A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.
This original Porky/Pecko mastered British Chrysalis pressing has Superb Demo Disc Sound — Side Two is OFF THE CHARTS — and, even more importantly, the best English Folk Rock Music ever recorded. I grew to love this album back in the ’70s; the stereo store I worked at used it as a Demo Disc, so I heard it on a regular basis. Rather than getting sick of it, I actually bought a copy for my own collection to play at home. (Not sure if I managed to get an import, not sure if I would even have been able to hear the difference.)
Things have changed as we never tire of saying here at Better Records, but in a way you could say they have stayed the same. This used to be a demo disc, and now it’s REALLY a Demo Disc.
You will have a very hard time finding a record with a punchier, richer, fuller, better-defined, dare I say fatter bottom.
But that’s just the start. Side two defeated all comers in our shootout, earning our top grade of A+++. It’s got everything we look for in a Hot Stamper British Folk Rock Album — it’s dynamic; has really solid, deep punchy bass; transparency and incredible sweetness in the midrange; tubey-magical acoustic guitars; you name it, this copy had it. It had it all.
I can guarantee you there is no CD on the planet that could ever do this recording justice. The Hot Stamper pressings have MAGIC that just can’t be captured on one of them there silvery (slivery?) discs. I realized during our shootout that THIS is the sound that you never hear on CD, ever. I’ve got five hundred of the damn things and none of them can touch the sound of a record like this.
Two Years in the Making
Our last shootout was in May of 2006. We’ve managed to scrounge up a few copies since then, making preliminary notes and waiting for the right time to shoot them out definitively. This week we played them all and found a couple of superb sounding copies. Who knew this album could sound so good?
Side two was off the charts, and side one was not far behind with A Double Plus sound. A little more top end would have put it in contention with the sound we heard on side two. Listen to side two, then play side one and focus on just the top end. The difference may be subtle but it is definitely there.
That British Sound
The sound is rich and full in the best tradition of English Rock, with no trace of the transistory grain that domestic rock pressings so often suffer from. The bass is deep, punchy, full up in the mix and correct. There’s plenty of it too, so those of you with less than well controlled bass will have a tough time with this one. But never fear; it’s a great record to tweak with and perfect for evaluating equipment.
This is some of the best Rock Bass I have ever heard, bar none. There’s more to it than that, obviously, but if I had only one record to demo bass with, hard to imagine I could pick a better one than this.
Speaking of freedom from grain, notice how there is nothing — not one instrument or voice — that has a trace of hi-if-ishness. No grain, no sizzle, no zippy top, no bloated bottom, nothing that reminds you of the phony sound you hear on audiophile records at every turn. Silky sweet and tubey-magical, THIS IS THE SOUND WE LOVE.
We bash crap like Diana Krall and Patricia Barber because we’ve heard records like this and know that THIS is what a good female vocal recording sounds like.
We ask that you not buy this record unless you have a BIG pair of dynamic speakers or horns. This demanding and energetic music simply cannot be reproduced otherwise. We want this AMAZING DEMO DISC QUALITY recording to go to a good home, where the sound can be appreciated, its glory and power intact. Nothing else will do justice to this music.