The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- A Night in the Ruts like you've never heard, with INSANELY GOOD Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Both sides of this original Columbia pressing are big, rich and full-bodied yet still clean, clear and lively
- Lauded by Steven Tyler as his favorite Aerosmith album, this collection includes "Mia," a lullaby Tyler wrote for his daughter
- "While the band looks back upon this period as hazy and frustrating, Night in the Ruts is a surprisingly coherent and inspired album. ... it was definitely leaner and more focused than their last studio release."
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This vintage Columbia 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 Night in the Ruts 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 1979
- 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.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are sonic qualities by which a record -- any record -- should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.
When we can get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.
Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.
Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.
What We're Listening For On Night in the Ruts
- Smoother and sweeter sound with less of the grit and congestion that plagues the average copy.
- A bigger presentation -- more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.
- More bass and tighter bass. This is a rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way it's supposed to.
- Present, breathy vocals -- a veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.
- Good top end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and other details of the recording, especially the studio ambience.
- Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven't played a pile of these yourself, balance is not always easy to find.
Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
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 of these wonderful originals.
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 Tough Record to Play
Night in the Ruts is a difficult record to reproduce. Do not attempt to play it using anything other than the highest quality equipment.
Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies -- the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound -- can have problems. Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you've got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.
This is a record that's going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you're up to the challenge. If you don't mind putting in a little hard work, here's a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area many audiophiles neglect).
- No Surprize
- Remember (Walking In The Sand)
- Cheese Cake
- Three Mile Smile
- Reefer Head Woman
- Bone To Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)
- Think About It
By the time Aerosmith's sixth studio release was issued, 1979's Night in the Ruts, guitarist Joe Perry had finally left the band after years of drug-fueled bickering with singer Steven Tyler (forming the Joe Perry Project by year's end). Most of the tracks were completed before Perry's departure, with replacement Jimmy Crespo filling the few empty spaces. And while the band looks back upon this period as hazy and frustrating, Night in the Ruts is a surprisingly coherent and inspired album.
...it was definitely leaner and more focused than their last studio release, Draw the Line. Highlights include the striking opening rocker, "No Surprize," which recounts the band's early history, as well the driving yet melodic "Chiquita," the jamming "Three Mile Smile," the furious "Bone to Bone," and a pair of covers -- the Yardbirds' "Think About It" and the novelty number "Reefer Head Woman."