The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- A stunning copy with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one - exceptionally quiet import vinyl too
- Here are the full-bodied mids, punchy lows and clear, open, extended highs that let this Psych Classic by the band come alive
- Over, Under, Sideways, Down - the big hit off the album - sounds great here in MONO
- 4 1/2 stars: "... the Yardbirds' best individual studio album, offering some of their very best psychedelia."
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This is one of the few Mono albums that really justifies the claims made for the superiority of mono in general. Just listen to the vocals on side one: they're right up front and centered the way they should be on any good pop song. On the stereo version, they're off to the left and way down in level. They have no power over there! It robs the song of its focus.
Even worse, the stereo remaster by Edsel has no bass. It's a joke next to the mono. It's doubtful we would ever buy one again. What a waste of good import vinyl.
Edsel did a great remastering job of the mono mix here. What do we hear on this pressing that's different from most of the early pressings? A smoother, sweeter, lower distortion midrange and top end. And really punchy solid super low distortion bass. The transparency of this pressing is clearly superior to anything we have ever played.
What the best sides of Roger The Engineer 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 1966
- 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 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 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're Listening For on Roger The Engineer
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- 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 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.
Over, Under, Sideways, Down
The Nazz Are Blue
I Can't Make Your Way
Rack My Mind
Hot House of Omagarashid
He's Always There
Turn Into Earth
What Do You Want
Ever Since the World Began
Once Jeff Beck joined the Yardbirds, the group began to explore uncharted territory, expanding their blues-rock into wild sonic permutations of psychedelia, Indian music, and avant-garde white noise. Each subsequent single displayed a new direction, one that expanded on the ideas of the previous single, so it would seem that Roger the Engineer -- Beck's first full album with the group and the band's first album of all-original material -- would have offered them the opportunity to fully explore their adventurous inclinations.
... At their best on Roger, the Yardbirds strike a kinetic balance of blues-rock form and explosive psychedelia ("Lost Woman," "Over, Under Sideways, Down," "The Nazz Are Blue," "He's Always There," "Psycho Daisies")...
... it is the Yardbirds' best individual studio album, offering some of their very best psychedelia...
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