A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This Minty looking original Island British Import LP has some of the best sound we have ever heard for this album. This copy KILLED a bunch of other Brit imports we played it against. It wasn’t even close. This pressing was so much more TRANSPARENT — you could hear into the crowd in a way that no other copy managed to let you do. When the band started playing the sound was much more clear and present than the other Brit copies we played.
Great live sound thanks to EDDIE OFFORD.
As we said previously, it “has that big, fat, rich, smooth sound that we love here at Better Records. It’s warm and full, not thick and sludgy. It’s on the opposite end of the transistory spectrum.” Just add transparent and dynamic to the warm and full above and you have the sound of this copy!
The domestic copies are a total joke as you might have guessed. You might think that you could just pick up any old Brit pressing to get Hot sound but you’d be wrong. We’ve played a bunch of Original Brit Island pressings over the years that looked just like this one but sure didn’t sound like this. Many of them are thick, dull, smeary, veiled, congested and/or just plain lifeless. This one, on the other hand, sound AMAZING on side one and JUST RIGHT on side two.
Listen to that GIGANTIC organ that plays the fanfare opening of the work. Honestly, I have not EVER heard a rock album with an organ sound that stretched from wall to wall and sounds like it’s seventy five feet tall. No, I take that back. The first ELP album has an organ that sounds about that big, but that’s a studio album.
How did they manage to get that kind of organ sound in a live setting without actually having to build one inside the concert hall?
The original live album was recorded at Newcastle City Hall in North East England. The opening track of the album was played on a Harrison & Harrison pipe organ which was installed in the City Hall in 1928. The organ console is some way above stage level, at the top of a stepped terrace used for choral performances. The drum roll connecting the opening track to the next served to cover Emerson’s dash back down to the stage.
If you love this band and or this music, you will be amazed at this copy. We sure were.
Il Vecchio Castello
Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells
Samuel Goldenburg und Schmuyle
The Market Place at Limoges
Catacombae, Sepulchrum Romanum
Con Mortuis in Lingua Mortua
The Hut on Fowl’s Legs
The Great Gate Of Kiev
… Pictures — which was budget-priced in its original LP release in England and America — with its bracing live ambience and blazing pyrotechnics, was the album that put the group over, and did it with exactly the same kids who turned Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Thick as a Brick and Yes’ Fragile into standard-issue accouterments of teenage suburban life. And, indeed, like the Tull and Yes albums, it worked on several levels that allowed widely divergent audiences to embrace it — with the added stimulus of certain controlled substances, it teased the brain with its mix of melody and heavy rock, and for anyone with some musical knowledge, serious or casual, it was a sufficiently bold use of Mussorgsky’s original to stimulate hours of delightful listening.