John Denver – Rocky Mountain High

More John Denver

  • A stunning RCA pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides
  • Both of these sides are KILLER – clean, clear, full-bodied and spacious with plenty of extension on both ends
  • “Propelled by the title track, Rocky Mountain High became John Denver’s first Top Ten album [and] contained one of Denver’s finest ballads, “Goodbye Again,” as well as one of his better old songs, “For Baby (For Bobbie).”

This vintage RCA Victor 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 The Best Sides Of Rocky Mountain High 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 1972
  • 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 Rocky Mountain High

  • 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.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Rocky Mountain High
Mother Nature’s Son
Paradise
For Baby (For Bobbie)
Darcy Farrow
Prisoners

Side Two

Goodbye Again
Season Suite:
– Summer
– Fall
– Winter
– Late Winter, Early Spring (When Everybody Goes To Mexico)
– Spring

AMG  Review

Propelled by the title track, Rocky Mountain High became John Denver’s first Top Ten album. Though Denver still couldn’t figure out how to fill out an entire album without covering his betters (in this case, old favorites the Beatles and John Prine), he and his steady backup musicians, bassist Dick Kniss and guitarist Mike Taylor, were evolving into an exuberant folk-country sound that would prove enormously appealing over the next few years. The album contained one of Denver’s finest ballads, “Goodbye Again,” as well as one of his better old songs, “For Baby (For Bobbie).”

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