Over the past few years I’ve posted a handful of reviews and chats about various audiophile vinyl albums on my YouTube channel. I kept meaning to do the same for tape but each time I did a listening session, my notes would end up turning into a written review which I’d post in the usual blog format here.
Anyway, long story short, I recently bought a copy of Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me by Analogue Productions from David Brook at MCRU, and David said “Hey, why don’t you do one of your videos about it?”. So I did!
Since this my first video on the topic of tape, I start off with a brief ramble about my journey into tape, beginning with a chance discovery at the Munich High End Show – when it was love at first listen – and including a deep bow to the late, great Tim de Paravicini, an authority on tape who very kindly lent his expertise when I was first mapping out ideas for this website.
In the video I chat a bit about what makes an ‘Ultra Tape’. If you want to find out more, check out this video from Analogue Productions themselves: Analogue Productions’ Ultra Tape reel-to-reel reissues duplication process explained
So, why start ‘talking tape’ with this album? Well, it’s one heck of a piece of work. Come Away With Me was Jones’ first album, released in 2002. It won seven Grammy Awards and has sold in excess of 10 million copies. It’s quite simply beautiful music, beautifully performed. “I’ve had this tape for three or four days and I can’t stop playing it,” I say in the video. I have a 2002 Classic Records Quiex SV-P Super vinyl profile 200g pressing of the album, which is excellent, but the tape annihilates it!
I also chat about one of my pet topics: the price of tapes. While nobody’s ever going to claim that tape is a ‘cheap’ format, I’ll always argue that tapes are invariably fairly priced and offer good value for money, given the cost of materials, the quality of the processes involved and the very nature of the ‘product’. Comparing the price of master tape copies to any mass produced format (including my beloved vinyl) is kind of like comparing seeing a poster of the Mona Lisa to setting eyes on the real thing!
As I said above, I bought my copy of this tape via UK seller MCRU www.mcru.co.uk/product-category/music. They’ve since sold out, but I’m including the link anyway as you might want to check out their other available albums on tape and in various other formats. If it’s the Norah Jones tape you’re after, you can buy copies from Analogue Productions / Acoustic Sounds, priced at $450 from https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/153938/Norah_Jones-Come_Away_With_Me-14_Inch_-_15_IPS_Tape If you’re outside North America and you’re in the market for more than one album from them, it’s worth grouping your purchases together so you can save a bit on shipping (or at least that’s my excuse for having five more of their tapes on order right now!).
Here’s the video –