- A STUNNING copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first
- Both sides here are super clean, clear and open, providing lots of space for the musicians to occupy. It’s not midrangy, but instead, rich and full, with sweet, silky vocals. This is the sound you want on Heroes Are Hard to Find
- “… the album is one of their most cohesive yet diverse… Heroes is a minor gem that retains its effortless pop charms and contains some buried jewels in the extensive Fleetwood Mac catalog.” – All Music
Hard, midrangy vocals are far and away the biggest problem we ran into on copy after copy. The other problems we encountered are the ones common to all records: smear, lack of top or bottom end, opacity, etc.
What to Listen For
On side one, listen for the quality of the tambourine reproduction on the first track. If your copy has no top end — most will not — that tambourine will underwhelm and the brass that carries the song will probably lack the kind of harmonic extension and clarity that help distinguish the different horns from each other. They won’t sound right individually or collectively.
If you’re a fan, and have never heard this album, you may find some gems that make it worth the price. The title track is excellent, as is Come a Little Bit Closer. (Practically everything Christine McVie does on these pre-Buckingham Nicks albums is good. On weak albums such as Penguin it’s McVie’s performances and songwriting that carry the day.)
What We Listen For on Heroes Are Hard To Find
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Come a Little Bit Closer
She’s Changing Me
Prove Your Love
Although this was Bob Welch’s last album with the band he had worked with since 1971, it sounds like he’s at his peak. Pared down to a foursome for the first and (as of 2002) only time since the addition of Danny Kirwan, both Welch and Christine McVie contribute some of their finest songs. Bolstered by sympathetic self-production and imaginative, often aggressive arrangements that include brassy horns on the title track, the album is one of their most cohesive yet diverse.
Welch left soon after the album’s release, and the group went on to bigger and better things, but Heroes is a minor gem that retains its effortless pop charms and contains some buried jewels in the extensive Fleetwood Mac catalog.