The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- A superb copy with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish - just shy of our Shootout Winner
- These sides are tonally correct and highly resolving, as well as relaxed and smooth - Motown's trademark phony upper midrange boost is gone
- Here is the sound we wish we could find on more Motown records - believe me, we've tried
- We don't offer Greatest Hits albums often but this one sounds too good to ignore
- 4 stars: "Scrumptious! All hits, except for two excellent B-sides: the exquisite 'Choosey Beggar,' a marvelous ballad with an Asiatic feel, and the poignant 'Save Me'..."
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These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" meaning relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
Both sides are simply amazing from start to finish. Motown's trademark phony top end boost is gone. Most copies we played had some of that sound, including a boosted upper midrange, but our Hot Stampers will keep the problems under control while at the same time giving you presence, energy and space, layered on a good solid base of low end.
This vintage Motown 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 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 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 1968
- 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 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
- 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 and maybe a bit better 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.
- Going to a Go-Go
- The Tracks of My Tears
- I Second That Emotion
- Ooo Baby Baby
- My Girl Has Gone
- Come On Do The Jerk
- Whole Lot Of Shakin' In My Heart
- The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage
- (Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need
- More Love
- Choosey Beggar
- Save Me
AMG 4 Star Review
Scrumptious! All hits, except for two excellent B-sides: the exquisite "Choosey Beggar," a marvelous ballad with an Asiatic feel, and the poignant "Save Me," which rode shotgun on "(Come Round Here) I'm the One You Need," a Holland-Dozier-Holland production that wasn't quite right for the Miracles.
"My Girl Has Gone" was the follow-up to "Tracks of My Tears" and consequently never got the props it should have; it's an exquisite, midtempo confession that benefits from Smokey Robinson's unique phrasing; it's a difficult song for some to sing, ask Bobby Taylor, he did a nondescript version on his Taylor Made Soul album.
The rhythm driven "Come on Do the Jerk" is one of the Miracles' great minor hits, but failed to generate the attention of "Cool Jerk" by the Capitols, or "The Jerk" by the Larks; the explosive dancer has a rapid hand jive beat and some snappy vocals from the Miracles. "Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart" has Smokey doing an intense vocal to a runaway track.
The big hits are known to all, "Ooh Baby, Baby," "Going to a Go-Go," "I Second That Emotion," with its hesitating beat, "More Love," and more.