Spooky Tooth – The Last Puff

More Spooky Tooth

The Last Puff

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  • An outstanding Island Pink Label pressing of the band’s 1970 release, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The reason this is a Must Own Spooky Tooth album is their sludge-metal cover of I Am the Walrus, guaranteed to blow your mind – it sure blows ours
  • Includes “Something to Say,” co-written by Joe Cocker and later featured on his 1972 album
  • 4 1/2 stars: “It’s a good, solid effort that includes a burning cover of the Beatles’ ‘I Am the Walrus.'”

This vintage Island Pink Label pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of 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 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 The Last Puff 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 pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1970
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • 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 qualities we discuss 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.

What We’re Listening For on The Last Puff

  • 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 for the guitars and drums, 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 musicians 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.

Hot Stampers in this case give you a bigger soundfield, more richness and fullness, tighter bass, and more transparency.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

I Am The Walrus 
The Wrong Time 
Something To Say

Side Two

Nobody There At All 
Down River 
Son Of Your Father 
The Last Puff

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

It’s a good, solid effort that includes a burning cover of the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Unfortunately, Spooky Tooth didn’t stay together to reap the rewards of this new combination of musicians.