The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An original WB pressing with outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
- This copy was dramatically fuller, livelier and more present than most others we played, with tons of Tubey Magic and plenty of extension on both ends
- Marks in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
- "[It's] a stronger articulation of what Morrison was attempting to do on Common One -- much like how Wavelength got A Period of Transition right ... [T]he record reveals such charming moments as 'She Gives Me Religion,' 'Beautiful Vision,' and Cleaning Windows,' a skipping light R&B tune that became one of his latter-day standards."
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*NOTE: There is a mark that plays 19 times at a light to moderate level about 1/4 from the end of track 3 on side 1, "Dweller On The Thresholde."
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 Warner Bros. 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 Beautiful Vision 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 1982
- 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 Beautiful Vision
- 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 and maybe a bit better 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.
- Celtic Ray
- Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
- Dweller On The Threshold
- Beautiful Vision
- She Gives Me Religion
- Cleaning Windows
- Vanlose Stairway
- Aryan Mist
- Across The Bridge Where Angels Dwell
Beautiful Vision shares much sonically with its predecessor, Common One, being heavy on long, winding song-poems, moderate tempos, dense lyricism, and dated production. Still, this winds up being a stronger articulation of what Morrison was attempting to do on Common One -- much like how Wavelength got A Period of Transition right. That doesn't mean that this is a particularly easy album to warm to, since Morrison seems to be consciously creating an insular world here, only of interest to those willing to delve deeply into his own world, letting his elliptical melodies charm instead of frustrate, to let the leisurely pace seduce rather than lull. Once you do that, the record reveals such charming moments as "She Gives Me Religion," "Beautiful Vision," and "Cleaning Windows," a skipping light R&B tune that became one of his latter-day standards. Too much of Beautiful Vision is the product of a willfully idiosyncratic yet oddly measured vision to make it essential for anyone other than diehards, but moments such as that make it worth a listen.