The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
- An early Atlantic pressing of this classic white soul album with solid Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them on both sides
- Big, rich, and open (particularly on side one) – we guarantee you have never heard this album sound even remotely as good as this copy does
- "Pick Up The Pieces" is rockin’ like it should, finally, but really, there’s not a weak track on the album
- 4 1/2 stars: "AWB embraced soul and funk with so much conviction that it was clear this was anything but an 'average' white band."
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*NOTE: Side two of this record was not noisy enough to rate our M-- to EX++ grade, but it's not quite up to our standards for Mint Minus Minus either. If you're looking for quiet vinyl, this is probably not the best copy for you.
Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the 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
We’ve been playing this record for years, but until finding a very Hot copy back in 2007 we had no idea what a sonic monster it could be. We didn’t have enough clean copies around to do a full shootout at that time for a very good reason -- we’d never heard this record sound particularly good before. The typical copy tends to be smeary, with sour horns and not very much energy.
The overall sound on both of these sides is lively and energetic with superb transparency. The bass is deep, rich, and tight -- just what this funky music demands. The brass sounds wonderful -- it has just the right amount of bite and you can really hear the air moving through the horns. It’s smooth, sweet, airy, open, spacious and alive.
What The Best Sides Of Average White Band 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 1974
- 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.
What We're Listening For On Average White Band
- 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 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 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 Record
We consider this album the band's masterpiece. It's a recording that belongs in any serious Soul Music Collection.
Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- You Got It
- Got The Love
- Pick Up The Pieces
- Person To Person
- Work To Do
Pick Up The Pieces often has a bit of radio EQ going on – it can be slightly midrangy at times, depending on how good your copy is, of course.
- Nothing You Can Do
- Just Wanna Love You Tonight
- Keepin’ It To Myself
- I Just Can’t Give You Up
- There’s Always Someone Waiting
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
After debuting with 1973's excellent but neglected Show Your Hand (later reissued as Put It Where You Want It), the Average White Band switched from MCA to Atlantic and hit big with this self-titled gem. Upon first hearing gutsy, Tower of Power-influenced funk like "Person to Person" and the instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces" (a number one R&B hit), many soul fans were shocked to learn that not only were the bandmembers white -- they were whites from Scotland.
Like Teena Marie five years later, AWB embraced soul and funk with so much conviction that it was clear this was anything but an "average" white band. This album is full of treasures that weren't big hits but should have been -- including the addictive "You Got It," the ominous "There's Always Someone Waiting," and a gutsy remake of the Isley Brothers' "Work to Do."