This is a super rare original Sheffield Direct-to-Disc pressed at Monarch, often referred to in audiophile circles by its catalog number, S-9. I'm not a big "audiophile pressing" guy (if that's confusing, stick around -- I'll try to explain) but I love finding a nice copy of a historical record like this. It's the first record Sheffield released with their famous Direct To Disc process, which skips any tape machines and cuts the music to a lacquer as it is played. Taking a step out of the chain is supposed to benefit the sound, and there's no denying this record sounds great.
This record is beautifully clean and quiet on the first side but has some issues on the second. It looks like the second side has possible heat damage but the first is completely unaffected. Side two has substantial surface noise at times, other spots play pretty well. Normally I wouldn't list a record like this as I try to only offer pressings without problems, but this is such a rare and cool find that I thought I'd throw it out there. Side one may give you all you need anyway, it's a fun record but Dark Side Of The Moon it ain't. I could definitely enjoy playing a side of this one and moving on to something else. I'm offering it below the standard market rate considering the issue.
So what am I getting into up top with the audiophile pressing comment? I love a great sounding record of course, but for me the music comes first. So I don't really have an issue with the traditional approach of recording until you get the best take and editing as necessary if that results in the best possible final product. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy an album like this or don't see the benefits in doing things this way. I'm just not one to assume that an album recorded or mastered specifically to maximize sound quality is automatically the best approach. But you can't argue with results and I always have fun with this one, more so than most similar records!
Vinyl: EX side one, VG side two (see above)
Cover: VG+ (strong! tiny nick up top)
Play notes: See listing. Side one is quiet and amazing. Side two has some issues.
We prefer to overdeliver and therefore grade conservatively. Our scale runs Near Mint (NM), Excellent (EX), Very Good Plus (VG+), Very Good (VG), Good Plus (G+), Good (G).