Got Old Records? Played ‘Em Lately? What Did You Think of the Sound?

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It’s not that most copies of 5th sound bad; it’s that most of them just sound like old records — thick, dull, opaque, smeary, closed-in, two-dimensional, lifeless and boring.

You know that sound. It’s on a lot of the records we play, and no doubt on a lot of the records you own, especially the records you haven’t cleaned and played in a while (it’s there; you just aren’t aware of it).

Pull out your old copy of 5th. Back in the day it sounded just fine, but if you’ve been listening to mostly better records lately (assuming you haven’t fallen into the Heavy Vinyl trap), doubtlessly on much improved equipment than you had 40 years ago, your old A&M copy probably doesn’t sound as good as you remember it.

The records may not have changed, but your stereo and your standards should have.

Couple that with improved listening skills and before long the average old record starts to sound a lot more average than you wish it did. Even today’s better pot can’t fix the problems of most vintage pressings (or the Heavy Vinyl and CD reissues which are two of the biggest jokes ever played on the audiophile public).

But we can fix the problems — well, not really: we’re just finding the copies that managed to be mastered and pressed without the problems — and our Hot Stampers are 100% legal to boot!

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Keep the Circle Turning
You Are What You Do
Willie & the Hand Jive
Didn’t Have to Happen
Rock Me Baby

Side Two

Do You Know What I Mean
Ya Ya
Can I Get a Witness
Oak Fire
I Don’t Want Her

AMG  Review

Following the success of his third album, Lee Michaels continued the path of a solo artist — solo meaning that most of the sounds on the record were primarily recorded by Lee alone. Organ (Hammond and pipe), piano, harpsichord, and organ bass create a heavy, dense foundation.

Michaels had a unique sound, and along with his larynx-shredding vocals, the results are staggering. Aided by Joel Larson on drums, Michaels does a lot of covers on this record — including “Willie and the Hand Jive,” “Ya Ya,” and “Can I Get a Witness.” Michaels renders them all in an infectious, gospel style.

There are only a few originals on the album, and one, “Do You Know What I Mean” (which really sounded like a cover), was a monstrous hit and cemented Lee Michaels as one of the best white blues performers of the period, along with Joe Cocker and Steve Winwood.

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