The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last
- We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you've heard, and that's especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
- "Departure offers ample proof that the Seventies hard-rock genre so many people have been trying to bury for the last few years just doesn't want to die. Journey may well be the best American band in this idiom, which is ironic, because, stylistically, they've always seemed to struggle with it, as if hard rock were a new shirt they had trouble fitting into... Not surprisingly, a real leader has emerged for the first time in Journey's history: Steve Perry, a fine singer with a penchant for snappy melodic hooks, is currently calling the shots, writing or cowriting all but one of the songs and keying the sound around his vocal arrangements." - Rolling Stone
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This vintage Columbia 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 Departure 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 1980
- 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 Departure
- 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 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.
- Any Way You Want It
- Walks Like A Lady
- Someday Soon
- People And Places
- Precious Time
- Where Were You
- I'm Cryin'
- Line Of Fire
- Good Morning Girl
- Stay Awhile
- Homemade Love
Rolling Stone Review
Departure offers ample proof that the Seventies hard-rock genre so many people have been trying to bury for the last few years just doesn't want to die. Journey may well be the best American band in this idiom, which is ironic, because, stylistically, they've always seemed to struggle with it, as if hard rock were a new shirt they had trouble fitting into. For an Aerosmith or a Ted Nugent, no such difficulties existed – hard rock was their only option. But Journey could have gone in any number of musical directions. Founding members Gregg Rolie (keyboards) and Neal Schon (guitar) came from Santana, Aynsley Dunbar from his own groups and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, and Ross Valory from the Steve Miller Band.
For years, Journey appeared torn by conflicting interests that were only temporarily pacified by the hard-rock compromise. The addition of megalomaniac producer Roy Thomas Baker and lead vocalist Steve Perry further confused the issue. Nevertheless, the group slowly managed to improve, making albums that were extremely commercial. Journey reached their recording peak in 1978 with Infinity and then proceeded to burst apart at the seams. Dunbar left, disgusted by the lack of a clear-cut musical direction, while Baker was told in no uncertain terms that his time was coming to an end. The band had never liked his production, and the last LP they did together, 1979's Evolution, showed it. Evolution also suffered from the growing pains of adding drummer Steve Smith to the lineup.
All of these problems have been resolved on Departure. The most conspicuous absence is that of Roy Thomas Baker, whose meddling isn't missed. Engineer Geoff Workman has been promoted to producer, which places the group's musical direction in its own hands. Not surprisingly, a real leader has emerged for the first time in Journey's history: Steve Perry, a fine singer with a penchant for snappy melodic hooks, is currently calling the shots, writing or cowriting all but one of the songs and keying the sound around his vocal arrangements. "Any Way You Want It," "Where Were You," "I'm Cryin' " and "People and Places" demonstrate the band's new approach. Steve Smith's steady, unspectacular drumming has proved to be an addition by subtraction: goodbye to Aynsley Dunbar's virtuoso technique. In the past, the group's good moments came when Neal Schon and Dunbar took off on extended jams, but now Journey works best as a band. And they've never rocked harder.