Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman on Hybrid SACD from Analogue Productions
1970 Classic Mastered from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound on Ampex ATR-102 Tape
A Folk-Pop Singer-Songwriter Landmark Listed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Also Available on 200g LP
A folk-pop landmark immediately recognized the world over by its title alone, Tea for the Tillerman has forever been an audiophile reference record, but
never before has anyone experienced it on digital format with such
detail, enhanced signal-to-noise ratio, transparency, frequency
extension, and just plain life-like richness that's afforded here. Everything from Cat Stevens' prized
vocals to the cymbal crashes is rendered with jaw-dropping realism. As
you might expect, no expense was spared in getting everything right.
Mastered from the absolute original analog master tapes at Sterling Sound by iconic engineer George Marino, who consulted the original mastering notes at Sterling Sound, where the initial release was also mastered and cut, the music on this version was
cut utilizing an Ampex ATR-102 tape machine, Neumann VMS 80 lathe, and
Neumann SX 74 cutterhead, all impeccable devices. No wonder Marino feels like he's struck gold.
"I think we've gotten something quite a bit better than what was originally issued,"
Marino says, talking about the mastering process. "I think this version
is much more representative of what was on the tape. And that's not a
criticism of what was originally done." He also notes that, in the time
that's elapsed since the original record was released, advancements in
cutting lathe technology made myriad improvements possible.
didn't have the same number of options that you have in the new
Neumann electronics. With the new one, they give you more variations to
work with. Let's say there's a nice kind of present sounding acoustic
guitar on the left channel and then all of the sudden there's a drum
peak with cymbal crashes and stuff and that stuff happens to be on the
left channel. Being the vocal is down the center, you can drive the
high frequency limiter from the right channel. So you can set a
threshold on the right channel and grab the vocal without wiping out
some of the musical peaks on the left channel."
Marino also employed a wide-track stereo head for better signal-to-noise ratio and couldn't be more pleased with the finished product. "A
great record. A classic. And those tapes were in excellent, excellent
condition. Musically, I think we've got something that sounds richer
and more natural. It sounds more correct. I had to do very, very little
to the tape regarding EQ processing or anything."
For those that don't know, Stevens' highly regarded Tea for the Tillerman came only seven months after the start of his comeback with Mona Bone Jakon. Its arrangements, performances, and songs are all enveloped in a confident grace and beauty. Stevens pulled off a rare feat with Tea for the Tillerman in that he achieved pop accessibility without having to sacrifice artistic relevance.
its chamber-pop arrangements, Tea for the Tillerman is one of the
British folkie's most ambitious albums. Both the hit single 'Wild World'
and the bleak ballad 'Hard-Headed Woman' find him condemning his ex,
Patti D'Arbanville – who later shacked up with Mick Jagger."
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Track Listing:
– Rolling Stone
- Where Do the Children Play?
- Hard Headed Woman
- Wild World
- Sad Lisa
- Miles From Nowhere
- But I Might Die Tonight
- Longer Boats
- Into White
- On the Road to Find Out
- Father and Son
- Tea for the Tillerman