Bob Dylan – Street-Legal

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This copy has an insanely good Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two. 

Which breaks the rules a bit because most side twos earned a sonic grade that was about a half plus higher than the average copy’s grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album.

Here are some other albums with notable Side to Side Differences.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Here are some of the things we specifically listen for in a ’70s Pop/Rock record.

Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than any of the other copies we played in our shootout.

  • Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
  • Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
  • Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
  • Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
  • Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
  • And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Changing Of The Guards 
New Pony 
No Time To Think 
Baby, Stop Crying

Side Two

Is Your Love In Vain? 
Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) 
True Love Tends To Forget 
We Better Talk This Over 
Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat)

Background

Street-Legal is the eighteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on June 15, 1978 by Columbia Records. The album was a serious musical departure for Dylan, who uses a large pop-rock band—complete with female backing vocalists—for the first time. One of these singers is Dylan’s African-American girlfriend (and after their child was born, wife) Carolyn Dennis. Several songs deal with their relationship.

Following the twin successes of Blood on the Tracks and Desire, Street-Legal was another gold record for Dylan, but it peaked at only #11 on the US Billboard charts, making it his first studio album to miss the US Top 10 since 1964. However, it became his best-selling studio album in the UK, reaching #2 on the charts (his highest position in eight years) and achieving platinum status with 300,000 copies sold (the only other Dylan album to do this was The Essential Bob Dylan).

In the UK, reviews were positive, with Michael Watts of Melody Maker proclaiming it Dylan’s “best album since John Wesley Harding”. NME’s Angus MacKinnon hailed it as Dylan’s “second major album of the 70s.”

In contrast to the record’s still mixed reputation, Q Magazine has given the album a 5 star rating on re-release on two occasions…

Wikipedia