The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An outstanding British pressing with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
- Both sides of this early UK pressing were doing everything right in our recent shootout, and that makes it a very special copy indeed
- The legendary Geoff Emerick engineered the album, a Top 100 title here at Better Records - it's an impressive recording when it sounds as good as this copy does
- The title track, Jet, Bluebird, Mrs. Vandebilt, Let Me Roll It, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five - so many great songs
- 4 1/2 stars: "...sophisticated, nuanced arrangements and irrepressibly catchy melodic hooks... McCartney's infallible instinct for popcraft overflows on this excellent release."
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This is a TOUGH album to find with great sound and quiet vinyl, but when you a killer copy like this the record is a MONSTER. The track list includes some of the best McCartney songs of the seventies: the title song, Jet, Bluebird, Mrs. Vandebilt, Let Me Roll It, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five (my personal favorite on the album) -- there's really not a dog in the bunch. This is clearly the last consistently good studio album the man recorded.
So many copies we play are either murky or a bit edgy, and it takes a very special copy to strike the ideal tonal balance that will allow all the songs to sound their best.
This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 Band On The Run 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 1973
- 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.
Diving Deep into Band On The Run
A song like Jet can be positively painful on some of the LPs we run across. On the better pressings, it actually sounds good, with deep bass that's simply not to be found on most copies.
Following Jet is probably the best sounding track on side one, Bluebird. It's amazingly sweet and transparent on the best Hot Stamper LPs.
The Gold CD that Steve Hoffman mastered for DCC is excellent by the way. None of the heavy vinyl pressings are especially good, although they're better than the typical domestic pressing you might find.
No domestic pressing could touch our better British imports I'm sorry to say, and I'm sorry to say it because finding the right British pressings in audiophile playing condition is an expensive proposition. (Notice we did not say original pressings, because some of the early reissues can be quite good.)
We pay much too much to get a fairly high percentage of noisy, heavily-played and just plain worn out old records shipped to us from overseas. (People seemed to like the record and played it a lot, and who can blame them?) But when the sound and the music are this good, it's definitely worth it.
The Seventies - What a Decade!
Acoustic guitar reproduction is superb on the better copies of this recording. The harmonic coherency, the richness, the body and the phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard on every strum.
This is some of the best High-Production-Value rock music of the '60s and '70s. The amount of effort that went into the recording of this album is comparable to that expended by the engineers and producers of bands like Supertramp, The Who, Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, Pink Floyd, and far too many others to list. It seems that no effort or cost was spared in making the home listening experience as compelling as the recording technology of the day permitted.
What We're Listening For on Band On The Run
- 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 Pop Record
We consider this McCartney album a Masterpiece (along with his first album, of course).
It's a recording that should be part of any serious Popular Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Band on the Run
- Mrs. Vandebilt
- Let Me Roll It
- No Words
- Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)
- Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Band on the Run is generally considered to be Paul McCartney's strongest solo effort. The album was also his most commercially successful, selling well and spawning two hit singles, the multi-part pop suite of the title track and the roaring rocker "Jet."
On these cuts and elsewhere, McCartney's penchant for sophisticated, nuanced arrangements and irrepressibly catchy melodic hooks is up to the caliber he displayed in the Beatles, far surpassing the first two Wings releases, Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway.
The focus found in Band on the Run may have to do with the circumstances of its creation: two former members quit the band prior to recording, leaving McCartney, wife Linda, and guitarist Denny Laine to complete the album alone (with Paul writing, producing, and playing most of the instruments himself). The album has the majestic, orchestral sweep of McCartney's Abbey Road-era ambition, with a wide range of style-dabbling, from the swaying, acoustic jazz-pop of "Bluebird" and the appealing, straightforward rock of "Helen Wheels" to the wiry blues of "Let Me Roll It" and the swaying, one-off pub sing-along "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)."
...McCartney's infallible instinct for popcraft overflows on this excellent release.