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 (often quieter than this grade)
- With two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides, this vintage Chrysalis pressing of the band's 1986 follow-up to Sports will be very hard to beat - fairly quiet vinyl too
- The open, spacious soundstage and full-bodied tonality here are obvious for all to hear - huge, punchy, lively and rockin' throughout
- This copy will show you just how big, lively and POWERFUL this music can be on the right pressing
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This vintage Chrysalis 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 Fore! 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 1986
- 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.
Pop and Rock Shootouts
What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record -- any Pop or Rock record -- should be judged?
Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.
When we can hear a good many of the qualities mentioned above on the side we're playing, we provisionally award it a Hot Stamper grade. This grade is often revised over the course of the shootout, as we come to more fully appreciate just how good some of the other copies are.
Once we've been through all our side ones, we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner. Other copies have their grades raised or lowered depending on how they sounded relative to the shootout winner.
Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that's left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.
What We're Listening For On Fore!
- 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.
- Jacob's Ladder
- Stuck With You
- Whole Lotta Lovin'
- Doing It All For My Baby
- Hip To Be Square
- I Know What I Like
- I Never Walk Alone
- Forest For The Trees
- Simple As That
Rolling Stones Profile
By the fall of 1985, after three years on the road, it was time for the band to get a grip – and time to write and record another album. “While we were following Sports around the world, I don’t think we were aware of what was happening,” says Cipollina. “Sports came out and just did a slow, steady climb during ’84 and ’85. The whole time we were on the road, I don’t think we knew how famous we were getting. When we finally stopped touring, this huge wave of reality came crashing in behind us.”
“Everybody and his brother was waiting for this album,” Lewis says. “I’d get in a room with a pencil and paper or a guitar, and it was ‘Well, I’ve got to write a song now. How about if I write one about this? Well, jeez, I already wrote about that. That was “The Heart of Rock and Roll.” Let’s see, how about this? Well I’ve already done that.’ And so on. You can’t really conjure these things up.”
Though they were now seasoned performers, Huey and the band were not adept at writing hits on demand. With his band – Cipollina, Hopper, guitarist-saxophonist Johnny Colla, guitarist Chris Hayes and drummer Bill Gibson – Lewis sweated out some new material. “We wrote about six songs that way,” says Lewis. “We’d write them and go record them, and they’d come out terrible. And I’d sit back and go, ‘The trouble with this is it’s a lousy song.”‘
After an agonizing six months of “work, work, work,” the breakthrough finally came. Hayes, 28, received a phone call from the band’s manager, Bob Brown, who was getting jittery. “I think we’re gonna need some more songs, man,” Brown said. “We need a tune.” Hayes’s reaction, he recalls, was “God, Bob, I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of things going. My wife’s pregnant right now. But let me see what I can do.” Hayes went out, bought himself a six-pack and went into the studio. “Three hours later,” he says, “I had ‘Stuck with You.'”
With that song, the members of the magic circle regained their charmed existence. “Chris gave me the tape, and the melody and words came straight out,” Lewis recalls. “And I thought, ‘That’s the way to do it. Don’t try to write so hard. Receive. . . . Let the ideas come.’ When you’re working so hard, there’s no room for ideas to flow into you. It sounds a little cosmic, but I really think that’s it. I wrote [the lyrics to “Stuck with You”] in fifteen minutes, driving out to rehearsal and back in one fell swoop.”
That song, which took Hayes and Lewis three hours and change to write, zoomed to the Number One spot on Billboard‘s Top 100; four weeks after that, Fore! was the Number One album. It heralded the return of Huey Lewis and the News. They would not be victims of what Cipollina calls “that huge record that kills you.”
-- Michael Goldberg