It’s very common for pressings of Stand Up to lack bass or highs, and more often than not both are lacking. The bass-shy ones tend to be more transparent and open sounding — of course, that’s the sound you get when you take out the bass. (90 plus percent of all the audiophile stereos I’ve ever heard were bass shy, no doubt for precisely that very reason: less bass equals more detail, more openness and more transparency. Go to any stereo store or audiophile show and notice how bright the sound is. Another good reason not to go to those shows, and we rarely do.)
Just what good is a British Classic Rock Record that lacks bass? It won’t rock, and if it don’t rock, who needs it? You might as well be playing the CD.
The copies that lack extreme highs are often dull and thick, and usually have a smeary, blurry quality to their sound. When you can’t hear into the music, the music itself quickly becomes boring.
If I had to choose, I would take a copy that’s a little dull on top as long as it still had a meaty, powerful, full-bodied sound over something that’s thin and leaned out. There are many audiophiles who can put up with that sound — I might go so far as to say the vast majority can — but I am not one of them.
Of course one of the key elements to any Jethro Tull record is the quality of the flute. You want it to be airy and breathy — like a real flute — and some copies will give you that, but keep in mind there are always trade-offs at work on old rock records like this. It’s a full-bodied, rich sounding recording with the volume up good and high. Make sure your system is playing it that way before you start to focus on the flute, otherwise you are very likely to be led astray.
A New Day Yesterday
This is one of my favorite Jethro Tull songs of all time. (This and To Cry You a Song from Benefit are pretty darn hard to beat.) Clive Bunker’s drumming is incredibly energetic; it drives the song to levels few bands could ever hope to reach. It reminds me of the kind of all-out ASSAULT on the skins you hear in the work of Dave Grohl and John Bonham. Bunker is a highly underrated player; his bandmates Barre and Cornick don’t get the respect they deserve either, for reasons that I’ll never understand. They’re about as good as it gets in my book.
Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square
Back to the Family
Look Into the Sun
Another favorite track.
Nothing Is Easy
Watch your volume on this track! It starts out quietly, but it gets VERY loud toward the end. If you’ve set your volume properly for side one, don’t change it for side two.
Amazingly spacious, transparent and open on the best pressings.
We Used to Know
I love the way this song starts out quietly and builds to a tremendous crescendo of sound. Dynamics like these are rarely found on pop records.
Reasons for Waiting
On copies of this record that lack bass, this song will have NO bass.
For a Thousand Mothers