- This original A&M import pressing was doing practically everything right, earning INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them from start to finish
- The bottom end is big and punchy, the top is smooth and sweet, and the vocals are present and breathy
- On a transparent copy such as this, the drums really punch through the dense mixes clearly, giving the music more life and energy
- “…it’s a transitional album, bridging the gap between Crime of the Century and the forthcoming Breakfast in America… [it] has plenty of fine moments aside from ‘Give A Little Bit,’ including the music hall shuffle of ‘Loverboy,’ the Euro-artiness of ‘From Now On,’ and the ‘Fool on a Hill’ allusions on ‘Fool’s Overture.'”
- If you’re a Supertramp fan like me, this Art Rock classic from 1977 belongs in your collection
What To Listen For
The piano on “Give A Little Bit” can get buried in the dense mix. Side ones that are rich and tubey and smooth with a clear piano did very well in our shootout.
“Lover Boy” is a Demo Quality Track on the better copies. It can be huge, spacious and lively. Getting the strings to sound harmonically rich without sliding into shrillness may not be easy but some copies manage it. On the biggest, richest copies the breakdown at about 2:20 is a lot of fun.
On side two, the recording quality of the solo piano at the start of the second track is nothing short of breathtaking. No piano on any Supertramp album sounds as good.
This vintage A&M 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 Even In The Quietest Moments 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 1977
- 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 Even In The Quietest Moments
- 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 engineers worth their salt — Peter Henderson and Geoff Emerick in this case — would have 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.
Give a Little Bit
Even in the Quietest Moments
From Now On
The title of Even in the Quietest Moments… isn’t much of an exaggeration — this 1977 album finds Supertramp indulging in some of their quietest moments, spending almost the album in a subdued mood. Actually, the cover photo picture of a snow-covered piano sitting on a mountain gives a good indication of what the album sounds like: it’s elegant yet mildly absurd, witty but kind of obscure. It also feels more pop than it actually is, despite the opening single, “Give a Little Bit,” their poppiest song to date, as well as their biggest hit.