The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other pressing of Wake you've heard, and it plays about as quietly as any copy ever will (and far better than most)
- This original pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce
- A difficult album to find audiophile quality sound for, this is one of the best copies to ever hit the site
- "Wake of the Flood was certainly as good - if not arguably better than - most of their previous non-live efforts."
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This is the album that comes after American Beauty on the Grateful Dead timeline, and while it's certainly not in the same league as that masterpiece, there's still a lot of good music on here. The All Music Guide gives it four stars out of five and calls it "certainly as good -- if not arguably better than -- most of their previous non-live efforts".
Again, I think American Beauty is a stronger album, but this is a very good representation of the kind of jazzier sound The Dead carried on with for the next twenty-plus years. Many of these songs remained staples of their concert repertoire, including Stella Blue, Eyes Of The World, and Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo. You might get more incendiary performances of the tracks on the best of the band's famous bootleg tapes, but you certainly won't get sound this good.
This vintage All Analog 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 Outstanding 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 1973
- 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.
Wake Of The Flood
This copy has the kind of sound we look for in a top quality Folky Bluesy Jazzy Grateful Dead record (they are, after all, sui generis): 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.
What We Listen For on Albums by the Grateful Dead
- 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.
- Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo
- Let Me Sing Your Blues Away
- Row Jimmy
- Stella Blue
- Here Comes Sunshine
- Eyes of the World
- Weather Report Suite: Prelude/Part 1/Part 2
It had been nearly three years since American Beauty -- their previous and most successful studio album to date -- and, as always, the Dead had been honing the material in concert. A majority of the tracks had been incorporated into their live sets -- some for nearly six months -- prior to entering the recording studio. This gave the band a unique perspective on the material, much of which remained for the next 20-plus years as staples of their concert performances.... Wake of the Flood was certainly as good -- if not arguably better than -- most of their previous non-live efforts.
There are a few tracks that do tap into some of the Dead's jazzier and exceedingly improvisational nature. "Eyes of the World" contains some brilliant ensemble playing -- although the time limitations inherent in the playback medium result in the track fading out just as the Dead start to really cook. Another highlight is Bob Weir's "Weather Report Suite," which foreshadows the epic proportions that the song would ultimately reach. In later years, the band dropped the opening instrumental "Prelude," as well as "Part One," choosing to pick it up for the extended "Let It Grow" section. The lilting Jerry Garcia ballad "Stella Blue" is another track that works well in this incarnation and remained in the Dead's rotating set list for the remainder of their touring careers.