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)
- Both sides of this original Warner Brothers Gold Label pressing earned nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades - just shy of our Shootout Winner
- These sides are full of '60s analog Tubey Magic - rich and warm with real immediacy and transparency
- Features top musicians and PPM versions of folk classics like And When I Die and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
- "This was the first Peter, Paul & Mary album to include significant additional instrumentation other than the usual acoustic guitars... The group was also leaning more toward contemporary songwriters, and made some astute choices in that regard..."
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These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
Finding great copies of this album is no easy task. Many of the copies we played were just too noisy, and most of the quiet ones just did not impress us sonically. After listening to so much mediocrity we were shocked and gratified that this very copy managed to show us a world of sound we did not expect to hear.
This vintage Warner Brothers 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 Peter, Paul and Mary Album 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 1966
- 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
Sing Like You Mean It
This music is all about the presence and enthusiasm of the singers. On a copy like this, with such amazing clarity and space coupled with real warmth and fullness, the voices will come to life right before your eyes.
The overall sound is full and rich with an open, extended top end. The vocals have real breath and texture, and all the upper harmonics of the guitars are reproduced cleanly and correctly.
The space of your stereo room will seem to expand in all directions in order to accommodate them, an illusion of course, but nevertheless a remarkably convincing one.
In many ways this is a better album than Album 1700; it's certainly less commercial. Pack Up Your Sorrows is great here, as is And When I Die, and there are many many more. Top session players on this one too.
What We're Listening For on The Peter, Paul and Mary Album
- 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 originals.
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.
And When I Die
Pack up Your Sorrows
The King of Names
For Baby (For Bobbie)
The Other Side of This Life
The Good Times We Had
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
Mon Vrai Destin
Well, Well, Well
This was the first Peter, Paul & Mary album to include significant additional instrumentation other than the usual acoustic guitars. It wasn't exactly folk-rock, as there were drums on just three tracks. It was more folk-rockish folk, particularly as the rotating cast of backup players included musicians who had played with Bob Dylan (Mike Bloomfield, Kenneth Buttrey, Charlie McCoy, Bobby Gregg, Al Kooper) and Ian & Sylvia (bassists Bill Lee and Ross Savakus).
The group was also leaning more toward contemporary songwriters, and made some astute choices in that regard by covering Laura Nyro's "And When I Die" (when that singer was barely known), Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life," and Richard Farina's "Pack Up Your Sorrows."
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