The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- Cosmo's Factory returns to the site after a nearly 12-month hiatus, here with solid Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides of this outstanding Fantasy pressing - reasonably quiet vinyl too, especially considering how noisy most CCR albums are
- The sound is present and punchy, with plenty of bass, grungy guitars that jump out of the speakers, and the kind of swamp rock energy that no audiophile record on the planet can reproduce
- So many great songs: "Run Through the Jungle," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Who'll Stop the Rain," etc.
- A 5 star album and arguably the best record the band ever made: "...an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams.
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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
In 2015 we achieved a major breakthrough for some of CCR's albums, especially this one. With improved cleaning technologies and continued playback improvements, we're finding that the right copies of Cosmo's are sounding better with every shootout.
Note that the Hoffman reissues and the MoFi pressing sound nothing like the Creedence records we all grew up with, and records that sound that small, lifeless, boring or just plain wrong can't really be what audiophiles want, can they?
Judging by the robust sales of those ridiculously lame LPs, we're sorry to say they can.
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 Cosmo's Factory 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 1970
- 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 typical copy of this album is grainy, murky, and veiled -- and that's just for starters. It took us a huge stack of copies to find any that had bottom end weight, midrange presence, freedom from grain (mostly) and real energy.
What We're Listening For On Cosmo's Factory
- 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.
Shooting Out Creedence
The story of our recent shootouts is what real Progress in Audio is all about.
Many copies were gritty, some were congested in the louder sections, some never got big, some were thin and lacking the lovely analog richness of the best -- we heard plenty of copies whose faults were obvious when played against excellent sides such as these.
The best copies no longer to seem to have the problems we used to hear all the time.
Of course, the reason we hadn't heard the congestion and grittiness in the recording is that two things changed. One, we found better copies of the record to play...probably, can't say for sure, but let's assume we did. And, Two, we've made lots of improvements to the stereo since the last time we did the shootout.
You have to get around to doing regular shootouts for any given record in order to find out how far you've come, or if you've come any distance at all. Fortunately for us, the improvements, regardless of what they might be or when they might have occurred, were incontrovertible. The album was now playing at a much, much higher level.
It's yet more evidence supporting the the importance of taking full advantage of the Revolutions in Audio of the last ten or twenty years.
Who's to Blame?
It's natural to blame sonic shortcomings on the recording; everyone does it, including us.
But in this case We Was Wrong. The congestion and distortion we'd gotten used to are no longer a problem on the best copies. We've worked diligently on every aspect of record cleaning and reproduction, and now there's no doubt that we can get these vintage Creedence records to play at a much higher level than we could before.
This is why we keep experimenting, keep tweaking and keep searching for the best sounding pressings, and why we encourage you to do the same.
If you own any of the heavy vinyl pressings of CCR's albums mastered by SH and KG, hearing this Hot Stamper pressing will surely be a revelation.
We were never big fans of the recuts from the early 2000s, but back in the day we thought they were tolerable. We have much better reproduction (equipment, room, tweaks, electrical quality) these days than we did then, and now we can't stand them. They bore us to tears.
Head to head in a shootout, our Hot Stampers will be dramatically more transparent, open, clear and just plain REAL sounding, because these are all the areas in which heavy vinyl pressings so consistently fail to deliver. Those looking for a list of specific shortcomings can easily find reviews and commentaries for hundreds of Heavy Vinyl titles on our blog.
Mint Minus Minus 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 Tough Record to Play
Cosmo's Factory is a Difficult Record to Reproduce. Do not attempt to play it using anything other than the highest quality equipment.
Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies -- the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound -- can have problems. Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you've got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.
This is a record that's going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you're up to the challenge. If you don't mind putting in a little hard work, here's a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area many audiophiles neglect).
A Must Own Rock Record
We consider this album the band's best, Masterpiece of Roots Rock. It's a recording that belongs in any serious Rock Music Collection.
Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Ramble Tamble
- Before You Accuse Me
- Travelin’ Band
- Ooby Dooby
- Lookin’ Out My Back Door
- Run Through The Jungle
- Up Around The Bend
- My Baby Left Me
- Who’ll Stop The Rain
- I Heard It Through The Grapevine
- Long As I Can See The Light
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
... the heart of the album lays in those six fantastic songs released on singles. "Up Around the Bend" is a searing rocker, one of their best, balanced by the menacing murkiness of "Run Through the Jungle." "Who'll Stop the Rain's poignant melody and melancholy undertow has a counterpart in Fogerty's dope song, "Lookin' Out My Back Door," a charming, bright shuffle, filled with dancing animals and domestic bliss - he had never been as sweet and silly as he is here.
On "Long as I Can See the Light," the record's final song, he again finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove. It hits a comforting, elegiac note, the perfect way to draw Cosmo's Factory — an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams — to a close.