- This outstanding pressing of The Kinks excellent third album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
- This Reprise Pink and Green original mono pressing is lively, balanced and vibrant, with a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical Richness these tracks need in order to sound their best
- Fairly quiet vinyl for a vintage Kinks record – they don’t come much quieter or sound much better than this one
- “There are some terrific numbers here — not just ‘A Well Respected Man’ and ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion,’ but the exuberant ‘Who’ll Be the Next in Line’ and ‘I Need You,’ the menacing ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else,’ and the haunting ‘See My Friends.'”
This original mono pressing has the kind of Midrange Magic that modern records cannot begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it ain’t coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage All Tube Analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the best sides of this British Invasion Album in Glorious Mono Sound have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl domestic pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1965
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with the vocals, guitars, and bass having the correct sound for this kind of recording
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Skip the Stereo
This is a mono recording. The stereo pressings are not true stereo, but rather mono reprocessed into stereo, and badly. They’re bright, thin, phasey and just plain weird.
What We’re Listening For on Kinkdom
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
A Well Respected Man
Such A Shame
Wait Till The Summer Comes Along
Never Met A Girl Like You Before
See My Friends
Who’ll Be The Next In Line
Don’t You Fret
I Need You
It’s All Right
Kinkdom is the American version of the Kinks’ third album, boasting an altered sequence, plus a few singles. The end result may be a little bit of a hodgepodge, but not notably so, since the Kinks weren’t making deliberately cohesive albums at the time. And while a few of the songs are simply run-of-the-mill, there are some terrific numbers here — not just “A Well Respected Man” and “Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” but the exuberant “Who’ll Be the Next in Line” and “I Need You,” the menacing “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” and the haunting “See My Friends.”
Doing the Shootout
What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.
When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of “contender.” Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.
It may not be rocket science, but it is a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing — or your money back.