Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Quick One...on Record Pressing

It's been a while since Puretone Audio updated the news page...that's because we have been B-U-S-Y. Lots of new stuff coming in, lots of exciting things happening in the industry and new product hitting the shelves. In terms of mailorder - things are speeding forward rapidly. the Discogs Marketplace continues to be our main outlet for vinyl, and the worldwide thirst for records continues unabated. Brazil, Australia and the Russian Federation have been two of our biggest outlets for growth, and almost every trip to the post office includes parcels leaving for far off places. We also just received our first three 200G titles from Acoustic Sounds' new state of the art Quality Record Pressings plant; Cat Stevens Tea For the Tillerman, and Texas blues great Freddie King's Texas Cannonball and Getting Ready. <>
"These (two new LPs from Reference Recordings) and Analog Production's remastering of Tea for the Tillerman were both pressed at Quality Record Pressings, the superb Salina, Kansas, facility, and they are the best and the quietest LPs I've heard of recordings made during the LP era. In a sense, the silences of QRP's pressings, their lack of those hard-to-define anomalies of stylus-in-groove sonics, are comparable to the kind of quietness inherent in a magnetic-drive turntable...QRP has put its best feet forward. 'Spectacular' in this case means a freedom from defects (snaps, crackles, and pops) and an absence of groove noise and what I would call vinyl 'rumble,' hard to define except by contrast with normal pressings." - Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound, January 2012 (or Issue 219) "...All you really need to know is that in every way this first effort from 'QRP' is of the highest quality...gatefold packaging which looks just like the original, only better. As far as the sound goes it is equally brilliant...And wow listening to this impeccably pressed on 200g vinyl reissue. The attack of the pick on the guitar strings is astonishingly clean and detailed. Depth is pronounced and because of both the blackness of the backdrop and the precision of both the state-of-the-art plating and the technological breakthroughs achieved in the retro-fitted presses, the resolution of low-level detail reveals a host of details that are either buried or glossed over on the other versions I've heard and own." - Jack Roberts, Dagogo, October 2011 "...Like the glossy gatefold covers used in their deluxe Impulse 45 RPM series, the cover reproduction here is absolutely top-notch...The vinyl itself arrived perfectly clean and flat, and played with nary a pop or tic throughout...The pressing is of extremely high quality." - My Vinyl Review, August 29, 2011
Released in 1972 as the second of Freddie King's three releases for Shelter Records, Leon Russell's Tulsa-based label. In fact, when Russell first formed Shelter, he reportedly did so partly to play out his vision of recording one of his favorites, Freddie King. King's output on Texas Cannonball includes brilliant covers of songs by Howlin' Wolf, Lowell Fulson, Leon Russell, Bill Withers and Elmore James. Backing artists include many musicians who played with Eric Clapton in the 1970s. Clapton has stated many times over that Freddie King was among his chief influences. Supporting musicians include Leon Russell on piano, Carl Radle and Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Jim Gordon, Chuck Blackwell and Al Jackson on drums, Don Preston on guitar and John Gallie on organ. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis in February 1972.
"...the pure analog sound and straightforward recording technique let the music speak for itself...has an immediacy that few contemporary recordings can match, and with the QRP vinyl you'll get so much closer to the sound of the analog master tape." - Steve Guttenberg, The Audiophiliac, August 28, 2011 Freddie King is easily one of the most influential blues guitarists of his or any generation. Any blues enthusiast or guitar aficionado would have him ranked high on their list of all-time greats. He was a guitar hero before there was "Guitar Hero". Getting Ready... was King's first of three releases for Shelter Records, Leon Russell's Tulsa-based label. In fact, when Russell first formed Shelter, he reportedly did so partly to play out his vision of recording one of his favorites, Freddie King. Recorded in October 1970 at the TER-MAR Chess Studios in Chicago and released in 1971, Getting Ready... is proof positive that King was the man and that Shelter Records was one cool label. The record includes a cover of Jimmy Rogers' classic "Walking By Myself" and King references Rogers also in the lyrics of another track on the record, "Living On The Highway". Rogers was the first artist to record for Acoustic Sounds' own APO Records label and the first to appear in concert at Acoustic Sounds' Blue Heaven Studios. More APO and Blue Heaven tie-ins to Freddie King include Jimmie Lee Robinson, who while living was the veritable soul of APO and Blue Heaven. When King moved from Texas to Southside Chicago around 1950, he formed his first ever band, The Every Hour Blues Boys, with Robinson. The backing band for Getting Ready... includes the stud cast of Leon Russell on piano and guitars, Duck Dunn on bass, Don Preston on guitar, Jon Gallie on organ, Chuck Blackwell on drums and Charles Myers on drums.
Also, Acoustic Sounds' Quality Record Pressings plant is now pressing Sundazed Records vinyl, which has great titles from Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and my personal favorite, Iggy & the Stooges' Raw Power. In the past Sundazed has been plagued by inconsistent pressing quality, as some records sound great and others were noisy. To find our latest and greatest vinyl listings and keep track of what has come in over the previous week, check out our PhoenixRex Discogs store.