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Jones, Rickie Lee - Girl At Her Volcano - Super Hot Stamper

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Rickie Lee Jones
Girl At Her Volcano

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • This original Warner Brothers EP boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Superbly rich, warm and full-bodied -- all things considered -- with excellent presence and exceptionally dynamic vocals
  • The piano sounds tonally correct, with real weight and heft, a key quality we look for in the records we sell
  • "Given the quality of her first two LPs, Jones certainly was entitled to take some extra time in fashioning her next one, [and] Girl at Her Volcano made for a tasty snack and a reminder of her abilities"

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We're big fans of RLJ's self-titled debut, a longtime member of our Top 100 list. I think this one is probably the next best thing she's done. It may only be an EP but it's a consistently good EP in which every track is good and some are amazing.

This vintage Warner Brothers 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 The Best Sides Of Girl At Her Volcano 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 even as late as 1983
  • 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 Girl At Her Volcano

  • 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.

Vinyl Condition

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 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.

Side One

  • Lush Life
  • Letters from the 9th Ward/Walk Away Rene
  • Hey, Bub
  • My Funny Valentine

Side Two

  • Under the Boardwalk
  • Rainbow Sleeves
  • So Long
  • Something Cool

AMG Review

Rickie Lee Jones released her auspicious self-titled debut album in 1979 and its equally impressive follow-up, Pirates, in 1981. By the spring of 1983, she apparently was not close to having a third full-length collection of all original songs ready, so Girl at Her Volcano appeared instead. The assemblage of live and studio cover songs and original outtakes was pressed up as a 10" vinyl disc containing seven tracks, while the simultaneously issued cassette version boasted one bonus track, a live performance of June Christy's signature song, "Something Cool," recorded in Amsterdam in 1979. This was, then, an EP or a "mini-album"; in any case, it was not to be considered Rickie Lee Jones' third album, but rather a stopgap to give fans something to chew over while waiting.

Jones' choice of covers was more interesting for what it said about her tastes and influences than for the performances themselves. While it was nice to have her versions of "Lush Life," "Walk Away Renee," "My Funny Valentine," "Under the Boardwalk," and "Something Cool," she was unlikely to come up with definitive readings of such standards, and she didn't, although she did demonstrate that she had an affinity for jazz and 1960s pop. You could have told that by listening to her regular albums, of course, but she spelled out her antecedents here.

Otherwise, there were a couple of songs left off Rickie Lee Jones ("Rainbow Sleeves" and "So Long") and what she pointedly noted was the first song written for Pirates, "Hey, Bub," each of them a moody if minor Rickie Lee Jones number. Given the quality of her first two LPs, Jones certainly was entitled to take some extra time in fashioning her next one, but Girl at Her Volcano made for a tasty snack and a reminder of her abilities.