- Incredible sound on both sides of this original ATCO pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish, just shy of our Shootout Winner – unusually quiet vinyl too
- We rarely have this title in stock, mostly because it is purely a matter of luck when we’ve managed to chance upon enough clean copies of the commonly-abused album to get a shootout going
- 4 stars on Allmusic: “… this debut sounds pretty great, featuring some of their most melodic and accomplished songwriting and harmonies, delivered with a hard-rocking punch… The entire album bursts with thrilling guitar and vocal interplay, with a bright exuberance that would tone down considerably by their second record.”
For whatever reason, all the mastering engineers who cut this first album rarely managed to put any real top or bottom on the record. Why I can’t imagine. Highs and lows are on the tape; the best pressings prove it.
Listen for Tubey Magic, richness, bottom end, presence and freedom from distortion. The more copies you have tried in the past, the more astonishing the sound of this copy will be to you.
What The Best Sides Of Buffalo Springfield 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 1966
- 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 Buffalo Springfield
- 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.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
For What It’s Worth
Go and Say Goodbye
Sit Down I Think I Love You
Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing
Hot Dusty Roads
Flying on the Ground Is Wrong
Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It
Out of My Mind
Pay the Price
The band themselves were displeased with this record, feeling that the production did not capture their on-stage energy and excitement. Yet to most ears, this debut sounds pretty great, featuring some of their most melodic and accomplished songwriting and harmonies, delivered with a hard-rocking punch. “For What It’s Worth” was the hit single, but there are several other equally stunning treasures.
The entire album bursts with thrilling guitar and vocal interplay, with a bright exuberance that would tone down considerably by their second record.
Rolling Stone Bio for Buffalo Springfield
During its brief and stormy lifetime, Buffalo Springfield broke ground for what became country rock. After the band’s dissolution, several members found success in Poco; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Loggins and Messina; and as solo artists.
Furay and Stills had played together, as had Canadians Young and Palmer, before the four hooked up in L.A. in 1966 to form Buffalo Springfield (named after a steamroller). Originally called the Herd, they added Martin on drums and vocals.
After a stint as the house band at the Whisky-a-Go-Go and touring with the Byrds, Springfield inked a deal with Atlantic and released its first album in 1967. Stills’ “For What It’s Worth” (#7, 1967) gave the group its biggest hit. By the time of its second album, Springfield was a major group coming apart at the seams. After Palmer was deported (following a drug bust) and producer Jim Messina was added on bass, and amid persistent squabbling between Stills and Young (who quit in May 1967, only to rejoin four months later), the group disbanded in May 1968.
When Last Time Around was released later that year, each of the members was on his own. Martin kept the band’s name alive with hired musicians and then had an abortive solo career. Stills and Young were successful in the 1970s with CSN&Y and solo work.
Short-term bassist Jim Fielder joined Blood, Sweat and Tears, while Messina and Furay formed Poco with pedal-steel guitarist Rusty Young, who had played on Springfield’s final album; Messina went on to the duo Loggins and Messina.
Later in the ’80s, Furay became a pastor for a Christian fellowship. In 1997 Buffalo Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Young did not attend the ceremony. The long-awaited Buffalo Springfield box set was finally released in 2001.
Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll