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Super Hot Stamper - Marty Robbins - Hawaii's Calling Me

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

Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Marty Robbins
Hawaii's Calling Me

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • An early pressing of Marty's 1963 release boasting rich, sweet Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last
  • The kind of Tubey Magical, tonally correct, spacious sonics on this 360 label pressing is nothing less than an audiophile thrill (particularly on side one)
  • The only other Robbins record that can hold a candle to this one is Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs, a title we have a devil of a time finding these days
  • "Robbins performs beautifully, creating a breezy mood that marks one of pop music's better attempts at the genre."

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The analog sound of this pressing makes a mockery of even the most advanced digital playback systems, including the ones that haven't been invented yet. I'd love to play this for Neil Young so he can see what he's up against. Good Luck, Neil, you're going to need it.

We've been through dozens of Columbia albums from the 60s since we discovered how good the Marty Robbins titles on Columbia can sound. Most of the popular vocal and country albums we play have an overall distorted sound, are swimming in reverb, and come with hard, edgy, smeary vocals to boot.

To find a pressing with exceptionally good sound such as this involves a healthy dose of pure luck. You will need a good-sized pile of vinyl to uncover a gem of this beauty.

Vocals Are Key

Like any good Ella or Nat "King" Cole record, vocals that are full-bodied, rich and smooth are key to the best pressings. Without that sound, you might as well be playing a CD. This is precisely what both sides here give you -- Tubey Magical richness in spades.

Note that the heavy reverb not only sounds right for this music and this era but actually sounds great, the very opposite of the hard, sour, metallic digital reverb that replaced it decades later.

Old and New

This 60s LP has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings cannot BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real person singing live in your listening room. The better copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now over 60 years old), 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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we've played can serve as a guide.

Skip the Mono

Stick with stereo on this title; the monos aren't worth anybody's time (scratch that: any audiophile's time). If you see one for a buck at a garage sale, pick it up for the music, and then be on the lookout for a nice stereo original to enjoy for the sound.

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

  • Lovely Hula Hands
  • The Sea and Me
  • Ka-lu-a
  • The Night I Came Ashore
  • Echo Island
  • Kuu ipo Lani (My Sweetheart, Lani)
  • Beyond the Reef

Side Two

  • The Hawaiian Wedding Song
  • Drowsy Waters (Wailana)
  • Hawaiian Bells
  • My Wonderful One
  • Blue Sand
  • Hawaii's Calling Me
  • The Hawaiian Wedding Song

AMG Review

Marty Robbins clearly felt great affinity for the music of Hawaii, and the 28 tracks on this collection contain some of his finest and most evocative singing. Although the venture wasn't commercially successful, and the music occasionally suffers the intrusion of schmaltzy Nashville production, Robbins performs beautifully, creating a breezy mood that marks one of pop music's better attempts at the genre.