More of the Music of Boz Scaggs
What to Listen For – Transparency Vs Opacity
This original (SD-8239) pressing has two excellent sides, which is two more than the typical cardboardy, flat, thin, lifeless copy has. If you like your music dry and clean, try the remixed version (SD-19166), the CD, or perhaps there is a heavy vinyl version out there (at one tenth the price). That’s not our sound here at Better Records.
The best recordings from the era do not have that sound, so when we find that kind of analog richness, sweetness and naturalness on a pressing such as this, we know the record is RIGHT.
What to Listen For — Background Singers You Can “See”
If you have multiple copies of the album and want to shoot them out, here’s an easy test. Listen for how clear and correct the female background singers sound. This is an excellent test because it will hold true for both sides on the album.
On opaque copies they are hard to “see,” on transparent copies they are easy to “see.”
On tonally thin copies they will sound edgier and harder than they should.
And on Tubey Magical copies they will sound full-bodied, solid and real.
Keep in Mind
It’s nice when the copy in hand has all the transparency, space, layered depth and three-dimensionality that makes listening to records such a fundamentally different experience than listening to digitally-sourced material, but it’s not nearly as important as having that rich, relaxed tonal balance.
A little smear and a subtle lack of resolution is not the end of the world on most of the records we sell, including this one.
Brightness and leanness, along with grain and grit on the vocals, can be.
The Bottom Line
Transparency (and all the other stuff we talk about) can and do make a big difference in your enjoyment of music like this.
If the average record sounded even close to right nobody would need us to find good sounding copies for them, they’d be in every record bin in town and we would have to find some other kinds of records to sell.
The records may be in every bin in town — that’s where we found the copies that went into this shootout — but the sound sure isn’t.