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Peter, Paul and Mary - Moving - Super Hot Stamper

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Peter, Paul and Mary

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • This outstanding pressing of Moving boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • The vocals (obviously the main draw here) are wonderful - breathy, natural and present, with dramatically more Tubey Magic than you will hear on most copies (and rarely on the reissues), the kind that makes their Folk revival recordings rich and involving beyond belief
  • "The group once again reached back to the 1940s with Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," but the track that everyone ended up knowing was "Puff, the Magic Dragon" [which was] introduced here and rose to number one, helping to propel Moving to number two as part of a 99-week chart run..."

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This early stereo pressing of Peter Paul & Mary’s 1963 followup to their smash debut destroyed most of the competition. The warmth and presence of the vocals on this copy are wonderful.

Peter, Paul & Mary records live and die by the quality of their midrange reproduction. These are not big-budget, high-concept mulit-track recordings. They're simple, innocent folk songs featuring exquisite vocal harmonies, backed by straightforward guitar accompaniment.

If the voices aren't silky sweet and delicate, as well as full-bodied and present, let's face it, you might as well put on another record.

Puff The Magic Dragon is unfortunately not one of the better sounding songs. Every last copy we played suffered from a touch of compressor distortion that adds a bit of grain to the vocals. We initially thought it was mild groove damage, but we heard the same thing on copy after copy we played.

Still, if the choice is between a little grain on a tubey magical Gold Label copy or no grain on an overly smooth reissue, we'd take this one every time.

The Magic of an All Tube Recording Chain

Steve Hoffman's famous phrase is key here -- Peter, Paul and Mary records must have The Breath Of Life. If the three of them don't sound like living, breathing human beings standing right between your speakers (and to either side), toss your LP and buy this one, because that's exactly what they sound like here. Until you hear it like this you almost can't really even imagine it. It's a bit disconcerting to hear each and every nuance of their singing reproduced so faithfully.

This is high-rez '60s style; not phony and forced like so much of what passes for audiophile sound these days, but relaxed and real, as if the recording were doing its best to get out of the way of the music, not call attention to itself. Vintage analog pressings of All Tube Chain recordings are very good at doing that.

This to us is the goal, the prize we strive to keep our eyes on. Find the music, leave the rest.

What the best sides of Moving 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 1963
  • 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 Moving

  • 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.

Vinyl Condition

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.

Side One

  • Settle Down (Goin' Down That Highway)
  • Gone the Rainbow
  • Flora
  • Pretty Mary
  • Puff (The Magic Dragon)
  • This Land Is Your Land

Side Two

  • Man Come into Egypt
  • Old Coat
  • Tiny Sparrow
  • Big Boat
  • Morning Train
  • A'soalin'

AMG Review

he group once again reached back to the 1940s activist folk song tradition with Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," but the track that everyone ended up knowing from Moving was from a very different corner of the folk tradition — "Puff, the Magic Dragon" was introduced here and rose to number one as a single (and even made the Top 10 in the R&B charts), helping to propel Moving to number two as part of a 99-week chart run; and in those days, it was taken as a beautiful and gentle children's song that adults could enjoy, the myth of the song's supposed "drug" message not appearing until 1966.

Other highlights include the haunting "Pretty Mary" and the startlingly intricate "A 'Soalin'," which became a highlight of their live act as well.