- An outstanding copy of Joan Jett’s iconic 1981 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
- The overall sound here is Tubey Magical, lively and clear, with three-dimensionality that will fill your listening room from wall to wall
- 4 stars: “That dynamic, hard rock crunch is what made the title track into an international hit, but it also gives the album dimension — not only can Jett & the Blackhearts tear up heavy glam rockers, but they also pull off the mock psychedelia of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” with aplomb.”
This vintage Boardwalk Entertainment 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 I Love Rock n’ Roll 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 even as late as 1981
- 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.
Classic Rock is the heart and soul of our business. Finding quiet, good sounding pressings of Classic Rock albums is what we devote the bulk of our resources (time and money) to, and if we can be indulged a self-compliment, it’s what we do best.
No one is even bothering to attempt the kind of shootouts we immerse ourselves in every day. And who can blame them? It’s hard to assemble all the resources it takes to pull it off. There are a huge number of steps a record must go through before it finds itself for sale on our site, which means there are about twenty records in the backroom for every one that can be found on the site.
If the goal is to move product this is a very bad way to go about it. Then again, we don’t care about moving product for the sake of moving product. Our focus must be on finding, cleaning and critically evaluating the best sounding pressings, of the best music, we can get our hands on.
What We’re Listening For on I Love Rock n’ Roll
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 for the guitars and drums, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
I Love Rock N’ Roll
(I’m Gonna) Run Away
Love Is Pain
Crimson And Clover
Victim Of Circumstance
Bits And Pieces
You’re Too Possessive
Little Drummer Boy
AMG 4 Star Review
I Love Rock-n-Roll, Joan Jett’s first record with the Blackhearts, was a tougher, louder album than Bad Reputation, primarily because her new backing band gave her a more coherent sound. That dynamic, hard rock crunch is what made the title track into an international hit, but it also gives the album dimension — not only can Jett & the Blackhearts tear up heavy glam rockers, but they also pull off the mock psychedelia of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” with aplomb. On the whole, I Love Rock-n-Roll doesn’t have as many strong songs as its predecessor, but the band’s muscular, gritty sound makes the album just as good as Bad Reputation.