Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.
There’s one test on side two that few copies do well on. The mostly instrumental section in the middle of Ride Like the Wind has a huge chorus singing in a wonderfully reverberant studio. Only the most transparent, most distortion-free copies let you clearly hear all their voices bouncing off the walls.
Take any two copies and listen for just this one effect and you will soon see that no two copies reproduce the reverberations identically, and many barely reproduce them at all.
The sound is full, rich, lively and even Tubey Magical in the best tradition of the glossy Pop Productions that were all the rage in the late-’70s. If you like Michael McDonald, Toto, The Doobies, Hall and Oates, The Bee Gees and countless other bands we have lovingly found a home for in our Hot Stamper sections you will no doubt find much to like here.
A guilty pleasure you say? When a record sounds this good there is nothing to feel guilty about!
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
As a coda, I just played my existing copies of Troubador and Christopher Cross against new arrivals from the South. [That’s us.]
Troubador was a new heavy vinyl pressing. Cross was my ‘shootout’ winning copy out of 4. Both times I played my copy and said, “Man that’s gonna be tough to beat.”
Then I put on the Better Records – and proceeded to repeat the word “Wow!” about fifty times.
- A KILLER Shootout Winning copy! A+++ on both sides – this is As Good As It Gets for this Monster Album from 1979
- This pressing is clearly fuller, bigger, more lively and more Tubey Magical than any other copy we played, and squarely in the best tradition of late-’70s pop productions
- This one swept the Grammy awards, with great songs including Sailing, Ride Like The Wind and Never Be The Same – Michael McDonald’s gorgeous harmonies are the icing on the cake
- “While the hits like the dreamy “Sailing” and the surging “Ride Like the Wind” deserved all the attention, they’re hardly the only highlights here — to borrow a sports metaphor, this has a deep bench, and there’s not a weak moment here
If you like Michael McDonald, Toto, The Doobies, Hall and Oates, The Bee Gees and countless other bands we have lovingly found a home for on our site, you will no doubt find much to like here. A guilty pleasure you say? When a record sounds this good there is nothing to feel guilty about. This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)