your Words
6. Fire
7. Regular Pleasures
8. Dansons la Gigue
9. You Gotta Go Home
10. If I Were Blue

2 More Sony Music Classic Albums Coming to SACD Disc
In addition to They Only Come Out At Night and Earth, Wind & Fire’s That’s The Way of the World SACDs, there are 2 more SACDs coming in the Mobile Fidelity SACD series from Son
y Music’s vaults. These will include Blood, Sweat & Tears self-titled debut album in Hybrid Stereo SACD and Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds in a Mono and Stereo SACD. Keep an eye out for these in the weeks ahead.

Mobile Fidelity Stereo SACD – Upcoming Releases

  • Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2009)

    Mobile Fidelity Mono/Stereo SACD – Upcoming Release

  • The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2014)

    3 Mobile Fidelity SACDs No Longer In Print
    Audiophile labels like Mobile Fidelity obtain their reissue titles under licensing agreements with major record labels that specify the length of time these titles can remain on the market. The agreements are usually based on a specified length of time, number of copies pressed or a combination of these factors.

    Mobile Fidelity has announced that three of their earlier Hybrid SACDs will be leaving the market on November 1st. They join the Sonny Rollins Plus 6 Mono SACD (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2006) and several Kinks Stereo SACDs that left the market earlier this year. So be sure to nab copies of these SACDs quickly if you want to buy a new factory sealed copy at your local music store:

    Mobile Fidelity Stereo SACDs – Out of Print

  • Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2005)

    Mobile Fidelity Mono SACDs – Out of Print

  • Miles Davis – Steamin’ (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2019)
  • John Coltrane – Soul Trane (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2020)

    The Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD editions of They Only Come Out At Night by the Edgar Winter Group and Verse by Patricia Barber are now available from web sites that carry SACDs including Acoustic Sounds, Audiophile Resource.Com, Elusive Disc and Music Direct. Patricia Barber’s Verse SACD is also available in music stores such as Tower Records (filed in the regular Jazz and Female Vocalist CD sections). The Edgar Winter Group SACD should be in music stores in the near future.