February 2006

The Edgar Winter Group - They Only Come Out At Night
Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs UDSACD 2011
Format: Hybrid Stereo SACD
Originally released: 1972
Reissue released: 2005

by John Crossett

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

Here's an old expression: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Thanks to Mobile Fidelity, many classic rock albums are being given just that chance, and in superb sound to boot. Like the Edgar Winter Group’s 1972 album They Only Come Out At Night. It stands as the band's best, spawning the instrumental mega-hit "Frankenstein."

Keyboard master Edgar Winter, quoted in the highly informative and entertaining liner notes, was searching for "the quintessential all-American rock band." Together with bassist Dan Hartman, guitarist Ronnie Montrose, and drummer Chuck Ruff, he founded a band that clicked. With the assistance of producer/slide guitarist Rick Derringer, the album was born.

Thanks to Mobile Fidelity’s well-established Gain 2 (Greater Ambient Information Network) mastering process, and its transfer to stereo SACD, this album will explode from your speakers in what may very well be its best sound ever -- short of getting your hands on the master tapes (yeah, right). And just wait until you hear the mix of "Frankenstein," which might conjure up visions of surround sound. What’s that? This isn’t a multichannel SACD? OK, it isn’t. But after listening, tell me you are still missing those extra channels. I am betting you won’t.

Top grades all around on this one. Don’t miss your second chance for that all-important first impression -- no matter if it is your initial listen, or your millionth.