Sly and the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Going On

On initial spin, if you think this record is not really up to audiophile standards, dig out your original and you’ll be surprised at just how terrible the latter sounds.  While this pressing still sounds somewhat hot on the top end (part of which might be the result of Mr. Ludwig’s mastering), with distortion artifacts present, the new version sounds like butter.

Skip right to the single “Family Affair,” and you’ll instantly get the groove and see why this record topped the charts.  The female backing vocal has much more presence, and more distance between it and Stone’s heavy lead vocal. Cymbals still sound buried, but there is a bevy of groovy, funk-laden guitars out in the open.  The other hit. “(You Caught Me) Smilin,” is also well represented, with a much larger stereo image than the original Epic pressing.

The surfaces on this double 45RPM set are incredibly quiet, whereas the originals are awash in tape hiss and sound like an 8-track in comparison. Surprisingly, even though the LPs are cut at 45RPM, the tracks still only take up about a half of each LP side, respectively, so ultimate dynamics remain lacking.  -Jeff Dorgay

ORG Music, 2-45 rpm LPs