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Sunny Days Again: The Best of Lighthouse Original recording remastered

3.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, December 28, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered from the original tapes. Much like Chicago's early sound, Lighthouse made wise use of their horn and string ensembles to create some rather bright and colorful music in the early '70s. With 13 members, including Don Dinovo on viola, Dick Armin on cello, and Howard Shore as the sax player, who later went on to be the first music director for Saturday Night Live, Lighthouse's music implemented many textures, from brassy rock & roll to a slippery blues-rock feel. Sunny Days Again is a commendable compilation, which includes all of their best tracks, headlined by One Fine Morning; which gave them their first Top 40 hit in 1971, and the two-speed tempo of Sunny Days; that debuted their rich, multi-dimensioned sound. Lead singer Bob McBride flaunts his vocal range on You Girl while Pretty Lady; shuffles along as a slick pop/rock number with horns on both side of the chorus. Even the more guitar-oriented pieces like; Take It Slow; and; Broken Guitar Blues; have something to offer in their slick rhythms and blues-based purity. Sunny Days Again is by far the easiest hits package to find from Lighthouse, and its material does do the band justice.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 28, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rounder Select
  • ASIN: B00000G5WO
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill Larkin on July 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The backcover touts "Digtally Remixed". Above it says "from the original tapes". The CD credits "re-mixing engineered by Frank Marrone and Robert Hanson". The CD goes on to credit "re-mixing produced by Paul Hoffert, Ralph Cole, Skip Prokop, and Bob McBride". They should all quit the recording business immediately and find other work.

If you are like me, you look for quality re-releases of older material. Since there are 16 tracks on this one, it caught my eye. Particularly for the 70's hit "One Fine Morning". I figured the existing releases currently available of that track were not that bad, but it could always be improved upon with today's technology.

Not by these guys. They have to be deaf. Or they let the wrong take get on the final CD. Or they were hung-over when they re-mixed "One Fine Morning". If they want to continue working in the recording industry, they should get the label to quickly re-call this disaster and get it right and then re-release it. It's that bad.

As someone else here already noted, the bass track sounds different than the original. But that, is the least of the problems. The string section sounds like it was in the parking lot. The electric piano solo sounds like it was in the next room. The cymbals have no high-end at all. The lead guitar solo sounds like it was recorded in a 55-gallon drum. The horns and the vocal come out on top (as they should) but when the rest is in the mud, it's horrible.

This is a real shame. Especially when you spend your hard-earned money only to find out that the one track you really wanted should be used as a prime example of how NOT to re-mix music. If "One Fine Morning" was want you wanted from this CD, save your money.

If the other 15 tracks is what you wanted, amazingly, they are ok.
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One of the many horn bands of the 70s, Lighthouse took a bit of a different spin from others. Along with a 5-piece rhythm section and 4 horns, they also added a string quartet. Think of Blood Sweat & Tears meets ELO. Add to that some really good singing - nice baritone voices singing 3 part harmony, and occasionally sounding a bit like Three Dog Night - and all that adds up to Lighthouse.
This CD includes most of their best stuff - great swaggering brass pieces like "One Fine Morning", "Silver Bird", and the travelling musician's lament, "Broken Guitar Blues." If you liked BS&T or the Ides of March, you'll probably like Lighthouse.
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Format: Audio CD
I have had a double album "Lighthouse Live" since it was released in '72 and have loved it forever. It was recorded at Carnegie Hall in '72. This band was huge and had hits on both sides of the border. Americans who came to live in Canada to avoid that draft fell in love with this bunch. The music is rock with brass, I'm thinking Blood Sweat and Tears but better with more ooomph and every bit as good as Chicago. This cd is an excellent sample of the work they did.
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Format: Audio CD
Its a shame more of the Lighthouse catalog isn't available on CD. They were one of my favorite bands from my youth, and after all these years, these cuts still sound fresh. Lighthouse was a band that recorded "live" (that is, even in the studio, everybody played together at once, rather than laying tracks down one at a time), so the sound you got on the albums was the same sound you got in concert.
I love that layered sound, with the live strings, horns, and tight, tight rhythm section. Great vocals too. One Fine Morning has to be one of the brightest, catchiest tunes in pop history (that 2-chord simple rhythm guitar lick will last forever in my mind). I was also partial to the "Can You Feel It" era of Lighthouse, and the hit from that album, "Pretty Lady."
Is there a complaint? I just wish there were more. Many of my favorites from Lighthouse are not included (I had all of the albums on vinyl at one time), and some of the digital remastering altered the depth and balance of the original cuts as I remember them, but that's a nit pick.
Lighthouse was full of great musicians making great music. If you like the "big band" rock sound of groups like Chicago, BS&T, and other bands of that genre, Lighthouse fits right in, and contributes a more unique sound and color than most of those 70ish bands.
Any chance they'll release more on CD? I hope so.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I give the CD 3 stars simply because I love "One Fine Morning," but I have to agree with Bill Larkin, the guy who submitted his review on July 23, 2006. The remix is in large part a disaster. The intro to the song sounds nothing like it did on the original vinyl release; it sounds like it was recorded using a cheap cassette recorder in someone's garage. The ride cymbal is muted as though a blanket was thrown over it. The driving rhythm guitar is also muted, lacking the sharp, punctuating sound on the original recording. The solo piano in the middle of the song sounds like it was recorded in another room. To the people who engineered this song: IT'S A SOLO - IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FEATURED, NOT PUT INTO ANOTHER ROOM!!! Overall, the remix of One Fine Morning sounds like it was done by a bunch of kindergarten kids exposed to a mixing board for the first time. It is just all out of balance and that is very disappointing for those of us who bought this cd in large part because we wanted to hear One Fine Morning again. I had read Mr. Larkin's review prior to purchasing this album but I was hoping that he was wrong. Unfortunately he was right on the money. For some reason they didn't ruin the other songs, though. "Pretty Lady," the other song I wanted, sounds like it did on the original vinyl. Why they had to mess with One Fine Moring and ruin it like they did is a tragedy.

Ok, I am writing this two months later. I thought perhaps my memory wasn't serving me right, but today I listened to the original mix of One Fine Morning from the original LP and my memory is fine. Unfortunately the remastered version IS NOT. It stinks! They totally ruined it, throwing it all out of balance and taking away the electric feel of the original mix.
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