Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
Side Three: Mint Minus Minus
Side Four: Mint Minus Minus
- A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on sides one, two and three and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the fourth side
- What was especially shocking about this shootout is that in some ways the best sounding copies of the reissue not just equal but best their original album counterparts
- 22 classic songs on two LPs, including huge hits like I Can't Stop Loving You, You Don't Know Me, Oh Lonesome Me, Bye Bye Love, and much more - no wonder AMG gave both discs 5 stars
- This is some big, bold, absolutely glorious Tubey Magical analog - the tape to disc transfer is Hard To Fault (HTF), making a mockery of the audiophile remasters to come
100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers
FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $75
The music is wonderful. Just listen to that swingin' horn section behind Ray on Hey, Good Lookin'. They are hot! And Bye Bye Love just plain ROCKS.
Both these LPs has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings cannot 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.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Ray Charles singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of older 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 hundreds we've played can serve as a guide.
Two Complete Albums on One Double LP
What the best sides of this Country Rhythm and Blues Classic 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 1973
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with the vocals, guitars, horns and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of Space
One of the qualities that we don't talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record's presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don't extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don't seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read "BIG and BOLD" -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They're not brighter, they're not more aggressive, they're not hyped-up in any way, they're just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it's an entirely different listening experience.
What do we love about these vintage pressings? The timbre of every instrument is Hi-Fi in the best sense of the word. The unique sound of every instrument is reproduced with remarkable fidelity. That's what we at Better Records mean by "Hi-Fi," not the kind of Audiophile Phony BS Sound that passes for Hi-Fidelity these days. There's no boosted top, there's no bloated bottom, there's no sucked-out midrange.
This is Hi-Fidelity for those who recognize The Real Thing when they hear it. I'm pretty sure our customers do, and whoever picks this record up is guaranteed to get a real kick out of it.
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 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 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.
Bye Bye Love
You Don't Know Me
Half As Much
I Love You So Much It Hurts
Just a Little Lovin'
Born To Lose
It Makes No Difference Now
You Win Again
I Can't Stop Loving You
Hey Good Lookin'
Take These Chains From My Heart
Your Cheating Heart
I'll Never Stand In Your Way
Teardrops In My Heart
You Are My Sunshine
No Letter Today
Oh Lonesome Me