Labels We Love – Transatlantic

The Pentangle / Pentangling

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  • Boasting INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first, this vintage UK import pressing had close to the BEST sound we have heard for Pentangle’s shockingly well-recorded music
  • The unprocessed quality found throughout the album has its audiophile credentials fully in order, especially in the area of guitar harmonics, as well as drums that sound like real drums actually sound
  • The true foundation of the music is provided by two legendary guitar heavyweights, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, with Jacqui McShee’s almost unbearably sweet vocals soaring above them
  • The best material from Pentangle’s amazing first six albums, with sound that’s full of British Analog Tubey Magic that no modern record can begin to reproduce
  • Not many compilation albums offer top quality wound, but this one does, and these are some others
  • If you’re a Pentangle fan, this compilation has to be considered a Must Own from 1973.
  • The complete list of titles from 1973 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

This album presents the classic 1969 lineup at its best, with superior sonics to boot.

When I was selling audio equipment back in the ’70s this was one of our Demo Discs. The song Pentangling has beautifully recorded drums and string bass. The first track, “I’ve Got A Feeling,” is lovely as well.

Notice how there is nothing — not one instrument or voice — that has a trace of hi-if-ishness. No grain, no sizzle, no zippy top, no bloated bottom, nothing that reminds you of the phony sound you hear on audiophile records at every turn. Silky sweet and Tubey Magical, this is the sound we love here at Better Records. (more…)

The Pentangle – It Doesn’t Get Much More Real on Vinyl Than This

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This is an honest-to-goodness Demo Disc. When for a (thankfully) brief time back in the ’70s I was selling audio equipment, the song “Pentangling” was a favorite demo cut to play in the store. The sound of the string bass and snare drum are amazingly natural; I don’t know of any other pop album from the era that presents the vibrant timbre of those two instruments better.

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Charles Mingus – Blues & Roots

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  • This outstanding copy of Blues & Roots boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Superb space and immediacy, rich and smooth and oh-so-Tubey-Magical – this is exactly the right sound for this bluesy collection
  • A barrage of “churchy, blues, singing, earthy” music that returns Mingus to his soulful roots
  • 5 stars: “Blues and Roots, isn’t quite as wildly eclectic as usual, but it ranks as arguably Mingus’ most joyously swinging outing… perhaps the most soulful in Mingus’ discography.”

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John Renbourn – The Hermit

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  • Renbourn’s 1976 solo album makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • These British sides have the vintage analog sound we love – rich and natural, with plenty of Tubey Magic and studio space
  • Renbourn’s brilliant guitar stylings illustrate this collection of originals, classics, and variations with consummate skill and artistry
  • “John Renbourn’s first post-Pentangle (or nearly post-Pentangle) solo album… is one of his most beautiful recordings, and also among his most spare guitar instrumentals The mood of much – though not all – of Hermit is one of serious introspection, as Renbourn stays generally within a classical guitar mode.”

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Pentangle / Basket Of Light – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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This is only the second Transatlantic British pressing of Pentangle’s third album to hit the site, and it’s an exceptionally good one, with Super Hot Stamper sound or something close to it on both sides. It’s also the quietest copy we have ever offered, with impossibly-rare mostly Mint Minus surfaces.

The British Tubey Magic you would expect is here, of course, along with what sounds like Gregorian chant and what is definitely a sitar. Now I ask you, how can you go wrong with a mix of English Folk Rock, Gregorian chant and sitar?

The true foundation of the music is provided by two legendary guitar heavyweights, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. With Jacqui McShee’s almost unbearably sweet vocals soaring above them, this album presents the classic 1969 lineup at its best, with superior

Sweet Child, the followup, does not seem to be as well-recorded for some reason. The first album is positively amazing but we have not seen a clean British copy in years and don’t expect to any time soon. (more…)

John Renbourn – So Clear (John Renbourn Sampler, Vol. 2)

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  • An amazing sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and Double Plus (A++) on the second 
  • This wonderful Transatlantic pressing is incredibly clean, clear and open with plenty of energy and space around all of the instruments, just the right sound for this superb guitarist’s music
  • This copy is about as quiet as we can find them – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • A stellar collection showcasing one of the finest fingerstyle players in the world

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