- This copy has Joni rockin’ like you will not believe, with stunning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides – just shy of our Shootout Winner
- Her last great record – fortunately for us audiophiles, it’s spacious, open and powerful with present vocals and solid bass
- “On her first new studio album of original material in five years, Joni Mitchell achieved more of a balance between her pop abilities and her jazz aspirations, meanwhile rediscovering a more direct, emotional lyric approach. The result was her best album since the mid-’70s.”
Wild Things Run Fast checks off a number of boxes for us here at Better Records:
- It’s a Personal Favorite
- It’s an Album We Think Should Be More Popular with Audiophiles
- It’s Part of the Core Collection of Well Recorded Rock & Pop Albums
Both sides are lively, dynamic, and tonally Right On The Money. The vocal clarity is excellent, allowing you to appreciate every last nuance of Joni’s performance. The bottom end is wonderful with punchy drums and lots of deep bass. The overall sound is smooth, sweet, rich, and full-bodied with a lovely, silky top end.
Wild Things Run Fast is a TAS list Super Disc with many good qualities, but you’d never know it from the typically lean, bass-shy pressing. Since this record can be a little cold sounding — it’s a modern recording after all — filling it out and warming it up a little is just what the doctor ordered.
I absolutely love the album. I think it’s one of Joni’s best, one of her many masterpieces if I may be so bold. One is only supposed to be allotted one masterpiece, but considering all the stylistic changes she’s been through, Joni has clearly earned the right to have as many as she likes. I count at least three so far and perhaps there will be more coming down the road, although I very much doubt it.
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 Wild Things Run Fast 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 Wild Things Run Fast
- 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 — Henry Lewy 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.
A Must Own Record
We consider Wild Things Run Fast a 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.
Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody
Wild Things Run Fast
Moon at the Window
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care
You Dream Flat Tires
Man to Man
Underneath the Streetlight
On her first new studio album of original material in five years and her debut for Geffen Records, Joni Mitchell achieved more of a balance between her pop abilities and her jazz aspirations, meanwhile rediscovering a more direct, emotional lyric approach. The result was her best album since the mid-’70s.