Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- With a Triple Plus (A+++) Shootout Winning side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy had some of the best sound we have ever heard for Paul Simon's first live album
- You get clean, clear, full-bodied, lively and musical ANALOG sound from first note to last
- Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they're making - the Tubey Magic, size and rock and roll energy of this very special vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
- Features great versions of Simon classics, including The Boxer, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Sound Of Silence and many more
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It is not easy to find copies of this album that can do this music justice. Most of the ones we've played are too murky and veiled to get into, but a copy like this one lets you bring Paul Simon's early '70s live show to life right there in your listening room!
It's tough to find copies of this album that do what a live album is supposed to do -- replicate the experience of the artists' live show on your stereo. So many copies we played lacked the kind of presence and transparency you need to really hear what was happening on stage. Since Simon brought along a South American backing band and talented gospel singers to help him reinterpret these songs, you want a copy that allows you to hear everything that's going on.
BIG and natural, this has all the energy of a live show. The vocals are clear and detailed, and mids are nice and full. It doesn't get much better than this, folks.
On a Hot Stamper copy like this one, you can experience Simon's live renditions of these wonderful songs without the mediocre sound of the typical pressing getting in the way.
What amazing 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 1974
- 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 Live Rhymin'
- 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.
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 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.
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
Mother and Child Reunion
The Sound of Silence
Jesus Is the Answer
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Loves Me Like a Rock
One thing Simon & Garfunkel never did much was tour, so a Paul Simon solo tour, following two commercially succesful solo albums, was one more way for Simon to distance himself from the duo and, simultaneously, by performing songs like The Boxer and Homeward Bound, to reclaim his songwriting catalog.
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