The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
- A stunning copy and only the second to hit the site in years, here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
- We’re huge fans of this album and a pressing like this lets the natural quality of the recording shine through
- We don't imagine we'll be tracking down too many copies of this so if you're a fan, scoop this one up!
- 4 1/2 stars: "Lowell’s style is so distinctive and his performances so soulful, it’s hard not to like this record if you’ve ever had a fondness for Little Feat."
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*NOTE: This record was not noisy enough to rate our M-- to EX++ grade, but it's not quite up to our standards for Mint Minus Minus either. If you're looking for quiet vinyl, this is probably not the best copy for you.
This kind of recording quality was abandoned decades ago, but there was a time -- I’m old, I remember it -- when engineers actually tried to produce recordings with this kind of rich, sweet, thoroughly analog sound. 1979, the year of this album’s release, is right at the tail end of it. Why do you think so much of our Hot Stamper output covers the decade that stretched from the late 60s to the late 70s? Only one reason: that’s where some of the best sound can be found. (It’s a bit like Willie Sutton’s famous answer to why he robbed banks, "because that’s where the money is.")
Which is taking the long way round in saying that this recording has a healthy dose of analog Tubey Magic, in places maybe even a bit too much, as the sound can sometimes get too thick and overly rich, like a cake with too much frosting.
The better copies keep that wonderful analog smoothness and freedom from artificiality, adding to it the life and energy of classic rock and roll. Yes, you can have it all -- rich analog sound that jumps out of the speakers! Just listen to those horns on "Honest Man" -- that is the sound we are looking for on an album like this.
What The Best Sides Of Thanks I'll Eat It Here 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 Thanks I'll Eat It Here
- 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 -- Donn Landee, George Massenburg, and Bruce Botnick (among others) 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.
The Tracklist tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For advice.
Other records with track breakdowns can be found here.
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.
- What Do You Want the Girl to Do?
- Honest Man
- Two Trains
- I Can’t Stand the Rain
Bonnie Raitt had a go at this one, which is a personal favorite of mine from Home Plate. I give Lowell’s version high marks here as well, slowed down and more in the groove.
A top track, very Little Feat circa Waiting for Columbus with that fabulous horn arrangement.
- Cheek to Cheek
- Easy Money
- 20 Million Things
- Find a River
- Himmler’s Ring
A certain Miss Rickie Lee Jones debuted with this one, but I think Lowell puts her to shame with his slinky take on a two-bit con. (The bit about loosening a shoulder strap is a bit odd coming from The Fat Man in a Bathtub but I got past it. It even adds a certain charm to the song when you stop to think about it.)
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Thanks I’ll Eat it Here is strikingly different from the fusion-leanings of Little Feat’s last studio album, Time Loves a Hero. Lowell George never cared for jazz-fusion, so it should be little surprise that there’s none to be heard on Thanks. Instead, he picks up where Dixie Chicken left off (he even reworks that album’s standout “Two Trains”), turning in a laid-back, organic collection of tunes equal parts New Orleans R&B, country, sophisticated blues, and pop…
Lowell’s style is so distinctive and his performances so soulful, it’s hard not to like this record if you’ve ever had a fondness for Little Feat. After all, it’s earthier and more satisfying than any Feat album since Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and it has the absolutely gorgeous “20 Million Things,” the last great song George ever wrote.”