A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
White Hot Stamper sound on side two — yes, it is possible, and this very copy is Proof with a capitol P. Most copies of this album sound like cardboard, especially the later pressings on the palm tree and tan labels. To get the best sound you need originals of this album, and Warner Brothers green label originals are getting pretty darn hard to find as more and more collectors and audiophiles are coming to the realization that the unending stream of heavy vinyl reissues flooding the market leaves a lot to be desired. (Our desire for them is at zero as we no longer bother to order the stuff.)
Folks, this is no demo disc by any means, but the later pressings strip away the two qualities that really make this music work and bring it to life: Tubey Magic and Big Bass. This side two has both in SPADES.
Listen to how breathy and transparent the chorus is on the first track. Now layer that sound on top of a fat and punchy bottom end and you have the formula for Little Feat Magic at its funky best. This is the sound they heard in the control room, of that I have no doubt, and it is all over this side two. No side of any copy we played was better.
This is A Triple Plus As Good As It Gets Little Feat Sound, the best we have ever heard for any of the early albums.
That WB Sound
Side one earned a grade of A+ to A++. It lacked the top end that lets the sound open up in the choruses, a very common problem with early WB pressings which have a marked tendency to be dull. (We know; we’ve played them by the hundreds, from Deep Purple to the Doobie Brothers to America to Van Morrison and scores of others too numerous to mention. There are ten dull WB pressings for every one that’s bright. )
The bass is excellent and the piano really sounds right on Dixie Chicken, but when you flip the record over you will hear what it could have sounded like (and practically never does).
We’ve never bothered to order one. This is an album about rhythm. Half-Speed mastered records have bad bass and consequently lack rhythmic drive. Why would anyone want to half-speed master an album such as this? The obvious answer is not that it’s a good idea, but, if it’s the only idea you have, because you are in the half-speed mastering business, then half-speed master is precisely what you are going to do.
Good idea or bad idea, it’s the one idea you have. As the old saying goes, if all you have is a hammer everything looks olderlike a nail.warn (more…)