This album is one of the my precious collectible album. Not just because this CD is quite rare (the original one, not remastered with XRCD bla-bla-bla), but this CD also has an outstanding quality. The Vinyl version is even better (but the price is getting not reasonable to purchase one at mint condition). I also have the Vinyl version, but rated at VG or VG+ only.
What makes this CD so special? This CD was made directly from two-track “live” analog master tape, recorded simultaneously, and no additional editing or polishing possible. According to Sheffield Lab, this kind of technique combined with their custom electronics and microphone will increase the transparency and phase linearity. Also the production of this CD is limited to specific quantity. No more additional copy will be made, unless we are talking the new version (like XRCD).
Inside, you can see a classic silver surface CD, with some additional text and labels. Number “13” probably couldn’t be a lucky number for some people, but this “CD-13” seemed okay. I don’t care it’s “13” (just a coincident it’s “13”), since the overall recording is superb (hey, it was on 1980!).
1. The Portrait
2. Peter The Hermit
3. The Rose
4. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
6. Hooray For Hollywood/Growing Up In Hollywood Town
7. Love Letters
9. Silent Lady
Most of the tracks are simple. One singer with piano or some additional instruments. But listen them carefully, example on #3 The Rose. Amanda started with a quite slow whisper, then could suddenly raised up. You can examine your system “backup power” to handle such “jump”, whether it can do it or not. Amanda also liked to “show up” with her vibrant voice, sometime combined with low energy of the piano which could stress up your system, ended with the unpleasant result if your system can’t handle. Beware, although most of the tracks are just “simple”, but they easily can screw up your system easily.
On #7 Love Letters, although just combination of instruments without any vocal, but it can bring an enjoyment of listening the emotion of the musician. The ambiance and involvement are definitely there. Hear the sax, feel the piano, and just enter the music.
Although it was 80’s, but the recording quality definitely a high class, professional, and perfectly recorded and played. It’s on the reference grade recording. Not quite sure if there is any 2010’s recording could beat this.
Below is some analysis of #3 The Rose. On nearly end of this track, we can expect a low frequency of the piano + the Amanda’s vocal. Both played simultaneously and quite significant volume level. Can your system make it? It’s not easy to provide adequate power to maintain the control of low frequency, meanwhile on the same time must manage the mid-band to prevent any unwanted distortion. Definitely not easy! Many equipment failed to do so.