The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This original Capitol Stereo pressing boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) grades from first note to last
- Both of these sides are surprisingly rich and smooth, with excellent bass and the kind of breathy immediacy to the vocals that only vintage vinyl can offer
- The sound is big, open, full-bodied and spacious, and the boys' voices are as clear and sweet as you could ever wish for
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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
What's magical about The Beach Boys? Their voices of course, what else could it be? It's not a trick question. They revolutionized the popular music of their day with their genius for harmony. Any good pressing must sound correct on their voices or it has no practical value whatsoever. A Beach Boys record with bad sound in the midrange -- like most of them -- is to us a worthless record.
When you drop the needle on a copy with gritty, spitty, harsh, shrill vocals, give up and move on. You have a bad pressing and no amount of cleaning or adjusting of the table can ever fix it.
This vintage Capitol 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 If Little Deuce Coupe 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 1963
- 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.
Pop and Rock Shootouts
What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record -- any Pop or Rock 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 hear a good many of the qualities mentioned above on the side we're playing, we provisionally award it a Hot Stamper grade. This grade is often revised over the course of the shootout, as we come to more fully appreciate just how good some of the other copies are.
Once we've been through all our side ones, we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner. Other copies have their grades raised or lowered depending on how they sounded relative to the shootout winner.
Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that's left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers 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 Little Deuce Coupe
- 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.
- Little Deuce Coupe
- Ballad Of Ole' Betsy
- Be True To Your School
- Car Crazy Cutie
- Cherry, Cherry Coupe
- Shut Down
- Spirit of America
- Our Car Club
- No-Go Showboat
- A Young Man Is Gone
- Custom Machine
About the Album
Little Deuce Coupe is the fourth album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released October 7, 1963 on Capitol Records. It reached number 4 in the US during a chart stay of 46 weeks, and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA. It is considered to be one of the earliest examples of a rock concept album.
The album was released three weeks after Surfer Girl. Four of the tracks from Little Deuce Coupe ("409," "Shut Down," "Little Deuce Coupe," and "Our Car Club") had already appeared on previous albums, and discounting an alternate recording of "Be True to Your School," no tracks from the album were issued as an A-sided single.
As with the preceding Surfer Girl album, the date assigned for recording all eight of the new tracks (September 2, 1963) is highly doubtful. However, as no AFM contracts from these sessions are known to exist, the actual dates are currently unknown.
Although Nick Venet was listed as producer for "Shut Down" and Murry Wilson for "409," the official producer's credit for the entire Little Deuce Coupe album cites only Brian Wilson. Despite the rushed nature of the album's sessions, Wilson's song arrangements were notably becoming more complex, specifically songs like "No-Go Showboat" and "Custom Machine." This was the last Beach Boys album to officially include rhythm guitarist David Marks until 2012's That's Why God Made the Radio.
After the album's recording, Wilson re-recorded "Be True to Your School" for single release on October 28, resulting in another top 10 hit. An original Christmas-themed composition, "Little Saint Nick," was also recorded that month and issued as a Christmas single.