Glen Campbell – By The Time I Get To Phoenix

More Glen Campbell

  • Glen Campbell’s superb 1967 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • This stereo pressing is relaxed, full-bodied and high-rez, not to mention uncannily present – it’s an outstanding pressing of a surprisingly good recording
  • Most of Glen’s records from mid-’60s make him sound like he’s singing through an AM radio, so when we finally heard some good stampers on this title, we could hardly believe it
  • 4 stars: “Glen Campbell’s commercial breakthrough came by way of the title track, which was the direct precursor in production terms to “Wichita Lineman,” and by the same writer.”

This vintage Capitol 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 By the Time I Get to Phoenix have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
  • 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 1967
  • 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

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’re Listening For on By the Time I Get to Phoenix

  • 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, 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.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Homeward Bound
Tomorrow Never Comes
Cold December (In Your Heart)
My Baby’s Gone
Back In The Race

Side Two

Hey Little One
Bad Seed
I’ll Be Lucky Someday
You’re Young And You’ll Forget
Love Is A Lonesome River

AMG 4 Star Review

Glen Campbell’s commercial breakthrough came by way of the title track, which was the direct precursor in production terms to “Wichita Lineman,” and by the same writer. The cover of Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound” is sincere if a little perfunctory, but Campbell’s rendition of Ernest Tubb’s “Tomorrow Never Comes” is a bravura performance, rich and soulful, as well as recalling Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as done by Gerry & the Pacemakers. “Cold December in Your Heart” harks back to Campbell’s country-folk material, a piece of midtempo country-pop.