SD 7203 (MX 164193 / MX 164194*)
Originally Released: 22 February 1971 (US)
This Release: 1971
Comments: Received wisdom states that the best sounding records are original pressings from the artist’s country of origin. As always, one must listen before making judgments. I picked this up at a local Sunday market for $5.00, thinking it would be a good way to hear the album cheaply and if I liked it, I could then hunt for an original US pressing. I wasn’t expecting much as Australian pressings of overseas artists can be a hit or miss affair. I’m pleased to report that this sounds amazing. Very wide, open soundstage. Tight, well-defined bass and rich vocals and guitars. I haven’t heard any other pressings so maybe the original US is even better (or the UK, German, etc…), but it’s hard to imagine it sounding much better than this. Maybe it was just really well recorded, though with all the people involved and all the drugs that would have undoubtedly been consumed, it’s amazing that they got it to sound so good. All in all, this was $5.00 well spent.
* A note on the “MX” numbers. I’ve been trying to figure out what these numbers represent for the past 25 years. I’ve finally tracked down some information. The MX number means that the record was pressed by CBS Records Australia. I’ve since been trying to keep track of all the MX numbers I see, because I’m mentally unstable. With this release, the numbers correspond with other records pressed in 1971 and are also stamped in the deadwax (runout groove), without any suffix. I think this suggests that it is an original pressing, as some my my Australian Led Zeppelin records have an A or B after the MX number and I know for sure they were pressed in the 80’s and are therefore represses.
Do you have this pressing? If so, what do you think? Do you have a different pressing? How is it? Please feel free to comment.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Discogs Link (US Pressing)