The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- An outstanding pressing of The Papas and The Mamas with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
- Both of these sides are cleaner, clearer, more present and more Tubey Magical than many of the other copies we played against it
- "An often misunderstood album, this album was the final record by the Mamas & the Papas. It has held up incredibly well over time, and sounds better today than when it was released in mid-1968. The centerpiece of the album is "Dream a Little Dream," which very well may be the finest cover version that the group ever recorded, and in the end, was a very nice way to end the group's short but incredible career."
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*NOTE: On side one, a group of tiny marks makes 25 moderate stitches at the beginning of Track 4, For The Love Of Ivy. On side two, a noisy edge plays Mint Minus Minus to EX++ but clears up one-eighth inch in, when the music gets going.
This vintage 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 The Papas and The Mamas 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 1968
- 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 The Papas and The Mamas
- 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.
- The Right Somebody To Love
- Safe In My Garden
- Meditation Mama (Transcendental Women Travels)
- For The Love Of Ivy
- Dream A Little Dream Of Me
- Gemini Childe
- Nothing's Too Good For My Little Girl
- Too Late
- Twelve Thirty
- Midnight Voyage
An often misunderstood album, this album (aside from the 1971 "reunion" album) was the final record by the Mamas & the Papas. It has held up incredibly well over time, and sounds better today than when it was released in mid-1968. The centerpiece of the album is "Dream a Little Dream," which very well may be the finest cover version that the group ever recorded, and in the end, was a very nice way to end the group's short but incredible career.
The album also contains some excellent John Phillips material such as "12:30" (a minor hit), "Rooms," and "Too Late." These three tracks form a mini-medley in the middle of the second side, and add a lot of dimension to the record. Cut at the Phillips' home studio, the album has a simple sound, but when the vocal majesty cuts through on such tracks as "Mansions" (one of the band's lost masterpieces), it's faultless.