In which case you are in for an unending string of dull moments (see below).
We were thrilled when we dropped the needle on side one of this Hot Stamper pressing and heard sound that was AMAZINGLY airy, open, and spacious.
It’s got all the elements necessary to let this music REALLY ROCK — stunning presence; super punchy drums; deep, tight bass; and tons of life and energy. Rod’s voice sounds just right with lots of breath, texture, and ambience. The sound is clean, clear, smooth, and sweet — that’s our sound.
Side two here is nearly as good and dramatically better sounding than most. Listen to the percussion on Angel — you can really hear all the transients and the sound of the drum skins.
On the same track, the meaty guitar in the left channel sounds mind-blowingly good. The bass is deep and well-defined, and the sound of the drums is awesome in every way. Who has a better drum sound than Rod Stewart on his two best albums?
One of His Best
Along with Every Picture Tells A Story this is one of the two Must Own Rod Stewart albums. Practically every song here is a classic, with not a dog in the bunch. Rod Stewart did what few artists have ever managed to do: release his two best albums back to back.
And this, not to put too fine a point on it, is clearly the way to hear it.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
Most copies tend to be dull, veiled, thick and congested, but the trick with the better pressings is being able to separate out the various parts with ease and hear right INTO the music. It’s also surprisingly airy, open, and spacious — not quite what you’d expect from a bluesy British rock album like this, right? Not too many Faces records sound like this, we can tell you that.
But the engineers here managed to pull it off. One of them was Glyn Johns (mis-spelled in the credits Glynn Johns), who’s only responsible for the first track on side one, True Blue. Naturally that happens to be one of the best sounding tracks on the whole album.
Angel, the first track on side two, can have Demo Disc quality sound on the better copies such as this one.
[This commentary was written more than 10 years ago.]
We hadn’t played the DCC in a very long time, so we offered a special guarantee for the Hot Stamper pressing we had listed:
Better than the DCC? Some people think so; without both records side by side I can’t say which I would prefer, but this record sure sounds amazingly good to me. Zero distortion! Music in your room! Never a Dull Moment is a great title when you hear it like this.
This original copy has a wonderful sense of ambience; the music rolls out on a bed of air. One of the few rock records with a real room around it. My experience with 180 gram vinyl of late has been so disappointing that I find it very hard to believe this copy would not walk all over the DCC in a shootout. If recent history is any guide it should be no contest. Of course, as an open record, this LP is 100% returnable for any reason. If you own the DCC and like it better than our Hot Stamper here, we will go you one better and refund not only the cost of the record but your domestic shipping as well. This is how confident we are in our boy here. He rocks. I’ve never played a 180 gram record that rocks like this and I don’t expect to any time soon.
Then we played a DCC copy and it really sucked. It was pure muck. A complete disaster.
We gave it an F and put it on our Hall of Shame. In fact, it’s records like this — records that sound this bad — that made us want to have a Hall of Shame in the first place.