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Ronstadt, Linda - Simple Dreams - Super Hot Stamper

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

Super Hot Stamper

Linda Ronstadt
Simple Dreams

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • With two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides, this original Asylum pressing will be very hard to beat
  • Linda's best sounding recording and a proud member of our Top 100 - this is the album that showed us she could do it all
  • Val Garay does it again, filling the grooves with his trademark super-punchy, jump-out-the-speakers, rich and smooth ANALOG sound
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...reconfirms [Ronstadt's] substantial talents as an interpretive singer...and [her] powerful performance makes the record rival Heart Like a Wheel in sheer overall quality."

More Linda Ronstadt / More Women Who Rock

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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 is clearly one of Linda’s best albums and I would have to say, based on my fairly extensive experience with her recorded output, that it is in fact the best sounding record she ever made. I love Heart Like a Wheel, but it sure doesn’t sound like this, not even on the Triple Plus copies that win our shootouts.

I confess to having never taken the album seriously, dismissing it as a commercial collection of pop hits with about as much depth as the L.A. River -- but I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

This is a great sounding album on the right pressing, not the compressed piece of grainy cardboard we’ve all been playing for years, unaware of the tremendous sound quality lurking in the grooves of other copies; the ones that were blessed with the right stampers, the right vinyl and a healthy amount of fairy dust wafting over the press that day.

That’s what Hot Stamper shootouts are all about -- finding those copies, the ones no one knows exist. (No one but us it seems; who else would think to put this album in their Top 100?)

What The Best Sides Of Simple Dreams 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 1977
  • 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 Simple Dreams

  • 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.

This Is a Real Band

Until a Hot Stamper found its way onto our turntable, we had absolutely no idea the album could sound like this, or that the music was so good.

The first thing that came to mind when I looked inside the fold open cover and saw all the guys who back Linda up on the album is that this is a real rock band. These are not a bunch of studio cats punching a time card. These guys know how to rock; just listen to the way they come blasting out of the gate on "It’s So Easy." Linda is with them all the way, giving one of the best performances of her career.

Song after song, this super-tight band with the hot female lead (!) show that they can rock with the best of them. And do beautiful ballads ("Blue Bayou") too.

Folks, I hereby testify that a Hot Stamper copy of this very album gave me a newfound respect for Linda beyond her work on Heart Like a Wheel. This is the album that shows she can do it all, as the All Music Guide points out, and I’m a believer.

A Top 100 Title

Kudos once again must go to Val Garay, the man behind so many of our favorite recordings: James Taylor’s JT (another Top 100 title), Andrew Gold, Prisoner In Disguise, etc.

They all share his trademark super-punchy, jump-out-the-speakers, rich and smooth ANALOG sound.

I don’t think Mr. Garay gets anything like his due with audiophiles and the reviewers who write for them. It's a shame. The guy makes Top Quality Pop Records about as good as they can be made, and if you have the kind of Big System that can really rock out, you owe it to yourself to get to know his work.

This is truly a knockout Demo Disc if you have the equipment for it. We do, and it’s records like this that make us proud to be Americans with Big Speakers!

Oh Dolly!

By the way, those lovely harmony vocals come from none other than Dolly Parton. Emmylou did the harmony work on Heart Like a Wheel, and between the three of them they would somehow manage to come together, at least for a time, on Trio.

Vinyl Condition

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.

Side One

  • It's So Easy
  • Carmelita
  • Simple Man, Simple Dream
  • Sorrow Lives Here
  • I Never Will Marry

Side Two

  • Blue Bayou
  • Poor Poor Pitiful Me
  • Maybe I'm Right
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Old Paint

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Featuring a broader array of styles than any previous Linda Ronstadt record, Simple Dreams reconfirms her substantial talents as an interpretive singer. Ronstadt sings Dolly Parton ("I Never Will Marry") with the same conviction as the Rolling Stones ("Tumbling Dice"), and she manages to update Roy Orbison ("Blue Bayou") and direct attention to the caustic, fledgling singer/songwriter Warren Zevon ("Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "Carmelita").

The consistently adventurous material and Ronstadt's powerful performance makes the record rival Heart Like a Wheel in sheer overall quality.