We knew this album could sound good, but back in the day we sure didn’t know it could sound like this. The best pressings of this album have amazing live-in-the-studio sound that conveys completely the raw power of one of the hardest rockin’ bands of all time.
Both musically and sonically I don’t think the group ever recorded a better album than this one.
Take the wonderful song Bad ‘N’ Ruin (the opening track on side one) for example. It’s the sound of open mics in a big studio space — nothing more, nothing less. It’s totally free from any phony mastering or bad EQ, and on a Hot Stamper copy like this one, it’s absolute magic.
Martin Birch was the engineer for the first two tracks on side one. You may know him from his work with Fleetwood Mac (1969-1973) and Deep Purple (1969-1977), which include the amazingly well-recorded albums Machine Head and Made In Japan.
It’s a rare record indeed that can rock with the best of them while keeping its audiophile credentials intact. Like we said about our Hot Stampers for Never A Dull Moment, we sure wish more Rolling Stones records sounded like this.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
A bigger presentation – more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record, the better.
More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way the band wanted it to.
Present, breathy vocals. A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception. We take a lot of points off for that.
Good top end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and details of the recording including the studio ambience.
Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven’t played a pile of these yourself, balance is not that easy to come by. Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
Bad ‘N’ Ruin
Sweet Lady Mary
Maybe I’m Amazed [Live]
Had Me a Real Good Time
On the Beach
I Feel So Good [Live]
On their second album Long Player, the Faces truly gel… [I]f the album seems pieced together from a few different sources, the band itself all seems to be coming from the same place, turning into a ferocious rock & roll band who, on their best day, could wrestle the title of greatest rock & roll band away from the Stones.
The key is that Stewart, Lane and Ron Wood are all coming from the same place, all celebrating a rock & roll that’s ordinary in subject but not in sound.