The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (barely)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (barely)
- This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
- This is a difficult album to find with good sound - for all practical purposes, this copy is worlds better than most of what you can find in the bins
- You have to love the sound of those steel drums recorded through an All Tube Chain with mastering to match
- Night and day better than the DCC (which was truly awful) and surely anything else on Heavy Vinyl being made these days
- 4 1/2 stars: "Belafonte was an established all-around entertainer and actor by the time of this album, so it could be seen in a sense as a return to "roots" styles. In any case, it's all-out calypso, with backing by the Trinidad Steel Band, and qualifies as one of his most energetic albums, even getting rambunctious at times."
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Outstanding sound for this Living Stereo pressing that is guaranteed to trounce your DCC, assuming you have one. We played a big stack of these recently and are happy to report that the best copies are full of old-school RCA Tubey Magic, magic that DCC struggled and more often than not failed to achieve with their mostly mediocre remasters. Tubes are essential to bringing out the natural, relaxed FUN in Belafonte's music, and DCC had no tubes in their cutting chain.
Unfortunately, the big hit "Jump In The Line" is not one of the better-sounding tracks on this album. It has a bit of radio EQ, meaning it's a little brighter and leaner in a way that's designed to jump out of your AM radio, but not the best effect on a high-resolution audiophile system. Still, on a copy like this, it's still musical and enjoyable; on many copies we played it was absolutely painful.
What The Best Sides Of Jump Up Calypso 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 1961
- 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 Jump Up Calypso
- 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 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.
- Sweetheart from Venezuela
- Go Down Emanuel Road
- The Baby Boy
- Land of the Sea and Sun
- Goin' Down Jordan
- Jump in the Line
- Kingston Market
- These Are the Times
- Bally Mena
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Belafonte was an established all-around entertainer and actor by the time of this album, so it could be seen in a sense as a return to "roots" styles. In any case, it's all-out calypso, with backing by the Trinidad Steel Band, and qualifies as one of his most energetic albums, even getting rambunctious at times.