A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
A+++ sound on side one! It’s bigger, punchier and livelier with more texture to the instruments than any other copy we played. Finding great sound for this album is no mean feat. This one is definitely not a Demo Disc — no copy will truly be — but it’s a BIG step up from most of the copies we played. I don’t think you could find better sound for the first side no matter what you did!
One important note: it’s pretty clear that Ramblin’ Man and Jessica were not cut from the real master tapes. We’ve talked about this issue before; there are many instances where the master tapes were used to cut the singles and then dubs were used for those tracks on the albums. (It’s why the versions of the songs on The Best Of Traffic sound so much better than they do on the regular albums, for example.)
Those Harmonizing Guitars
One of the keys to the Allman’s sound is obviously the guitars and the way they blend with one another. The typical copies tend to be dry, congested, and grainy, which hurts the effect of two soaring, harmonizing leads. When you get a copy with smoother, more tubey magical, more open sound, you really understand what the band was going for. It’s a great sound, and no one ever did it better than these guys.
Most Copies Won’t Compete With This One!
After finding wonderful copies of Eat A Peach for the first time recently, we started picking up every copy of this album that we saw. Unfortunately, most of them left us bored. This ain’t the world’s greatest recording, so it takes an exceptional copy to make this music sound palatable to audiophiles. I wouldn’t call this one the greatest copy ever, but it’s certainly a huge step up over the copies we played it against.
Side one has loads of tubey magic without sacrificing bass definition or vocal clarity. So many copies we’ve played have a tendency to sound murky and fat down low, so we were pleased to hear tight, textured bass on this one. The sound is open and transparent with nice presence. The top end could use a bit more extension, but good luck finding another copy that does so many things right.
Side two is actually a bit better. The grainy, congested qualities of the average copy took all of the fun out of the great jam Jessica for us, but this copy gave us just what we wanted from the song: rich and sweet guitars with good energy. The vocals are richer and fuller than we heard elsewhere and the piano sounds just right. The bass is actually a bit tighter on side one, but so many other things are working on this side two that we rated it between A+ and A++.
Remember: Hot Stampers can’t work miracles. You won’t be using this (or any copy of this album) to demo your stereo, but if you’re a fan of this fun music and you want to hear it sound RIGHT, look no further.
Come and Go Blues
Brothers and Sisters, the Allman Brothers Band’s first new studio album in two years, shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica,” helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales. This was the first album to feature the group’s new lineup, with Chuck Leavell on keyboards and Lamar Williams on bass, as well as Dickey Betts’ emergence as a singer alongside Gregg Allman… The interplay between Leavell and Betts is beautiful on some songs, and Betts’ slide on “Pony Boy” is a dazzling showcase that surprised everybody.