The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (the first quarter inch is a bit crackly)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This 1979 Atlantic recording of two of the greatest voices in Soul Music earned Double Plus (A+++) grades on both sides
- "The combination of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack undeniably ranks atop the all-time great duet parings in the history of R&B. Any opportunity to have one guest on the other's recordings brought out a sensual energy not to be denied... Flack's distinct and beautiful voice brings a level of class to this outing that few of her contemporaries were able to achieve." - All Music
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This vintage Atlantic 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 Featuring Donny Hathaway 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 1979
- 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.
What We're Listening For on Featuring Donny Hathaway
- 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 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.
- Only Heaven Can Wait (For Love)
- God Don't Like Ugly
- You Are My Heaven
- Don't Make Me Wait Too Long
- Back Together Again
- Stay With Me
The combination of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack undeniably ranks atop the all-time great duet parings in the history of R&B. Any opportunity to have one guest on the other's recordings brought out a sensual energy not to be denied... Flack's distinct and beautiful voice brings a level of class to this outing that few of her contemporaries were able to achieve."
Near the end, the album's climatic piece, "Back Together Again," helps to conclude the album on an upbeat note before breaking it down again into a soft, gentle finale of calm, familiar waters. The realization that these tracks are some of the final recordings Hathaway would appear on before his tragic death brings an element of melancholy to the listening experience.