Saturday, November 29, 2014

CD Review: Audio Fidelity Brings Out The Best Of Eric Clapton And Blood, Sweat & Tears

When one thinks of the best quality compact discs, only one name comes to mind, Audio Fidelity. They have taken some of the best, innovative albums and re-released them in the highest quality possible on CD. Audio Fidelity have also released some of these high quality albums in 5.1 surround sound. The latest releases from Audio Fidelity feature the debut album from Blood, Sweat & Tears, "Child Is Father To The Man" and Eric Clapton's 1998 album "Pilgrim." Blood, Sweat & Tears was one of the first groups to bring big bands in rock music. The band was led by multi-instrumentalist Al Kooper who left shortly after the release of this album. This is the perfect candidate for the Surround Sound treatment. The 5.1 Surround Sound mix of this album was handled by Kooper himself, while the Surround Sound mastering was given to Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, who has done outstanding work with other Surround Sound releases. The bluesy feel of "I'll Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," with the subtle hint of horns, just pops from the speakers, while Kooper's keyboards in "Morning Glory" lays the groundwork for this folk rock gem with horns. The radio single "I Can't Quit Her" breathes with new energy into this new remaster as the song sounds timeless. The storied, prog-rock feel of "The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenes And Frued" has that classical appeal as the string section just ignites the vocals on this newly remastered version of the album. The remastering was handled by Steve Hoffman at Steven Marsh Studios as "Child Is Father To The Man" has never sounded better.

Eric Clapton's "Pilgrim" album was his first album of new material in over a decade and anticipation was very high for this release in 1998. With the help of producer/songwriter Simon Climie, "Pilgrim" was a hit pop album reaching #4 on the album charts and selling over one million copies in the U.S. Many of Clapton's older albums have been remastered and released through Audio Fidelity and this continues the long line of Clapton albums that excel through this process. The bluesy bass line of "River Of Tears" just warms your speakers as it has a fuller, fatter sound on this new release. This album focuses more on Clapton's amazing songwriting, instead of his guitar shredding. You can feel the passion in his voice in "Broken Hearted" and his pain in "Circus" as you are placed in the control room during the recording of this album. His guitars finally give your speakers a workout during "Sick And Tired" and "She's Gone," but all of the songs on this album have their place and displays another exceptional remastering job done by Steve Hoffman. To find out more about these latest releases, please visit

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