- With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy would be hard to beat
- The sound was huge, rich, Tubey Magical, smooth and – gulp! – natural in a way that no other copy was
- The big hits are here: Photograph, You’re Sixteen, Oh My My and many, many more
- “Ringo’s best and most consistent new studio album, Ringo represented both the drummer/singer’s most dramatic comeback and his commercial peak.”
This copy had the top and bottom that was missing from most of the pressings we played. It also had tremendous energy throughout, especially noticeable on a song like Photograph.
Like Nilsson Schmilsson, an amazing Richard Perry production with much the same amazing sound, the bad copies are really just awful — veiled, smeary, compressed, rolled off up top and leaned out down low. It’s a big studio pop production with a lot going on; when it doesn’t work it really doesn’t work. Thankfully, on some copies it does, and this is one of those.
If you’ve tried killer Hot Stamper pressings of any of our favorite Richard Perry productions — No Secrets, Nilsson Schmilsson, Son of Schmilsson and Breakaway come to mind — you know the sound of this album.
Bill Schnee did some of the engineering. You probably know his name from the famous Sheffield Direct to Disc recordings he made there. If you like your records will lots of bottom end, richness, Tubey Magic and powerful dynamics, he’s the guy that can get that sound on tape, and Doug Sax, the mastering engineer for the album, is the guy that can get that sound onto disc. They made a great team.
(I had a chance to tour Bill Schnee’s studio when he sold it to a friend of mine. The main room was huge with a vaulted high ceiling and lots of acoustically variable panels on the walls. It’s sure to be all digital by now; more’s the pity.)
What do the best Hot Stamper pressings of Ringo give you?
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t back there somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt (Donn Landee in this case) would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
I’m The Greatest
Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond)
Oh My My
You And Me (Babe)