Home > Music > +Audiophile
James Taylor - Sweet Baby James ~ 24/96kHz 180-gram Vinyl Rip [Requested Repost]
Posted By : Guthead | Date : 05 Feb 2022 16:05:27 | Comments : 8

James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
Warner Brothers 274300 180-gram vinyl, 2008 re-issue
Mastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman
24-96kHz Flac | No Log (Vinyl rip) | Cover scan | DVD-A artwork | RS
Original 1970 | 31:51 min | ~850 Mb | Folk Rock

A soul-baring masterpiece, Sweet Baby James climbed to #3 on Billboard's pop albums chart, where it remained for more than one hundred weeks. It has been certified triple platinum by the R.I.A.A., and is #103 on Rolling Stone's list of the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. This new pressing of this timeless classic on 180 gram virgin vinyl is an extraordinary way to experience the warmth, depth and range of emotions of signature Taylor songs including “Fire And Rain,” “Country Road” and the title track, which fittingly ends with the line, “but singing works just fine for me.” ~ Many thanks to the original ripper!


1. Sweet Baby James
2. Lo And Behold
3. Sunny Skies
4. Steamroller
5. Country Road
6. Oh, Susannah
7. Fire And Rain
8. Blossom
9. Anywhere Like Heaven
10. Oh Baby, Don't You Loose Your Lip On Me
11. Suite For 20 G

Technical Specifications
-Technics SL-1900 direct drive turntable running an Ortofon Super OM-20 cartridge.
-Bellari VP-129 tube phono preamp
-Hoontech/Soundtrack Audio DSP24 Value sound card

The signal was imported into Adobe Audition at 96kHz/32-bit (float). All vinyl pop
removal has been done manually using Audition's pop/click removal tool. No EQ or NR
has been added.

Michael Fremer Review
Though James Taylor's self-titled debut introduced his mellow melodicism and affecting
song craft, Sweet Baby James was the album that rocketed him to national recognition. With
Sweet Baby James, Taylor abandoned the slightly psychedelic structural ambition of his first
record and settled fully into the folk and country styles to which he is best suited. The Top
Ten hit "Fire and Rain," for instance, a deeply personal story-song based on the artist's
experiences in mental hospitals and the suicide of a friend, is built around Taylor's gentle,
understated voice, acoustic guitar, cello, piano and drums. Sweet Baby James is Taylor's definitive
statement and one of the most influential albums in the singer-songwriter genre.

A young James Taylor arrived on the crowded late ‘60’s musical scene a mature, fully formed artist.
His voice was unique, rich-sounding and immediately identifiable, as was his acoustic guitar playing.
His songwriting was accomplished both lyrically and melodically well beyond his 20 years.

After the breakup of his group the Flying Machine (with longtime cohort Danny Kortchmar), Taylor
signed to Apple Records. Given the quality of his songs and performing abilities, why producer
Peter Asher chose to grossly overproduce his Apple debut remains a mystery. Perhaps it was to
camouflage and add sparkle to the very dark “mental health” subject matter of many of the songs,
or because the record was Apple Records’ first non-Beatles release and given the group’s high
production values, Asher decided he needed brass and strings and backup singers. Of course, he didn’t
Despite the overproduction, the Trident Studio sonics were spacious and spectacular (at least on the UK
original vinyl. The Capitol pressing was only so-so) and the songwriting sublime. Yet despite tunes
like “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Rainy Day Man,” “Sunshine, Sunshine,” and of course “Carolina
In My Mind,” the album stiffed. Taylor signed to Warner Brothers and again with Asher producing,
came up with this timeless gem. Eschewing the busy production of the Apple album, Asher put Taylor
and his guitar front and center, intimately miked and then added only what was necessary to fill out
the picture.

For those of us who’d grown accustomed to the first album’s opulent sound, this one sounded primitive
and underproduced, though of course there was plenty of brass behind “Steamroller” and Carole King’s
piano, Russ Kunkel’s drums and some backup singing fill out the spare mixes. The problem was, on
stereos back then, many, even good ones, had trouble with the sibilants, so “steamroller” became
“ssssteamroller.” I remember trying to get that tracking right and failing. I also remember having
a negative feeling about what sounded like closed in, dull sound, though of course the music was and
remains magical, especially in the way it seemed to capture a cozy New England vibe. That’s where I was
living when the album was released, which only added to the album’s resonant quality. When you’re driving
from Stockbridge to Boston after Thanksgiving and the Berkshires have just gotten a frostin’ and you’re
listening to the album in your car, well, it was special. Over time, as one’s stereo improved, so did
the sound of the original record. The acoustic behind Taylor’s voice appeared, the articulation of
the guitars improved, especially the bass parts, the background singer’s took on individual character
and on and on until what was once a closed-in dull acoustic began to really take on a warm, yet
detailed aura.

Truly, over time, the recording by Bill Lazerus, rose from the dead (sorry couldn’t help myself). Every
original green WB “keystone” pressing I’ve owned since the record was first issued had a “Hi James”
inscribed on the lead out groove area of side one, and a crossed-out “That’s all folks” (the Porky Pig WB
cartoon sign off) on side two. And every copy still had a bit of a sibilance problem. Last year I found
what had to have been a later pressing since the jacket had printed on it “contains ‘Fire and Rain’ and
‘Country Road.’” I picked that one up at a church rummage sale still sealed for a buck. That one had
neither “That’s all folks” nor “Hi James” on it but in tiny letter etched right next to the label was
“Lazerus,” which tells me this copy was mastered by the recording engineer himself, and it’s easily the
best sounding copy I’ve heard….until this new 180g Warner Brothers reissue mastered at AcousTech by
Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman. This too has a curious lead out groove area that contains a stamp of
the new catalog number. Now that’s something I’ve not seen on a Gray/Hoffman mastering. Whatever.
This is easily the best sounding edition of this record that I’ve heard yet. It’s warm, yet detailed,
three dimensional and harmonically full. Taylor’s vocals are cleanly rendered as are the sibilants.
Finally a clean “Steamroller”! Perhaps Gray used a “de-esser.” There’s a bit of a prominence to the
very top of Taylor’s voice, but that’s been there from the beginning.

So nothing’s lost in this transfer but plenty has been gained. No doubt you can find cheap originals
but none will approach the rich and detailed, three dimensional sound of this reissue that comes complete
with the original insert containing lyrics on one side and a black and white photo of a very young JT on
the other.

With classic and timeless tunes like “Sweet Baby James,” “Country Road,” “Fire and Rain,” “Blossom,” and
“Anywhere Like Heaven,” if you’re going to have but one James Taylor album in your collection, this is
the one to have. Though who’s got only one? There are so many great ones (and a few that are not so great).
A superb reissue in every way that’s simply meant to be heard on AAA vinyl. Don’t miss it! Music = 10/11;
Sound = 10/11
– Michael Fremer, Music Angle, www.musicangle.com

Posted By: Dr. Robert Date: 05 Feb 2022 16:33:35
This is a great sounding vinyl rip of James Taylor's first album for Warner Brothers. The rip was done by DLedin. The same talented fellow who did the George Harrison "All Things Must Pass" red wax original Japan pressing I posted last month.

Thanks also goes to Guthead for re-upping this for the folks that missed it before.
Posted By: lauryyk Date: 05 Feb 2022 23:45:47
Much thanks.
Posted By: 4-F Date: 06 Feb 2022 02:12:47
Thanks! I guess I missed it first time around. That has happened quite a bit lately. I don't know if it's me or maybe Avax's pages don't load correctly.
Posted By: Guthead Date: 06 Feb 2022 02:23:34
Well the posting was nearly a year ago, but now you can click on anybodies nick and you go directly to their blog.....scroll back to the beginning of time....
Posted By: 4-F Date: 06 Feb 2022 03:32:04
I don't know. I've been checking Avax daily for well over a year and all to frequently I see a repost of something I missed. I'm going to have to improve my "search and rescue" methods. I have this playing now and it does sound wonderful to say the least. Fire And Rain is one of my all time favorite songs and this is such a great album anyway. Thanks again. :)
Posted By: yerbas07 Date: 06 Feb 2022 11:59:27
Muchas gracias por reponer este bello vinilo, ya puedo completar mi DVD-audio de James Taylor.
Posted By: Guthead Date: 06 Feb 2022 12:36:29
Well Yerbas, the only language I'm fluent in is Antartican, but it's sounds like you were either thanking me or calling my wife a bloated warthog...you're welcome...i think...
Posted By: Dr. Robert Date: 06 Feb 2022 20:52:33
For those who are not fluent in Antartican, Yerbas07 said:

Thank you very much for this beautiful vinyl replacement, I can complete my DVD-Audio by James Taylor.
Recent searches:

Donate please!