Copland / Billy the Kid / Gould – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides, with side one so energetic and exciting it would easily qualify as a Demo Disc. This title is almost impossible to find in anything but beat up condition. Records like these got played over and over and few survived the ten grams of stylus pressure and mis-aligned cartridges of the day.  

The Big Sound

Side one is a bit recessed sounding at the beginning but it soon comes to life. The drums and snares are HUGE in this recording, way at the back of the hall where they belong. The sound just jumps out of the speakers — believe me, not many Living Stereo pressings from 1958 can do that. If you like your exciting music to have exciting sound, this pressing will do the trick!

A++ is our grade. The loudest massed string passages can be a bit much, but they are tolerable. Most pressings of this album that we’ve played in the past have been pretty much unlistenable.

Rodeo

So dynamic! — you better have your stereo working at the top of its game or this side is going to be hard to sit through. The close-miked xylophone will give your arm and cart a real workout. If you have precise control over your setup, this may be a good record to fine tune it with. VTA is of course ultra-critical on vintage classical albums such as this.

The quieter passages fare best, showing off the Living Stereo tubey magic to full advantage. Hoe-Down sounds like it may be slightly worn; either that or its got some compressor distortion problems. With Big Bold sound such as this the engineers had to walk a very fine line in order to balance the dynamic power of the music without letting the quietest passages disappear. (Nowadays loud orchestral music is either dynamic and shrill or compressed to death.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Billy the Kid Ballet Suite 
Billy the Kid Waltz

Side Two

Rodeo Suite