- Superb sound on both sides of this Asylum pressing from 1982 with each earning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, right up there with our Shootout Winner
- Engineering prowess provided by Val Garay and George Massenburg, which means the sound is full-bodied, dynamic and lively, with plenty of bottom end punch
- “Linda Ronstadt’s voice has never sounded better than it does on Get Closer… [her] ringing soprano vibrates with clarity and authority on the record’s best songs…” Rolling Stone, 4 Stars
- If you’re a fan of the lovely Linda Ronstadt, looking especially fetching on the cover in her red dress, a killer copy of her album from 1982 might just need a home in your collection
This vintage Asylum 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 Get Closer 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 even as late as 1982
- 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 Get Closer
- 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.
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
I Knew You When
Easy For You To Say
People Gonna Talk
Talk To Me Of Mendocino
I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine
Sometimes You Just Can’t Win
My Blue Tears
Asylum Records released Get Closer in late September 1982. Reviewers wrote about a newfound confidence in Ronstadt’s vocals. Ken Tucker of Rolling Stone magazine wrote in his November 11 review, “Linda Ronstadt’s voice has never sounded better than it does on Get Closer…its spirit is unassailable.” Noting her turn in Pirates, Tucker wrote that Ronstadt’s vocal development on Broadway “hasn’t made her self-conscious. Just the opposite, in fact: Linda Ronstadt is no longer a prisoner of technique.” Tucker did decry much of the album’s second side, saying that some of the oldies in the soul genre were performed too meticulously.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times also hailed Ronstadt’s vocal performance on the album, writing, “Miss Ronstadt’s singing is so strong and unaffected.” He called the title track “the album’s most adventurous performance” and noted that Ronstadt’s “shouting, growling exuberance” was “reminiscent of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect.'”
Commercially, the album peaked at number 31 on the Billboard album chart in late 1982 and was immediately certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 500,000 copies. It had surpassed American sales of 900,000 copies at the time of its deletion.
This album’s driving title track, “Get Closer” was written by Washington D.C.-based singer-songwriter Jon Carroll, an original member of the Starland Vocal Band. The song, notable for its unusual 7/4 time signature, was later chosen to promote Close-Up toothpaste (“Want love? Get Close-Up”).
Assisted by a popular MTV music video, “Get Closer” peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit the Top 20 in Cash Box magazine. It garnered considerable airplay on AOR (Album-Oriented Rock) stations while its follow-up single, “I Knew You When”, was also aided by a popular music video and peaked at number 37 Pop, number 25 Adult Contemporary, and number 84 Country.
Ronstadt’s seductive interpretation of Jimmy Webb’s “Easy For You To Say” was a surprise Top Ten hit on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart in the spring of 1983. “Sometimes You Just Can’t Win,” the B-side to the “Get Closer” single, peaked at number 27 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Ronstadt was nominated in early 1983 for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance Female and Best Rock Vocal Performance Female for the album and the song “Get Closer”, losing to Melissa Manchester and Pat Benatar respectively. The album did, however, win the Grammy for Best Album Package, an art director’s award. The trophy went to well known designers Ron Larson and Kosh.