"Tarkus" LP - Island pressing for $25. Is it the best version?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GKH, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    Porky on side 1
    Pecko on side 2
  2. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Well there ya go. It just seemed like you left out the most important part of the description :) Congrats on the find. I haven't come across a clean Tarkus yet, even the common U.S. pressings.
  3. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    Cool! And, Thanks!
    Guess, I got a good one then! Never thought to look at the deadwax. But, I wouldn't have known what I was looking at anyway. :)
    ...back in the 70s, we just bought the LP we wanted, and didn't think much else about it. Of course; then came along MFSL (aka Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab or MoFi), and a few other 1/2 speed master companies, and a couple of companies making Direct to Disk LPs. Those were simple times. :thumbsup:
  4. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    The Zal CD tops everything IMO. :cheers:
  5. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    This has got to be the nosiest album I own! :confused:
    But, by damned the surface sure looks good! It sounds like a 1972 LP, that has not been taken care of. But, it looks M-, maybe better.
    If you get past the surface noise, which I cannot, it sounds great!

    I'll run it through the Spin Clean on Saturday. But, I really doubt it's gonna get much better. It's terrible!

    I'm going to call the shop, and see if they will take it back. Wow!:mad: maybe it's just worn out?!

    I took if off, and now I'm playing ELP (s/t). My original purchase from 1970. Sounds fantastic!
    So; it's not my stylus, or anything else.
  6. tlmusic

    tlmusic Forum Resident

    Tarkus - 1st UK "Porky" pressing

    As I mentioned in my early post, "It can be surprisingly difficult to find in playable condition."

    Over a several year period, I bought maybe eight or so copies from UK eBay sellers. I ended up with a pile of "excellent" copies that had lots of groovewear distortion and/or crackle. I also got one UK copy from Germany that looks unplayed, but it has a dish warp. And the covers ubiquitously have "rubbing", if not ringwear. I've actually never even seen a picture of a true NM UK Tarkus jacket.

    In August of last year I finally struck gold on a lovely EX+ vinyl copy that came with a pile of other records from a UK seller. That final upgrade record set me back GBP £6.06. Too bad I didn't buy that one first. :laugh:

    [​IMG]
  7. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    Maybe, a Linn TT will make it all good. :D
    In my case, I'll take $25 store credit if they let me bring it back. Bummer.
  8. tlmusic

    tlmusic Forum Resident

    The Linn is no match for groovewear. Sorry to hear you found a typical noisy copy. Most of the UK albums that George Peckham cut in the early 70s are uncommon in nice playing shape. Black Sabbath Vol. 4., for example. Peckham cut the records blisteringly hot, so even pristine copies have some distortion in the inner grooves. Add a little mistracking, and here comes the IGD. Plus those records were enjoyed at parties by their original owners, in a time when friendly styluses were uncommon. Even if a record was carefully handled otherwise, it only took a few plays to ruin the sound forever. And I maintain that UK pressing quality from that time on Island, Charisma and others can be spotty--looking good but having mysterious crackle.

    I wouldn't give up on finding a good UK 1st pressing, though. It can sound unbelievably great. Maybe a forum member has an extra copy, you could try a WTB in the classifieds.
  9. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    Thanks for the enlightenment! :righton: And, I guess that what makes my copy a bit interesting. It probably did see some parties back in the day. And, looking at it, there is not a single visible scratch on either side. It was never abused! Overplayed, perhaps... but, never mishandled.
    I ran it through the Spin Clean this morning. It just shines brighter. Maybe just a tiny little bit of surface noise has been removed. But; this piece of vinyl is way past it's prime. As a matter of fact, I personally have never experienced a record that was just plain worn out. I'm going for the exchange. Since, I have been playing vinyl again (the past 2 months), I have given this particular store quite a bit of business. Hopefully, we can work something out. And exchange for several of their other LPs would suit me just fine.
    As far as a continued search for a really nice vintage "Tarkus", I'll pass, and probably just buy the 180 gram pressing. I'm not going to roll the dice and spend another $25 from an online seller (for example), and end up with a similar result.
    Of course, if I run across a clean example locally for under $10, I might buy it. It probably won't be an Island pressing. My ELP (s/t) is Cotillion (SD 9040). And, It sounds good. My previous "Tarkus", I think was Cotillion, as well.
  10. HeavyDistortion

    HeavyDistortion Active Member

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Although not as nice sounding as the original UK or German pink-rim Island LPs, the original "Tarkus" US LP on Cotillion, mastered by George Piros, certainly sounds decent as well. It's definitely a nice and cheaper alternative, that I bet will sound better than any newer reissue LP.


    Ed Hurdle
    HeavyDistortion
  11. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I would also like to know how different sounding are the German Manticore versions...
  12. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    I just spoke with the record store. They told be to bring it back for exchange. :righton: 'Going over on Monday. :cheers:
  13. Randy W

    Randy W Active Member

    The German Manticore pressings of ELP I have heard are a bit "duller" sounding that the best UK originals, which have more "presence." On their own, the Manticores sound fine, especially the first ELP album.
  14. izgoblin

    izgoblin Well-Known Member

    I have the UK Manticore releases of the first three albums and I can tell you that they don't hold a candle to the original Island issues of each, but that's because the original Island issues sounded so darned good. And isn't it the UK Manticore release of the first album that is cut at the wrong speed? I got lucky and bought these versions when I visited the UK for 5 or 6 GBP apiece, but if you can afford to get Island copies, you'd be so much happier. I'd certainly say that well-kept original US Cotillion copies of the first few albums would do you better than those Manticores (surprisingly).
  15. Randy W

    Randy W Active Member

    I've never heard a UK Manticore pressing of any ELP title. There's no doubt that the UK originals are the way to go if you are willing to look a bit - just harder to find in great shape for anywhere near the same money. Pretty much the standard answer for many UK groups...

    I thought the S/T album sounded pretty good on German Manticore - until I found a NM -2U/-1U Pink Label UK original Island pressing. That blew me away.
  16. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    The thread has taken a bit of a turn.. :agree:
    I was really fired up about that Island "Tarkus". And, it didn't work out. But, at least when I return it, I'll be coming home with 4 or 5 other LPs.

    But, speaking of the ELP s/t album, that's one of the great prog rock albums of all-time; at least to me. My Cotillion copy sounds good to me! So; I'm seeing it, and "Tarkus" on 180 gram vinyl. And, of course, I'm really curious about just how good they sound. If they are excellent :angel:, I would love those along with "Brain Salad Surgery" on the heavy audiophile vinyl.
    Sure! If I could get them all on original Island pressings, that would be nice. I guess, "BSS" is only on Manticore?

    One of the things I'm finding spinning vinyl again, besides catching up with a lot of what I had before, and sold is, I'm seeing a lot of these 180 / 200 gram releases that I want. The hobby has gotten more expensive . :D
  17. HeavyDistortion

    HeavyDistortion Active Member

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Again, if you like the sound of ELP's first LP on Cotillion, you would more than likely appreciate the "Tarkus" LP on Cotillion as well. I don't quite understand why you want to get new reissues of the ELP LPs, when you can find the original LPs much cheaper, and also be assured that you'll be getting an all analog mastering. You should take advantage of the useful information about ELP LPs that are found in this thread and other related threads contained in the SH Forum's archives.


    Ed Hurdle
    HeavyDistortion
  18. Ramos Pinto

    Ramos Pinto New Member

    Location:
    Southeast US
    I have the debut on a Manticore import and it's a mind-blower.
  19. Runt

    Runt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Motor City
    Cool. What country is it from? I recently scored a German pink Island label copy of the ELP debut, and it's amazing. Massive lows, sparkly highs. Sounds gorgeous. Plus has a unique gatefold sleeve.
  20. izgoblin

    izgoblin Well-Known Member

    I wonder if that German pink Island label used the same stampers as the UK, because that UK cut really is beautiful. Unfortunately my copy has groove damage which is upsetting but it's still a good listen. I've heard a quality needledrop of a clean copy and it really blew me away.

    If Ramos Pinto heard a "mindblower" of a Manticore ELP debut, then it can't be the same cut as my UK edition. As I think about it, it may have only been "Knife Edge" that was too slow, but whatever track(s) it was, the speed issue was painfully obvious and in my opinion unlistenable to anyone who is familiar with the album.
  21. Snashforce

    Snashforce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Appalachia, USA
    Do the original Island and Cotillion share the same mastering?

    I like the MFSL cd. Maybe it's the low noise floor. I go to that more than the Cotillion LP.
  22. christopher

    christopher Forum Neurotic

    No. The UK Island was mastered by George "Porky" Peckham and the US Cotillion was mastered by George Piros.

    Later, Chris
  23. Snashforce

    Snashforce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Appalachia, USA
    ok, thanks. I like the George Piros Cotillion mastering I've got, never heard the "Porky" Island.
  24. GKH

    GKH Active Member

    Location:
    Somerville, TN
    Ed;
    You're right! And, I'm in no rush to spend $40 on 180 gram 'Tarkus'. There are a few good LP shops in the area. With some patience, hopefully, I can find a nice Pre-owned copy.
    Earlier, I was looking at the ELP LPs that I currently have. And, the 'Trilogy' that I purchased a couple of weeks ago is an Atlantic pressing. It was a good find, for sure.
    I have done well with my used vinyl purchases since buying my Rega back in November. It's just funny that the $25 'Tarkus' :D is the worst purchase so far! lol! But, I'm getting my $$$ back. So, all is well.
    Before getting the new TT, back in the day, I never purchased any vinyl used. We would spend our 5 or 6 dollars, and take a new release home.
    But, I must say; I'm having a really good time shopping for used vinyl. And, my wife's enjoying it, too!
  25. Snashforce

    Snashforce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Appalachia, USA
    Just listened to the Cotillion Tarkus again. It's an awesome experience.