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Super Hot Stamper - Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley

Super Hot Stamper

Rod Stewart
Gasoline Alley

Regular price
$99.99
Regular price
$149.99
Sale price
$99.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - these UK pressings are ridiculously hard to find in this kind of shape with top quality sound
  • These early Vertigo sides are rich, smooth and Tubey Magical yet still relatively clean, clear and spacious
  • Absolutely as QUIET as any pressing we have played - it is the exceptionally rare copy that will play with audiophile quality surfaces
  • 5 Stars: "Of course, being a rocker at heart, Stewart doesn't let these songs become limp acoustic numbers -- these rock harder than any fuzz-guitar workout. The drums crash and bang, the acoustic guitars are pounded with a vengeance -- it's a wild, careening sound that is positively joyous with its abandon."
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This early Vertigo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even 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.

What the best sides of this Classic British Rock Album from 1970 have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • 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 1970
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the keyboards, guitars and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
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 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 Listen For on Gasoline Alley

  • 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.

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 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.


Side One

Gasoline Alley
It's All Over Now
Only A Hobo
My Way Of Giving

Side Two

Country Comfort
Cut Across Shorty
Lady Day
Jo's Lament
I Don't Want To Discuss It

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

Gasoline Alley follows the same formula of Rod Stewart's first album, intercutting contemporary covers with slightly older rock & roll and folk classics and originals written in the same vein. The difference is in execution. Stewart sounds more confident, claiming Elton John's "Country Comfort," the Small Faces' "My Way of Giving," and the Rolling Stones' version of "It's All Over Now" with a ragged, laddish charm. Like its predecessor, nearly all of Gasoline Alley is played on acoustic instruments -- Stewart treats rock & roll songs like folk songs, reinterpreting them in individual, unpredictable ways...

Of course, being a rocker at heart, Stewart doesn't let these songs become limp acoustic numbers -- these rock harder than any fuzz-guitar workout. The drums crash and bang, the acoustic guitars are pounded with a vengeance -- it's a wild, careening sound that is positively joyous with its abandon. And on the slow songs, Stewart is nuanced and affecting -- his interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Only a Hobo" is one of the finest Dylan covers, while the original title track is a vivid, loving tribute to his adolescence. And that spirit is carried throughout Gasoline Alley. It's an album that celebrates tradition while moving it into the present and never once does it disown the past.