TRAFFIC -- Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory (Mobile Fidelity)

From the time you put this disc in your CD player & press play, it's clear that you're going to be in for a real treat. The original 1973 album sounded good, but the new Ultradisc II version sounds even better. Each instrument is easily distinguishable from the others, and the channel separation on the disc is superb. The high end is clean and crisp; the lows are deep and tight. You can feel the bass, as well as hear it. The percussion is right in your face, yet never overbearing.

One of the first things you notice about the CD is the sonic spaciousness and wide dynamic range, especially on Steve Winwood's vocals. The multi-tracked harmonies on "Roll Right Stones" never sounded better. You can pick out the individual voices of Winwood and drummer Jim Capaldi without any trouble at all. The late Chris Wood's sax on "Evening Blue" sounds warm and natural. Rebop's percussion on "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired" is heard clearly over Winwood's guitar solo.

The booklet features two concert photos not included in the original vinyl release, plus new liner notes. Purely in terms of sound quality, Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory is one of the best releases ever from Mobile Fidelity. All CDs should sound this good.

© 1996 Steve Marshall