One of the best — if not THE best — rock concert albums we have ever heard. Can you imagine if Frampton Comes Alive sounded like this? If you want to hear some smokin’ Peter Frampton guitar work from the days when he was with the band, this album captures that sound better than any of their studio releases, and far better than FCA on even the best copies.
Grungy guitars that jump out of the speakers, prodigious amounts of punchy deep bass, dynamic vocals and drum work — the best pressings of Rockin’ The Fillmore have more firepower than any live recording we’ve ever heard.
We didn’t, of course, until not that many years ago (2014 maybe?). But we are in the business of finding these things out. We get paid by our customers to find them the best sounding pressings in the world. It’s our job and we take it very seriously.
Did any audiophile reviewers ever play the album and report on its amazing sound? Not that we are aware of. Do they have the kind of playback systems — the big rooms, the big speakers, the freedom from compression and artificiality — that are required to get the most from a recording such as this one?
Doubtful. Unlikely in the extreme even. They don’t know how good a record like this can sound because they aren’t able to play it the way it needs to be played.
And when was the last time you read a review of a record that hadn’t just been reissued on Heavy Vinyl? There was a time when audiophile reviewers wrote about exceptional good sounding vintage pressings they had come across. Harry Pearson comes immediately to mind, but there were many others following his lead. Now they it seems none of them can be bothered. More’s the pity.
Eddie Kramer, King of the Rockers
What Eddie Kramer did for Led Zeppelin II he’s done for Humble Pie on this album, and that’s saying a lot. If Zep II is the hardest rocking studio album in the history of the world, Rockin’ The Fillmore is its close companion, the hardest rockin’ live album in the history of the world.
This is VERY hard rock, recorded, mixed and mastered to be played good and loud. If you have the system for it this record can sound like you wheeled a stack of Marshall amps into your listening room and cranked them up to 10.
If you like the raw, distorted guitar sound that Free captures so well on their albums, you are going to love the Frampton’s guitar tone here. (I saw him in concert about twenty years ago and he played a set like this one — all hard rockin’, all of the time, and very, very loud. By all accounts he deeply loves that kind of music, even though for the most part he gave up recording it a long time ago.)
Let’s face it, this is a BIG SPEAKER record. It requires a pair of speakers that can move air with authority below 250 cycles and play at fairly loud levels. If you don’t own speakers that can do that, this record will never really sound the way it should.
It’s the kind of recording that caused me to pursue Big Stereo Systems driving Big Dynamic Speakers for as long as I can remember. You need a lot of piston area to bring the this recording to life, and to get the size of all the instruments to match their real life counterparts.
For that you need big speakers in big cabinets, the kind I’ve been listening to for more than forty years. (My last small speaker was given the boot around 1974 or so and I have never looked back.)