Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This is a sonic powerhouse and Demo Disc par excellence
- If you're a fan of BIG DRUMS in a BIG ROOM, with jump-out-of-the-speakers sound, this is the album for you
- A Top 100 album, and Rod's best music and best recording by far - nothing can begin to touch it
- 5 stars: "It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music — few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich."
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This is a superb recording, and on a pressing like this, it is a Demo Disc with little competition (if you have the kind of system designed to play these sorts of records).
Not too many of our Hot Stamper titles are going to ROCK the way this one can. We put it in a class with Zep II, Nevermind, and Back In Black -- elite company to say the least.
The opening track on side one has drums that put to shame 99% of the rock drum kits ever recorded. The same is true of I Know I'm Losing You on side two. It just doesn't get any better for rock drumming, musically or sonically. Micky Waller is brilliant throughout. Kenney Jones, who only plays on the show stopping "(I Know) I'm Losing You", is clearly out of his mind.
Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here too -- punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. If you have the system for it you are going to have a great time playing this one for your friends, audiophiles or otherwise.
Quick Test for Tonality
One note on how to tell if you have a tonally balanced copy, at least on side two. Maggie May has multi-overdubbed, close-miked mandolins that should have strong midrange presence and an especially extended, harmonically correct top end. As soon as that song ends, a very sweet, smooth guitar opens the next track, Mandolin Wind.
The two songs lean towards opposite ends of the tonal balance spectrum, but on a good copy, both of them sound right. One's a little darker, one's a little brighter, but they should both be right if your system is tonally balanced.
What The Best Sides of Every Picture Tells A Story Have to Offer is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1971
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Mike Bobak was the engineer for these sessions from 1971. He is the man responsible for some of the best sounding records from the early '70s: The Faces' Long Player, Cat Stevens' Mona Bone Jakon, Rod Stewart's Never a Dull Moment, The Kinks' Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, (and lots of other Kinks albums), Carly Simon's Anticipation, and more than his share of obscure English bands, ones I've never heard of, and of which there seems to be a practically endless supply.
What We're Listening For on Every Picture Tells A Story
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
A Must Own Rock Record
We consider this album a Masterpiece.
It's a recording that belongs in any serious Rock Music Collection.
- Every Picture Tells a Story
- Seems Like a Long Time
- That's All Right
- Tomorrow Is a Long Time
- Maggie May
- Mandolin Wind
- (I Know) I'm Losing You
- Reason to Believe
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Without greatly altering his approach, Rod Stewart perfected his blend of hard rock, folk, and blues on his masterpiece, Every Picture Tells a Story.
Marginally a harder-rocking album than Gasoline Alley — the Faces blister on the Temptations cover "(I Know I'm) Losing You," and the acoustic title track goes into hyper-drive with Mick Waller's primitive drumming — the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it's a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life...
It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music — few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.