A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
Super Hot, and definitely not your typical Sheffield pressing. Some of them are aggressive, many of them are dull and lack the spark of live music, some of them have wonky bass or are lacking in the lowest octave — they are prey to every fault that befalls other pressings.
Which should not be too surprising. Records are records. Pressing variations exist for every album ever made. If you haven’t noticed that yet, start playing multiple copies of the same album, while listening carefully and critically.
If your stereo is any good at all, it should not take you long to notice how different one record sounds from another.
Just listen to the texture on the saxophone on Limehouse Blues — you can really hear the leading edge transients of the brass that are so important to the sound of those instruments. The strings sounds rich and full, and the drums are punchy. Track after track, the sound gets surprisingly more open and airy. The harpsichord has such great presence it jumps out of the speakers. Side Two had the best bass ever — extending all the way into WHOMP land.
I was selling audio equipment (Audio Research, Fulton speakers) back in the ’70s when this was a favorite demo disc. The bass drum at the end of track two would shake the foundation with a big speaker like the Fulton J. Every bit as amazing to me was the string quartet on side 2. You could actually hear the musicians breathing and turning the pages on their music stands, just as if you were actually in their “living presence”.
This is one of the albums that made me realize how good audio in the home could really be. In a way this was the Audiophile “Sgt. Pepper” of its day, a record that was so much better than anything else you’d ever heard it made you rethink the possibilities.