The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- With superb Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides, this vintage ABC pressing was giving us the sound we were looking for on Croce's posthumous final release
- Vocal presence and warmth are not that easy to find on I Got A Name, but here is a copy that makes the case that this is a very well recorded album indeed
- Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl pressing they're making these days - the Tubey Magic, size and performance energy of this vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
- Marks and problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
- "I Got a Name is Croce's third and last album; it is also his best... With his kind of honesty, simplicity and humor, Jim Croce embodied a significant positive strain of our national character, a small-scaled but very real hero of American pop." - Rolling Stone
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*NOTE: On side 1, there is a mark that plays 15 times at a moderate to loud level about 1/2 way into track 1, "I Got A Name." There is another mark that plays 12 times lightly at the start of track 3, "Five Short Minutes." On side 2, track 2 ("Salon And Saloon") plays closer to Mint Minus Minus to EX++.
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
This vintage ABC 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 I Got A Name 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 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.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are the criteria by which a record like this 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, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.
When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of "contender." Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers 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 I Got A Name
- 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.
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.
- I Got A Name
- Lover's Cross
- Five Short Minutes
- Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
- I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
- Salon And Saloon
- Top Hat Bar And Grille
- The Hard Way Every Time
Rolling Stone Review
Jim Croce was certainly one of the best recent craftsmen of contemporary music. His work is remarkable for its simplicity and utter lack of pretension. Croce's melodies, written to accommodate a narrow vocal range, though very tight, are free of cliche. Strongly modulated and always catchy, they serve as the perfect vehicles for his unforced narrative diction, whose hallmark is a successful integration within the lyrics of tough colloquial vernacular. Lastly, Croce's blunt, nasal singing style brings to his material a degree of veracity that a more polished approach could not have accommodated.
With his kind of honesty, simplicity and humor, Jim Croce embodied a significant positive strain of our national character, a small-scaled but very real hero of American pop.