Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- A STUNNING sounding copy and the first to hit the site in many years -- Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
- These sides are dripping with Analog magic -- transparent, sweet and rich from beginning to end and the bass is especially meaty and well-defined
- Those of you who have tried our Hot Stampers of JT will know exactly what to expect; Garay LOVES BASS and so do we
- "An abundance of riches can be heard in Andrew Gold's first solo album. There are great Beatlesque melodies here, as well as heartfelt love songs that are Gold's specialties. Playing nearly all of the instruments himself makes this a truly "solo" effort." - All Music, 4 Stars
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As audiophiles we all know that sound and music are inseparable. My comments for this copy note how spacious and present and full of energy it is. After dropping the needle on a dozen or so copies, all originals by the way, you KNOW when the music is working its magic and when it's not.
As with any pop album there are always some tracks that sound better than others, but when you find yourself marvelling at how well-written and well-produced a song is, you know that the sound is doing what it needs to do. It's communicating the Musical Values of the material. This Hot Stamper copy brings Andrew Gold's music to LIFE.
This record is dripping with Analog Tubey Magic. It's transparent, sweet and rich from beginning to end. The bass is especially meaty and well-defined. Val Garay puts plenty on his recordings, one of the reasons we love listening to them. The vocals are present and clear, the studio is huge, and the snare is FAT the way it always is on Val's recordings.
What amazing sides such as these 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 1975
- 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
Andrew Gold Is Fab
I remember the title of the Rolling Stone review for this first album from practically 30 years ago: "Andrew Gold Is Fab." If you like The Beatles, Badfinger, The Hollies and all the other melodic pop bands from the '60s (and who doesn't?), you have to like this guy.
For Heart Like a Wheel we noted: "Pay special attention to Andrew Gold's Abbey Road-ish guitars heard throughout the album. His sound is all over this record. If anybody deserves credit besides Linda for the success of HLAW, it's Andrew Gold."
We are big fans of Heart Like a Wheel. If you like that one you should find much to like here.
Val Garay Is The Man
Kudos once again must go to Val Garay, the man behind so many of our favorite recordings: James Taylor's JT (a Top 100 title), Simple Dreams (also a Top 100 title), Prisoner In Disguise, etc. They all share his trademark super-punchy, jump-out-the-speakers, rich and smooth ANALOG sound. With BIG drums; can't forget those. (To be clear, only the best copies share it. Most copies only hint at it.)
I don't think Mr Garay gets anything like his due with audiophiles and the reviewers who write for them. This is a shame; the guy makes Demo Disc Quality Pop Records about as good as those kinds of records can be made. If you have a Big System that really rocks you owe it to yourself to get to know his work. This is truly a KNOCKOUT disc if you have the equipment for it. We do, and it's records like this that make the effort and expense of building a full-range dynamic system worthwhile.
What We Listen For on Andrew Gold
- 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 originals.
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 Why I Love You
Heartaches in Heartaches
A Note from You
Resting in Your Arms
I'm a Gambler
Hang My Picture Straight
Ten Years Behind Me
I'm Coming Home
An abundance of riches can be heard in Andrew Gold's first solo album. There are great Beatlesque melodies here, as well as heartfelt love songs that are Gold's specialties. Playing nearly all of the instruments himself makes this a truly "solo" effort.
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