- The sweetness and transparency to the guitars and vocals on this wonderful pressing won us over
- “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” – one of our favorite Judy Collins songs – is achingly powerful here
- 4 stars: “Enthusiasts of Judy Collins rank this among their favorite recordings and it is likewise a perfect touchstone for the burgeoning listener as well.”
- If you’re a fan of Judy’s, this early pressing from 1968 surely belongs in your collection
- The complete list of titles from 1968 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
Finding the Best Sound
Most copies were a bit thinner than ideal, and even the best pressings we heard had a bit of that quality. Frequency extension high and low was also hard to come by.
If the sound is rich and full-bodied, yet clear and transparent, you probably have yourself one of the few that were mastered and pressed properly — and one of the few that survived the turntables of their day to be playable forty-plus years later on the revealing equipment you undoubtedly own.
If you don’t own such a copy, and with all due respect chances are you don’t, we have a lovely copy right here for you, only a click away.
This vintage Elektra 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 Who Knows Where The Time Goes 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 1968
- 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 Who Knows Where The Time Goes
- 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 — John Haeny 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.
Check out the great players on this album!
- Judy Collins – vocals, guitar, piano
- Buddy Emmons – pedal steel guitar
- James Burton – Dobro, electric guitar [“Master of the Telecaster”]
- Chris Ethridge – bass [check out the mans’ discography. He played on many of our all time favorite records.]
- Jim Gordon – drums, percussion
- Michael Melvoin – piano
- Van Dyke Parks – piano, electric piano
- Michael Sahl – organ, piano, harpsichord, keyboards
- Stephen Stills – guitar, bass [this guy too.]
Story of Isaac
Who Knows Where the Time Goes
First Boy I Loved
Bird on the Wire
AMG 4 Star Review
With a cast of instrumental all-stars, folk vocalist Judy Collins creates a mini-masterwork on Who Knows Where the Times Goes. Collins’ strength as a storyteller and interpreter are at their forte throughout the disc. Likewise, she wanders upon the precipice of less traditional folk and more toward rock (“Hello Hooray”) and even country/rock (“Poor Immigrant”) — the latter of which is a cover of a Bob Dylan composition.
Additionally, her inimitable choice of material — Collins’ sole contribution being the languid ballad “My Father” — serves the disc well. This is especially true of Ian Tyson’s (of Ian & Sylvia fame) “Someday Soon,” which in time became one of Collins’ signature tunes.
However, it is her interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire” and the biblically based “Story of Isaac” that are perhaps the most stunning. Both the laid-back pedal steel guitar work of Buddy Emmons on “Bird on a Wire” as well as the stark accompaniment of Michael Sahl’s intricate harpsichord melody on “Story of Isaac” create unique sonic imagery that mutually distinguishes as well as defines Collins’ reading from the comparatively staid originals.
However, it is “First Boy I Loved” — originally recorded by the Incredible String Band — that singularly defines the mood and timbre of Who Knows Where the Time Goes. The inherently ethereal composition is adorned by Stephen Stills’ tasty, yet restrained, fretwork that blends seamlessly with Collins’ own acoustic guitar. Together they support — without becoming overpowered by — the featured rhythm section of Jim Gordon (drums) and Chris Etheridge (bass).
Enthusiasts of Judy Collins rank this among their favorite recordings and it is likewise a perfect touchstone for the burgeoning listener as well.