- KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound from the first note to the last – it doesn’t get any better than this folks!
- The sound is incredibly present and punchy with great clarity, excellent bass, freedom from grain and real swamp rockin’ energy
- So many great songs: Run Through the Jungle, Lookin’ Out My Back Door, Who’ll Stop the Rain, etc.
- A 5 star album and arguably the best record the band ever made: “…an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams…”
We’ve made some strides of late (in 2015 as a matter of fact) finding the “right’ pressings for this band on some of their albums, especially this one, and with improved cleaning technologies we’re finding that the better copies such as this one are sounding the way we want our Creedence records to sound.
Note that the Hoffman reissues and the MoFi pressing sound nothing like the Creedence records we all grew up with, and records that sound that small, lifeless, boring or wrong just can’t be what audiophiles want, can they?
What the best sides of this album — the first of two releases the band put out in 1970 — 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 studio space
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.
Those of you who have been watching the site for a while have probably noticed that we hardly ever list Hot Stamper copies of Creedence records. That’s because it is DARN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE to find copies that sound any good, a fact that many of you have probably stumbled upon on your own.
The typical copy of this album is grainy, murky, and veiled — and that’s just for starters. It took us a HUGE stack of copies to find ANY that had bottom end weight, midrange presence, freedom from grain (mostly) and real energy.
What We’re Listening For on Cosmo’s Factory
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- 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 so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also 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 instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Before You Accuse Me
Lookin’ Out My Back Door
Run Through The Jungle
Up Around The Bend
My Baby Left Me
Who’ll Stop The Rain
I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Long As I Can See The Light
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
… the heart of the album lays in those six fantastic songs released on singles. “Up Around the Bend” is a searing rocker, one of their best, balanced by the menacing murkiness of “Run Through the Jungle.” “Who’ll Stop the Rain’s poignant melody and melancholy undertow has a counterpart in Fogerty’s dope song, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” a charming, bright shuffle, filled with dancing animals and domestic bliss – he had never been as sweet and silly as he is here.
On “Long as I Can See the Light,” the record’s final song, he again finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove. It hits a comforting, elegiac note, the perfect way to draw Cosmo’s Factory — an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams — to a close.
Shooting Out Creedence
The story of our recent shootouts is what real Progress in Audio is all about.
Many copies were gritty, some were congested in the louder sections, some never got big, some were thin and lacking the lovely analog richness of the best — we heard plenty of copies whose faults were obvious when played against excellent sides such as these.
The best copies no longer to seem to have the problems we used to hear all the time.
Of course the reason I hadn’t heard the congestion and grittiness in the recording is that two things changed. One, we found better copies of the record to play — probably, can’t say for sure, but let’s assume we did, and, Two, we’ve made lots of improvements to the stereo since the last time we did the shootout.
You have to get around to doing regular shootouts for any given record in order to find out how far you’ve come, or if you’ve come any distance at all. Fortunately for us the improvements, regardless of what they might be or when they might have occurred, were incontrovertible. The album was now playing at a much, much higher level.
It’s yet more evidence supporting the possibility, indeed the importance, of taking full advantage of the Revolutions in Audio of the last ten or twenty years.
Who’s to Blame?
It’s natural to blame sonic shortcomings on the recording; everyone does it, including us.
But in this case We Was Wrong. The congestion and distortion we’d gotten used to are no longer a problem on the best copies. We’ve worked diligently on every aspect of record cleaning and reproduction, and now there’s no doubt that we can get these vintage Creedence records to play at a much higher level than we could before.
This is why we keep experimenting, keep tweaking and keep searching for the best sounding pressings, and why we encourage you to do the same.
If you own any of the new heavy vinyl pressings of CCR’s albums mastered by SH and KG, hearing this Hot Stamper pressing will surely be a revelation.
We were never big fans of the recuts from the early 2000s, but back in the day we thought they were tolerable. We have much better reproduction (equipment, room, tweaks, electrical quality) these days than we did then, and now we can’t stand them. They bore us to tears.
Head to head in a shootout, our Hot Stampers will be dramatically more transparent, open, clear and just plain REAL sounding, because these are all the areas in which heavy vinyl pressings so consistently fail to deliver. Those looking for a list of specific shortcomings can easily find reviews and commentaries for hundreds of Heavy Vinyl titles on the site.
Here’s a good one to sink your teeth into: DCC + RTI = Audio Enervation.