The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This outstanding pressing boats solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
- We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness and presence on this copy than anything else around, and that's especially true for whatever godawful Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently being foisted on an all too credulous record buying public
- One of our favorite soul albums, and one that sounds killer on a vintage pressing like this - guaranteed you've never heard this music sounding any better than it does here
- 5 stars: "Green's ingenuity produced one of the all-time classics, which has the bounce of a dance cut and the passion of a ballad."
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*NOTE: On side one, a repeating moderate crackle is audible through Track 1, Let's Stay Together.
If you can tolerate the noise on the first track of this pressing you are in for some amazing Al Green music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album, we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.
It's very rare that we have copies of this brilliant record up on our site, and it's not for a lack of effort on our end.
It's tough enough to find any copies of Green's early LPs out in the bins, let alone clean copies with great sound. I wish we were able to find more copies of this album, because when you stumble on a good one it's an absolute thrill.
The best pressings give you a big, spacious soundfield and put Green's vocals right up front. If you've got a pressing of your own around, throw it on for comparison's sake -- odds are pretty good that the sound will be dry and grainy, particularly on the strings. We found the sound on most pressings to be either too harsh or overly smooth. Hot Stamper copies give you richer, smoother sound, without smearing the critically important texture and detail.
This vintage Hi Records Stereo 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.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the best sides of Let's Stay Together have to offer is not hard 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 1972
- 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.
What We're Listening For on Let's Stay Together
- 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.
- Let's Stay Together
- La-La for You
- So You're Leaving
- What Is This Feeling
- Old Time Lovin'
- I've Never Found a Girl
- How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
- It Ain't No Fun to Me
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Prior to this album, Al Green never had a number one song. The title track, "Let's Stay Together," achieved that status and held it for nine consecutive weeks. Green's ingenuity produced one of the all-time classics, which has the bounce of a dance cut and the passion of a ballad. The dynamic soul singer's whispers, animated cries, and riffing enhance his already stirring delivery... The Arkansas native and his creative partner Willie Mitchell season these selections with lucid rhythm arrangements complemented by the faint strums of a guitar and brawn, unchiding horns.