- An outstanding pressing of Summer Breeze with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish, and exceptionally quiet vinyl too – some of the quietest we have ever found
- With tons of Tubey Magical richness in the midrange (particularly on side two) – the kind that was still abundant on analog tape in 1972 – this is a wonderful sounding album of folk pop
- 4 1/2 stars: “Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context – most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings… the most highly regarded of all of Seals & Crofts’ albums.” (more…)
In our recent shootout, all our best copies had very similar numbers and letters in the dead wax, which doesn’t happen all that often but does from time to time.
This album does not have a single set of stampers that always win, but it does have a set of very similar stampers that always win. All of the best stampers can only be found on the Green Label original pressings, if that’s any help.
What We’re Listening For On Summer Breeze
Here are some of the things we specifically listen for in a vintage Folk Rock record. Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than the other copies we played in our shootout. The best copies have:
- Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree).
- Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule).
- Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful).
- Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space).
- Tubey Magic (without which you might as well be playing a CD).
- And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.
If you would like to run your own tests on the Folk Rock records you own, we make that easy. Here are some other titles that are good for testing these qualities, many with specific advice on what to listen for.
The best album by this duo – their strongest songwriting and arrangements. Nearly White Hot on side one, with vocals that are full-bodied, rich and solid.
A forgotten Classic from 1971, the album holds up very well forty plus years on.
Their commercial breakthrough would come with their next album, Year of Sunday, helped out by scores of session cats, but I much prefer the less commercial — although it’s far from uncommercial — sound of Year of Sunday. I am apparently not alone in my love for this album. Of the thirteen reviews on Amazon, every one gives it Five Stars(!).
The consistency of the songwriting is very strong here as well, with surprisingly powerful emotional currents. There’s not a dog in the bunch, and many of the better tracks are gems of popcraft. Some of the my favorites are When I Meet Them, Cause You Love, and Antoinette on side one, and Paper Airplanes, Irish Linen and Springfield Mill on side two.
Smooth and very rich, with big bass, this is without a doubt precisely the right sound for the album. Very few copies managed to pull off the rich tonal balance that this side has going for it.
It’s big and clear, a bit thinner but still very good. (more…)