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White Hot Stamper - Joe Turner - Singing the Blues

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

White Hot Stamper

Joe Turner
Singing the Blues

ABC LP
Regular price
$199.99
Regular price
Sale price
$199.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

  • Joe Turner's wonderful 1967 release finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is an exceptionally well recorded blues album by one of the greats, with the kind of big, punchy, full-bodied sound that music such as this absolutely demands
  • "Backed by some top studio players of the era (Buddy Lucas on tenor and harmonica along with a four-piece rhythm setion), the 56-year old classic blues singer shows that he was still in prime form."
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For years we have been touting a select group of albums Joe Turner did for Pablo in the '70s -- Life Ain't Easy comes to mind -- but this is our first foray into his Bluesway period. Mobile Fidelity did this title on CD right at the start of the digital era. As deaf as they are (seriously; who has made more bad sounding reissues than this group of so-called audiophiles?), apparently they could still hear that the sound of the original album was so good that it justified its release to the new audience armed with CD players as opposed to turntables. And now here we are, having gone full circle, back to vintage vinyl.

This vintage BluesWay stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.).

Hot Stamper sound is rarely about the details of a given recording. In the case of this album, more than anything else a Hot Stamper must succeed at recreating a solid, palpable, real Joe Turner singing live in your listening room. The better copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we've played over the years can serve as a guide.

What the best sides of Singing The Blues 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 1967
  • 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 space of the studio

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.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren't veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we've heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We're Listening For on Singing the Blues

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • 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 common to most LPs.
  • Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players

Joe Turner - vocals Buddy Lucas - tenor saxophone, harmonica Thornel Schwartz, Wally Richardson - guitar Patti Bown - piano Bob Bushnell - bass Herbie Lovelle, Panama Francis – drums

Vinyl Condition

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 later 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 that is a key part of the appeal 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.


Side One

Well Oh Well
Joe's Blues
Bluer Than Blue
Big Wheel
Poor House

Side Two

Piney Brown Blues
Mrs. Geraldine
Since I Was Your Man
Roll 'Em Pete
Cherry Red

AMG Review

Big Joe Turner made relatively few recordings during 1960-66 but things started to look up in 1967 when he began recording for BluesWay... Backed by some top studio players of the era (Buddy Lucas on tenor and harmonica along with a four-piece rhythm setion), the 56-year old classic blues singer shows that he was still in prime form. Nothing too surprising occurs other than the fact that the ten songs are all Turner's originals. Best-known are the two vintage hits "Roll 'Em Pete" and "Cherry Red" while some of the newer tunes are more forgettable although still delivered with spirit.