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
- With very good Hot Stamper sound or BETTER on both sides, this vintage pressing has plenty of analog magic in its grooves - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Tubey Magic in 1979? Somehow they managed to pull it off. So dynamic too. What a recording!
- A New Wave Classic, 5 stars in the All Music Guide: "These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture... was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture... a hell of a good time."
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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.
We think you will be surprised at just how good the sound can be. And you may or may not be surprised at just how FUN the music is.
On the best pressings, the soundstage is huge, spacious and amazingly rich, full-bodied with the uncolored tonality that earned this recording a place in our Top 100.
Who knew that good sounding records were still being recorded in 1979? Candy-O comes to mind, but the B-52s' first album has virtually none of the grit and Roy Thomas Baker heavy-processing of that one, and a lot more Tubey Magic to boot -- when you get a good pressing of course.
What We're Listening For on The B-52's
- 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.
The Best of '79
This recording reminded me of a really good Don Landee / Ted Templeman production, the kind you hear on JT or Simple Dreams or the better Doobie Brothers albums. Everything is laid out clearly: there's a space created for every part of the frequency spectrum from the lowest lows to the highest highs, with nothing crowding or interfering with anything else. The production is professional, clean, clear and REAL sounding everywhere you look.
Chris Blackwell of Island Records produced the album, recorded it in Nassau, with engineering by a fellow named Robert Ash, whose work I was not familiar with. Turns out he's worked with none other than Rhett Davies and Eno, two individuals we have nothing but the utmost respect for.
Ash did a great job on this album. Until we hear something better we would have to say this is the Best Sounding Album of 1979.
The toy piano Fred Schneider plays on Dance This Mess Around is at the back of the stage, placed at about 10 o'clock in the soundfield. On most copies it sounds more like a glockenspiel than a toy piano; the best copies bring out the unique qualities of the instrument. Music has been written for it and classical concerts performed on it, can you imagine? And Fred plays it in concert (or used to anyway).
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.
- Planet Claire
- 52 Girls
- Dance This Mess Around
- Rock Lobster
- There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)
- Hero Worship
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture wasn't simply affectation -- it was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture. It's difficult to imagine the endless kitschy retro fads of the '80s and '90s without the B-52's pointing the way, but The B-52's isn't simply an historic artifact -- it's a hell of a good time.