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
- This outstanding copy of Fogelberg's sophomore release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- One of the better copies from our most recent shootout, the sound is full of the Analog Tubey Magic we took for granted in the Seventies
- "... easily placed him alongside such California hitmakers as Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, and Jackson Browne... 'As the Raven Flies' revealed Fogelberg to be capable of making edgy, guitar-driven rock and exhibited his range as a vocalist."
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Acoustic guitar reproduction is superb on the better copies of this recording. The harmonic coherency, the richness, the body as well as phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard on every strum.
This vintage Epic pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even 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 Fogelberg, 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 Souvenirs 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 1974
- 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.
This pressing has the kind of sound we look for in a top quality Folk Rock record: immediacy in the vocals (so many copies are veiled and distant); natural tonal balance (most copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; ones with the right balance are the exception, not the rule); good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful); spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space); and last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sophisticated recording.
Here is a more comprehensive breakdown of what we were listening for when evaluating a Hippie Folk Rock album such as this.
What We're Listening For on Souvenirs
- 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.
- Part Of The Plan
- Changing Horses
- Better Change
- The Long Way
- As The Raven Flies
- Song From Half Mountain
- Morning Sky
- (Someone's Been) Telling You Stories
- There's A Place In The World For A Gambler
On his second album, Dan Fogelberg expanded slightly on his sparse, countrified folk sound, adding a distinctively more pop feel, thanks to help from producer Joe Walsh. Songs like "Illinois" and "Long Way" wouldn't have been out of place on his debut, while "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler" highlighted Fogelberg's growth as a songwriter.
Such growth was most evident on the rollicking, anthemic "Part of the Plan," a buoyant, radio-friendly pop hit that brought Fogelberg to a larger audience and, at the time, easily placed him alongside such California hitmakers as Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, and Jackson Browne. "As the Raven Flies" revealed Fogelberg to be capable of making edgy, guitar-driven rock and exhibited his range as a vocalist.