The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (barely)*
- A STUNNING early pressing, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides
- You will be floored by the huge, rich, Tubey Magical guitars exploding out from your speakers on Take It Easy
- One of the Best Sounding Rock Records Ever Made, a member of our Top Ten and without a doubt Glyn Johns' engineering (and producing) Masterpiece
- A Top 100 Tubey Magical Demo Disc that is guaranteed to blow your mind on a pressing that sounds as good as this one does
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- A few sporadic loud marks are audible across side one, however, none of them play more than twice.
- On side two, a mark makes 6 light ticks, followed by 2 loud pops at the beginning of Track 1, Train Leaves Here This Morning.
Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best-sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Eagles 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.
Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in clean shape. Most of them will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG, and it will probably be VG+. If you are picky about your covers please let us know in advance so that we can be sure we have a nice cover for you.
It will not take the lucky owner of this record long to recognize what we’ve known for years: the Eagles first album is clearly and inarguably one of the Best Sounding Rock Recordings Ever Made. Almost all the qualities we look for on this album can be found on this very copy.
The Eagles first album is without a doubt Glyn Johns' masterpiece -- rock records simply do not sound any better in our experience. It's exactly the kind of record that makes virtually ANY Audiophile pressing pale in comparison. Everything you could ask for as an audiophile is here, and more.
We've been up on our soapbox for years telling people how amazing this record can be, and here's a copy that backs up our position from start to finish.
What the Best Sides of the Eagles Debut 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 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.
Off the Charts Tubey Magical Analog Sound
Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitar reproduction is superb on the better copies of this recording. Simply phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard on every strum, along with richness, body and harmonic coherency that have all but disappeared from modern recordings (and especially from modern remasterings).
Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These Asylum White Label original pressings are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality -- everything that we listen for in a great record is here.
This record is the very definition of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made that sound like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There is of course a CD of this album, quite a few of them I would guess, but those of us with a good turntable could care less. (And the CDs are all made from sub-generation tapes as explained in The Real Master Tape tab above.)
This vintage stereo pressing has the kind of Midrange Magic that modern records barely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it ain't 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 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 We're Listening For on Eagles
- 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.
A Top Ten Title
You may have seen our Top 100 list of the best sounding rock records elsewhere on the site. We picked out a Top Ten from that list and you will not be surprised to learn that this record made the cut. (Top Two or Three is more like it.)
At one time this was my single favorite Demo Disc. A customer who bought one of these one time told me it was the best-sounding record he had ever heard in his life. I don't doubt it for a minute. It's certainly as good as any rock record I have ever heard, and I've heard some awfully good ones.
There's an interesting story behind this album, which I won't belabor too much here. Suffice it to say, one listen to some of the later reissues or -- god forbid -- a Heavy Vinyl pressing or Greatest Hits album and you'll know I speak the truth when I say that the tape used to cut this pressing was not the same one that was used to cut those. It does not exist. It was lost a long time ago. Most copies of this album are mediocre at best, and positively painful to listen to once you've heard the real thing, an early pressing cut from the actual master tape.
Click on The Real Master Tape tab above to read the rest of our story.
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.
The Tracklist tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For advice. Other records with track breakdowns can be found here.
A Must Own Rock Record
This Demo Disc Quality recording should be part of any serious Rock Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Take It Easy
On most copies the vocals in the chorus will strain a bit. When the vocals are clear, and completely free from harmonic distortion or "edge" of any kind, you have a truly exceptional copy.
- Witchy Woman
Witchy Woman is one of the key test tracks we use for side one. Take It Easy, the opening song, often sounds amazingly good -- it's got that driving beat and those acoustic guitars and it just seems to be one of those songs that usually sounds right on these original pressings.
Witchy Woman starts out with huge, startlingly powerful drums. They should quickly get your attention if your system reproduces a big bottom end with fidelity. Make sure the volume is up good and loud.
Next comes an acoustic guitar with a lot of echo: the more echo the better, because that means the pressing has plenty of resolution. The echo is on the tape, and the more of the sound of the tape that ends up on the record the better. Then comes the vocal. Obviously it shouldn't be bright, spitty or grainy, although it is often is, which is precisely what makes it a good test. The vocals also have tons of ambience surrounding them on the best copies.
This is a HUGE Demo Quality track, with lovely air and ambience creating the enormous space of the soundscape. And great energy; if you have the volume up and this song doesn't knock your socks off something ain't right.
- Chug All Night
- Most of Us Are Sad
- Train Leaves Here This Morning
This is my favorite track on the album. In fact I like it so much I think it's the best Eagles song ever recorded. (Dillard and Clark recorded it on their album as well but they sure can't sing like the Eagles.) The acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies on this track are simply as good as it gets. If somebody can play me a CD that sounds like this I will eat it.
- Take the Devil
- Early Bird
This is another tough track to master properly. The mix is very complicated, and there's a banjo that figures prominently in it. Getting that banjo to sound sweet and musical is the trick. The bass is very rich on the best copies. On those copies that are a bit on the lean side, the banjo can take on an edgy and aggressive quality.
The best copies get the banjo JUST RIGHT and place it perfectly in the mix. On The Border, their third album and my personal favorite, makes wonderful use of the banjo. When the band changed their sound to go in the direction of more straight ahead rock for One of These Nights they lost me. The public felt differently, sending the album to Number One in the charts, which set the stage for the monster success of Hotel California.
- Peaceful Easy Feeling
Balance is the key element of the Eagles' self-titled debut album, a collection that contains elements of rock & roll, folk, and country, overlaid by vocal harmonies alternately suggestive of doo wop, the Beach Boys, and the Everly Brothers. If the group kicks up its heels on rockers like "Chug All Night," "Nightingale," and "Tryin'," it is equally convincing on ballads like "Most of Us Are Sad" and "Train Leaves Here This Morning."