Notes from a Hot Stamper from a while back.
There’s a TON of low-end on this record. Regrettably, most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can’t tell you how much you’re missing when the bass isn’t right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.)
It’s without a doubt THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of the sound on this album. When the bass is right, everything falls into place, and the music comes powerfully to life. When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn’t swing the way it’s supposed to.
On the best pressings, you get the full-on bottom end WHOMP you paid for, with no loss in control. You can clearly follow Bruce Thomas’s bass lines throughout the songs, a real treat for any music lover. (He and Elvis don’t get along, hence the end of the Attractions as his backing band. I guess we should be thankful for the nine albums on which they were together; many of them are Desert Island Discs for me.)
Not only that, but the drums have real body and resonance, a far cry from the wimpy cardboard drum sound you’ll hear on the typical copy.
- More Records that Are Good for Testing Bass and Whomp
- More Records that Are Good for Testing Bass Definition
Hey, these are The Attractions: the pro’s pros. You can’t ask for better, and as expected they deliver big time on this album. But the mastering and pressing problems of most British copies typically make them sound half-hearted and uninspired, which is certainly nothing like what they sound like on the master tape. On the master tape, they play GREAT. You need a very special copy of the LP to hear them play that way, and that’s all there is to it. The better the pressing, the better the band.
A Must Own Title
This, along with My Aim Is True and Armed Forces, is as good as it gets for Elvis on LP. All three are absolute Must Owns that belong in any serious rock collection. This is that rare breed of music that never sounds dated (especially considering the era in which it was produced). Music with real depth such as this only gets better with the passage of time. The more you play it, the more you appreciate it, and love it.
It should be noted that this is not an easy record to reproduce properly. Everything needs to be working at its best to bring this recording to life, especially in the range of 200 cycles and under, an area where most audiophile systems are at their weakest. If you’ve got power to spare down there, this one will blow your mind.
On this copy, you get the full-on bottom end WHOMP you paid for, with no loss in control. You can clearly follow Bruce Thomas’s bass lines throughout the songs, a real treat for any music lover. (He and Elvis don’t get along, hence the end of the Attractions as his backing band. I guess we should be thankful for the nine albums on which they were together; many of them are Desert Island Discs for me.) Not only that, but the drums have real body and resonance, a far cry from the wimpy cardboard drum sound you’ll hear on the typical copy.
The overall clarity and transparency here are superb, allowing you to appreciate subtleties in the top end even when the bass and drums are really POUNDING. Play Whisper to a Scream for some of the best pounding on the album. If that song doesn’t get your blood pumping, you need a bypass to unblock a few arteries, stat.
Two Great Sides
Side One is super clean and very transparent. The top end has more extension than most and it’s open and sweet. Right out of the gate, Clubland is lively and full of energy. Elvis’ vocals have all the presence and clarity you could hope for. Since the drums are such a driving force for the Attractions, you have got to have room and spaciousness around them. This copy showcases the percussion with weight down low and harmonics on the cymbals.
The depth to the soundfield on Side Two is amazing. Your typical copy has little to no ambience at all — the sound is usually flat and not very enjoyable. The bass is PUNCHY AND BIG with texture and detail. Only our very top copies were more hi-res. This Hot Stamper side two is very musical and alive.
Elvis: Still The King
By the way, we played a domestic copy of this album, just for fun you might say, and sure enough, it was a real mess. Boosted highs, poor bass definition and copious amounts of grit and grain — ’70s Columbia at their best, what else is new?
The first album and Spike are the only Elvis records I know of that sound good on domestic vinyl. [Spike not so much anymore.] Forget the rest.
If you love Elvis Costello as much as we do around here, we suggest you do yourself a favor and trash your domestic LPs — you need a British copy to even get in the ballpark, and that’s far from a guarantee of good sound. Elvis is “Still the King,” but you would never know it without the right pressing — like this one.
AMG 5 STAR RAVE REVIEW
Following the frenzied pop-soul of Get Happy!!, Elvis Costello & the Attractions quickly returned to the studio and recorded Trust, their most ambitious and eclectic album to date… Costello & the Attractions demonstrate their musical skill and savvy by essentially sticking to the direct sound of their four-piece band. In the process, they recorded, arguably, their most impressive album, one that demonstrates all sides of Costello’s songwriting and performing personality without succumbing to pretentiousness.