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Reviews: Edgar Winter Group: They Only Come Out At Night

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Reviews: 9

Review by racerguy November 7, 2005 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I just got the disc a few days ago, and have listened to it enough to gain an impression, but this isn't a "serious" review. I have to admit that when this disc was announced I got very excited, for reasons of nostalgia. One of my best friends in high school had a Plymouth Barracuda with an 8-track player and Jensen 6x9s. The only 8-track cartridge he owned was, "They Only Come Out At Night." We used to cruise in his Barracuda, playing it as loud as the Jensens could go. Great fun!

Listening to this disc on my ultra-modern hi-fi brought back some of those feelings. I think MoFi did an excellent job with the source material. I never noticed any significant tape hiss, and the sound was clear and distortion-free. This helped me to get back into that early '70s groove.

It was very apparent that I was listening to early '70s rock, though. Like many albums of its era, it is a bit weak on the bottom end. Bass extension is poor, and the kick drum doesn't have the impact of more modern music. If you listen to a lot of more modern stuff, you may be disappointed. If you listen to a lot of late '60s and early '70s LPs, you won't notice anything untoward. Kudos to MoFi for not trying to "fix" the music with compression or other tricks.

In a nutshell, listening to this SACD is as close to listening to an original LP on a superb-quality turntable as we can get to with digital these days. If you liked this music when it came out, you'll like it on SACD.

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Review by muzikman February 7, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If I had a list with my 100 all time recordings, They Only Come Out At Night would be on it, mainly for two songs, “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Although when you sit and listen to the album you will find a lot of joy in every track, there really is not one throwaway to be found.

When I found out Mobile Fidelity was reissuing this in SACD format I wanted it badly. I anticipated a clear and crisp reproduction of the original master. While this is usually the case when I hear the wonderful discs that they produce, I was a little disappointed that the sound was not what I expected. I had to keep turning up the volume to see if I just was not playing it loud enough. I stood in the center of the room then walked to all of my speakers and listened, I heard some separation with that process, and then I stood back in the middle of the room and noticed there was hardly anything coming from my subwoofer, which normally is very effective. What I determined rather quickly was that the bottom end was nearly non-existent. Its there, but it lingers faintly in the background. If this one piece of the recording were coming through strongly as it usually does on MF product, this disc would be a knockout.

Regardless of my disappointment in the overall sound it does not mean I did not enjoy this SACD, I really did, I just thought it could have been better with a fuller richer sound. This is classic album and it was Edgar Winter and his band in their prime. I think the next album Shock Treatment was outstanding as well; it deserves consideration for the Mobile Fidelity treatment.

“Undercover Man” and “Rock 'N' Roll Boogie Woogie Blues” were steeped heavily in the blues and proved repeatedly why Winter always reached back to the blues as a starting point and or as a jumping off point in a composition. Besides the most memorable hit singles like “Free Ride” and “Frankenstein,” there was a lot more meat and potatoes for digestion that listeners could enjoy, particularly the music lovers that wanted more than just the hits. Of course, that is what albums were for to begin with, but somehow that meaning gets lost when people buy music for a few popular tunes.

Rick Derringer’s role on this album should not be understated. His contributions as a producer and guest musician were a key to its success, obviously enough to make him a full time member on the next release. Ronnie Montrose was an incredible guitarist and would go on to greatness a few years later as a solo artist. Looking back now, what Winter had was the beginnings of a super group.

Everything else aside, if you love rock music, this great album belongs in your collection.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-

February 7, 2006

Note: I totally agree with the previous review from racerguy, nice job you nailed it.

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Review by Duke June 4, 2006 (4 of 18 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I didn't have to even open this package after buying this CD to realize that I did not want to listen to it. I took it back for a refund after reading the other reviews. When spending up to $31 for a CD that says SACD, I FULLY EXPECT that music to be in surround sound. This was one of the classic quadraphonic 8 track tapes in my collection and I have waited years to hear these songs in true, crystal clear surround sound. For a company to release this only in an UPGRADED stereo format to me is a waste of time and effort and my money. I feel that any SACD that is only stereo is a waste of money. All of them should be hybrid and all of them should be in 5+ channel surround sound. This is why we bought the special SACD players and why we spend the extra money. If this format AND DVD audio are going to survive at all they had better start a promotional push and standardize the formats. Most of the music stores I go to here in Arizona have already pulled the products from their shelves and mixed them in with regular titles or don't carry them at all. It looks like we may have another quadraphonic sound / beta tape type death about to happen. You would think after all this time the music companies would get their act together and introduce only one type of format. It is about to happen with high-def DVD as well with two formats. I am very disappointed with the companies producing SACD, DVD audio and DTS discs. The more complicated it is to play it in the car or if it can't be transferred to other venues like a car or portable player, it will fail. All car audio units and portable players should be able to decode these discs even if it is into stereo. Home use only will not make them succeed.

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Review by boguspomp July 2, 2006 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Hey Duke, thats pityful. This is a very good album and just because, you don't feel the need to read the back of the box, before you buy the SA-CD, shouldn't make you give this release 1 star ratings. As you owned this album as a Q4 and you went again to buy it, I don't believe, that you would give the music a 1 Star rating.

And you know hat, you should not review this album at all if you returned it. Did you listen to it ? No, so don't review it.

You are like a bad Theater critic that writes the review before he goes to the performance...

I for one like the effort. The sound is not as great as other recordings from the same period, but the music speaks for itself.

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Review by sportbigred June 27, 2008 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I just bought the original Epic stereo release and the SACD seems lackluster in comparison. It sounds too similar to the original which is dull & lifeless. Granted the performances are awesome and the original recording was released in the early 70's not with the technology we have today to make better sounding CDs. This SACD release never reached it potential because the current technology was never utilized to its maximum. Just imagine if this record was properly re-mixed & re-mastered in true 5.1 surround. It would have sounded amazing especially on the last song "Frankenstein". The drums, timables, cowbells, shakers & other percussion instruments would have sounded spectacular panned & placed strategically. All the synthesizer work would have been awesome shooting from one speaker to the other. All the brass would have been more exciting if only somebody would have taken more time to be creative & to take this amazing piece of work to the next level. The overall fidelity would have rivaled the current re-releases and re-masters of today. This is another small reason why SACD & DVD Audio failed in my opinion. Consumers were expecting something far better than a standard CD both in fidelity & movement. I will not even go into the politics of why both of these great formats failed miserably. I for one would want this release to be a "Pacasso", not a "Frankenstein".

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Review by analogue February 24, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
For the most part I have nothing but absolute respect for Mobile Fidelity and the great work they do. Most of their sacd's sound fabulous and their cd's, particularly their recent ones are amazing. Whatever they release, especially the pop, soul or classic rock albums...I search out and buy with no hestitation.

I do not fault Mofi but this Edgar Winter sacd does not sound nearly as good as I would have hoped. I believe that there is a problem with the tapes that were used. And since Mofi only uses original master tapes...........then there is something wrong with them.

I have spent some time trying to find out exactly why this sacd doesnt sound good. At fist I thought is was a volume thing.....then low bass was suspected. But after some time to really think after repeated almost seems as if some of the information on the tapes is missing. There seems to be something odd and lost in the sound almost as if one of the tape elements went missing. It's as if lets say the voice has good fidelity but one or two of the instruments is dull and lifeless or recorded very low. There is something about the sound that is wonky and odd. And it prevents the listener from enjoying and becoming immersed in the music. Particularly if you love this album like I do.

First let me clarify something. While some tracks sound dull and vacant some do not. Frankenstein sounds wonderful although a little dry. You can actually hear the walls of the studio and the space the drum solo was recorded in.............a booth I believe. But the sound is dry like a cucoon. I don;t remember it ever sounding like this before. The laser beam sound is incredibly three dimensional and comes right out at the listener. The effect is incredible and surprising..
But Free ride seems to be lifeless in certain parts of the songs unfortunately. But it's not as if the entire song or songs feel this way.....only certain elements or passages of the track in question. It 's really bizarre if you ask me. It plays with your mind.

If the master tapes really sound this way then what the heck did the studio's who released the remastered cd do to them to make them sound fuller??? Did they add artificial reverb??? It makes you ask yourself.........damn.............what could have been.

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Review by lampertb January 28, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:
Anyone who complains about this SACD is nuts! I have read complaints about the low-end.... The bass is spectacular, but the kick drum may be a bit low. Perhaps the drum kit wasn't miked in that way. Who knows?! It doesn't matter, in my opinion.

It's full of great moments, and the sound is superb... great separation, outstanding detail. The "jangly" guitars on "Free Ride"! The texture on "Frankenstein"! Awesome!

Is anything from MoFI bad these days? Not this one!

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Review by Gmat25 August 6, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:
First of all this SACD isn't, by any means, perfect. Having said that I feel it has great overall bass response and listening to Frankenstein, really is a 3D experience! As another reviewer has commented the laser section is absolutely amazing and blows me away everytime that I hear it! Overall, I feel that Mobile Fidelity does the best that they can with the source material that is available to them (although they certainly are willing to admit their mistakes when they make them. For example remastering Santana's Abraxas again in 2010.) If you like HiRez and Edgar Winter check this out!

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Review by pvcmusiclover January 16, 2013
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one of those albums where Mobile Fidelity's "warts and all" approach absolutely kills what could have been an awesome release. Their tape machine is probably is one of the best I've ever heard in terms of the detail it can extract out of tape. Couple that with an equalizer and there's no excuse for mediocre sound.

The EQ absolutely kills the sound on this one. The midrange is unbearably loud - screetchingly loud. It's completely out of proportion to the rest of the spectrum. Once one brings the midrange down, the treble also needs a bit of reinforcement. If one were to really hammer that out, this recording would sound pretty good. I have yet to attempt this, but I did so on the MFSL release of Piano Man (see my review) and actually got pretty good results. The average user shouldn't have to use a parametric EQ just to get their audiophile recording to sound acceptable.

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