Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze

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  • This superb pressing of Summer Breeze (the first to hit the site in years!) boasts Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from top to bottom – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • With tons of Tubey Magical richness in the midrange – the kind they were still recording in 1972 – this is a wonderful sounding album of folk pop
  • It has taken us years to find the right stampers for this album, and now here they are on the Green Label original in all their glory
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context — most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings… the most highly regarded of all of Seals & Crofts’ albums.”

*NOTE: On side two, the outro to track 5, Yellow Dirt, is moderately crackly.

These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that’s often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers (“relative” being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don’t agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.

In our recent shootout, all our best copies had the same numbers and letters in the dead wax, which doesn’t happen all that often but does from time to time, contrary to popular opinion — and even the informed opinion of the folks who work here, who listen to records and who look at stamper numbers all day.

This vintage Warner Bros. pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of Summer Breeze have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1972
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What to Listen For on Summer Breeze

Here are some of the things we specifically listen for in a vintage Folk Rock record.

Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than the other copies we played in our shootout.

The best copies have:

  • Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
  • Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
  • Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
  • Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
  • Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
  • And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Hummingbird 
Funny Little Man 
Say 
Summer Breeze 
East Of Ginger Trees

Side Two

Fiddle In The Sky 
The Boy Down The Road 
The Euphrates 
Advance Guards 
Yellow Dirt

AMG Review

Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context — most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings (except, of course, CSN or Simon & Garfunkel, who could pretty much get away with anything).

The title track is one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems, in the same mode as the Doobie Brothers’ “Listen to the Music” and appropriately ubiquitous on the radio and in the memory; the guitar (electric and acoustic) and vocal hooks are all well-nigh irresistible…

Summer Breeze was the most highly regarded of all of Seals & Crofts’ albums…”