More of the Music of Blood, Sweat and Tears
What to Listen For – Side to Side Differences
This White Hot Stamper side one shows you just how good Roy Halee’s engineering used to be, comparable to his brilliant work on BS&T’s previous album, the one we extol to this day as (probably) the best sounding rock record ever made. (Dark Side of the Moon is its only competition in my mind. Both are staggering in every way.)
This side one has the BIG JAZZ-ROCK sound — stretching from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, with energy and power that only a handful of albums can begin to compete with.
The brass is rich, solid, and present, with correct timbre for every instrument from the bass trombone all the way up the scale to piccolo trumpet. This is exactly the sound we were looking for and couldn’t find — until we played this copy. No other side one could touch it.
A+++, and, in addition to what we’ve already noted, BIG down low, bigger than any other copy by far. The vocals are clear and present. The huge 30+ member chorus on the first track works on this copy; it doesn’t most of the time. It obviously presents a real challenge to any engineer, but Halee is up to it, judging solely by the sound on this very copy. Mastering and pressing issues end up making that chorus sound small, thin and opaque most of the time.
Lucretia MacEvil, a minor hit, has more compression than the rest of the side, to make it more radio-friendly of course, but here it holds up much better than on most copies.
A+, and a big step down from side one. The mids and highs are pretty good, which helps the percussion, but the whole enterprise lacks bass and size compared to the best we heard.
Lucretia Mac Evil
Fire and Rain
Symphony for the Devil / Sympathy for the Devil
i. Emergence (a. Fanfare)
ii. Devil’s Game (a. Labyrinth / b. Satan’s Dance / c. The Demand)
iii. Submergence (a. Contemplation / b. Return)
He’s a Runner
Somethin’ Comin’ On