Rick Rubin Interviews RHCP About the Group's New Album Recorded and Mixed to Analog Tape

The new Rick Rubin produced Red Hot Chili Peppers album Unlimited Love was recorded to analog tape and mixed to analog tape and it sounds so—at least based on streaming where the "analog goodness" shines through. A month long series of "Broken Records" Pushkin Podcast shows covering the release began last Friday.

On that episode Rubin speaks with guitarist John Frusciante—his first with the group in 16 years. Near the conclusion of the episode singer Anthony Kiedis pops in. Tuesday's episode features Frusciante and Kiedis. I haven't listened yet nor has the vinyl arrived but when it does I'll be ready. Tune in!

Cello High End Audio's picture

Best sounding RHCP LP. Ever. They've made a record that is easy enough to listen to, and sounds great. 30 years in, and more than 15 since the last one with Frusciante, that's something to be admired. Canadian black vinyl. Well done: Ryan Hewitt, Bernie Grundman, Shangri-La, EastWest Studios.

MrRom92's picture

The digital version available on streaming/download platforms is pretty badly compressed, much like most of their catalog.
Fortunately, the LP was cut by Bernie Grundman direct off the 1/2” masters and it sounds fantastic! No compression, and it sounds like it. It may be the best production I’ve heard on a major new release in years. Perhaps since Stadium Arcadium.

Unfortunately my copy pressed by Precision Record Pressing in Canada is rife with non-fill and surface noise, spoiling what is otherwise a fantastic mastering job. Get one of the Optimal pressed EU copies if you can.

MalachiLui's picture

i thought the digital version, while a bit compressed, sounded quite good, because it's not completely slammed like all the 1999-2016 RHCP CDs and still has that nice tape-y sound, i don't like the music enough to buy the vinyl but the 96/24 stream sounds good to my ears.

unfortunate to hear that your precision-pressed vinyl copy has issues, i've had mostly good experiences with their pressings but optimal is definitely the more consistent pressing plant. EU pressings often beat north american ones, except in cases where both territories get the same pressings or if there's a well-mastered and pressed NA one and an average EU one.

gMRfk6LMHn's picture

While the sound may be great sounding all analog on good ole black vinyl, the reviews of the album aren't very favourable unfortunately! Some reviewers gave it a *, others gave it ***. It can't always be about the sound. A pity!

James, Dublin, Ireland

MalachiLui's picture

go stream the album yourself and form your own opinion, i didn't really care for it musically but some people will definitely enjoy it.

KLW's picture

I was living in Venice Beach around 2009 time & Red Hot Chili Peppers made a (Beatle like) roof-top concert on a boardwalk building close to the beach (think for a video)....It was super cool in person. Couldn't see them but heard the music for sure! Also my mom got to stay next to the Beatles hotel room in Aug 66' at The Vernon Manor Cincinnati (she won a radio contest with 3 of her girl friends) She got autographs of all of them plus Brain Epstein who passed very soon after.

J. Carter's picture

I have been debating the legitimacy of the all analog state of this recording with a man who claims to be an engineer and he claims that the vocals and other things were digitally recorded. Curious to see if they go into details like that on these podcasts, probably not.

MalachiLui's picture

from what i know, it was tracked to tape then mixed to tape at the end, though the vocals were digitally recorded. not sure about all the other steps in between (haven't listened to the podcasts).

Dominique29's picture

Having a relatively revealing playback system, I would corroborate with the opinion that the LP (the version mastered by B. Grundman Mastering and pressed at Optimal) is not fully AAA. Sounds good, though, much better than the streamed version (albeit my digital source is not as good as my analog front-end) But I'm hearing some veeery discreet digital harshness, notably on cymbals and on some heavily distorted electric guitar riffs (to my ears, this is not the type of distortion due to insufficient/wrong tracking of my Benz Micro LP cartridge, but I might be wrong). Nothing really unpleasant, but I wanted to add my 2 cents, as it is the first time I saw someone raising this topic.

Tored1940's picture

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