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Subject: Re: AWB New Box Set - "All the Pieces"

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Date Posted: 20:31:57 04/18/16 Mon
In reply to: Hamish Stuart 's message, "Re: AWB New Box Set - "All the Pieces"" on 01:31:36 04/15/16 Fri

I appreciate your reply Hamish. What a wonderful tribute to Arif. You're the first person I've heard (beside myself) complain about the quality of CD's in general. I always tell my children that I thought the old LP's sounded FAR better. They had a depth to them that is sorely lacking on virtually all CD's. Not sure what they did on "All The Pieces" box set, but those are recorded much better than the other AWB CD releases.


Hi John,
>Hope you enjoy the collection. The original digital
>versions were pretty poor on a lot of music, partly a
>function of the analog being difficult to transfer to
>the new technology (which was supposed to sound
>better) coupled with maybe a lack of care and
>attention on the human side. I know that our producer
>and engineer Arif Mardin and Gene Paul (son of Les)
>were very disappointed with the sound of the cd's.
>Arif was quoted as saying "Gene, what have they done
>to our records" and when the opportunity to upgrade
>our digital re-masters came along the work was done by
>Gene using a state of the art Sony transfer system and
>now the cd's sound magnificently punchy and warm like
>the vinyl, a result you have testified to.
>All the albums you mention are pretty solid and may I
>suggest you dig into Feel No Fret which I think is one
>of our best and probably the last really good work we
>did together.
>I think the difference between the Clover sessions and
>the White Album is Arif, Gene, Jerry Wexler and
>Atlantic Records. We had a very bare bones approach to
>recording, more like Sly Stone or James Brown but Arif
>had made a lot of great records by then and brought a
>more commercially artistic point of view to our music.
>Consequently it sounds bigger, brighter and more
>accessible. He steered our work beautifully with a
>gentle authority. Steve and I were talking during the
>sessions for our new album about how much we miss his
>presence. We had wonderful times making music with him
>with and outside of AWB. One of the true greats.
>P.S. Watch out for the 360 album coming soon.
> >I just ordered the new box set "all the pieces".
>>Outstanding. I already had all of AWB's albums and
>>cd's and mainly purchased this for the previously
>>unreleased material and the clover sessions. What
>>surprised me the most was the quality of the CD's.
>>The transfers must have been handling expertly b/c
>>they are all outstanding.
>>I have thousands of cd's and albums and I still rank
>>AWB's white album as one of the top 5 albums ever made
>>by any artist. Interestingly, in high school I
>>listened to ALL of AWB's music, but my favorites are:
>>White album, Soul Searching, Cut the Cake, Shine, and
>>Vol XIII. Those cd's have never grown old for me.
>>What I wanted to ask Hamish or Malcolm is this:
>>There's a pretty big difference in the sound/feel of
>>the songs from the Clover Sessions to what eventually
>>became the White album. Is the difference in
>>sound/quality mostly attributable to Arif Mardin's
>>involvement? John

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