Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An outstanding early pressing, boasting solid Double Plus (A++) practically Demo Disc sound throughout
- Superb clarity and energy, solid down low, silky up top, and as huge as any recording you've ever heard
- A Top 100 Album and a real SONIC BLOCKBUSTER on a copy that sounds as good as this one does
- "10cc's Original Soundtrack is a fascinating record. Musically there's more going on than in ten Yes albums, yet it's generally as accessible as a straight pop band... 10cc is among the few groups actively engaged in stretching rock's restrictive boundaries in a constructive and meaningful manner, without falling prey to pretense or excess."
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The recording itself is a Tour De Force, one reason I've been demonstrating my stereo with it for more than thirty years. The extended suite that opens side one, One Night in Paris, has ambience, sound effects, and incredibly dynamic multi-tracked vocals at its climax that will make your jaw drop.
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 1975
- 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
Reinventing The Wall of Sound The Right Way
This is the kind of record that makes you sit up and take notice. It's classic 10cc everything-but-the-kitchen-sink "Wall of Sound" sound (minus the Phil Spector distortion), the kind Big Speaker guys like me live for.
Supertramp, Yes; Ambrosia; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Zeppelin; Bowie -- to this day I'm a sucker for the Cinerama soundstage these musicians liked to play on. It's one of the reasons I was the proud owner of the Legacy Whisper speaker system for close to ten years, with its eight fifteen inch woofer complement. You need that kind of piston power to produce The Really Big Sound with Super Low Distortion at Really High Levels. The louder the better.
We now have a pair of highly modified Focuses set up in our listening room. Three twelves per channel moves a fair amount of air too, and can do it with much less power, so that the system has much more resolving power than the Whispers could manage.
What We're Listening For on The Original Soundtrack
- 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.
Size and Space
One of the qualities that we don't talk about nearly enough is the SIZE of the record's presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don't extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don't seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition the sound can often be recessed, lacking presence and immediacy in the center of the soundfield.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read "BIG and BOLD" -- create a huge soundscape, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They're not brighter, they're not more aggressive, they're not hyped-up in any way, they're just bigger and clearer.
We often have to go back and downgrade the copies that we were initially impressed with in light of such a standout pressing. Who knew the recording could be that huge, spacious and three dimensional? We sure didn't, not until we played the copy that had those qualities, and that copy might have been number 8 or 9 in the rotation.
Think about it: if you had only seven copies, you might not have ever gotten to hear a copy that sounded as open and clear as that eighth or ninth one. And how many even dedicated audiophiles would have more than one of two clean original (or otherwise) copies with which to do a shootout?
One further point needs to be made: most of the time these very special pressings just plain rock harder. When you hear a copy do what this copy can, it's an entirely different - and dare I say unforgettable -- listening experience.
We're CRAZY About This Album
This was my first 10cc album, and I fell in love with it completely. Used to play it all the time. Une Nuit A Paris, the suite that opens side one, is just an phenomenal Demo Quality track. As you may have read elsewhere on the site, it's the kind of sound that a big powerful stereo reproduces well. Even back in 1975 I had speakers nearly as tall as I was that weighed 300 pounds apiece (the famous Fulton J!), so playing a record like this was just a thrill.
It still is. I still love it. And I recommend it highly to those of you who are fans of the band. If you don't know who 10cc are, this album and this band may not make much sense to you, but if you have an open mind and like Art Rock from the '70s, you may end up falling for it the way I did all those years ago.
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.
Une Nuit a Paris:
Part 1 -- One Night in Paris
Part 2 -- The Same Night In Paris
Part 3 -- Later The Same Night In Paris
I'm Not in Love
The Second Sitting for the Last Supper
Brand New Day
Life Is a Minestrone
The Film of My Love