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Super Hot Stamper - Traffic - Welcome to the Canteen

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Traffic
Welcome to the Canteen

Regular price
$99.99
Regular price
Sale price
$99.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on this UK copy of the band's first live album
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - these imports are the only way to fly
  • 4 stars: "... the playing was exemplary, and the set list was an excellent mixture of old Traffic songs and recent Mason favorites. "Dear Mr. Fantasy" got an extended workout, and the capper was a rearranged version of Steve Winwood's old Spencer Davis Group hit "Gimme Some Lovin'." ...Welcome to the Canteen's status as only a semi-legitimate offering was emphasized by the release of The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. But that doesn't make it any less appealing as a summing up of the Winwood/Mason/Traffic musical world."
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This vintage Island import 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 Welcome To The Canteen 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 1971
  • 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.

What We Listen For on Welcome to the Canteen

  • 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 -- Brian Humphries in this case -- 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 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.


Side One

Medicated Goo
Sad And Deep As You
40,000 Headmen
Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave

Side Two

Dear Mr. Fantasy
Gimme Some Lovin'

AMG 4 Star Review

Welcome to the Canteen (which was technically credited to the seven individual musicians, not to Traffic), proved how good a contractual obligation album could be. Sound quality was not the best, with the vocals under-recorded and stray sounds honing in, but the playing was exemplary, and the set list was an excellent mixture of old Traffic songs and recent Mason favorites.

"Dear Mr. Fantasy" got an extended workout, and the capper was a rearranged version of Steve Winwood's old Spencer Davis Group hit "Gimme Some Lovin'." Welcome to the Canteen's status as only a semi-legitimate offering was emphasized by the release, after a mere two months, of a new Traffic studio album on Island (The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys) that undercut its sales. But that doesn't make it any less appealing as a summing up of the Winwood/Mason/Traffic musical world.