Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side one and a Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side two, this copy is just about as good as it gets
- Easily - and by a wide margin - the best sounding record Jeff Beck ever made - thanks Ken Scott! (And thank you, CBS, for the exceptionally quiet vinyl)
- This pressing embodies the Big Rock Sound, the kind we go crazy for here at Better Records
- Really fun music - it's a blast to hear Rod Stewart fronting such a heavy rock band
- AMG 5 Stars "...almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums."
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This is a SHOCKINGLY good sounding pressing of Truth, Beck's As-Heavy-As-I-Can-Make-It Rock debut, the kind of record that would define Classic Rock for the next forty plus years.
The soundstage is absolutely HUGE, while the presence and transparency of this copy go way beyond most pressings. Great rock and roll energy too of course -- without that you have nothing on this album.
Note how spacious, big, full-bodied and DYNAMIC both sides are. That's why they're White Hot or close to it. I am pleased to report that the whomp factor on these sides was nothing short of MASSIVE. With tons of bass these sides have what it takes to make the music ROCK.
What amazing 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 1968
- 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
One of the most surprising things we learned in our first big shootout from 2014 was how well recorded the album is. It's yet another triumph from one of our favorite engineers, Ken Scott.
In many ways it sounds like the first Zep album, and that's a good thing. The sound is a perfect fit for the music. In recent interviews Jeff Beck has been saying that Jimmy Page stole his idea for a Heavy Rock Band playing electrified blues. Based on the evidence found on the two sides of this very album I would say he has a point.
What We Listen For on Truth
- 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.
Ken Scott, Engineer Extraordinaire
In 2008 I had the opportunity to hear Ken Scott speak the night before at an AES meeting here in Los Angeles. This is the man who recorded some of the All Time Great Rock Albums, the likes of Ziggy Stardust, The White Album, Honky Chateau, All Things Must Pass, Son Of Schmilsson, America's debut, and this very powerhouse of Heavy Blues Rock.
This is one seriously talented guy! (I won't bore you by trying to recap his talk, but if it ever comes out on youtube or the like, you should definitely check it out. The Behind-The-Scenes discussion of these artists and their recordings was a thrill for someone like me who has been playing and enjoying the hell out of most of his albums for more than thirty years.)
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 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.
Shapes of Things
Let Me Love You
You Shook Me
Ol' Man River
Rock My Plimsoul
I Ain't Superstitious