The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This outstanding vintage copy of Neil's second studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last - fairly quiet vinyl too, especially for this album
- The best tracks have that Live-in-the-Studio quality Neil is famous for (of which Zuma is the best example), with minimal processing and maximum ENERGY
- Includes some of Neil Young's most beloved classics: "Cinnamon Girl," "Cowgirl in the Sand," and "Down by the River" just to name three
- 5 stars: "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere was breathtakingly different when it appeared in May 1969, both for Young and for rock in general, and it reversed his commercial fortunes...."
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Not quite in the league with the best of the best, the likes of Gold Rush, Harvest or Zuma, the best sounding tracks -- and that does not mean all of them by any means -- are a rough guide to what was to come as Neil and his engineer David Briggs got better and better, until they were As Good As It Gets by the time they got around to After the Gold Rush in 1970 (for which they get no credit, outside of Better Records of course).
On the best pressings, the best tracks have that Live-in-the-Studio quality, with minimal processing and maximum energy. We absolutely love that sound. Man, with a good copy played back on a big pair of speakers this album can ROCK like nobody's business. Nine minutes of Down by the River? A ten minute long version of Cowgirl in the Sand? Cinnamon Girl? We are so there!
This kind of musical, natural sound is not easy to come by. If you own any copy of the album you know what we mean.
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 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere 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 1969
- 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.
Sibilance Is Key
When the sibilance is cut clean, kept to a minimum and not grainy or gritty sounding, that's the sign you have a copy with real Hot Stamper potential.
Although not quite in the league with the best of the best -- the likes of Gold Rush, Harvest or Zuma -- the best sounding tracks, and that does not mean all of them by any means, are a rough guide to what was to come as Neil and his producer David Briggs got better and better, until they were As Good As It Gets by the time they got around to After the Gold Rush in 1970 (for which they seem to get no credit, outside of Better Records' raves for the album of course).
What to Listen For on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Less grit - smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.
A bigger presentation - more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.
More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way Glyn Johns wanted it to.
Present, breathy vocals. A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.
Good top end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and details of the recording including the studio ambiance.
Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven't played a pile of these yourself, balance is not that easy to find.
Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
Not only is it hard to find great copies of this album, it ain't easy to play 'em either. You're going to need a hi-res, super low distortion front end with careful adjustment of your arm in every area -- VTA, tracking weight, azimuth and anti-skate -- in order to play this album properly. If you've got the goods you're gonna love the way this copy sounds. Play it with a budget cart / table / arm and you're likely to hear a great deal less magic than we did.
Classic Rock is the heart and soul of our business. Finding quiet, good sounding pressings of Classic Rock albums is what we devote the bulk of our resources (time and money) to, and if we can be indulged a self-compliment, it's what we do best.
No one is even bothering to attempt the kind of shootouts we immerse ourselves in every day. And who can blame them? It's hard to assemble all the resources it takes to pull it off. There are a huge number of steps a record must go through before it finds itself for sale on our site, which means there are about twenty records in the backroom for every one that can be found on the site.
If the goal is to move product this is a very bad way to go about it. Then again, we don't care about moving product for the sake of moving product. Our focus must be on finding, cleaning and critically evaluating the best sounding pressings, of the best music, we can get our hands on.
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.
- Cinnamon Girl
- Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
- Round and Round (It Won't Be Long)
- Down by the River
- Losing End (When You're On)
- Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)
- Cowgirl in the Sand
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere was breathtakingly different when it appeared in May 1969, both for Young and for rock in general, and it reversed his commercial fortunes, becoming a moderate hit. (Young's joining Crosby, Stills & Nash the month after its release didn't hurt his profile, of course.)
A year and a half after its release, it became a gold album, and it has since gone platinum. And it set a musical pattern Young and his many musical descendants have followed ever since; almost 30 years later, he was still playing this sort of music with Crazy Horse, and a lot of contemporary bands were playing music clearly influenced by it.