We knew this album could sound good, but back in the day we sure didn’t know it could sound like this. The best pressings of this album have amazing live-in-the-studio sound that conveys completely the raw power of one of the hardest rockin’ bands of all time.
Both musically and sonically I don’t think the group ever recorded a better album than this one.
Take the wonderful Bad ‘N’ Ruin (the opening track on side one) for example. It’s the sound of open mics in a big studio space — nothing more, nothing less. It’s totally free from any phony mastering or bad EQ, and on a Hot Stamper copy like this one, it’s absolute magic.
MARTIN BIRCH was the engineer for the first two tracks on side one. You may know him from his work with Fleetwood Mac (1969-1973) and Deep Purple (1969-1977), including the amazingly well-recorded albums Machine Head and Made In Japan.
It’s a rare record indeed that can rock with the best of them while keeping its audiophile credentials intact. Like we said about our Hot Stampers for Never A Dull Moment, we sure wish more Rolling Stones records sounded like this.
It’s not often that we list a Top Quality Hot Stamper for this album. It’s virtually impossible to find clean copies, let alone clean copies with The Real Sound. I can’t tell you how many bad pressings we’ve played in the last few years searching for the ones with the kind of Tubey Magic that we imagined was on the master tape. Many pressings are dull and lifeless, others are thick and turgid. Most are beat to death.
Which makes this a very special copy indeed. It surely belongs in our Top 100, but our Top 100 is pretty full up at the moment so it will just have to wait.
Other recordings that we have found to be especially Tubey Magical can be found here.
Transparency, the other side of the Tubey Magical coin, is also key to the better pressings of this album as well as many of our other favorite demo discs.
The entries linked here may help you gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding Hot Stampers.
And finally we’ll throw in this old warhorse discussing How to Become an Expert Listener, subtitled Hard Work and Challenges Can Really Pay Off.
Because in audio, much like the rest of life, hard work and challenges really do pay off.
Bad ‘N’ Ruin
Sweet Lady Mary
Maybe I’m Amazed [Live]
Had Me a Real Good Time
On the Beach
I Feel So Good [Live]
On their second album Long Player, the Faces truly gel… [I]f the album seems pieced together from a few different sources, the band itself all seems to be coming from the same place, turning into a ferocious rock & roll band who, on their best day, could wrestle the title of greatest rock & roll band away from the Stones.
The key is that Stewart, Lane and Ron Wood are all coming from the same place, all celebrating a rock & roll that’s ordinary in subject but not in sound.