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
- This original Elektra pressing was giving us the sound we were looking for on The Cars' debut album, earning superb Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- You may have heard these songs a million times, but you'll be shocked at just how much better they sound on this vintage pressing
- Despite what you may have read, the new Heavy Vinyl pressing is a joke next to the Hot Stamper pressings we offer
- A Better Records Top 100 title, the band's masterpiece, and a New Wave Must Own Classic from 1978
- 5 stars: "Whereas most bands of the late '70s embraced either punk/new wave or hard rock, the Cars were one of the first bands to do the unthinkable — merge the two styles together. With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumnus Roy Thomas Baker), the Cars' debut remains one of rock's all-time classics."
100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers
FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $150
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
The material is superb -- just check out the first three tracks: "Let The Good Times Roll," "Best Friend's Girl," and "Just What I Needed" -- how many albums start off with that kind of a bang? Each of those tracks sounds amazing -- if you've got big speakers and a front end capable of resolving musical information at the highest levels, put this record on, turn it way up and get ready to hear some serious Demonstration Quality Sound.
This original Elektra 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 Of The Cars 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 1978
- 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.
The hottest of the Hot Stampers did one easily recognizable thing better than the Also-Rans, and it was apparent pretty much from the get-go. The multi-multi-multi-tracked choruses on the better copies don't strain (a very common problem), they are bigger and more powerful, they stretch from wall to wall, and the voices that make them up are separated much more than on other copies.
I won't say you can make out all the players -- there are dozens of tracks overdubbed together don't you know -- but you can make out some of the voices. At least you can if you have the kind of high-resolution front end that we -- and of course many of our customers -- do.
What We're Listening For On The Cars
- Smoother and sweeter sound with less of the grit and congestion that plagues the average copy.
- A bigger presentation - more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.
- More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way Roy Thomas Baker wanted it to.
- Present, breathy vocals. A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.
- Good top end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and other details of the recording, especially the studio ambience.
- Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven't played a pile of these yourself, balance is not always easy to find.
Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
Large dynamic speakers help a lot too, giving space for each voice to occupy.
Which means that if you have big speakers and like to rock, you can't go wrong here. Neil Young albums have the Big Rock sound, and if you're more of a Classic Rock kind of listener, that's a good way to go. We're behind you all the way, just check out the majority of the Hot Stampers on the site: CSN, Zep, Tull, The Stones -- we can't get enough of the stuff.
Still, variety is the spice of life, and the Cars really deliver the goods on this new wave classic. If you love big meaty guitar chords, wild synth sounds, and HUGE punchy drums, this record may be just what you needed... so let the good times roll!
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.
A Must Own New Wave Rock/Pop Recording
We consider this album a Masterpiece. It's a recording that belongs in any serious Rock Collection.
Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Good Times Roll
- My Best Friend's Girl
- Just What I Needed
- I'm in Touch With Your World
- Don't Cha Stop
- You're All I've Got Tonight
- Bye Bye Love
- Moving in Stereo
- All Mixed Up
There's an "effect" that is used to process the sound at the beginning of this track, and at a certain, quite recognizable point (if you listen very carefully and critically) it is turned off. See if you can spot it, and if you can drop us an email about what you hear "before and after".
Also note how much like David Gilmore Elliot Easton's solo sounds like on this track. Very Dark Side of the Moon, and that's a good thing!
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
The Cars' 1978 self-titled debut, issued on the Elektra label, is a genuine rock masterpiece. The band jokingly referred to the album as their "true greatest-hits album," but it's no exaggeration — all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics, still in rotation on rock radio.
Whereas most bands of the late '70s embraced either punk/new wave or hard rock, the Cars were one of the first bands to do the unthinkable — merge the two styles together. Add to it bandleader/songwriter Ric Ocasek's supreme pop sensibilities, and you had an album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans...
With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumnus Roy Thomas Baker), the Cars' debut remains one of rock's all-time classics.