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Cars, The - Shake It Up - Hot Stamper

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

Hot Stamper

The Cars
Shake It Up

Regular price
$74.99
Regular price
Sale price
$74.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • This vintage pressing boasts very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides
  • We guarantee there is more space, richness, presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you've heard or you get your money back - it's as simple as that
  • "The band's sound may have been evolving with each succeeding album, but Ric Ocasek was still writing compelling new wave compositions despite all the change, many of which would ultimately become rock and roll standards."

More of The Cars / More New Wave

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If you have big dynamic speakers and like to rock, you can't go wrong with a Hot Stamper copy of Shake It Up.

The first two Cars albums were both in our Top 100 at one time, with good reason: they're superb recordings. The Cars have been in "heavy rotation" on my system since the albums came out in the late 70s. We started doing shootouts for both albums right around 2006 or 2007 and they continue to be a regular feature of our Rock and Pop section, not to mention some of the most fun shootouts we do in any given week.

What The Best Sides Of Shake It Up 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 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 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 Shake It Up

  • 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.

Before then had you ever read a word in any audiophile or record collecting publication about how amazing the originals can sound? Of course not. These people wouldn't know a good record from a hole in the ground. If anything the typical audiophile probably has one or both of the disastrous Nautilus half-speed mastered versions, and, having played them, would not be inclined to think highly of the sound.

We knew better than to waste our time with that muck. Recently Mobile Fidelity has taken upon itself to remaster a selection of the band's titles with the same flawed half-speed mastering approach. We haven't played any of them and don't intend to. We know that sound and we don't like it.

Our point, other than to bash a record we have never played, is simply this: if you have any of those MoFi versions we would love to send you a copy of the album so that you can hear for yourself what it's really supposed to sound like.

Vinyl Condition

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.

The End of the Cars Production Line

I consider this to be one of the last good records the Cars made. Side one is fairly consistent, with the first three tracks all being excellent. Side two starts out with one of their best songs, "A Dream Away," which is a personal favorite of mine.

Side One

  • Since You're Gone
  • Shake It Up
  • I'm Not the One
  • Victim of Love
  • Cruiser

Side Two

  • A Dream Away
  • This Could Be Love
  • Think It Over
  • Maybe Baby

AMG Review

By augmenting their sound with more synthesizers, electronics, and drum machines, the Cars' fourth release, Shake It Up, helped bridge their hard rock-based early work (1978's The Cars) with the futuristic-pop direction of 1984's Heartbeat City. The band's sound may have been evolving with each succeeding album, but Ric Ocasek was still writing compelling new wave compositions despite all the change, many of which would ultimately become rock & roll standards.

The up-tempo title track remains a party favorite to this day (reaching number four on the singles charts), while the melancholic "Since You're Gone" remains one of Ocasek's best-ever tales of heartbreak. Intriguing videos were made for both songs, officially introducing the band to the MTV age.

Like its predecessor, 1980's Panorama, filler is present ("This Could Be Love," "Maybe Baby"), but many lesser-known album tracks prove to be highlights: the almost entirely synth-oriented tracks "Think It Over" and "A Dream Away," the rocking "Cruiser," plus the more pop-oriented "I'm Not the One" and "Victim of Love." Although Shake It Up was another resounding commercial success, their next album would be the one that made the Cars one of rock's quintessential acts of the 80s.