Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Love - Four Sail (1969) [Compiled Version]

Love - Four Sail (1969)
Compiled version using best available sources
Original 1969 US Elektra EKS 74049 (Monarch Pressing)
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24bit + full high-resolution scans~

Arthur Lee's followup to the beloved Love Forever Changes will never eclipse its predecessor's fame or lyrical, musical, and conceptual mastery, but it is a shame that Four Sail is therefore almost nearly forgotten, as it certainly is as beautiful (if not more so) than the first two Love albums, or, as some reviewers (here, here) say, even on par or better than its legendary cousin. Many of my favorite Love tracks lie in these grooves; however, Four Sail has a little bit of a strange history.

The Four Sail lineup, starting in front and moving clockwise:
Arthur Lee, George Suranovich, Jay Donnellan, Frank Fayad.

The story goes that three albums worth of material were handed off to Elektra, in the form of finished mixes by Lee, from which the label hand-picked its favorites for the band's final album on the label, to be entitled Four Sail (an obvious play on "For Sale"; see the first review above for an interesting discussion). However, just before release, the mixes were laced in reverb, blanketing all tracks with an echoey effect. These post-reverb versions, notably less clear than Lee's originally intended counterparts, are what would appear on all issued versions of the album, including all vinyl pressings and both CD reissues. The remainder of the tracks discarded by Elektra would be released on Bob Krasnow's "Blue Thumb" label as a double-album set called Out Here, which smartly stuck to Lee's unadulterated mixes and unharmed clarity.

Four Sail rear cover artwork by Peter Schaumann, who was
known also for his artwork on Joe Byrd & The Field 
Hippies' album The American Metaphysical Circus

Nonetheless, and perhaps by accident, a 1995 compilation Love Story 1966-1972 included six of the Four Sail tracks in their pre-Elektra form. At long last fans could hear these tracks as they were originally intended. Although the mastering was not perfect, the jump in sound quality was enormous.

The two stock CD issues of Four Sail, however, left much to be desired. The original issue on Thunderbolt Records (catalog CDTB 047) was quite muffled as compared to the original vinyl, and the 2002 Elektra/Warner remaster (catalog 8122 73640-2) did not fix this issue, instead trying to cover it up with compression and V-shaped EQ.

This version has been compiled from the best available sources to produce the highest fidelity version of Love's fourth LP available to date.




















Track Listing:
01) "August" -- 5:08
02) "Your Friend And Mine – Neil's Song" -- 3:47
03) "I'm With You" -- 2:42
04) "Good Times" -- 3:33
05) "Singing Cowboy" -- 5:52
06) "Dream" -- 2:52
07) "Robert Montgomery" -- 3:40
08) "Nothing" -- 4:48
09) "Talking In My Sleep" -- 2:49
10) "Always See Your Face" -- 3:22

Lineup:
- Arthur Lee - lead vocals, piano, harmonica, rhythm guitar, congas
- Jay Donnellan - lead guitar
- Frank Fayad - bass; backing vocals (tracks 6, 7)
- George Suranovich - drums (tracks 1, 5-10), backing vocals (tracks 6, 7)
- Drachen Theaker - drums (tracks 2-4)

Sources:
- Original 1969 US pressing (Elektra EKS 74049), Monarch Record Mfg. Co. [NM]: tracks 3, 6, 8-9
- 1995 CD of Love Story 1966-1972 (Elektra/Rhino WPCR-629/630): tracks 1-2, 4, 7, 10
- 2002 CD of Four Sail (Elektra/Warner 8122 73640-2), bonus material: track 5

Vinyl Lineage:
– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2018 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.2.2 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.4.1 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cZNIcpO7jNc4Bx_RJLMBxAIIGgPyAymf?usp=sharing

Enjoy! :)

5 comments:

  1. You have done it again ! Thanks for finding releases that are in dire need of "correct" mastering. I've been hoping to see "Four Sail" for a long time. Thanks for starting the year off with a bang !!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like that you used some of Dan Hersch's remastering work. Always found Dan's work to be top notch and one of the superior engineers out there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can I point out that the files are 16-44 redbook and not 24-96 Hi Res.
    Thanks for all these amazing rips,lots of hard work goes into each one.
    The results are fantastic,thank you so much.
    Gil Duncan36.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only the vinyl-sourced tracks are 96 kHz / 24 bit. I'll edit the post to clarify this.

      Delete
  4. Yes! Yes! Brilliant! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete