The vinyl revival isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon; pressing plants and mastering facilities around the world are seeing the same bump in business we’ve had here. Underlining the point, here’s a nice video tour of Abbey Road Studios’ mastering lab as engineer Geoff Pesche remasters Tears For Fears’ debut album, The Hurting, for a 30th anniversary UK re-release.
Walking viewers through the mastering process, Pesche starts off by explaining why he’s sourcing the project from an old-school, half-inch tape on an Ampex ATR tape machine: “With old re-releases, it’s better to go back to the source tapes if you can. This is one of the original production masters from 1983, so it’s close to the original master—very close, in fact. One analog generation away from the original tapes, so it’s as close as we can get the original tapes to the original record. Rather than use digitally archived .WAV files, we’re actually using the analog sources.”
Elsewhere, he talks us through preparation for cutting a lacquer on his vintage Neumann VMS 80 lathe as he cuts and examines some silent test grooves, and then notes some highlights of his 30-plus years in the mastering profession, including some of the career-making, quintessential sides he cut back in the day.
As for the LP he’s working on, Tears For Fears’ The Hurting was actually released in March, 1983, and saw a 30th anniversary 3CD/1DVD release in the UK last fall. The band’s debut album, it spawned the international hits “Change,” “Mad World” and “Pale Shelter,” going Platinum in the UK and Gold in the US. The band’s breakthrough success, however, came with its follow-up, 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair, which went 5x Platinum in the US, 3x Platinum in the UK, and 7x Platinum in Canada on the strength of three top-10 hits: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Shout” and “Head Over Heels.”