London 0 Hull 4. The Housemartins
Music enhances your feelings, whatever they are, this is why I love so much The Housemartins, they make me feel really happier, it’s like fresh air and punchy fun all together.
One of my most beloved memories is dancing in the dining room with my sons, 10 the kid and 7 the girl by those days, imitating the funny dance in the video The Farmer, shaking the legs backwards (0:42).
Yes, I am a huge fan of them and so is the rest of my family, but surprisingly I never owned any vinyl, until last summer: we were on holidays walking through the streets of Aveiro, Portugal, the so called Portuguese Venecia, a beautiful place, with incredible restaurants and very nice people…when we met a second hand vinyl store named Hats Records, (Largo da Praça do Peixe nº1 Aveiro, https://www.facebook.com/HatsandRecords).
I just rushed inside followed by my wife and children and the four of us started looking for anything interesting…suddenly my daughter shouted: “Papá los Housemartins!”. There it was, the first LP from The Housemartins London 0 Hull 4, released in 1986. My heart started beating faster, would it be in good condition? A few unending seconds and…yes! great!
So, after these months joying it with the TT it was time to work on its digital transfer. And here come the results.
The first thing I noticed with the A1 song, Happy Hour, is that at the default ADC middle volume the sound is a bit loud making clipping, so I knocked down the gain 1 1/3 notch. I like to test every song to check what volume level is right instead of Amplifying/Normalizing.
As I said in my previous post I like to record at 192/24, I feel music bolder and deeper. All the songs provide a lot of information over the 20Khz, as you can see later.
In this aspect I agree with the explanation of Hans Beekhuyzen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_wxRGiBoJg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geaoEt-9V-w&t=100s), it makes a lot of sense to me given my feelings. Anyway having the project recorded at 192/24 you can get smaller khz/rate if necessary, something you can’t (or shouldn’t in the reverse order).
As always I get noise over 65khz but it is easy to remove (see my previous post). It is interesting that a couple of songs have the same band at 15khz, for curiosity my son is investigating what kind of instrument might be doing this…
The DDR (Dynamic range) of the songs match the values published here,http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=housemartins&album= and if we attend to the explanations about optimal DR here http://www.pleasurizemusic.com/node/1 (see graph beneath), it is a very good one, we’re between 12 to 14.
Following are some songs with their wave/spectrograms/DR
Get up of your knees
We’re not deep
Think for a minute
Besides technology and numbers the LP absolutely rocks, what can I say? Guitar highs are bright and clear, bass and drums are strong, and Paul Heaton voice sounds spectacular, I especially like Think for a minute. It’s great to discern all the instruments, you can visually see Paul singing, Stan Cullimore with the guitar, Hugh Whitaker at the drums and Norman Cook with the bass.
The LP is far from a love innocent meaningless one, it is plenty of social critic to the establishment, as Paul said somewhere it was much more difficult writing love lyrics than claiming for rights or calling the attention, have a look at the Sheep ones for example.
Definitely an ALBUM that will never get old, amazing sound, fun and content. If this is not on your bookshelf you’d better get one, you won’t regret.