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Super Hot Stamper - Kim Carnes - Mistaken Identity

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Kim Carnes
Mistaken Identity

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • Boasting excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this copy will be very hard to beat
  • The immediacy of the vocals is striking, putting a living, breathing Kim Carnes right in front of you
  • "Bette Davis Eyes" was the biggest selling single of 1981, but we guarantee you've never heard it sound as good as it does on this very LP
  • 4 1/2 stars, Grammy Nomination for Album of the Year - the big as life rock sound Val Garay's engineering and production achieved with this album surely deserve much of the credit

More Rock and Pop / More Women Who Rock

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This vintage EMI pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.).

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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the thousands we've played over the years can serve as a guide.

What The Best Sides Of Mistaken Identity 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 even as late as 1981
  • 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 space of the studio

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 get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.

Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.

Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.

It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at 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 Mistaken Identity

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • 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 for the guitars and drums, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
  • Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

Vinyl Condition

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 later 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 that is a key part of the appeal 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.

Side One

  • Bette Davis Eyes
  • Hit and Run
  • Mistaken Identity
  • When I'm Away from You
  • Draw of the Cards

Side Two

  • Break the Rules Tonight (Out of School)
  • Still Hold On
  • Don't Call It Love
  • Miss You Tonight
  • My Old Pals

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Mistaken Identity should have established Kim Carnes as a huge international star. Her Rod Stewart rasp, affiliation with Kenny Rogers, management by Ken Kragen when he was arguably at his peak, makes one wonder why the across-the-board success of "Bette Davis Eyes" couldn't be duplicated.

Three years after the success of this album, Tina Turner actually did conquer the world, the various producers on Private Dancer weaving enough different textures to make for a multi-dimensional masterpiece. Too many cooks made for wonderful stew.

Val Garay certainly did a good job on Mistaken Identity, more defined than his work with Marty Balin on the Lucky album a year after this, an album which, for that great artist, wasn't very...lucky. It's not that the other Donna Weiss/Jackie DeShannon tune, "Hit and Run," which follows "Bette Davis Eyes," doesn't have a good performance; it does. The problem with the Mistaken Identity album is that everything on it stands in the shadows of a masterpiece.

The country risqué of the Jackie DeShannon original from New Arrangement has as extraordinary a re-working as Lou Reed's "Rock & Roll" got from Bob Ezrin when Mitch Ryder got to make it his underground anthem. Carnes is just brilliant on her solo composition, "Mistaken Identity," and it is subtle and smart enough to have crossed over to adult contemporary and jazz formats.

Frankie Miller's "When I'm Away From You" sounds like Rod Stewart doing "True Blue" -- those upfront snare drums and a hook as strong as an undertow. Perhaps this should have been the follow-up to "Bette Davis Eyes" rather than "Draw of the Cards," which followed and lingered around the Top 30. Not a place to be for the follow-up to a monster smash.

This is an evolution from her work on A&M, and certainly far removed from the New Christy Minstrels. The album comes with photographs galore on the innersleeve, all the lyrics, and tons of credits. Her first hit on EMI about ten months earlier was the fantastic reworking of "More Love," and that elegant pop gem was the type of thing needed to propel this to the status Private Dancer attained for Turner, that Physical garnered for Olivia Newton-John. "Draw of the Cards" plays like a mellow dance number, aimed at a new wave audience when -- well, face it, her biggest smash before "Bette Davis Eyes" was the mellow "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer."