The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- With seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides, this early Reprise pressing is doing just about everything right - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- The vocals are wonderfully breathy, smooth and sweet here - this recording is the very definition of Midrange Magic, thanks to the engineering of Lee Herschberg
- "The strings and/or steel guitars are genteelly laid over the strumming of Lightfoot's 12-string guitar; the rhythm section churns lightly underneath while the singer pours his winter-brandy voice through original songs depicting an ever lonely, ever rambling rustic." - Rolling Stone
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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
This vintage Reprise 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 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 Cold On The Shoulder 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 1975
- 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.
One of the top guys at Warners, Lee recorded (with Gary Brandt) and mixed this album along with a number of others by Gordon Lightfoot. You'll also find his name on many of the best Ry Cooder, Doobie Brothers and Frank Sinatra album credits, albums we know to have potentially excellent sound -- not to mention an album most audiophiles know all too well, Rickie Lee Jones' debut. His pop and rock engineering credits run for pages. Won the Grammy for Strangers in the Night too.
The most amazing jazz piano trio recording we know of is on the list as well: The Three (Shelly Manne, Ray Brown and Joe Sample), along with most of the other Direct to Disc recordings released on Eastwind.
What We're Listening For On Cold On The Shoulder
- 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 -- engineering legend Lee Herschberg in this case -- 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 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.
- Bend In The Water
- Rainy Day People
- Cold On The Shoulder
- The Soul Is The Rock
- Bells Of The Evening
- Rainbow Trout
- A Tree Too Weak To Stand
- All The Lovely Ladies
- Fine As Fine Can Be
- Cherokee Bend
- Now And Then
- Slide On Over
Rolling Stone Review
May 8, 1975
For a decade now, Gordon Lightfoot has been a neo-folk hero in Canada. His early records and performances were distinguished by a rugged romanticism that charmed Canadian ears. But aside from Peter, Paul and Mary's cover of one of his best songs, "That's What You Get for Loving Me," Lightfoot remained obscure in the United States until Warner Bros. ace producer Lenny Waronker sophisticated his sound.
On Cold on the Shoulder, the fifth Lightfoot/Waronker collaboration (with time out for a Nashville album with Joe Wissert) all the standard components are present: The strings and/or steel guitars are genteelly laid over the strumming of Lightfoot's 12-string guitar; the rhythm section churns lightly underneath while the singer pours his winter-brandy voice through original songs depicting an ever lonely, ever rambling rustic. Waronker thus retains Lightfoot's folksy base while refining his surroundings to the point where the singer is actually working in the same acoustic pop idiom as the seemingly slicker John Denver.
- Bud Scoppa