Practically any copy you find will have a bit of a boost in the bottom end. The kick drum really kicks on this album, more than it should in fact.
The elements that make up a good sounding Loggins and Messina album can be found, in varying degrees, on all the Hot Stamper pressings we offer. Permit us to break them down for you. (We’ve borrowed heavily from ourselves here so if this material looks familiar don’t be surprised, we’ve used it before.)
Top End Extension
Absolutely critical to this record. Most copies of this album have no extreme highs, which causes the percussion and guitar harmonics to be blunted and dull. Without extreme highs the percussion can’t extend up and away from the other elements in the mix. Consequently these elements end up fighting for space in the midrange and getting lost in the dense mixes that Jim Messina favors (and we audiophiles love).
Clarity and Presence
Equally critical. So many copies are veiled in the midrange, partly because they may have shortcomings up top, but also because they suffer from blurry, smeary mids and upper mids. With so many stringed instruments; horns and woodwinds (oboe, saxes, flute, recorder); as well as plenty of percussion elements in the mix for practically every song, dull, dead sounding L & M pressings can’t begin to communicate the musical values in their superb recordings. Boredom will set in before long.
With a real Hot Stamper the sound is TOTALLY INVOLVING, and so is the music! You hear the breath in the voices, the pick on the strings of the guitars and mandolins — these are the things that allow us to suspend our disbelief, to forget it’s a recording we’re listening to and not living, breathing musicians.
Although this quality is related to the above two, it’s not as important overall as the one below, but it sure is nice to have. When you can really “see” into the mix, it’s much easier to pick out each and every brass and wind instrument, and hear all the effects on the guitars, in order to gain more insight into the arrangement and the recording of the material.
Seeing into the mix is a way of seeing into the mind of the artist. To hear the hottest copies was to appreciate even more the talents of all the musicians and producers involved, not to mention the recording engineers.
No rock or pop record without good bass can qualify as a top quality Hot Stamper. How could it? It’s the rhythmic foundation of the music, and who wants a pop record that lacks rhythm? L&M are famous for putting plenty of bass on their records; this album is no exception. Bass is a big part of their sound. The best copies have prodigious amounts of deep, note-like, well-controlled bass. If you have a high-fidelity full-range system, this is some serious Demo Disc Quality Pop Sound.