Quad LP/Tape Poll MFSB: Love Is The Message [SQ/Q8]

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Rate "Love Is The Message"

  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5: So-so

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 21

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Crap Sound, Crap Mix, Crap Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

EMB

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Released with two logos: a Philadelphia International OR Monument ZQ 32707, from 1974.


Side 1:

1. Zack's Fanfare/Love Is The Message
2. Cheaper To Keep Her
3. My One And Only Love

Side 2:

1. TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
2. Zack's Fanfare (I Hear Music)/Touch Me In The Morning
3. Bitter Sweet


ED :)
 

Q-Eight

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The Soul Train theme in Quad!! Who could ask for more? To be honest, I've not really listened to the rest of the album, just that one song. It does it for me. Excellent mix like all the Philly Int'l Quad releases. :banana: Makes me wanna boogie!
 

EMB

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Well, the rest of the album doesn't come close to the greatness of "TSOP"....and with several cooks stirring the pot, consistency wasn't MFSB's hallmark. But when Gamble & Huff were hot, anyone they worked with got hot, too, and "TSOP" is proof of that! Fine quad mix, an '8' here, but yeah, anyone interested will come for the Big One....

ED :)
 

motownboy

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One of my favorite's in Quad...I've posted the SQ LP version on You Tube.

[video=youtube;pzQcy0pazYo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQcy0pazYo[/video]
 

surroundme33

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I have both the SQ Quad and Stereo version of this LP.. TSOP is Ok, but it's like bubble gum - it's quick to lose its flavor. "Love is the Message" is the winner here. Love Vincent Montana's vibes and that beautiful Philly sound. I also love their version of "Touch me in the morning" - It's very jazzy and laced with some funk.

Quad mix gets an '8', and the music gets a '9'!!
 

Bob Squires Jr

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I have both the SQ Quad and Stereo version of this LP.. TSOP is Ok, but it's like bubble gum - it's quick to lose its flavor. "Love is the Message" is the winner here. Love Vincent Montana's vibes and that beautiful Philly sound. I also love their version of "Touch me in the morning" - It's very jazzy and laced with some funk.
I have to agree... Love Is The Message is an amazing track. All around it is a cool album.
I have the SQ LP.
 

kap'n krunch

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A classic , of course...perfect time capsule and great production too!

Just havin' The "Soul Train" song (not a remake- the real McCoy) in quad is worth the price....
 
G

greenorange

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I just necessary some details and was searching on Google for it. I visited every single page that came on very first page and didn't got any relevant result then I thought to take a look at the second one particular and got your weblog. This really is what I wanted!
 

sjcorne

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I’ve been after this Q8 for a while and finally managed to get my hands on a copy. Classic album with a fantastic quad mix. The engineers at Sigma Sound must've had a blast mixing this as there's so many elements to play with - practically every song is loaded with multiple guitar parts, multiple horn parts, strings, keyboards, percussion (congas, bongos), occasional vocals, etc.

As with all the PIR albums that received the surround treatment, the quad mixes are discrete, clever, and never gimmicky. The saxophone generally acts as the 'voice' on most tracks and as such is placed in front center, but occasional keyboard and guitar solos pop out of the back corners. One of my favorites is “Cheaper To Keep Her” - it starts with the organ alone in the front right channel, then congas enter from left rear, drums in front left, horns in right rear, and sax in the center. By the end of “TSOP”, it feels like you’re in an epic funky tornado of instruments.

I also noticed that every track has one or more elements diagonally-panned in ‘quad center’.
  • “Zack’s Fanfare” - drums in FL & RR, low brass in FR & RL
  • “Love Is The Message” - drums in FL & RR, strings in FR & RL
  • “My One And Only Love” - drums in FL & RR, strings in FR & RL
  • “TSOP” - bass guitar in FL & RR
  • “Zack’s Fanfare (I Hear Music)” - bass guitar in FL & RR
  • “Touch Me In The Morning” - drums and bass guitar in FL & RR
  • “Bitter Sweet” - bass guitar in FL & RR
I found it a bit strange that half the songs have the diagonal drum kit and the other half have it in stereo across the fronts. I guess they wanted the drums to be more prominent on some songs compared to others? Or maybe it has something to with the way the mix sounded after being encoded to SQ and decoded?

Going with a “9” overall - as good as this mix is, I think the quad Philadelphia Freedom is even better (get the D-V SACD if you haven’t already!).

“Cheaper To Keep Her”:
Cheaper To Keep Her.jpg


“TSOP”:
TSOP.jpg
 
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steelydave

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I found it a bit strange that half the songs have the diagonal drum kit and the other half have it in stereo across the fronts. I guess they wanted the drums to be more prominent on some songs compared to others? Or maybe it has something to with the way the mix sounded after being encoded to SQ and decoded?
Arthur Stoppe told me that while Sigma mixed for SQ compliance rule-wise, they never checked to see how things sounded decoded. To them the discrete master was the way the mix was intended to sound. I think the varying drum placements were more for the sake of variety than anything else - I read an interview with Hugo Montenegro in Billboard (can't remember the exact one, but it was from 1973) and one of the things he was asked was what he'd learned about quad mixing, and he said that one of the most important things was to vary instrument placement from track to track, because if the listener was, for example, sitting nearer to the rear left speaker, and you put the rhythm guitar there on every song, by the end of the album the listener is going to be sick of it. I guess he was basically warning against what we'd now call "set it and forget it" mixes, and I think there's a lot of merit to the theory.

Completely agree with you that this is a really fun and active mix - it was part of the same batch of releases that included Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Black and Blue, Billy Paul's War of the Gods and the O'Jays Ship Ahoy. The '75/'76 quads are indeed a little more refined, but this was definitely Sigma at it's most adventurous, mix-wise.

One of the things I love about the MFSB albums is the "lead voice" sax, which is Zack Zachary (of Zack's Fanfare fame). He was a veteran big band sax player (who played with Lionel Hampton and Mercer Ellington amongst others) and about 60 years old when this album was recorded, but instead of turning his nose up at the new style of music that Gamble and Huff were creating, he lent all his talent and experience to it. I think the sound of his sax is a key ingredient to the MFSB sound, not to mention all the classic PIR tracks that they served as the backing band on.
 

humprof

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@sjcorne and @steelydave have done the heavy lifting here, but I would sign on to almost all the earlier posters' input, too. From what I've heard, this album sounds a whole lot better in a clean SQLP decode than a muddy Q8 conversion, but I like the discrete mix more. (Hmm...what well-known wizard would be in a position to give us the best of both worlds?)

I've burned all my old "Disco Sucks" t-shirts--especially after watching Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down--but disco still doesn't figure into my regular listening line-up, so I would mainly come back to this album for sentimental reasons, as "TSOP" was the second 45rpm single I ever bought, after "Precious and Few" by Climax (don't ask). That said: there's way more blues and instrumental R&B and soul-jazz here than there is disco. I dig all the sax- and vibes-centered tracks, especially. The suite-like "Bitter Sweet" may be my favorite tune on the album.

Another "8."
 
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sjcorne

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