In this weekly series of articles you will discover what are the business insider’s favorite albums and tracks. We have contacted a broad selection of industry experts and each Wednesday you can discover one of those guy’s favorite albums and why this is so.
This week’s honor goes to Fang Bian, founder and owner of Hifiman.com. We have reviewed a whole series of Hifiman units on Headfonia already:
Hifiman Edition S: https://headfonia.com/review-hifiman-edition-s-portable-fun/
Hifiman HE-400i: https://headfonia.com/hifiman-400i-mid-fi-best/
Hifiman HE-560: https://headfonia.com/hifiman-he-560-xl-ortho/
Hifiman Edition X: https://headfonia.com/review-hifiman-edition-x-game-set-match/
Hifiman HE-1000: https://headfonia.com/review-hifiman-he-1000-save-the-best-for-last/
Who am I:
Dr. Fang Bian, founder and CEO of HiFiMAN Electronics.
The Band :
Dire Straits &Mark Knopfler
Love Over Gold, 1982
Adding a new rhythm guitarist, Dire Straits expands its sounds and ambitions on the sprawling Love Over Gold. In a sense, the album is their prog rock effort, containing only five songs, including the 14-minute opener “Telegraph Road.” Since Mark Knopfler is a skilled, tasteful guitarist, he can sustain interest even throughout the languid stretches, but the long, atmospheric, instrumental passages aren’t as effective as the group’s tight blues-rock, leaving Love Over Gold only a fitfully engaging listen. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Why this choice?
One in particular though stands out and that is Telegraph Road by the British rock band Dire Straits and written by Mark Knopfler. It first appeared on their 1982 album “Love Over Gold” so it is nearly as old as me! Knopfler’s guitar work and vocals are amazing. I once read that because Telegraph Road is over fourteen minutes long that most radio stations wouldn’t play it yet despite that, it has become one of their most popular songs.
The background of the song and how it was written is quite interesting. Knopfler was riding on a bus in the Detroit area in the early 80s. He noticed this one stretch of road created by development and it seemed to go on forever. In the latter verses, the lyrics focus on one man’s personal struggle with unemployment after the city built around the Telegraph Road had become uninhabited and barren, just as it began. This fascinated him.
For me, I first heard Telegraph Road in 1996 when I was in college. I was working hard for my bachelor’s degree and Master degree entrance test. At the time, I was a young man like a blank sheet of paper with little idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Once could say it was my earliest days in audio though I was only a hobbyist and music lover then. I was just starting to play with my earphones on my Sony Walkman WM-FX445 and developing an interest in portable audio though at the time I had no idea what that interest would ultimately become.
Anyway, the song, Telegraph Road moved me then and still does today. I liked it immediately and was taken at first by the melody which is beautiful and of course Knopfler’s marvelous guitar solo which is one of the best I have heard to this day. Of course, I was then hooked by song’s theme, lyrics and meaning. The first half of the song is about hard work, building a new world and opportunity. The last half is about the inevitable downturn and he is complaining of unemployment.
Why did that relate to me? Well the first half anyway as it relates to hard work and opportunity. HiFiMAN likes to create new and unique ideas such as planar headphones and high-res players. And we always work hard on everything we do to make it real. Telegraph Road has been both an enjoyable song as well as an inspiration to me and to this day, remains a special song from my life.
I always use HIFIMAN product to listen. Currently I use Shangri-La Electrostatic system. The source I am using HM901s player and dock..
If you want to check out Dr. Fang Bian’s’ favorite album and song, you can do so here:
Thank you Fang for being on the series and for giving us a little insight in what you like to listen to. If you have suggestions of who we should feature in this article series, let us know in the comments!
Up to next week…