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
- A Bayou Country like you've never heard, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- "Proud Mary" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" are two of the better sounding tracks found on the album, and you can be sure this excellent side two has them swamp rockin' like crazy
- Our pick for the best sounding CCR record - but only if you have a copy with sonics like these
- 4 1/2 stars: "All the songs add up to a superb statement of purpose, a record that captures Creedence Clearwater Revival's muscular, spare, deceptively simple sound as an evocative portrait of America."
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The sound is big and open with real weight to the bottom. The top end has a much more natural extension than most, and much less of the harshly brightened-up upper midrange you might be familiar with. On side two you can even pick out the piano in "Good Golly Miss Molly," which is barely audible on most pressings.
This vintage Fantasy 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 Bayou Country 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 1969
- 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.
Keep On Chooglin'
After playing a handful of copies we started to identify which specific qualities we would need to look for in a Hot Stamper. It was only then that we decided to take John Fogerty's advice and, er, keep on chooglin'.
We quickly realized that even though Living Stereo spaciousness and transparency were never going to be in the cards, on the better copies you can actually pick out the musicians in the studio and make sense of their individual contributions.
And while you're just not going to get Dark Side of the Moon bass from this album, there are certainly copies that offer much better definition to the bottom than others.
And in the end, that's exactly what we managed to do. It wasn't easy, and you won't be using this record to demo your stereo, but if you love this music as much as we do then we imagine you'll have a great time being able to hear Bayou Country sound as good as it does here.
What We're Listening For On Bayou Country
Less grit -- smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on any Creedence record. Trust us, we know whereof we speak.
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 pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way the engineers 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 details of the recording including 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 that easy to find.
Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
Not only is it hard to find great copies of this album, it ain't easy to play 'em either. You're going to need a hi-res, super low distortion front end with careful adjustment of your arm in every area -- VTA, tracking weight, azimuth, and anti-skate -- in order to play this album properly. If you've got the goods you're gonna love the way this copy sounds. Play it with a budget cart / table / arm and you're likely to hear a great deal less magic than we did.
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.
If you own any of the new heavy vinyl pressings of CCR's albums mastered by SH and KG, hearing this Hot Stamper pressing will surely be a revelation. You can read about those awful Heavy Vinyl Remastered pressings in detail on our blog.
- Born on the Bayou
- Graveyard Train
- Good Golly Miss Molly
- Penthouse Pauper
- Proud Mary
- Keep on Chooglin'
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Opening slowly with the dark, swampy "Born on the Bayou," Bayou Country reveals an assured Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band that has found its voice between their first and second album... "Born on the Bayou" is a magnificent piece of swamp-rock, "Penthouse Pauper" is a first-rate rocker with the angry undertow apparent on "Porterville" and "Bootleg" is a minor masterpiece, thanks to its tough acoustic foundation, sterling guitar work, and clever story.
All the songs add up to a superb statement of purpose, a record that captures Creedence Clearwater Revival's muscular, spare, deceptively simple sound as an evocative portrait of America.