- Boasting two superb Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other Into the Music you’ve heard – fairly quiet vinyl too
- Wonderfully spacious and three-dimensional, as well as relaxed and full-bodied – a noticeable step up over many of the other copies we played
- 4 1/2 stars: “In a sense, this is the definitive post-classic-era Morrison, since it summarizes all of his attributes while showcasing each at a peak. Musically, this is a little harder and rootsier than its two predecessors, but only a little; this is still remarkably relaxed music, where the charm is in its ease of delivery and compositions.”
Not a lot of casual Van fans are familiar with this album, but after a big shootout we were left very impressed with the sound of the best pressings and the quality of the music throughout. Morrison’s catalog after the early ’70s leaves plenty to be desired, but this one is a real return to form.
If you need a new Van Morrison album in your life and you want it with excellent Hot Stamper sound, give this one a spin — we think you’ll be as impressed as we were. In fact, we guarantee it… or your money back.
This vintage Warner Brothers pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 Into The Music 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 1979
- 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 Into The Music
- 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.
Bright Side of the Road
Full Force Gale
Stepping Out Queen
You Make Feel So Free
And the Healing Has Begun
It’s All in the Game
You Know What They’re Writing About
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Into the Music may not seem like a great Van Morrison record, one of his very best, upon first listen, especially if you’re trying to compare it to such masterpieces as Astral Weeks and Moondance, or even Tupelo Honey. Yet this is certainly one of his best records, one that is quietly winning and thoroughly ingratiating, sounding stronger, even irresistible, with each new spin. In a sense, this is the definitive post-classic-era Morrison, since it summarizes all of his attributes while showcasing each at a peak. Musically, this is a little harder and rootsier than its two predecessors, but only a little; this is still remarkably relaxed music, where the charm is in its ease of delivery and compositions. The difference, there’s more grit in the performances, more substance in the songs, letting Van the craftsman shine through along with his spirituality and grace.
There may be no masterworks on the level of his early-’70s records, but these are deft, subtle songs that are full-bodied songs, unlike their counterparts on this album’s immediate predecessors or successors. There’s little question that this is not a knockout record, and some could even be excused if they find its charms elusive — but once you’ve entered Van’s sizable cult, few records sound as much like Morrison as this, a record that served as culmination of where he was coming from and served as blueprint for where he was going.