The Butterfield Blues Band – Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin’

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  • A KILLER sounding copy and first to ever hit the site — Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • “Decades later, the album still sounds like a fresh blend of Americana music, with a soundscape reminiscent of Phil Spector’s wall of sound… Butterfield shows up as a much stronger songwriter on this album too. He has credits in over half of the nine compositions, all of them well crafted.”

This vintage Elektra pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 amazing sides such as these 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 1971
  • 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 studio space

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 We Listen For on Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin’

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Play On
1000 Ways
Pretty Woman
Little Piece Of Dying
Song For Lee

Side Two

Trainman
Night Child
Drowned In My Own Tears
Blind Leading The Blind

Review

Producer Paul Rothschild and Butterfield have added a powerful group of soulful background singers in Clydie King, Merry Clayton, Venetta Fields, and Oma Drake. Their addition to the band separates the album’s music from all of the other horn bands which are springing up by the early seventies. The singers also allow for the addition of Gospel, Soul, and Funk influences into their music. Decades later, the album still sounds like a fresh blend of Americana music, with a soundscape reminiscent of Phil Spector’s wall of sound.