A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
TUBEY MAGICAL MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We just finished a huge shootout for this album with Gold Labels, Green Labels and even a few later labels, and this EXCEPTIONALLY QUIET Gold Label copy was the Champion… for BOTH SIDES!
Peter, Paul & Mary records live and die by the quality of their midrange reproduction. These are not big-budget, high-concept multi-track recordings. They’re simple, innocent folk songs featuring exquisite vocal harmonies, backed by straightforward guitar accompaniment. If the voices aren’t silky sweet and delicate, while at the same time full-bodied and present, let’s face it — you might as well be listening to something else. (As we say below, the average copy will have you looking for another record to put on.)
The Breath Of Life
Steve Hoffman’s famous phrase is key here: we want to hear The Breath Of Life. If P, P & M don’t sound like living breathing human beings standing right between your speakers, toss yours and buy this copy, because that’s exactly what they sound like here. The TUBEY MAGIC of the MIDRANGE is practically off the scale. Until you hear it like this you almost can’t really even imagine it. It’s a bit disconcerting to hear each and every nuance of their singing reproduced so faithfully.
This is high-rez ’60s style; not phony and forced like so much of what passes for audiophile sound these days, but relaxed and real, as if the recording were doing its best to get out of the way of the music, not call attention to itself. This, to us, is the goal, the prize we must constantly strive to keep our eyes on. Find the music, leave the rest.
Blind Testing — It Works!
When we did the shootout for this album, the listening was done completely blindly; the era of the pressing was kept a secret from our listening crew until the sound had been evaluated. You might have assumed that the best sounding copy would be a Gold Label original — and in this case you’d be correct — but NONE of our other Gold Label copies even came close. Not one. (Which was especially shocking to us considering how many we had paid Collector Quality money for!)
Most of the time the Gold Label Warner Brothers pressings just sound like old records — muddy, dull, veiled, compressed and distorted. (more…)