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
- An early Green Label pressing with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Two of our favorite engineers - Stephen Barncard & Donn Landee - worked their magic here, and they really knocked it out of the park
- Both engineers are famous for putting plenty of bass on their recordings, and they sure put plenty of bass on this one!
- Back in the '70s I had no idea that any pressing could be this punchy in the bass, this dynamic in the choruses, yet still have smooth, sweet vocals
- 4 stars: "...it all still sounds astonishingly bracing 30 years later; it's still a keeper, and one of the most inviting and alluring albums of its era."
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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
To be clear, as a budding audiophile back in the day, I had no idea that any pressing could be this good sounding because I had only ever heard the album on the crap equipment at Pacific Stereo. They used the album as a demo disc in their High End room, but their High End room wasn't very high end, just high end for Pacific Stereo in the early '70s. Anybody remember Quadraflex speakers?
This vintage WB Green Label 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.
After listening to one smeary, veiled mess after another it was a thrill to hear one rock like this. The vocals have room to breathe, the acoustic guitars are big and up front with extended, correct harmonics, and the bass has more punch and definition than we had any right to expect.
What The Best Sides Of Toulouse Street 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 1972
- 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 huge amount of bass (clearly heard on the better copies) has to be the handiwork of Stephen Barncard, although Donn Landee (Little Feat, Van Halen), one of the other two engineers here, likes plenty of bass as well.
Some copies have wonky, bloated bass. Others have a bit of a boost at 10k, adding a sparkly unnatural quality to the vocals and cymbals, somewhat like a MoFi pressing.
The best copies have none of those problems. You have never heard "Listen To The Music" sound better. It's everything a good Ted Templeman production should be.
"Jesus Is Just Alright" on side two is amazing as well. The vocals are sweet and natural, not something you would expect on a Doobie's record, but here they are anyway. We had many other copies that simply did not sound correct the way this one does.
What We're Listening For On Toulouse Street
- 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 -- Stephen Barncard and Donn Landee in this case -- 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 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.
A Must Own Rock Record
This Demo Disc Quality recording should be part of any serious Rock Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here
- Listen To The Music
- Rockin' Down The Highway
- Toulouse Street
- Cotton Mouth
- Don't Start Me To Talkin'
- Jesus Is Just Alright
- White Sun
- Snake Man
AMG 4 Star Review
Producer Ted Templeman was attuned to the slightly heavier and more southern style the band wanted to work toward on this, their second album, and the results were not only profitable — including a platinum record award — but artistically impeccable... it all still sounds astonishingly bracing 30 years later; it's still a keeper, and one of the most inviting and alluring albums of its era.