The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- A killer copy of Manifesto, with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two, and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one - fairly quiet vinyl too
- Big, rich and lively throughout - the Tubey Magic on this early UK pressing will show you just how good this album can sound
- Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - the UK LPs are the only way to fly on Manifesto
- "The songs ending each side fade out with real grace and leave you hanging, wanting more — drenched in a romance out of reach." Rolling Stone
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- On side one, a mark makes 20 light to moderate pops at the end of Track 5, Stronger Through the Years.
- On side two, a mark makes moderate to light pops for the first quarter inch of Track 5, Spin Me Round.
Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Roxy Music music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.
This vintage Polydor 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.
Good pressings of Manifesto are hard to come by -- this kind of rich, full-bodied, musical sound is the exception, not the rule. And there's actual space and extension up top as well, something you certainly don't hear on most pressings.
What the best sides of Manifesto 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 1979
- 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.
Classic Rock is the heart and soul of our business. Finding quiet, good sounding pressings of Classic Rock albums is what we devote the bulk of our resources (time and money) to, and if we can be indulged a self-compliment, it's what we do best.
No one is even bothering to attempt the kind of shootouts we immerse ourselves in every day. And who can blame them? It's hard to assemble all the resources it takes to pull it off. There are a huge number of steps a record must go through before it finds itself for sale on our site, which means there are about twenty records in the backroom for every one that can be found on the site.
If the goal is to move product this is a very bad way to go about it. Then again, we don't care about moving product for the sake of moving product. Our focus must be on finding, cleaning and critically evaluating the best sounding pressings, of the best music, we can get our hands on.
What We're Listening For on Manifesto
- 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 -- Rhett Davies in this case -- 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.
- Angel Eyes
- Still Falls the Rain
- Stronger Through the Years
- Ain't That So
- My Little Girl
- Dance Away
- Cry, Cry, Cry
- Spin Me Round
Returning to action after four years of solo projects, Roxy Music redefined its sound and agenda on Manifesto. More than ever, Roxy sounds like Bryan Ferry's backing band, as the group strips away its art rock influences, edits out the instrumental interludes in favor of concise pop songs, and adds layers of stylish disco rhythms... there are a number of wonderful moments on the record, particularly in the sighing "Angel Eyes" and the heartbroken "Dance Away."
Rolling Stone Review
[The band's] sound and story deserve a footnote: both were among the most glorious and eccentric of the Seventies. The band — especially guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist Andy Mackay, drummer Paul Thompson and Eddie Jobson (missing on Manifesto) on synthesizer — produced railing hard rock or smoky dreamscapes; always the musicians played with precision, individuality and intelligence. Bryan Ferry sang as if he never noticed there was anyone behind him, so lost was he in a strange, abandoned theater of heartbreak, desperate longings and general post-Great Warangst. Roxy Music made it all funny and stirring at the same time, storming through Stranded and finishing up with Siren. Siren was perhaps the most perfectly crafted album of the decade, as well as Ferry’s heart-on-his-sleeve break with the cynicism of the confused hustler’s persona he’d carried so long.
Manifesto is bits and pieces of all that. The songs ending each side fade out with real grace and leave you hanging, wanting more — drenched in a romance out of reach. “Still Falls the Rain” is a quiet, forgiving ballad in the purest Roxy style, full of tiny touches that occur only once, teasing you to wait for a repetition that never comes. Manzanera’s four little notes, almost buried in the distant band sound, underline Ferry’s emotion: those notes are as surprising as anything Manzanera’s ever played, and they carry as strong an echo. “Cry, Cry, Cry” is a horrible piece of old-fashioned soul, and yet, as “Spin Me Round” takes over and closes out the set, you forget all about the mistakes and drift away, just like Dobie Gray said you could...
Manifesto betrays no pandering to nostalgia, but on it, Bryan Ferry looks back to old loves, remembers fondly, accepts what he cannot have: he feels safe from the hope those loves stood for, from the dangers of the lust they summoned. As in “Still Falls the Rain,” this is a shining conception, and the people this state of mind calls up come to life in the music. But like Manifesto itself, such a respite can be no more than a respite, a holding action. The struggle is merely out of sight, and on Ferry’s own records, I’d imagine, that struggle will soon be back on center stage.