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 excellent Green Label WB original pressing offers a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one mated with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on side two - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- The big hit is Don't Sleep in the Subway and it sounds Tubey Magically awesome here
- For this era of recording, 1967, and for such a big production, the sound here is glorious
- Huge space with lots of lovely analog reverb swirling around Pet's vocals - nice!
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Not many original copies survived in clean enough condition to be played on today's modern audiophile equipment, but we're glad to report that this one did.
The best copies are huge, rich and Tubey Magical. They were definitely not going for AM Radio sound on These Are My Songs the way they did on some of her albums, and thank god for that. We've probably auditioned close to a dozen of Miss Clark's releases from back in the day and this one seems to us the best sounding of the bunch.
It's rare for the loud vocal parts not to strain a bit from compressor or limiter distortion, but the really good pressings hold up through the sections where the chorus and the orchestra are their biggest and loudest.
This vintage WB pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 These Are My Songs 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 1967
- 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.
It's five times more common, with about one-fifth the sound quality of the best stereo pressings. Like most mono pop records, a joke.
What We're Listening For on These Are My Songs
- 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, horns 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.
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 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.
This Is My Song
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)
Don't Sleep in the Subway
Love Is Here
I Will Wait for You
On the Path of Glory