Van Halen 1978-05-28 Ipswich, UK "Official Audience" Master Tape

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January 23, 2023 at 4:36 pm Quote #66172


Van Halen * 1978-05-28 * Gaumont Theatre * Ipswich, England * “Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps * Eddie, Steady, Go! (Vol. V) *

Van Halen
May 28, 1978
Gaumont Theatre
Ipswich, England
“Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps
Eddie, Steady, Go! (Vol. V)

2023 Transfer: Master/source cassette > Nakamichi DR-1 azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices 744T 24/96 capture > iZotope RX and Ozone 8 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44 > FLAC > finishing via Audacity 3.2.3 and TLH

01. Intro
02. On Fire
03. I’m the One
04. Bass solo
05. Running With the Devil
06. Atomic Punk
07. Drum solo
08. Little Dreamer
09. Feel Your Love Tonight
10. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
11. Guitar solo/Eruption
12. You Really Got Me
13. D.O.A.

Welcome to “Eddie, Steady, Go!”, a series of master tapes capturing Van Halen on its first U.K. tour, opening for Black Sabbath in 1978.

How did we luck into this treasure trove? As David Lee Roth himself would say, take a look at this! Almost 20 years ago, our benefactor, jamhead64, got these tapes — the underlying source of all known copies of these recordings — from a friend of his girlfriend. That fellow got them from a resident of a building he worked at as a doorman when he was younger. The resident had a relative who worked for the band at the time, and they’d had a falling out. The resident gave the tapes to the doorman. One break, coming up!

When these shows were originally posted, many were quick to point out that they were not true soundboards — as in direct line recordings — but high-quality audience tapes, albeit with almost no crowd interference whatsoever.

Given our familiarity with uncannily similar-sounding recordings of Bruce Springsteen made the prior year by his crew, we’re fairly confident the Van Halen U.K. ’78 tapes were done the same way, perhaps at the direction of someone in management (“fifth member” Pete Angelus’s name appears on one of the original Maxell UD 120 cassettes).

That roadie set up professional microphones on a stand at the soundboard (or another location front-of-house), which explains the confusing attribution of this material as “soundboard recordings.” Thankfully for us, what that person was really doing was documenting music history.

As so-called soundboard recordings, they first surfaced and circulated in the early 2000s, having been transferred from the original cassettes to MiniDisc (a lossy format) then to CD-R. Now for the first time, the master tapes have been given proper azimuth-adjusted, pitch-corrected transfers and captured in full resolution.

Perhaps due to their fuzzy lineage and the limitations of the original transfers, these recordings have not gotten their due. But it’s time to reevaluate: the new transfers and mastering have resulted in detailed, full-fidelity recordings of excellent quality, especially remarkable for a band whose early audience captures aren’t generally known for their sonic qualities. Here, the instrument separation is outstanding, and the mix well balanced, too. Samples provided.

For some time, jamhead64 intended to do new transfers. With the help of our pal cpscps, all seven of what one could call the Van Halen U.K. ’78 “official audience recordings” were redone earlier this year, using the Nakamichi > Sound Devices method detailed above.

Ipswich, May 28, 1978

At the midpoint of Van Halen’s 1978 U.K tour, the fifth volume in our series comes from Ipswich, 90 minutes north of London by rail. It finds the band in terrific form, working to convert another new audience, most of which likely had never heard of Van Halen before they walked into the Gaumont Theatre.

The initial response was polite for sure, growing enthused as the music cast its spell more with each song. David Lee Roth didn’t shy away: before an Ipswich crowd that was up-for-grabs, neither he nor his bandmates left anything to chance.

Sticking to the script, Van Halen leans into the nine songs (plus solos for each player), presenting a new, potent, and effective elixir. The performance in Ipswich sounds adventurous, and it ended up as another winning outing. The recording is excellent, one of the best in the series: playback reveals clarity and close proximity to the source, with sharp separation between instruments, too.

Huge thanks to jamhead64 for allowing these historic recordings to be worked on again and to cpscps for making the excellent transfers and bringing us into the project. We hope jamhead64 and VH Nation are as pleased with the results as we are. Shout-out to Professor Goody for help with pitch corrections. Lastly, a tip of the hat to the good folks who keep the lights on at the Van Halen News Desk, which serves as a terrific resource.

Watch for Volume VI in the coming weeks. And please keep the feedback coming: we read the remarks and are thrilled with the response to “Eddie, Steady, Go!”.

Share it freely, and for free!

- slipkid68

January 23, 2023 at 4:36 pm Quote #66173


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