The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Three: Mint Minus Minus
Side Four: Mint Minus Minus
Side Five: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Six: Mint Minus Minus
- Superb sound throughout - all six sides of this epic live collection earned nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades or close to them, just shy of our Shootout Winner
- "No record album can replace a live appearance by the Dead - but those who can’t get enough of this exceptional band will be kept busy for a good little while with this one." - Rolling Stone
- 4 1/2 stars: "The band mixes a bevy of new material with revisitations of back-catalog favorites. Sadly, this European jaunt would be the last of its kind to include the formidable talents and soul of founding member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who was in increasingly fragile health. Although few in number, his contributions to Europe '72 are among the most commanding not only of this release, but of his career."
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*NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 8 moderate pops at the beginning of Track 2, You Win Again. On side five, a mark makes 11 moderate pops at the beginning of Track 1, Truckin', followed by 3 loud stitches one-eighth inch into the track.
These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
All six sides of this White Hot Europe '72 have some of the best sound we have ever heard for the album!
A bunch of classic Dead songs that never appeared on a studio album are here in their definitive versions, including He's Gone, Jack Straw, Brown-Eyed Woman, Ramble On Rose and Tennessee Jed.
This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely 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 live in the audience at one of the concerts on the band's Western Europe tour, 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 Europe '72 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 1972
- 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 space of the venue
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 Europe '72
- 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 for the guitars, keyboards and drums, 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 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.
One More Saturday Night
You Win Again
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Hurts Me Too
Ramble on Rose
The Grateful Dead commemorated their first extended European tour with an extravagant triple-LP set appropriately enough titled Europe '72. This collection is fashioned in much the same way as their previous release -- which had also been a live multi-disc affair. The band mixes a bevy of new material -- such as "Ramble on Rose," "Jack Straw," "Tennessee Jed," "Brown-Eyed Woman," and "He's Gone" -- with revisitations of back-catalog favorites.
Among them are "China Cat Sunflower" -- which was now indelibly linked to the longtime Dead cover "I Know You Rider" -- as well as "Cumberland Blues," "Truckin'," "Sugar Magnolia," and "Morning Dew." With the additional album the band was able to again incorporate some of their exceedingly stretched-out instrumental improvisations -- titled "Epilogue" and "Prelude" here.
Since their last outing, the group had expanded to include the husband-and-wife team of Keith Godchaux (keyboards) and Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals). Sadly, this European jaunt would be the last of its kind to include the formidable talents and soul of founding member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (organ/mouth harp/vocals), who was in increasingly fragile health. Although few in number, his contributions to Europe '72 are among the most commanding not only of this release, but of his career.
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