Bobby Long's ODE on LP Winner in Content, Recording

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Bobby Long Ode LP vinyl

ODE on LP by Bobby Long is the vinyl version of his wonderful CD “Ode To Thinking.” Sort of.

I say sort of because there are some differences between the two that are not just sonic in nature. The CD is titled “Ode To Thinking”, the LP just “Ode.” There are 11 songs on the CD compared to 9 on the LP. And although there are only two numerical songs difference, there are several different songs that appear on one but not the other.

Here is the tale of the tape, so-to-speak.

The LP has the following songs that are not on the CD:

  • Pretty Little Pennies

  • If You Don’t Want To Be With Me

  • From Me

The CD has the following songs that are not on the LP:

  • Cold Hearted Lover Of Mine

  • Kill Someone

  • Hideaway

  • The Songs Kids Sing

  • That Little Place

Here is the list of tracks on the album:

Side 1:

  • Ode To Thinking

  • I’m Not Going Out Tonight

  • Treat Me Like A Stranger

  • Something Blue. Something Borrowed

  • The Dark Won’t Get Darker

Side 2:

  • Pretty Little Pennies

  • If You Don’t Want To Be With Me.

  • From Me

  • 1985

For this review I want to spend more time comparing the sound, and for my views of the album in general please read my review for the CD located in our archives.

For those who have never heard an LP or have forgotten just how much better LP playback is over digitally recorded music, here is not only a good example for you but one to which you will be able to make direct comparison, as we are not talking about content recorded decades ago which we now having to compare decades apart. Here we are on a level playing field.

The physical nature of the LP was good. The jacket, while not the heaviest stock, was not flimsy either. Same too for the weight of the vinyl, the actual LP of which did still have some processing residue left on it and should be a good reminder to everyone to clean your LPs no matter if you just took the wrapper off or not. You owe it to the records, to your cartridge and to your ears.

Once properly cleaned, I was ready to give the album my undivided attention.

I listened to the album after having refreshed my ears with the CD so I would have the aural images fresh in my mind.


It was quite apparent from the onset that the vinyl version of Bobby’s album was going to be a notch above the digital version, as I thought it would be. But let me qualify that by saying that, while better in most ways, the CD still had a couple of things going for it the album didn’t.

In terms of surface noise, there was more on the album of course than could be heard on the digital--more than I thought there would be on a brand new record even after cleaning. Secondly, the depth of the soundstage was actually a little deeper on the CD. On the LP, everyone seemed to be on the same plane.

Having giving the CD its kudos, from that point forward the LP won out hands down.

In terms of that “humanness” that I look for, that quality of sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to a living being and not a reproduction, the LP was stellar. The acoustic attack and decay on instruments such as his acoustic guitar and the beat of the drums was spot on, giving me a real sense that I could feel the instruments vibrate as they created their sound, giving them that all important texture.

This was never more evident than on the vocals. There is an earthiness to Bobby’s vocals now that any of his fans who have seen him live will really appreciate in this vinyl recording. When he is singing with someone else, you can hear more definition between everyone singing; there is vocal “space” allowing you to hear them together, but you’re able to pick each one out and hear them singing their parts. Ahhh, vinyl!

The instruments are more spread out across the soundstage, not particularly set in their own space; but the mixing is done well, and the instruments play together as a sum of the whole instead of individually creating a wall of music in front of me. I just wish it had a little more depth.

While I was a little disappointed that the LP has two fewer songs and that a couple of my favorites were dropped, I am not too disappointed because a) the three songs on the LP that aren’t on the CD are killers, especially From Me, and b) I have both! So I do not have to do without. Now, would it have been good to hear those others on vinyl too? Yes, but that’s okay. We can’t always have everything!

If you do not have an LP playback system, well shame on you and it’s your loss in more ways than one. You are missing out on superior musicality and your missing hearing three really good songs!

But you can rectify that, and I hope you do, because this LP is a winner both in content and recording, and will make you hear what you’ve been missing all this time. The CD is great. The LP greater still.


4.5 / 5.0