Janis Ian - Breaking Silence (Janis Ian)
From the album "Breaking Silence" (1993)
Label: Morgan Creek
Janis Ian's website
Janis Ian (b. 1951) produced a constant stream of albums throughout the 1960's and 1970's, culminating with "Between the Lines" (1975) and "Night Rains" (1979). The former album included "At Seventeen", which has become Ian's signature tune. The second contained "Fly Too High" that was a huge international succes and a number one hit both in the US and Europe.
In 1993, Ian broke the silence. The album immediately became a hit CD among HiFi enthusiasts, because of the minimalistic production employed in the mastering and mixing of the album. No vocal limiters were used, no artificial instruments or digital reverberates were used during recording and mixing. The entire album was recorded, mixed, and mastered on state-of-the-art analogue tape, with no noise reduction. Careful selection of microphones, pre-amps, and cables contribute to this "audiophile" recording. The result speaks for itself.
Dynamics and contrast
The title track included on the DALI CD starts with Ian's vocal intro, then the band dropping in full-force. The dynamics are overwhelming, the timing impeccable. Throughout the song, these elements remain the key features of the recording. Though not the loudest song on this compilation (and that's an understatement), it is by far one of the most dynamic, offering moments of contrast. Although no vocal compression was used, the whole track makes a very aggressive impression whilst leaving plenty of room for subtle detail.