Label: Analogue Productions – AAPP 073 – 200 Gram Virgin Vinyl
100% Analogue – Mastered by Doug Sax & Robert Hadley
Limited Edition – Pressed at QRP
Tip-on gatefold jacket by Stoughton Printing
Certified triple platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than 3 million copies in the United States alone!
200-gram LP Analogue Productions reissue
Mastered by Doug Sax and Robert Hadley from thr original master tapes!
Plated and pressed by Quality Record Pressings!
“Doug had been fighting cancer for several months. And then, I got a call from him one day. He had left the doctors and was very tearful … I told him I would come right up to see him. Which I did. And he called me, on the way, and said rather than come to the house, please meet me at The Mastering Lab. What was so interesting was that the Lab had been cutting some (reissues) of albums for Chad. One of them was a Linda Ronstadt album. For some reason, one of the sides was giving them grief. And of course, Doug had not been able to work for a while. I thought it was pretty special because Doug was, right to the end, the consummate professional.” – Bill Schnee, record producer, recording engineer and mixer
Our Analogue Productions 200-gram reissue of Linda Ronstadt’s What’s New is special in many ways, not least of which is it was literally the career cap by one of the greatest mastering engineers in history – Doug Sax, founder and owner of The Mastering Lab, the first independent mastering facility and the most Grammy-nominated mastering facility in history.
Sax knew this material well. He had cut the sides for What’s New original release, as well as serving as mastering engineer for multiple Linda Ronstadt albums. He completed the sides for this reissue with mastering engineer Robert Hadley as he focused his energies on what he knew best – creating superlative mixes and sound – while his physical fate he knew lay outside his control. Sax and Hadley were the first mastering engineers to win a Grammy Award for Best 5.1 Surround Sound Album for Genius Loves Company in 2004. The Mastering Lab, which Sax co-founded in 1967, produced unparalleled vinyl masters for the recording industry utilizing unique concepts of signal flow and custom electronics pioneered by Doug’s brother, Sherwood Sax.
Doug Sax, 78, died from cancer in April 2015 in Los Angeles. The Mastering Lab, formerly located in Ojai, Calif., was purchased by Acoustic Sounds owner Chad Kassem, and the equipment – including some of the world’s finest lacquer cutting lathes and accessories – was relocated to Acoustic Sounds headquarters in Salina, Kansas. There, a new in-house mastering facility will join Kassem’s world-class plating and vinyl pressing plant – Quality Record Pressings.
Let’s just say that the vocals on this Analogue Productions reissue of What’s New, mastered from the original analog tape by Sax and Hadley, have never sounded richer, with a broader soundstage, and more clarity and detail in the orchestral accompaniment. Such a sweet record, made even better with a Stoughton Printing tip-on jacket showcasing the vibrant original cover designed by John Kosh. You’ll settle in for some impeccably-voiced standards from pop’s golden age and be transfixed by Ronstadt’s interpretive skills.
As to the album itself – Linda Ronstadt was the leading female vocalist in rock ‘n’ roll when, sensing that it was time to change direction, she starred in the Broadway production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance,” as well as the accompanying movie.
“Pirates of Penzance” led the singer to a collaboration with bandleader/arranger Nelson Riddle, who arranged and conducted this 1983 collection of pop standards What’s New. It was the first in a trilogy of 1980s albums Ronstadt recorded with Riddle. What’s New was a considerable hit, reaching No. 3 on the charts, where it stayed for five consecutive weeks, and selling to date more than 3 million copies. Ronstadt’s next two albums with Riddle followed – Lush Life in 1984) and For Sentimental Reasons in 1986 – also albums of pre-rock standards.