The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- A superb copy with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides - just shy of our Shootout Winner
- This is a simply wonderful Green Label original pressing - big, rich and Tubey Magical with excellent transparency and breathy harmony and lead vocals
- Some of the most tubey and warm acoustic guitar reproduction you could ever ask for - this is the sound of real analog!
- Ventura Highway sounds amazing here - side two has some condition issues but side one plays fine and has the best music
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*NOTE: On side two, two marks make 5 moderately loud pops at the beginning of Track 1, Till the Sun Comes up Again, and 10 moderate to light ticks about two-thirds of the way into Track 2, Cornwall Blank.
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" being 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.
The guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction quality. Most of the pressings of this record do not get the guitars to sound right. And when the guitars are perfection, the voices and all the other instruments are right as well. Let's face it: they just don't know how to make acoustic guitars sound like this anymore. You have to go back to 40+ year old records like this one to find that sound.
What outstanding sides such as these 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
Amazing Tubey Magic
An album like this is all about Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars and Vocal Harmonies. For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1972 All Analog sound can be, this killer copy is just the record for you.
This copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambiance. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.
This is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made 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, but those of us in possession of a working turntable could care less. It sure won't sound like this record.
What We're Listening For on Homecoming
- 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 -- Mike Stone in this case -- 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.
Warner Brothers Green Labels
Green label Warner Brothers originals are sonically all over the map. The biggest problem these pressings suffer from is a lack of extreme top end to provide harmonics for the guitars. The guitars on this copy sound just right, really sweet and open. On the average copy, they sound veiled and dull.
The best copies are transparent; they just seem to give you a clearer picture of all the members of the band. Instruments and voices are also better defined and localized in space.
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 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.
To Each His Own
Don't Cross the River
Only in Your Heart
Till the Sun Comes up Again
Head and Heart
Homecoming, America's finest album, refines and focuses the folk-pop approach found on their debut release. The songs here are tighter and more forthright, with fewer extended solo instrumental sections than before. The sound quality is clear and bright; the colorful arrangements, while still acoustic guitar-based, feature more electric guitar and keyboards. The performance quality is more assured, among the most urgently committed the group would ever put on vinyl. This top-flight album is a very rewarding listen.
Rebuttal to the AMG Review
The writer for the All Music Guide is out of his mind if he thinks Homecoming is the best America album. Everyone knows it's their second best album. Their debut is their masterpiece. Almost all the best music on Homecoming is on the first side. Side two and most of their subsequent output is pretty lackluster; a few hits here and there, surrounded by lots and lots of half-baked uninspired filler.
The first album still holds up, and so does side one of Homecoming. Both can sound amazing when you get the right pressing.
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