- Stunning sound throughout for this UK Charisma pressing with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second — exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
- Forget the dubby domestic LPs and whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – the UK pressings are the only way to fly on And Then There Were Three
- “And Then There Were Three, more than either of its immediate predecessors, feels like the beginning of the second phase of Genesis… [they] don’t quite want to abandon prog at this point, but the increasing emphasis on melody and tight song structures points the way toward the group’s ’80s work.” – All Music
This vintage UK Charisma 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 1978
- 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 And Then There Were Three
- 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.
Down And Out
Ballad Of Big
Deep In The Motherlode
Many Too Many
Scenes From A Night’s Dream
Say It’s Alright Joe
The Lady Lies
Follow You Follow Me
And Then There Were Three, more than either of its immediate predecessors, feels like the beginning of the second phase of Genesis — in large part because the lineup had indeed dwindled down to Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins, a situation alluded to in the title. But it wasn’t just a whittling of the lineup; the group’s aesthetic was also shifting, moving away from the fantastical, literary landscapes that marked both the early Genesis LPs and the two transitional post-Gabriel outings, as the bandmembers turned their lyrical references to contemporary concerns and slowly worked pop into the mix, as heard on the closing “Follow You Follow Me,” the band’s first genuine pop hit.
Its calm, insistent melody, layered with harmonies, is a perfect soft rock hook, although there’s a glassy, almost eerie quality to the production that is also heard throughout the rest of the record. These chilly surfaces are an indication that Genesis don’t quite want to abandon prog at this point, but the increasing emphasis on melody and tight song structures points the way toward the group’s ’80s work.