Evaluated by Claude Lemaire
Rating: 8.5/ A
Category: Disco / Sunshine Sound
Format: Vinyl (150g at 33 1/3 rpm)
Produced and Arranged by H.W. Casey and Richard Finch
Written by H.W. Casey and Richard Finch
Recorded at TK Studio and Criteria in Miami, Florida
Engineered by Richard Finch (most probably)
Remastered and Lacquer-Cutted by Paul Stubblebine for Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Pressed at RTI in California U.S.A.
- Harry Wayne Casey – keyboards, vocal
- Jerome Smith – guitar
- Richard Finch – bass guitar, drum, percussion
- Robert Johnson – drum
- Oliver Brown – percussion
- Fermin Goytisolo – percussion
- Ken Faulk – trumpet
- Vinnie Tanno – trumpet
- Mike Lewis – tenor saxophone
- Whit Sidener – baritone saxophone
- Beverly Champion – background vocals
- Margaret Reynolds – background vocals
- Jeanette Williams – background vocals
Graphics design: Drago
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, often called MoFi in audiophile circles is the premier quality vinyl reissue company that started the ball rolling as far back as 1977. With its half-speed lacquer-cutting, headed by experienced 'guru' engineer Stan Ricker and pressed by JVC in Japan - all quite uncommom methods at the time - they slowly developed a devoted legend of worshippers.
|Legendary record executive, music producer and TK founder Henry Stone|
|Harry Wayne Casey aka KC|
Two of his employees engineer Richard Finch and record store assistant Harry Wayne Casey, the latter explaining the KC part of the equation began experimenting after hours in the studio; eventually providing TK as well as KC and the Sunshine Junkanoo Band, their first two singles with "Blow Your Whistle" in August followed closely by "Sound Your Funky Horn". The Sound of Sunshine would really come to life in the summer of 1974 with George McCrae lending his soulful falsetto voice to the chart topping "Rock your Baby" confirming that a new sound had arrived on the scene - Disco.
Apart from the ubiquitous color band at the top of every MoFi reissue since day one, the jacket cover remains quite close to the original in look and feel save for a tad more emphasis in the reds. Inside the record is housed in their flexible anti-static rice paper 'Original Master Sleeves'. In addition, a folded light carton with twelve album covers taken from the 'Silver Label Series' adorning one side and various products on the flip side, brings further record protection. The standard-weight LP - around 150 grams I presume - is pressed at RTI in California. It was flat and black with a few visual scuff marks mainly on Side 2; the latter common enough under good lighting conditions but rarely affecting the sound. As per usual with MoFi, the new label does not try to reproduce the original (in this case TK) but instead is plain black with the 'signature' KC logo adding a nice touch.
The groove spacing seems nearly identical to the original U.S. TK pressing, utilizing just over 3 inches of width modulation equally on both sides; the remaining 'dead wax' sufficient not to aggravate the usual high frequency loss. With roughly 15 to 16 min./side, equating to 5 min./inch of linear travel, there should not be too much compromise regarding adequate cutting level and bandwidth for the chosen speed.
As a refresher I took out my original U.S. TK 1rst pressing and gave it a spin to reacquaint myself with this 'old friend'. My general recollection - that it was fair sounding but below average compared to most disco recordings as well as below par for TK's usual high sound quality - remained true; in fact I have to admit that the original left me even more disappointed than I expected. The general 'sound sins' were: obvious compression - though not in the heavy brick wall limiting of current aesthetics - , some thinness in tonal balance, ascending and peaking in the upper mids-lower treble and definitely lacking bass bottom. This was pretty much consistent throughout the album but worse on side one. Having to rate it, the original TK would garner between 5 to 6 on 10. In other words, nothing to crow about.
Another classic track - "Get Down Tonight" - showcases the same improvements with better funky guitar in the intro and treble detail purity. Party on!
|Veteran Re-Mastering Engineer Stan Ricker 'hands over the reins' to Paul Stubblebine|
As for the previously noted visual scuff marks, both sides played perfectly noise free, devoid of any ticks and pops; this despite the lower cutting level that could have been more precarious on this issue. Also this type of music being rather constant in level compared to other forms is somewhat less demanding in 'absolute' noise floor terms.