The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- With excellent Double Plus (A++) grades from top to bottom, you'll have a hard time finding a copy that sounds remotely as good as this early Reprise pressing - fairly quiet vinyl too
- Both of these sides are richer and smoother than most of what we played, with lovely studio space for the band to stretch out into
- This copy is big and clear in a way so few are, which means it's getting the sound right in the most important areas
- The wonderfully present and breathy vocals are a clear indication that there is simply more information on these sides than a lot of others we played in our shootout
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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 vintage Reprise 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.
What The Best Sides Of Long May You Run 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 1976
- 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.
Learning the Record
For our shootout for Long May You Run, we had at our disposal a variety of pressings that had the potential for Hot Stamper sound. We cleaned them carefully, then unplugged everything in the house we could, warmed up the system, Talisman'd it, found the right VTA for our Triplanar arm (by ear of course) and proceeded to spend the next hour or so playing copy after copy on side one, after which we repeated the process for side two.
If you have five or more copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what's right and what's wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the other pressings do not do as well, using a few carefully chosen passages of music, it quickly becomes obvious how well a given copy can reproduce those passages. You'll hear what's better and worse -- right and wrong would be another way of putting it -- about the sound.
This approach is simplicity itself. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find a critically important passage in the music, one which most copies struggle -- or fail -- to reproduce as well as the best. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.
It may be a lot of work but it sure ain't rocket science, and we've never pretended otherwise. Just the opposite: from day one we've explained step by step precisely how to go about finding the Hot Stampers in your own collection. Not the good sounding pressings you happen to own -- those may or may not have Hot Stampers -- but the records you actually cleaned, shot out, and declared victorious.
What We're Listening For On Long May You Run
- 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 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.
- Long May You Run
- Make Love to You
- Midnight on the Bay
- Black Coral
- Ocean Girl
- Let It Shine
- 12/8 Blues
- Guardian Angel
About the Album
Long May You Run is a studio album credited to the Stills–Young Band, a collaboration between Stephen Stills and Neil Young, released in 1976 on Reprise Records. It peaked at #26 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold in the United States by the RIAA. The album is the sole studio release by Stills and Young as a duo.
Following the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young stadium tour of 1974, an attempt by the quartet to finalize a new album ended amidst acrimony without result. David Crosby and Graham Nash resumed their partnership, while Stills and Young continued their independent careers. Songs from the aborted CSNY album appeared on various albums by group members, and Stills covered two Young songs on his contemporary studio albums: "New Mama" on Stills and "The Loner" on Illegal Stills.
In early 1976, Stills and Young reached a rapprochement, and began to work on a joint album project from a desire by both to pick up where they left off with their Buffalo Springfield-era guitar explorations, a decade after the inception of the band. Crosby and Nash signed on as well, and briefly Long May You Run looked to be the awaited CSNY reunion album. However, on a deadline Nash and Crosby left Miami to finish the sessions for what would become their 1976 album Whistling Down the Wire, and Young and Stills reacted by removing the duo's vocals and other contributions from the master tapes. Crosby and Nash vowed never to work with either again, although less than a year later they would regroup with Stills for the album CSN.
The Stills-Young Band, comprising Stills' then-current touring band behind the pair, began a tour in 1976 prior to the album's release. The tour commenced in Clarkston, Michigan on June 23, but after nineteen dates Young dropped out after July 20 via a telegram to Stills, forcing Stills to complete the concert tour solo through October. The telegram read: "Dear Stephen, funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil."
Young would later cite cryptic personal reasons for his departure, namely that he had "voice issues" but he has since stated the tour "wasn't working" and that the "balance was off in some way" as it progressed. During the tour, critics were writing harsh reviews of Stills while praising Young, titled "Young Hot, Stills Not". Stills began drinking heavily and started to take out his frustrations on tour personnel thinking they were purposefully making him look bad. However, even after Young told Stills not to read the reviews, he would not accept the advice, so Young left.
The album's advance single, "Long May You Run", peaked at #71 on the UK singles chart. The song was an elegy for Neil Young's first car (which he nicknamed "Mort"), a 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse that died in 1962 when its transmission blew in Blind River, Ontario. Mort was a different vehicle from the 1953 Pontiac hearse, nicknamed Mort 2, that Richie Furay, traveling with Stills, saw Young driving in a Hollywood traffic jam in 1966 that led to the formation of Buffalo Springfield. On January 22, 2010, Young performed "Long May You Run" on the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. A few weeks later, Young performed the song during the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, accompanying the extinguishing of the Olympic cauldron.