- There’s real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals and in-your-listening-room midrange presence – don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along with “Song Sung Blue”
- “This album, and its follow-up live album Hot August Night, are generally acknowledged to be the two most important recording projects of Diamond’s career in terms of defining his signature sound for the future.”
- “There is nothing on this album that is not catchy, intelligent, playful, sentimental and incredibly likable.”
- If you’re a Neil Diamond fan, and who isn’t?, this 1972 superb sounding release belongs in your collection.
- A Shootout Winner – Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side, Double Plus (A++) on the first – this is the way to hear Neil Diamond!
- Armin Steiner engineered the album, and it’s Neil’s best recorded release (that we’ve critically auditioned in large numbers)
- Stones and I Am… I Said are killer on the A+++ side one, but both sides have outstanding sonics
- 4 Stars: “Stones is a stronger album than most of Neil Diamond’s late-’60s records. An engaging collection of mainstream pop.”
I can’t say for sure that this is the best sounding Neil Diamond album, we haven’t been through all of them yet, but it’s certainly the best sounding album of his that we’ve critically auditioned in large numbers. Good luck finding another copy of Stones out in the bins that deliver top quality sonics the likes of these — we went through a TON of copies and only a small number held our interest. (more…)
- Tap Root Manuscript makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
- Exceptionally big, full-bodied and musical, with superb presence for the most important element of the recording, Neil’s voice
- Cracklin’ Rosie is on this one, it’s Neil’s first Number One hit, with backup (and near-guaranteed success) by the Wrecking Crew
- 4 stars: “The follow-up to Touching You, Touching Me was an ambitious set of songs, all originals except for a Top 20 cover of “He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother . . . this album confirmed Diamond’s breakthrough as a recording star.”
An album well ahead of its time, or at least it is on side two. The children’s chorus predates The Wall, and the African rhythms predate Peter Gabriel’s and David Byrne’s fascination with World Music. And this from Neil Diamond!
The biggest problem we ran into with Tap Root was Uni’s vinyl. Those of you who have tried to find a quiet pressing of Elton John’s self-titled second album or Tumbleweed Connection on Uni know exactly what we mean when we say they are few and far between. Stitches were the biggest problem, which actually isn’t a vinyl problem as much as it is an defective acetate problem or non-fill. (more…)
- KILLER sound on ALL FOUR SIDES with each earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
- The superb presence and energy here have the power to bring the definitive Neil Diamond concert performance right into your very own listening room
- If you own the MoFi, this copy will show you how they screwed up the sound of Neil’s voice – nothing new there, right?
- 4 1/2 stars: “This is the ultimate Neil Diamond record. Not necessarily the best – he’s at his most appealing crafting in the studio – but certainly the ultimate, capturing all the kitsch and glitz of Neil Diamond, the showman.”
The sound here presents a textbook case of the basic elements we listen for, on Hot August Night as well as practically any other Classic Live Rock Album we might be playing. As we’ve said for years, none of this is rocket science. It all boils down to critical listening of lots of copies played on top-quality equipment, no more, no less. (more…)