Asia / Definitive Hoffman Estates 1982 / 2CD

Asia / Definitive Hoffman Estates 1982 / 2CD / Virtuoso
Live at Poplar Creek Music Theater, Hoffman Estates, IL, USA 17th June 1982

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The famous recording of the 1982 North American tour that captured the original Asia immediately after debut revives on the press board for the first time in about 20 years after the best remastering in 2020!! The power of the master original sound recorded on the metal tape explodes. The definitive edition will finally appear!

“HOT OFF THE HEADS PRODUCTION” is a hot topic in the unofficial sound source world of 2020. All of the released sound sources have high-quality sound sources worth noting, but it was a big news for fans for a long time that the most brilliant treasure sound source remained in Original Asia. “HOFFMAN ESTATES 1982 (Amity 608)” appeared on the Amity label last week as a breaking report, but many fans will be surprised and delighted by the sound quality that was updated for the first time in about 20 years.

…Yeah, it’s been about 20 years. From their own experience, their performance on June 17, 1982, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has been on the list since around 1987, when Tape Trade was still in letters and parcels. It has been recorded for a long time from the taper section along with the Philadelphia performance on June 22 due to its good content and sound quality. Philadelphia on the 22nd became famous early on with the unofficial LP “ONLY TIME WILL TELL” appearing here in Japan around 1984, but this Hoffman Estates sound source gets a lot of attention from fans. I had to wait for “MIDNIGHT SUN (AL003/4)” from the ACQUA LIGHT label around 1999, 15 years after that. However, even though I finally saw the sun, this ACQUA LIGHT board had some problems such as sound cracks and tape deterioration, and there was a fatal mistake in the track division of Disk 1. fact. Probably because of the 82-year performance of good sound quality, I caught the heart of the sound source fans, but since then the title recording this day has never been released, and only this ACQUA LIGHT board with such poor quality is released. It was the only title that allowed us to listen to the performances on June 17.

About 20 years later, it was the 2020 version of the source that was released in “HOT OFF THE HEADS PRODUCTION”. The source itself is Recorder 1 which is the same as the AC QUA LIGHT board, but what was decisively different was the vividness of the sound that the recording itself transferred from the master tape. The reason for this was the recording equipment of the day, which was first revealed this time. According to it, this famous recording was recorded with a portable cassette deck SONY TCD-5M made in 1981, the microphone is the famous machine ECM 33-F of the same manufacturer, the tape used is Fuji Metal Bias C90 (* Fuji Film It turned out that the first metal tape was used. In other words, it is the first manufacturer to record the latest metal tape on a metal tape-compatible portable deck that was the most advanced at that time. Was a matching with a “TYPE IV compatible deck” that can record a reliable signal on the strong magnetic flux density of the metal tape. Moreover, by connecting a famous machine ECM 33-F microphone to this and standing it on the open-air lawn that spreads like a fan peculiar to the venue, it was sucked in without obstructing the output sound of zero echo emitted by the PA, so it sounded. It was also natural that the basic level of was originally high.

“HOFFMAN ESTATES 1982,” which appeared on the Amity label two weeks ago, was a “completely unrecorded” recording of the public sound that was directly transferred from the original sound of the metal tape. This latest title, which has a lively, straight-through original sound, is still well received, but on the other hand, strictly speaking, the pitch of the sound released on the net is slightly faster, and the lack of sound and the sense of separation are also current. It is also true that there is room for improvement by refining with the digital audio technology of So, this time, we asked a skilled engineer who is familiar with acoustics to remaster this, and we made the latest and best remaster in 2020 with its abundant knowledge and outstanding technology. As a result, the sound response was outstanding and the direct response of the sound became even more dynamic due to the improved sound clarity, thicker midrange sound, and improved transparency. Of course, the pitch, which was difficult, was rigorously scrutinized and corrected for all scenes to ensure the stability and accuracy of the performance sound, and the original sound = metal tape The definitive edition is here!

The upper feeling can be explained by the expression “continuous and reliable sound energy.” It’s already noticeable in the beginning of “Time Again”, but you’ll be surprised at the fact that the bounce-like drive feel is more apparent than the ACQUA LIGHT record, as well as the texture and clarity of the Amity record of the previous week. The momentary echo on the again of the last lyrics “♪ Ti ~ ~ me Again!” before the final song, which appears as a characteristic accent unique to this day, is also the brightest ever. In “Wildest Dreams”, a guitar with an extension of the introduction appeared with more extension and gloss than the Amity board, and the section at the beginning of the lyrics (* 0:26 ~ 39) immediately after that seems to proceed with only electric piano and vocals It is spread one rank higher in transparency and good sound clarity, and in “Without You”, the development of the rhythm that can be heard in the middle instrument part and the contrast of the melody line have become more colorful. And in the solo section by Howe’s acoustic guitar following track (5), the track division that was lacking in accuracy on the Amity board of the week before last was corrected, and two songs that were not written while playing were tracked By dividing it up, the accuracy of the song notation is raised, and it should be noted that the remastering also gives a direct hit feeling of the tone and the texture of the sound whose resolution has been improved by remastering.

In “Mid night Sun”, four people gathered in the center and made full use of the Lynn drum, revived with the highest transparency and density in the history of the same sound source, and each one returned to his/her place (* 4:53 or later guitar The number of instruments increases one by one in the order of drums and bass.) The sound also spreads as if you were witnessing it in the scene. “Only Time Will Tell” has further improved ease of listening and response by improving the sound lack and clarity in the low range, which had a slight blockage in the original sound. Moreover, the bristle feeling of the bass like Wetton is getting sharper, and it is also nice that this quality (= base, and direct synth feel) continues from this song to the show end. “One Step Closer” hits the reverse point of the master tape, so the end of the song is slightly cut off, but here it is recorded as it is as it is the master tape = unprocessed With attention, you will be able to enjoy the freshness that is different from the ACQUA LIGHT board that was faded 20 years ago with the best sound quality. In “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”, the sound effects of this day, where partial delays were applied to vocals at several points, became more vivid, and the singing became an even more impressive sound image.

“Cutting It Fine” was found to have some deterioration due to sound cracking on the ACQUA LIGHT board, but the 2020 source used in this work is a master recording that is free from such deterioration. It is also an interesting topic that the generation difference from the ACQUA LIGHT board is clearly visible. Moreover, the Downs solo that develops in the latter half is the first time in history that such a dynamic direct hit sound flows out, and the MOL characteristic of the metal tape original sound (* Maximum Output Level = practical maximum output level) is maximized by this remastering. It is a scene that you can see that it has been pulled out. “Here Comes The Feeling” has also improved the resolution and sound quality of the details compared to the Amity version, making the beat effect even tougher and sharper. The drum solo that develops from the latter half of the song has a more explosive feeling of each sound of tapping, and the vibration of the sound is transmitted evenly in the scene that is hit with a fast stroke. In “Sole Survivor”, the sound of the guitar that runs around in all directions appeared in most of the songs with extraordinary clarity, and the lack of sound and the feeling of separation were also extremely here, and Howe at the time contributed to Asia I am breathing in a sound that has no more appealing guitar approach. In addition, the “Heat Of The Moment”, which had sporadic sound fluctuations on both the Amity board and the ACQUA LIGHT board, became a rock solid sound due to the latest remaster of this time, and the bounce of the middle board (3:21 ~) The response of the spinning bass and the light guitar entanglement has greatly increased. If you are familiar with the old ACQUA LIGHT board, you will be amazed at the deep and stable sound.

Taking the idea of ​​a large-scale, long-range song as a hand, the compact and magnificent drawing of the moment as an immortal, original, heat-condensing feeling unique to Asia. …The sharpness of response and the high degree of harmony of this remastered sound, which cannot be cleared up simply by “improving the sound”, not only make the condensed structure of the song structure feel stronger, but also The radiant power of the experience sound violently shakes the listener’s knowledge. Originally recorded sound The completely unprocessed Amity board was a highly documented title that inherits the master original sound as it is, but the latest Virtuoso board is the definitive title with the best sound quality that the sound you want to hear is always at the forefront. Please enjoy this work this weekend, the true power of famous recordings, which has been around for about 20 years, and the original sound of metal tape exploding due to the latest remaster. It is a set of 2 press boards that guarantees that you will be burned to the listening without any overpricing!!!

(Remastered memo)
★ Correct high pitch.

デビュー直後のオリジナル・エイジアを捉えた1982年北米ツアーの名録音が2020年最高のリマスタリングを経て約20年振りにプレス盤で甦る!! メタルテープに記録されていたマスター原音の威力が炸裂しまくる決定版が遂に登場致します!!

2020年の非公式音源界で話題沸騰中の“HOT OFF THE HEADS PRODUCTION”。公開されたどの音源も注目に値する高音質ソースが揃っていますが、その中でもひと際輝く至宝の音源がオリジナル・エイジアにも残っていた事はファンにとって久々に大きなニュースでした。先々週はその速報盤としてAmityレーベルから『HOFFMAN ESTATES 1982 (Amity 608)』が登場しましたが、約20年振りにアップデートされたその音質に驚きと喜びを噛み締めたファンは多いでしょう。

…そう、実に約20年振りなのです。自身の経験から紐解きますと、彼らが1982年6月17日にイリノイ州ホフマン・エステーツで行ったこの公演はテープトレードがまだ手紙と小包でやり取りされていた1987年頃からその存在がリスト上に記載されており、その内容と音質の良さから同6月22日のフィラデルフィア公演と共にテーパー間では古くから知られていた録音でした。その22日のフィラデルフィアは1984年頃にここ日本から非公式盤LP『ONLY TIME WILL TELL』が登場した事で早くから有名になりましたが、このホフマン・エステーツ音源がファンの目に多く触れる様になったのはそれから15年もの月日が過ぎた1999年頃、ACQUA LIGHTレーベルから登場する『MIDNIGHT SUN (AL003/4)』を待たねばなりませんでした。ただそうしてようやく陽の目を見たもののこのACQUA LIGHT盤には音割れやテープ劣化、更にはディスク1のトラック割りに致命的なミスが存在しているなど幾つかの問題を抱えていたのも事実。それ故か、良音質の82年公演とあって音源ファンの心は捉えたもののこれ以降この日を収録したタイトルがリリースされる事は無く、そうしたお粗末さを抱えたままこのACQUA LIGHT盤だけが6月17日の公演内容を聴ける唯一のタイトルとなっていた訳です。

そこに約20年振りで登場したのが今回“HOT OFF THE HEADS PRODUCTION”で公開された2020年版ソースでした。ソース自体はそのACQUA LIGHT盤と同一のRecorder 1ですが、決定的に違っていたのは録音物自身がマスターテープからトランスファーしたサウンドの鮮烈さでしょう。更にその理由として注目を浴びたのが、今回初めて明らかにされた当日の収録機材でした。それによるとこの有名な録音は1981年製のポータブル・カセットデッキSONY TCD-5Mで録られており、マイクは同メーカーの名機ECM 33-F、使用したテープはFuji Metal Bias C90(※ 富士フィルム初のメタルテープ)が使われた事が判明したのです。これは言い換えると、当時最先端だったメタルテープ対応の可搬型デッキにメーカー初にして最新のメタルテープで収録している訳で、なるほど往年のACQUA LIGHT盤でも伺えたあの基本的な音の良さは、メタルテープの強力な磁束密度に確かな信号を記録出来る” TYPE Ⅳ対応デッキ “とのマッチングだったのです。しかもこれに名機ECM 33-Fマイクを接続、会場特有の扇状に広がるオープンエアの芝生の上に立てる事でPAが吐き出す反響ゼロの出力音を遮るもの無く吸い込ませていたというのですから、サウンドの基本レベルが元々高かったのも当然だったのです。

そのメタルテープ原音からダイレクト・トランスファーされたネット公開音を” 完全未加工で収録 “したものが、先々週にAmityレーベルから登場した『HOFFMAN ESTATES 1982』でした。収録原音そのままの生々しさがストレートに出たこの最新タイトルは現在も大評判を戴いておりますが、一方でこのネット公開版サウンドは厳密に言うとピッチが若干速く、音抜けと分離感も現在のデジタル・オーディオ技術で磨き直せば余地が見込めたのも事実。そこで当店は今回これを音響に詳しい敏腕エンジニアにリマスタリングを依頼、その豊富な知識と卓越した技術で2020年最新にして最良のリマスターを敢行しました。結果、音抜けの良さと中音域の肉厚感、そして透明感が上がった事で聴き応えが抜群に良くなり、音の直撃感も更にダイナミックさを増したのです。勿論、難アリだったピッチも全シーンを厳密に精査・補正して演奏音の安定感と正確性を確実なものとし、原音=メタルテープが秘めていた可能性を最大限引き出した本音源の決定版がここに実現したのです!!

そのアッパー感は” 手応え確かなサウンドエネルギーの連続 “という表現に尽きるでしょう。「Time Again」の序盤で既に顕著ですが、跳ねる様なドライヴ感がACQUA LIGHT盤は勿論のこと、先々週のAmity盤以上の質感と明瞭さで出ている事にまず仰天されるでしょう。この日ならではの特徴的なアクセントとして登場する、終曲手前の一番最後の歌詞”♪ Ti~~me Again! “のAgainに掛けられた瞬間的なエコーも過去最高の鮮やかさです。「Wildest Dreams」では導入部の伸びのあるギターがAmity盤以上の伸びと艶で登場、直後にある歌詞冒頭の区間(※ 0:26~39)も、エレキピアノとボーカルだけで進行する様子が1ランク上の透明感と音抜けの良さで拡がっており、「Without You」も中間インスト部で聴けるリズムの展開と旋律線の対比が更に色彩豊かになっています。そしてトラック(5)から続くハウのアコースティク・ギターによるソロ・セクションでは先々週のAmity盤で正確さを欠いていたトラック割りを修正、演奏しているのに表記されていなかった2曲分をトラック分けする事で曲目表記の精度も上げていますし、音質的にもリマスターによって解像度が上がった音色の直撃感と響きの質感が備わった事も特記しておきましょう。

「Midnight Sun」では4人が中央に集ってリン・ドラムを駆使する姿が同音源史上最高の透明度と密度感で甦り、各自が一人ずつ持ち場へ戻ってゆく(※ 4:53以降からギター、ドラム、ベースの順で楽器が1つずつ増えてゆく)様子もまるで現場でそれを目撃している様な感覚に陥るほどの音像で拡がります。「Only Time Will Tell」は原音でやや閉塞感のあった低音域の音抜けと明瞭感が改善された事により、更なる聴き易さと聴き応えを獲得。しかもウェットンらしいベースのブリブリ感が鋭さを増し、この曲以降ショウ・エンドまでこのクオリティ(= ベース、そしてシンセの直撃感)が続くのも嬉しいところです。「One Step Closer」はマスターテープのリバース・ポイントに当たっていた事で曲の最後がほんの僅かに切れていますが、ここではマスターテープそのままの姿で途切れている=未加工のままで収録している事に注目で、フェイド処理されていた20年前のACQUA LIGHT盤とは別物の生々しさを最高の音質で御愉しみ戴けるでしょう。「The Smile Has Left Your Eyes」もボーカルに部分的なディレイが数箇所で掛かったこの日ならではの音響効果が鮮やかさを増し、その熱唱がますます胸に沁みる音像となっています。

「Cutting It Fine」はACQUA LIGHT盤で音割れによる劣化が散見されましたが、本作使用の2020年ソースはそうした劣化とは無縁のマスター録音。それだけにACQUA LIGHT盤とのジェネレーション差がハッキリ出ている事も面白いトピックです。しかも後半で展開するダウンズのソロがこれほどダイナミックな直撃音で流れ出るのは史上初であり、ここはメタルテープ原音のMOL特性(※ Maximum Output Level=実用最大出力レベル)が今回のリマスターによって最大限引き出されているのが判るシーンとなっています。「Here Comes The Feeling」も細部の解像度と音抜けがAmity版より向上し、ビートの効き具合が更にタフで鋭くなりました。曲の後半から展開するドラム・ソロも打音の一音一音の炸裂感が増し、速いストロークで打たれるシーンも音の波動が粒揃いで伝わってくるのです。「Sole Survivor」は曲の大半で縦横無尽に駆け巡るギターの出音が特上の明瞭さで登場、音抜けと分離感の良さもここに極まった感があり、当時のハウがエイジアに寄与したギター・アプローチの魅力がこれ以上無いサウンドで息衝いています。またAmity盤とACQUA LIGHT盤の双方で散発的な音揺れが生じていた「Heat Of The Moment」も今回の最新リマスターによって音の安定感が磐石になり、中盤(3:21~)の跳ね回るベースと軽快なギターの絡みの聴き応えが大幅に増しています。この様子は往年のACQUA LIGHT盤を聴き馴染んだ方であればこそその彫りの深い安定したサウンドに驚嘆されるでしょう。

大規模で射程距離の長い曲構想を逆手に取り、瞬間を不滅なものとしてコンパクトかつ壮大に描いたオリジナル・エイジアならではの、あの熱っぽい凝縮感。…単に” 音が良くなった “だけでは片付けられないこのリマスター・サウンドによるレスポンスの鋭さ、ハーモニー純度の高さは曲構造が持つあの凝縮感を更に強く感じさせるだけでなく、その未体験な音の放射力が聴き手の知を激しく揺らしてくるのです。オリジナル収録音完全未加工のAmity盤はマスター原音をありのまま受け継ぐ資料性の高いタイトルでしたが、本最新作のVirtuoso盤は聴きたい音が常に最前で出る音質最良の決定版タイトルです。どうぞこの週末は約20年振りに訪れた名録音の真の威力、最新リマスターによってメタルテープの原音力が炸裂する本作で御愉しみ下さい。掛け値なし、その聴き応えに身を焦がされること請け合いのプレス盤2枚組です!!!



Disc 1(50:45)
1. Intro
2. Time Again
3. Wildest Dreams
4. Without You
5. Mood For A Day
6. Clap
7. Surface Tension
8. Ram
9. Midnight Sun
10. Only Time Will Tell
11. One Step Closer
12. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Disc 2 (39:15)
1. Cutting It Fine
2. Keyboard Solo
3. Here Comes the Feeling
4. Drum Solo
5. Here Comes the Feeling(reprise)
6. Sole Survivor
7. Heat of the Moment

John Wetton – Bass, Vocal
Steve Howe – Guitar
Geoffrey Downes – Keyboards
Carl Palmer – Drums

Virtuoso 430/431

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