- Incredible sound throughout for this Atlantic pressing with each side earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
- Check out the title track and School Boy Crush for some funky fun with great sound
- We’ve always been big fans of their AWB album, but it was only recently that we discovered how good Cut The Cake can sound on the right pressing
- All Music Guide calls it “one of their finest, most engaging albums” and when it sounds this good, we sure aren’t going to argue!
- Check out the title track and School Boy Crush for some funky fun with great sound!
This vintage Atlantic Test 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 Cut The Cake 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 1975
- 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 Cut The Cake
- 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.
Cut The Cake
School Boy Crush
It’s A Mystery
Groovin’ The Night Away
If I Ever Lose This Heaven
High Flyin’ Woman
How Sweet Can You Get
When They Bring Down The Curtain
Despite the fact that AWB’s members still had (original drummer Robbie) McIntosh’s death on their minds when they were writing and recording Cut the Cake, this isn’t a depressing or consistently melancholy album; far from it. In fact, parts of the album are downright fun, especially up-tempo funk gems like “School Boy Crush,” “Groovin’ the Night Away” and the hit title song (which made it to number seven on Billboard’s R&B singles chart). Cut the Cake is also the album that gave us the ballad “Cloudy” (one of the more melancholy tracks) and AWB’s version of “If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” a smooth soul classic that was originally recorded by Quincy Jones in 1973.