Neil Young – After The Gold Rush – Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2018


Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2018

xxx

  • A KILLER copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two
  • Stunning classic rock sound: rich, full-bodied, warm, punchy, dynamic and clear
  • One of our favorite classic rock albums for music and sound, arguably Neil’s best
  • Allmusic 5 Stars, A Top 100 title, and a Demo Disc that is guaranteed to knock your socks off
  • “It’s a magnificent, style-setting album which saw the Canadian’s elevation to rock hero. For those who like their emotion raw.”

More Neil Young / More After the Gold Rush

Folks, a Hot Stamper collection of the Greatest Records of All Time would not be complete without a knockout copy this album, that’s why it’s been a Better Records All Time Top Ten Rock Title right from the start.

We built our reputation on finding Demo Disc Quality recordings like this. Who else can offer you a copy of the album that delivers this kind of ANALOG MAGIC?

Don’t Let It Bring You Down has out of this world Demo Disc Quality Sound — you’ve got to hear it to believe it. The top end is absolute perfection — open and transparent, silky and sweet. The warmth and immediacy of the vocals is going to blow your mind.

Both sides here have freakishly good sound — unbelievably transparent with loads of ambience, detail, and texture. They’re also about as sweet and silky as they come — just listen to how delicate Neil’s voice sounds on a song like Birds.

The bass is deep, tight, and full-bodied, setting the strong foundation this music needs to really rock. The drums are punchy and dynamic with lots of WHOMP. There’s lots of extension on the top end to go along with the meaty bottom end. The overall sound is warm, rich, full, open, spacious — superb in every way. That’s what we call Master Tape Sound, baby!

Demo Quality, Tubey Magical Sound

I’ve been looking for great sounding versions of this record for 20 years. This copy has incredible tubey magic that you just don’t usually hear for this album. It’s rich, sweet, smooth, transparent — it’s hard to believe that this is a “modern” transistor rock recording, because it sure doesn’t sound like one on this pressing! The vocal harmonies have those silky textures you expect to find on gold label Warner Brothers Peter Paul and Mary records, not orange label Neil Young records!

Needless to say, this copy has DEMO QUALITY SOUND. Listen to the opening guitars and drums of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” or the beautiful vocal harmonies on “Till the Morning Comes”, or any of the other half dozen songs in here that I bet sound better than you’ve ever heard them, better than you thought they could ever sound. They sure sound better than I ever thought they could.

Better Neil Young Sound Than You Ever Imagined

Is this one of those records in your collection that you wished had better sound, because the music is so wonderful? Well it does have better sound — just not on the copy you own.

The reason a record like this needs to sell for this kind of serious bread is because there just aren’t that many clean copies that have survived; there aren’t that many copies with these stampers; and there aren’t that many copies that were pressed just right, the way this one was. I’ve been picking up originals of this record for 20 years. Nowadays we pick up every clean original copy that we see. People loved this album and played it to death. Who can blame them; it’s Young’s masterpiece. It’s actually a better album than Harvest, and Harvest is an awfully good album.

Anyone Can Do It! (But Who Really Wants To?)

Most original copies of this album leave a lot to be desired. Some are clean but lack Tubey Magic and warmth. Others are thick, dull, and compressed sounding. And almost all of them are pressed on dubious vinyl or have been treated poorly.

Subtracting all the problematical copies you’re left with only a handful of real contenders, copies that have the goods. If you would like to spend a couple of years finding, cleaning, and playing original pressings of After The Gold Rush, the chances are very good that you would eventually come across one like this. Anyone can do it. But do you want to? Would you rather spend your free time searching for an amazing copy of Neil Young’s masterpiece or enjoying it?

Track Commentary

The Track Listing tab above will take you to an extensive song by song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For (WTLF) advice.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Tell Me Why

Just listen to those Tubey Magical acoustic guitars. You know right away that you’re about to have a sublime musical experience. Nothing sounds that way but analog.

After the Gold Rush
Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Does it get any better than this?! Overly rich? Maybe, but when it sounds this good, who cares?

Southern Man

This is Neil Young rockin’ the free world at his best. You need a big pair of speakers, lots of power, and a Hot Stamper pressing like this one to make this music come to LIFE. It just doesn’t get any better. You need rock solid bass and a total lack of phony top end to play this song right. When you turn up the volume on a track like this, all the flaws are readily apparent. Only the best pressings do this song justice at loud levels.

Till the Morning Comes

Listen to the harmony vocals. You can almost picture all the people standing behind Neil.

Side Two

Oh, Lonesome Me
Don’t Let It Bring You Down

This is the demo track for side two. Play this track on the better pressings and impress your friends with the best sounding Neil Young both you and they have ever heard. The drum sound Neil gets throughout this album, but especially on this track is SO right. They just don’t record drums like that anymore. You don’t so much HEAR the way the drummer is playing, you FEEL it.

Birds

A sweetheart! Neil’s voice is recorded beautifully and the background vocals on the best copies are just right. No hint of strain, if only because this is a fairly mellow track.

When You Dance I Can Really Love
I Believe in You

This is probably the TOUGHEST TEST for side two. The chorus tends to be thin and can really strain unless you have just the right pressing. That means not only the right stampers but the stampers that actually were pressed properly. About one out of twenty copies will get this track to sound its best.

Cripple Creek Ferry

If the acoustic guitars here are as Tubey Magical as they were on Tell Me Why, you can be sure that you’ve just had a sublime musical experience, courtesy of the all-but-forgotten recording, mastering and pressing technologies of 1970.