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 superb sounding early WB early Green Label Stereo LP, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
- Our early pressing here showed us a wonderfully Tubey Magical midrange for the Everlys that most audiophiles have never heard
- So much good material here - Cathy's Clown, Crying In The Rain, So Sad, That's Old Fashioned, Lucille, etc.
- "There are few sounds in American popular music more thrilling and sublimely satisfying than the harmonies of Don and Phil Everly..."
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In stereo, on the early WB Green Label, with really quiet vinyl -- this copy will be tough to beat!
It took us a long time to find enough records to do this shootout. How many extremely popular 50 year old records survived into the present era in such clean condition? We can't be sure when the next shootout will be, but we can be pretty sure it won't be any time soon.
"The Breath of Life"
Our early Green Label stereo LP here has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s no doubt missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 50+ year old tapes. As good as that pressing may be, we guarantee that this one is dramatically more REAL SOUNDING. It gives you the sense that Phil and Don are right in the room with you.
They're no longer a representation -- they're living, breathing persons. We call that "the breath of life," and this record has it in spades. Their voices are so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there's no "sound" to distract you.
Warners pressings are all over the map. When you find a good one, you can be pretty sure it's the exception, not the rule. This has been our experience anyway.
What the best sides of The Golden Hits of The Everly Brothers 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 1962
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments of the orchestra having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record like The Golden Hits... 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, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.
When we can get many of the qualities above to come together on the side we're playing we provisionally award it a Hot Stamper grade, which may or may not be revised over the course of the shootout as we hear what the various other copies sound like. Once we've been through all our side ones, we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner. Other copies have their grades raised or lowered depending on how they sounded relative to the shootout winner. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that's left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
That's why the most common grade for a White Hot stamper pressing is Triple Plus (A+++) on one side and Double Plus (A++) on the other. Finding the two best sounding sides from a shootout on the same LP certainly does happen, but is sure doesn't happen as often as we would like (!) -- there are just too many variables in the mastering and pressing processes to insure consistent quality.
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 insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can possibly 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 The Golden Hits of The Everly Brothers
- 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, 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.
That's Old Fashioned
How Can I Meet Her?
Crying In The Rain
I'm Not Angry
Don't Blame Me
Walk Right Back
This 1962 collection was the first Everly Brothers best-of released by Warner Bros, and the fact that it represented just two years of the duo's career only underlines the degree to which Don and Phil were on a roll in those days. Even without the late-'50s hits on Cadence that kicked off the Everlys' career, The Golden Hits is still a stunning statement.
The pair's influences are well represented by their versions of Little Richard's rock 'n' roll milestone "Lucille" and Merle Travis' country stomp "Muskrat." The Everlys' way with bespoke songs comes through on the sorrowful, Carole King–penned Brill Building ballad "Crying in the Rain" and Sonny Curtis' lonesome stroll "Walk Right Back," but it's the brothers' own compositions that really take this set over the top. "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" is a marvel of poignantly plainspoken regret, and "Cathy's Clown," with its majestic, classical-inspired sound and drama-drenched lyrics, is not just one of the duo's greatest moments, but one of the most moving songs of the era.
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