Carly Simon – Hotcakes – What to Listen For

More Carly Simon

xxxxx

Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Hotcakes.

Many copies of this album suffer from (at least) one of two problems: unnatural hi-fi sound or considerable grit and grain. Both are in large part due to the processing-intensive production of Richard Perry. On the best copies it’s easy to understand his choices as the sound is quite lovely. Unfortunately that rich, sweet sound he obviously got on to the master tape didn’t quite make it to the average vinyl pressing of the album.

The effects used on Carly’s vocals turn her voice into a gritty, grainy mess on most copies — certainly not the kind of sound that audiophiles want to hear. It took a few exceptional copies to make us understand what Simon and Perry were going for. Compare this Hot Stamper to the typical copy and you’ll hear it for yourself right away. (You DEFINITELY want your electricity really cookin’ for this shootout, because bad electricity will certainly exacerbate problems with grit and grain.)

Haven’t Got Time For The Pain

It’s one of Carly’s best songs and the title perfectly sums up our selling point for these Hot Stampers. Anyone can do this shootout on his own; these records are in every used record bin out there. Of course, I don’t know if anyone but us would WANT to do this shootout, because so many copies sound just plain awful! If, like Carly, you haven’t got time for the pain, save yourself the trouble and take home a Hot copy. Your free time is valuable — spend it listening to good records and leave the bad ones to us!



Further Reading

…along these lines can be found below.

This listing will show you How to Get the Most Out Of Your Records .

Here’s a link with advice for setting up your Table, Arm and Cartridge that can be found in a section containing Audio Advice of all kinds.

You may find our recommendations for Record Cleaning helpful as well.

You can find your very own Hot Stamper pressings by using the techniques we lay out in Hot Stamper Shootouts — The Four Pillars of Success.

Record shootouts are the fastest and easiest way to hone your listening skills, a subject we discuss often on the site and directly address in this commentary from way back in 2005.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Safe and Sound 
Mind on My Man 
Think I’m Gonna Have a Baby 
Older Sister 
Just Not True 
Hotcakes

Side Two

Misfit 
Forever My Love 
Mockingbird 
Grownup 
Haven’t Got Time for the Pain

AMG 4 Star Rave Review

“A glowing, pregnant Carly Simon smiles out from the cover of Hotcakes, one of her biggest selling albums, which featured the gold single “Mockingbird,” a duet with her husband James Taylor that effectively remade the old Inez and Charlie Foxx hit and bested it on the charts. The album also included another hit, “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain,” as well as “Misfit,” in which a wife implores her carousing husband to come home, and “Think I’m Gonna Have A Baby,” which celebrated the joys of same. With such tracks, Hotcakes was an autobiographical concept album that defined domestic bliss at a time when Simon’s listeners also were catching their breath and turning inward.”