- Buffalo Springfield’s sophomore release is back on the site with INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Tubey Magical Analog sound or close to it from from start to finish – unusually quiet vinyl for an ATCO original as well
- Consistently brilliant songwriting and production: “Mr. Soul,” “A Child’s Claim To Fame,” “Expecting To Fly,” “Bluebird,” “Hung Upside Down,” “Rock & Roll Woman,” “Broken Arrow” and more!
- A true Desert Island Disc – 5 stars: “…this record stands as their greatest triumph… its classic status cannot be denied.”
- If you’re a fan of The Buffalo Springfield, this early pressing from 1967 surely belong in your collection
- The complete list of titles from 1967 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
- We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” but with less of an accent on morbidity and more on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. This band’s second and third albums are both good examples of records many audiophiles may not know well but should.
Listen to the vocal harmonies — you can separate out all the parts much more clearly on these Hot Stamper pressings. You can really hear precisely who’s in there and what part they are playing in the vocal arrangement. I can’t remember ever hearing it sound so clear. The best copies really let you hear into the music.
These days it takes us years to find enough clean copies of an album like this with which to do a shootout – nice originals are thin on the ground and getting thinner by the day
This original ATCO 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 Buffalo Springfield Again 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 1967
- 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.
Midrange Magic? Check.
Extracting all the midrange magic from a legendary album and Desert Island Disc like this should be the goal of every right-thinking audiophile. Who cares what’s on the TAS Super Disc List? We want to play the music that we love, not because it sounds good, but because we love it. And if the only way to find good sounding clean copies of typically poorly-mastered, beat-to-death records like this is to go through a big pile of them, well then, that’s what we will have to do.
It takes us years to find enough good clean copies to shoot out. You folks who don’t live in big cities with lots of used record stores are really out of luck when it comes to albums like these. We must look at twenty for every one we buy.
What We’re Listening For On Buffalo Springfield Again
- 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.
A Must Own Pop Record
We consider this Buffalo Springfield album their Masterpiece.
It’s a recording that should be part of any serious Popular Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
A Child’s Claim To Fame
The slight harmonic distortion on the vocal harmonies is on the tape, folks. (Play the CD to hear it clearly.) The recording, like so many from the ’60s, may not be perfect, but it’s so full of midrange magic, ambience and sweetness that the musical values are communicated effortlessly and completely — if you have a top copy.
Expecting To Fly
Some slight to moderate inner groove distortion is quite common for the very end of this side. Since the music is fairly quiet whatever distortion there is is usually not too bothersome.
Hung Upside Down
Noisy edges are the rule, not the exception, for this side.
This quiet track is almost always the noisiest for the side, rarely playing even Mint Minus Minus. It’s Atco vinyl, what are you going to do?
Good Time Boy
Rock & Roll Woman
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Due in part to personnel problems which saw Bruce Palmer and Neil Young in and out of the group, Buffalo Springfield’s second album did not have as unified an approach as their debut. Yet it doesn’t suffer for that in the least — indeed, the group continued to make major strides in both their songwriting and arranging, and this record stands as their greatest triumph.
Stephen Stills’ “Bluebird” and “Rock & Roll Woman” were masterful folk-rockers that should have been big hits (although they did manage to become small ones); his lesser-known contributions “Hung Upside Down” and the jazz-flavored “Everydays” were also first-rate.
Young contributed the Rolling Stones-derived “Mr. Soul,” as well as the brilliant “Expecting to Fly” and “Broken Arrow,” both of which employed lush psychedelic textures and brooding, surrealistic lyrics that stretched rock conventions to their breaking point.
Richie Furay (who had not written any of the songs on the debut) takes tentative songwriting steps with three compositions, although only “A Child’s Claim to Fame,” with its memorable dobro hooks by James Burton, meets the standards of the material by Stills and Young; the cut also anticipates the country-rock direction of Furay’s post-Springfield band, Poco.
Although a slightly uneven record that did not feature the entire band on several cuts, the high points were so high and plentiful that its classic status cannot be denied.