Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- An excellent Electric Blues record with exceptionally big, clear, lively sound that earned Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This copy will shame most Blues albums for sound and music - it's quite a bit better than any other Son Seals album we have played as well
- 4 stars: "The Chicago mainstay's debut album was a rough, gruff, no-nonsense affair typified by the decidedly unsentimental track "Your Love Is like a Cancer." Seals wasn't all that far removed from his southern roots at this point, and his slashing guitar work sports a strikingly raw feel on his originals "Look Now, Baby," "Cotton Picking Blues," and "Hot Sauce" (the latter a blistering instrumental that sounds a bit like the theme from Batman played sideways)."
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Son Seals' 1973 debut album has the kind of Live-in-the-Studio sound that most Blues albums (and every other kind of album) strive for but rarely if ever achieve. If you turn this one up good and loud, the Son Seals Band will be right there in the room with you. If there's any overdubbing on this record, you sure can't hear it.
If you've been suffering with one bad sounding Stevie Ray Vaughan album after another, this record should come as a godsend. This album will show you just how dynamic and energetic Electric Blues recordings can be.
You can't see this guy live anymore, he's dead, RIP, but you can still hear him perform live in your listening room if you have a killer system and a Hot Stamper copy of this album -- and you can hear him as often as you want to, too. Play this one for all your friends who love Stevie Ray. Son Seals has the chops to go head to head with him, with recording quality that's night and day better than Stevie's non-posthumous albums in every way. Your friends' minds will surely be blown (and if they aren't, turn up the volume a click or two and try again. Live music is loud).
What outstanding sides such as these 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 1973
- 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
What We're Listening For on The Son Seals Band
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 for the guitar notes, not the smear and thickness so common to most 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.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The guitar isn't back there somewhere, lost in the mix. It's front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put it.
- 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 later 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.
Sitting at My Window
Look Now, Baby
Your Love Is Like a Cancer
All Your Love
Cotton Picking Blues
Hot Sauce (Inst.)
How Could She Leave Me
Going Home Tomorrow
Now That I'm Down
The Chicago mainstay's debut album was a rough, gruff, no-nonsense affair typified by the decidedly unsentimental track "Your Love Is like a Cancer." Seals wasn't all that far removed from his southern roots at this point, and his slashing guitar work sports a strikingly raw feel on his originals "Look Now, Baby," "Cotton Picking Blues," and "Hot Sauce" (the latter a blistering instrumental that sounds a bit like the theme from Batman played sideways).
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