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<br>The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup<p>Our Shootout Winner from 2016</p>




The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

Our Shootout Winner from 2016


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

The impossible has happened - we found a good sounding copy of Goats Head Soup, only 53 years after it was first released.

Why did it take us so long to find a killer copy? Let's just say the pressing is somewhat "off the beaten path" and leave it at that. We ran into it by accident during an attempted shootout not long ago, and it was so much better than the other records we were playing at the time that we had to postpone the shootout until we could find more of these specific pressings. It took some months but we managed to get a big pile of "happy accidents" together and the result was a gamechanging White Hot copy.

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Sku # : rolligoats_2016
Manufacturer : Rolling Stones Records
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The best pressings give you exactly what you want from this brand of straight ahead rock and roll: presence in the vocals; solid, note-like bass; big punchy drums, and the kind of live-in-the-studio energetic, clean and clear sound we love here at Better Records. With big speakers and the power to drive them, at loud levels YOU ARE THERE.

And why not? The engineer is Andy Johns, Glyn's very talented younger brother (sadly, now deceased). They worked together on the Stones' previous album, Exile on Main St.

Andy engineered the Zep albums from II through Physical Graffiti, and those are amazingly well recorded albums in anybody's book when you have pressings that allow you to hear them right.

And you can add to that group Tull's Stand Up (69), Traffic's John Barleycorn (70) and the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request (67), Sticky Fingers (71) and It's Only Rock 'N Roll (74). Even two tracks from Stephen Stills' first album (71).

What outstanding sides on Goats Head Soup 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 1973
  • 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.

    Why Now?

    Why did it take us so long to find a killer copy like this one? Let's just say this pressing is somewhat "off the beaten path" and leave it at that. We ran into it by accident during an attempted shootout not long ago, and it was so much better than the other pressings we were playing that we had to postpone the shootout until we could find more of these specific pressings. It took some months but we managed to get a big pile of "happy accidents" together and the result is this game-changing copy.

    What We're Listening For

    The following are some of the things we listened for while critically evaluating this classic Stones album.

    Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?

    Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals should never be so far back in the soundfield that they become lost in the mix. Mick's vocals should be front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt (Andy Johns in this case) would know to put them.

    The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.

    Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with the issue of frequency extension seen 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.

    Watch out for aggressive vocals. In addition, most copies, if they have any presence and top end to speak off, will have at least a trace of grit and grain, and usually more than a trace.

    Vinyl Condition

    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.

    Right right-line
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