Wednesday, 8 January 2020

So Far Away


When we got hit by CD I noticed something about two particular albums "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits  and "No Parlez" by Paul Young. I'll talk about the latter in my next post, but the CD versions of these albums were longer than the vinyl versions, taking advantage of the fact that due to compression and dropping of frequencies you can fit up to eighty minutes of music on to a CD (though I believe a Mission of Burma one actually exceeded that).

Basically the songs were just longer than the vinyl release, the ideal length for a vinyl album is about 18 minutes a side, and making it louder shortens that, the early Led Zeppelin albums have virtually no run out as Jimmy Page wanted the maximum effect from his production. Again Todd Rundgren brought out a sixty nine minute vinyl album "Initiation" which came with a warning to use a new needle each time you played it (that may be an urban legend but you get the point).

Anyway "Brothers In Arms" while a decent album , I only liked every other song on it and particularly the opener and closer. I first heard Dire Straits playing the excellent "Sultans of Swing" laid back but with stunning guitar work from Mark Knopfler.

The opener is "So Far Away" and got me thinking, thirty years ago , everyone I knew was on this island apart from a couple of relations who had departed for the antipodes. When I went to Mexico around the millenium someone told me that a bus from the Texas border to Mexico City took 24 hours. Mexico is BIG , but our maps show it as this little isthmus joining North and South America. Someone also mentioned about flying across Australia taking seven hours to fly! In Britain I don't like travelling by train for more that three hours (though some journeys are far more pleasant than others).

Now thanks to social media and the internet I am in contact with with people around the globe (remember messaging a friend to see if he wanted to come to a gig, he replied he had moved back to India) and the main problem is the time differential, but it does bring us much closer together in a way we couldn't imagine even in the nineties.

So another day , and another walk towards work.

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