- A stunning pressing, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from the first note to the last – this copy was rockin’ like no other
- Credit Bill Szymczyk for the punchy, huge and energetic sound he produced and engineered
- 4 stars: “The band sounds tighter, meaner, and funkier than on their first two releases… the first Geils album to stake a claim on the major leagues of rock & roll.”
While red vinyl pressings, like this one, sounded great, they are never quiet.
Big bass and lots of energy are essential to this music. In the loudest vocal parts almost all copies — when playing at the good loud levels we prefer — can get a bit harsh. It’s clearly not a problem that Szymczyk is too worried about. One of These Nights and practically any Joe Walsh album have some of it, and of course the badly mastered and badly pressed copies tend to have much too much.
This vintage Atlantic 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 Bloodshot 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 1973
- 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’re Listening For on Bloodshot
- 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 — Bill Szymczyk in this case — 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.
(Ain’t Nothin’ But a) House Party
Make Up Your Mind
Back to Get Ya
Struttin’ With My Baby
Don’t Try to Hide It
Hold Your Loving
Start All Over Again
Give It to Me
AMG 4 Star Review
Bloodshot is the J. Geils Band’s third studio album and their first Top Ten (and last until 1982’s smash Freeze Frame). The band sounds tighter, meaner, and funkier than on their first two releases, frontman Peter Wolf is looser and wilder than ever, and J. Geils positively rips things up on guitar. This newfound power could be down to the band blanketing the country and honing their craft in sweaty bars and concert halls. The positive response to their raw and alive live album Full House may have helped too.
Whatever the cause, Bloodshot fairly jumps through the speakers on flat-out rockers like their cover of obscure soul stomper “(Ain’t Nothin But A) Houseparty,” the lean and nasty “Back to Get Ya” (which features a classic Wolf aside, “Scramble my eggs, honey!”), and concert fave “Southside Shuffle.” The band also shows their range with hokey but fun blues shuffle “Struttin’ with My Baby,” bopping jump blues (“Hold Your Loving”), and very convincing heartbroken balladry (“Start All Over Again”). The band also delivers their first self-penned classic, the reggae-influenced “Give It to Me,” which starts off as a tight and tough reggae-influenced pop song and spreads out into a funky jam that equals anything similar the Stones ever attempted. Along with it being a hit, Bloodshot is the first Geils album to stake a claim on the major leagues of rock & roll.