The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- A superb pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
- The trick on this album is to find rich, smooth, edge-free sound, and this copy delivers those qualities like few others
- "...[I]ts theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, both in a personal context of family commitment ("Stayin' Power," "Coastline"), and in a national context of hard work and patriotism ("Union Man," "Comin' Apart at Every Nail," "Hawks & Doves") seems more apparent [in retrospect]..."
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On side one, the second track has an especially intimate vocal worth checking out. Flip the record over and listen to how full-bodied the piano is on the first track on side two. This is the sound of ANALOG. So many copies are dry and edgy, as is the CD, I would guess, but here the sound is smooth, natural and enjoyable.
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 Hawks and Doves 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 even as late as 1980
- 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’re Listening For On Hawks and Doves
- Less grit -- Smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on Hawks and Doves.
- 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 really rock.
- 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 ambience.
- 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.
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.
- Little Wing
- The Old Homestead
- Lost in Space
- Captain Kennedy
- Stayin' Power
- Union Man
- Comin' Apart at Every Nail
- Hawks & Doves
Following the triumph of Rust Never Sleeps, Hawks & Doves benefited from the enormous critical goodwill Neil Young had amassed, though fans and critics nevertheless were baffled by its set of obscure acoustic and country-tinged songs. The seven-plus-minute "The Old Homestead" (copyright 1974) was interpreted by some as an allegory for Young's relationship to CSNY, perhaps because that was the only way to make any sense of the most mysterious Young lyric since "The Last Trip to Tulsa."
In retrospect, now that it's known Young was distracted by domestic medical concerns while working on the album, its theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, both in a personal context of family commitment ("Stayin' Power," "Coastline"), and in a national context of hard work and patriotism ("Union Man," "Comin' Apart at Every Nail," "Hawks & Doves") seems more apparent, as does the sense that Young may have been trying to fulfill his recording contract (even with the inclusion of trunk songs like "The Old Homestead," the album runs less than half an hour) while devoting a bare minimum of his time and attention to the effort. The result is correspondingly slight.