Audio Fidelity has recently become a home for rare quadraphonic recordings on SACD, and among the label’s future offerings is a true classic from Laura Nyro in its immersive quad mix: 1968’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. Later this month, on June 24, the label will offer Eli on hybrid SACD (playable on all CD players) with the original stereo mix newly remastered by Steve Hoffman in high-resolution stereo and standard CD formats, and the rare 4.0 quad surround mix in high resolution.
Nyro’s Verve debut More Than a New Discovery had more than its share of fans. Among them was an up-and-coming manager named David Geffen. With the Asylum label still in his future, Geffen signed Nyro and gained her a Columbia recording contract. Around the same time, she shared the stage with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Who as an act at the Monterey Pop Festival. Nyro reportedly was flummoxed by the house band’s inability to play her complex music (with shifting time signatures and unexpected chord progressions) and cut her set short. But this would be a footnote in Nyro’s career, and when footage of the festival was unearthed years later, it was clear that Nyro herself didn’t sound bad at all; with a stronger band or even performing a solo piano set, she might have become one of the hits of the festival. With Geffen and arranger/producer Charlie Calello (of Four Seasons fame) on board, the 21-year old artist embarked on the creation of what may remain her masterwork, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.