December 1997

dhenley.jpg (4765 bytes)Don Henley - Building the Perfect Beast
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 705
Originally Released: 1984
Remastered Released: 1997

by Steven R. Rochlin

Musical Performance ****1/2
Recording Quality ****1/2
Overall Enjoyment *****

[Reviewed on Gold CD]Many memories of skimboardin' and surfing in Florida are attached to this recording for me. The original recording was a shade too bright, although the music was too good to miss. With this new reissue by Mobile Fidelity, all those great memories came rushing back to me. Here's a recording that has truly helped to bring the feelings back into the music from the less-than-spectacular original release. The entire CD has more detail, better micro and macro dynamics, yet at the same time gives more appreciation for the music itself. Here's one of those instances where the saying "G-d lives in the details" surely is true. The popular song "The Boys Of Summer" sounds like I had imagined it could sound with better mastering and then some! Have you ever enjoyed a recording but just knew something could be done to the music to make it go over the top? The air is ever so nice, like a cool ocean breeze on a warm summer's day. The clarity of the inner detail is like seeing the stars on a beautiful autumn night. Fortunately, the music totally avoids detail, which can come at the expense of a sunburning your ears.

Another fave that made it in the charts on this recording is "All She Wants To Is Dance." Please reread my review of the first song on this album, add some tasty dance grooves with visions of people dancing on the beach. A bonus track not found on the original vinyl release is a really mellow and heartfelt tune titled "A Month Of Sundays." Here's a song that makes me cry at times...literally. Don Henley is not only a great musician, but also a very talented lyricist, in my humble opinion. The music ebbs and flows and the heartfelt lyrics really shine through. Personally, I'd buy this CD just for this song alone. It may have not been considered by the Billboard charts, though sometimes when the music is this good and well mastered you have to sit back and make it your own personal fave. This song naturally flows right into my favorite sunset song.

"Sunset Grill"--need I say more? C'mon, anyone who's visited or lived on the beach and has heard this song knows what mellow yet emotional power lies in this recording. The remastering done by Mobile Fidelity will surely make you realize that remarkable music must be reissued to bring its greatness into better focus. Buy this CD, go to the beach on a nice night and play this song with a drink in one hand and the sunset making the mood. If this isn't what enjoying the music is about then maybe, as another song on this CD says, "You're Not Drinking Enough." This Don Henley reissue is now in my heavy rotation of music to truly enjoy. Enjoy the music!