A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This Columbia 360 Label White Hot Stamper pressing is THE CURE for Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues.
This side one takes the album to places only hinted at on the other copies we played. Drop the needle on the song Try and just listen to how crisp, punchy, and BIG the drums sound. When Janis starts singing, watch out — her voice positively JUMPS out of the speakers, something we didn’t experience on many other copies. The bottom end has real weight and the top end is silky and extended. The overall sound is richer, fuller, and smoother than any side one we’ve ever played.
Side two is very good as well, but like just about everything else we played, it can’t quite keep up with side one. It has UNBELIEVABLE ENERGY, the key element missing from the average copies. The electric guitars are super tubey magical and the bass is GREAT. On many copies, the vocals are pinched and edgy, but not here! They’re breathy and full instead — a much better way for Janis to sound. There’s a bit of grit to the vocals at times and the brass as well, but the life force on this side is so strong that we we preferred it to the smoother copies we heard.
We were able to find some pretty quiet copies, but they pretty much all shared a few minor issues. The intro to Little Girl Blue on side two has some break-up that we heard on every last copy, and the end of that side almost always suffers from Inner Groove Distortion. This copy has pretty bad IGD for the last 1/2″ (about two minutes) of the last song. It’s frustrating, but we’ve knocked the price down a bunch to help you get past it.
You Can Find One Yourself (if you’ve got time and money to spare…)
Let me tell you, you’re going to have to clean and play a whole bunch of copies if you want to find one that sounds this good and plays this quietly. That’s gonna set you back quite a bit of dough, because clean 360 pressings are going to set you back quite a chunk of change. So you COULD find one on your own, or you could save yourself the trouble and take home (what we consider to be) a modestly priced Hot Stamper copy. Heck, it’s even hard for us to cover our costs on a shootout like this, but its worth the trouble, because we know the folks who take one of these home are going to have a lot of fun playing it.
Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
One Good Man
As Good as You’ve Been to This World
To Love Somebody
Little Girl Blue
Work Me, Lord
Fronting the short-lived Kozmic Blues Band, the arrangements are horn heavy and the material soulful and bluesy… “Try” is one of her best soul outings, and the reading of Rodgers & Hart’s “Little Girl Blue” is inspired.