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Tom Petty - Hard Promises

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: pettyhardp_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The best copy we've heard in years, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides -- "The Waiting" sounds superb. You get incredible energy and presence, full extension up top and real weight down low. Many copies can get thin and edgy -- especially on the vocals -- but not this one.

More Tom Petty


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Super Hot Stamper

The Police
Ghost in the Machine

  (Item #: policghost_1608s) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


  • Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides makes this a great copy
  • Tubey and musical with a huge soundstage and the clarity these dense mixes require
  • Great songs: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Invisible Sun, and more
  • Hugh Padgham took over engineering duties for this and The Police's next album - the quality of their recordings is much the better for it
See all of our Sting / Police albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Jimmy Smith
Got My Mojo Working

  (Item #: smithgotmy_1704_) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two this copy handily won our shootout
  • The best sides have the kind of analog richness, warmth and smoothness that we make listening to records so involving
  • Some pop tunes, some Ellington and more, all of which has a real funky feel to it, with Jimmy really getting into it and grunting along with the music
  • "This 1965 Verve release finds the B-3 innovator mixing it up with organ and guitar combo swingers and big band charts compliments of arranger Oliver Nelson."
See all of our Jimmy Smith albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Birds of Fire

  (Item #: mahavbirds_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Side two is close to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) - it's so smooth and natural you can just turn up your volume and let it rock
  • Huge and clear, this copy has dangerous amounts of energy - it's as powerful and captivating as the music itself
  • Side one is also seriously good, earning a Double Plus (A++) grade, and making this a True Demo Disc of Jazz Fusion
  • Clearly one of the All Time Greats in the world of Jazz/Rock, as well as the band's Masterpiece - 5 stars on Allmusic
See all of our Mahavishnu Orchestra albums in stock


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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: coltrgiant_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Atlantic Stereo LP has EXCELLENT SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! As everyone should know by now, a killer copy like this is the exception, not the rule.

Side one had wonderful energy and the kind of full-bodied sound that is key to keeping the saxophone from tearing your head off when it really gets going. If you know anything about this music you know that Coltrane builds up a head of steam on practically every track on the album. He is blasting away here and it is a thrill to be sure.

More Giant Steps


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Super Hot Stamper

Jeff Beck
Truth

  (Item #: beck_truth_1704) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end for Beck's amazingly well recorded masterpiece
  • Both sides have the Big Rock Sound and powerful Rock Energy, the kind we go crazy for here at Better Records
  • Really fun music - it's a blast to hear Rod Stewart fronting such a heavy rock band
  • Easily and by a wide margin the best sounding record Jeff Beck ever made - thanks Ken!
  • AMG 5 Stars "...almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums."
See all of our Jeff Beck albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Janis Joplin
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

  (Item #: jopliigotd_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An incredible Top Copy -- Triple Triple (A+++) - Janis is ROCKIN' here with sound here with sound that is As Good As It Gets
  • This copy has the ideal combination of openness and transparency, coupled with the richness and solidity of vintage analog
  • When Janis starts singing, watch out - her voice positively JUMPS out of the speakers, something we didn’t hear her do on the other copies in our shootout
  • Features Try, one of Janis's All Time Classics -- and with these grades you can be sure it sounds positively amazing here
See all of our Janis Joplin albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Eagles
On The Border

  (Item #: eagleonthe_1704) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An incredible Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on side one
  • The sound is incredibly big, lively, open, rich and present with real extension up both top and down low
  • You Never Cry Like A Lover and The Best Of My Love have Glyn Johns DEMO DISC Sound
  • We're HUGE fans of the album here at Better Records; it's some of the most sophisticated, well-crafted, heartfelt music these guys ever made, and that's saying a lot
See all or our Eagles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Recent Songs

  (Item #: cohenrecen_1704_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Another BR rarity -- Double Plus (A++) from the first note to the last
  • Both sides are clean, clear and open with plenty of extension on both ends and tons of energy
  • Relatively quiet vinyl throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "Recent Songs suggested Cohen had regained a certain equilibrium after a long dark period..." - All Music
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Hampton Hawes
Vol 2: The Trio

  (Item #: hawesvol2t_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) pressing from '55/'56 mono tapes is EVERYTHING that's good about mono
  • The size, the weight, the solidity, the clarity, the energy, the rhythmic drive - it's all here and more
  • This is some of the best sound and the best music we have ever heard on any Hampton Hawes album - a true Must Own
  • 4 1/2 Stars [but we give it 5]: "... this Hampton Hawes date would certainly make good company for any other top jazz piano trio records in your collection."
See all of our Hampton Hawes albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan

  (Item #: dylananoth_1704) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • An amazing Mono copy of this early Dylan classic -- Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • Great songs including All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom, My Back Pages and more
  • Both sides here are incredibly rich, sweet and Tubey Magical with tons of presence and energy
  • Vinyl is relatively quiet for a Dylan album, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa and The Mothers...
Absolutely Free

  (Item #: zappaabsol_1704_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer original pressing on both sides of one of Zappa's best, with Double Plus (A++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl
  • Rich and Tubey Magical yet cut so cleanly and clearly there's practically no distortion - this sound is rare in our experience
  • If you've suffered through the reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound here
  • 4 1/2 Stars Allmusic: "By turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex... a fabulously inventive record..."
See all of our Frank Zappa albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Clouds

  (Item #: mitchcloud_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A lovely vintage pressing of Clouds, with Double Plus (A++) sound quality on both sides
  • Check out the clear transients on the acoustic guitar -- you can really hear her moving her hands around the fretboard and pulling on the strings
  • It's tough to find this album in clean shape with this kind of warm, natural sound (something the new reissue is no doubt profoundly lacking)
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "A stark stunner, a great leap forward for Joni Mitchell."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: stewaatlan_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This copy just murdered the competition. The last consistently good Rod Stewart album? It gets my vote.

The copies we liked best were the biggest and richest, and the least thin and dry. Many of the brighter copies also had sibilance problems which the richer and tubier ones do not.

More Rod Stewart


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Saint-Saens - Piano Concerto No. 2

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: saintconce_2234_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Harry Pearson put this recording on his TAS List of Super Disc LPs, and with good reason -- the sound is wonderfully relaxed and natural. This is no Hi-Fi Spectacular, as is the case with so many of the records on his list. (Hey, we like our Demo Discs every bit as much as he does; just not the same ones. SR 90006 and LSC 2225 on Classic? Really?)

More of the music of Camille Saint-Saens


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Debussy - Iberia (Images Pour Orchestra)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: debusiberi_2222_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

The Classic of LSC 2222 is all but unlistenable on a highly resolving system. The opacity, transient smear and loss of harmonic information and ambience found on Classic's pressing drives us right up the wall. Who can sit through a record that sounds like that? Way back in 1994, long before we had anything like the system we do now, we were disparaging the "Classic Records Sound" in our catalogs.

More of the music of Claude Debussy


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Debussy / Images Pour Orchestre / Argenta

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: debusimage_15020_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Presenting Super Hot Stamper sound on side two of this Stereo Treasury LP, which is where this superbly performed, wonderul sounding Iberia can be found. Although lacking in orchestral weight, from about 200 cycles up this copy is perfection. In its own way -- especially on systems with not a lot of firepower down low -- this side two qualifies as a Demo Disc.

See more of our spectacular orchestral recordings in stock


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Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 2 / Fennell

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: holstbriti_90197_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Side one big, full and dynamic, with horns and winds that are never screechy. (Side two of this first LP is very screechy and not at all to our liking.)

Side two of the second record has the sound of live music. Huge space, clear yet rich, this is the sound we were looking for!

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Hindemith / Symphony in B Flat / Fennell

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: hindesymph_90143_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Mercury RFR pressing contains Hindemith's Symphony In B Flat, Schoenberg's Theme And Variations Opus 43a and Stravinsky's Symphonies Of Wind Instruments. All three pieces sound quite good here, and we've rated both sides between A+ and A++ overall. The sound is very dynamic and spacious throughout in the best Mercury tradition. Mercury was also known for its top quality performances of landmark 20th century works such as these, and here, as expected, Fennell and his venerable Eastman Wind Ensemble do not disappoint.

More Orchestral Recordings


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Sousa / Sound Off! / Fennell / EWE

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: sousasound_90264_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Mercury pressing is EXCELLENT ON BOTH SIDES, way better than the copies we played it against. It has a GIGANTIC soundfield -- spacious and three-dimensional, deep and wide. The clarity is excellent and there's a ton of energy. Those of you with tubes in your system are likely to get the most out of this music.

Many of you are likely to recognize The Liberty Bell on side two -- it's the Monty Python theme song!

More of our best Orchestral Recordings


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Anderson / The Music of Leroy Anderson Vol. 3 / Fennell

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: andermusic_90400_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Volume Three (SR 90400) of Anderson's recordings for Mercury with Fennell conducting has long been a favorite or ours here at Better Records. The first volume is of course on the TAS Super Disc list, and when you get a good copy of it you will have no trouble believing it is a Super Disc. But so is this one, provided you play the right pressing of course.

More Orchestral Recordings


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The Recordings of Frank Sinatra

These Are Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: sinatra_frank) 



These are just some of the recordings by Frank Sinatra that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Frank Sinatra Albums with Hot Stampers

Frank Sinatra Albums We've Reviewed



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White Hot Stamper

Holst / The Planets / Previn / LSO

  (Item #: holstplane_emi_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • After a lengthy shootout hiatus we proudly present the best side two of this album to hit the site since 2013
  • Out Of This World sound on side two, where it earned a Four Plus sonic grade for its MINDBLOWING orchestral power
  • Side one earned a seriously good grade of Double Plus (A++) - it's rich, clear and dynamic, with weighty brass
  • A TAS List Super Disc, with a performance by Previn and the LSO that's as spectacular as the sound
  • This copy has some condition issues - those of you looking for a quiet copy will have to wait for the next shootout in 2018 or thereabouts
See more of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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The Recordings of Zoot Sims

Four More that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: sims_zoot_2) 



These are just some of the recordings by Zoot Sims that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

More Zoot Sims


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Dave Grusin - Discovered Again

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: grusidisco_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Sheffield Direct to Disc pressing has AMAZING SOUND! Out of the six copies we played, this was the White Hot Stamper WINNER of our shootout with the kind of life and musical energy simply not to be found on the average Sheffield copy.

See more of our Audiophile recordings


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Chabrier / Espana and more / Paray

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: chabrespan_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

I much prefer Ansermet’s performances on London to those of Paray on Mercury. I know of none better. The famous Classic pressing of the Mercury is a grainy, gritty, shrill piece of crap.

More of the music of Emmanual Chabrier (1841-1894)


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Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: mussopictu_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

The shrillness, the hardness, the sourness, the loss of texture to the strings, the phony boosted deep bass -- this is the kind of sound that makes my skin crawl. After a minute or two I’ve had it. And the performance is dreadful as well.

HP put this on his TAS List? Yes he did!

More Pictures at an Exhibition


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Mussorgsky / The Power of the Orchestra / Leibowitz

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mussopower_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Shaded Dog pressing of the famous TAS List Super Disc title has TWO AMAZING SIDES, including a side two that is White Hot! We have never heard a copy with such a huge hall sound and so much weight down low. As we said last time we did a shootout for this title in 2007: "DEMO DISC QUALITY ORCHESTRAL SOUND like you will not believe. Folks, it doesn’t get any better than this for huge orchestral dynamics and energy."

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)


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Mussorgsky - Pictures At An Exhibition - Ozawa

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: mussopictu_ozawa_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Chicago Symphony recording by RCA in 1968 has that BIG HALL SOUND we love here at Better Records. Multi-miking is kept to a minimum, which allows the listener to visualize the orchestra from a more natural perspective than other recordings of the work you may have heard.

The sound is open and spacious, with lovely texture to the strings. The larger horns are especially well-captured here, Their dark and powerful sound, coupled with the fact that the recording is so dynamic and full-bodied, can really be quite moving. It might just send some shivers up your spine.

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)


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The Not So "Golden Age" of RCA, Mercury, London and more

  (Item #: rca_golden_age) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning music and recordings.

We ran into a number of copies of this title that had what we like to call that "Old Record" sound, which is surprisingly common on even the most revered Golden Age labels, RCA included.

No top, no real bottom, congested climaxes and an overall shrillness to the sound -- we've played Living Stereos by the dozens that have these shortcomings and many more. Some audiophiles may be impressed by the average Shaded Dog pressing, but I can assure you that we here at Better Records are decidedly not of that persuasion. Something in the range of ten to fifteen per cent of the major label Golden Age recordings we play will eventually make it to the site. The vast majority just don't sound all that good to us.


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Liszt, Khatchaturian et al. / Fiedler / BPO

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: varioliebe_2546_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Breathtaking 1961 Living Stereo sound on side two - huge, open and Tubey Magical as all get out. Living Stereo Hot Stampers mean the hall is huge, the strings rich and sweetly textured. Vaughan Williams' arrangement of Fantasia On "Greensleeves" is especially lovely here. Fiedler and his Boston Pops play these 8 shorter pieces with great gusto and skill,

See more recordings conducted by Arthur Fiedler


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Mussorgsky on Vinyl

Three that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: Mussorgsky) 



These are just some of the recordings of the music of Mussorgsky that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place on our site, in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Hot Stamper Pressings of Mussorgsky's Music

Pressings of Mussorgsky's Music We've Reviewed



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Ravel / Rachmaninoff / The Reiner Sound / Reiner / CSO

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: ravelreine_2183_2010) 



Wow, the first nice Reiner Sound on Shaded Dog to make it to our site. Why? Because the few copies we've run across that looked decent enough to clean and play were just too noisy to enjoy. Not many copies have survived the bad turntables of their day with all their top end and inner grooves intact, but we're proud to say that this one has!

This former TAS List record really surprised us on two counts. First, you will not believe how DYNAMIC the recording is. Of all the classical recordings we've played lately I would have to say this is THE MOST DYNAMIC of them all.

More of the music of Maurice Ravel


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Mussorgsky, Borodin, et al. / Orchestral Showpieces / Solti

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mussonight_2011) 



This London Whiteback LP recorded in 1967 (CS 6503) has DEMO QUALITY SOUND on side two. Solti is the man for this music! He's on fire with this fiery material and the London engineers do him full justice -- at least they do on side two. (Side one has a long scratch and cannot be played.)

Don't go looking for the Tubey Magic of an earlier era. What you get instead is super low distortion, full bandwidth sound with deep powerful bass and lovely transparency. THIS is the way you want to hear Russian Orchestral Showpieces -- played with verve and dynamically ALIVE.

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)


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Tchaikovsky/ Capriccio Italien - Boult

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: tchaicapri_boult_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

ASD 3093. EMI Postage Stamp Label LP with DEMO QUALITY SOUND and a performance to match! I can''t remember when I''ve enjoyed these pieces more. The energy of the playing complements the dynamic, powerful and rich sound. A great EMI!

Recorded by the Two Christophers and performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Sir Adrian Boult, this record features various selections from Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

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Tchaikovsky on Vinyl

These Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: tchaikovsky) 



These are just some of the recordings of the music of Tchaikovsky that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place on our site, in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Albums of Tchaikovsky's Music with Hot Stampers

Albums of Tchaikovsky's Music We've Reviewed



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Neil Young - Tonight’s The Night

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: youngtonig_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

A KILLER COPY of one of the very toughest Neil Young albums to find with Hot Stamper sound is right here for the taking, folks. Side one earned an A++ grade while side two beat all comers to earn its A+++ rating. It is beyond difficult to find good sounding copies of this album. We see maybe one or two clean originals with Hot Stamper potential every year, so don't expect to see a ton of these hitting the site. The music is OFF THE CHARTS, of course, and the sound here is AMAZING.

More Neil Young


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White Hot Stamper

801
801 Live

  (Item #: 801__live_1611x) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The first Triple Triple (A+++) copy of this Better Records fave to hit the site in YEARS!
  • Both A+++ sides of this UK Island original are full-bodied, rich, BIG and present -- the guitars are really jumping out on this copy
  • If you're looking for a live record that rocks like crazy, this White Hot Stamper will knock you out
  • Eno and Manzanera created this unique masterpiece with the help of Rhett Davies' brilliant engineering
See all of our Brian Eno albums in stock


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Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: eno__takin_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is Eno's Masterpiece as well as a Desert Island Disc for yours truly. On the right pressing this is a Twisted Pop Demo Disc like nothing you have ever heard. If you have a big speaker and the kind of high quality playback that is capable of unraveling the most complicated musical creations, with all the weight and power of live music, this is the record that will make all your audio effort and expense worthwhile.

More Brian Eno


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Oscar Peterson - If You Could See Me Now

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: peterifyou_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This is a SUPERB set from Oscar Peterson's sometimes underwhelming Pablo period. This one is from 1983 and includes the estimable Joe Pass on guitar. Side one has the kind of sound one associates with late-'70s jazz, jazz that often seems to be recorded in dead studios. Side two sounds much better somehow -- more clear, present and lively. The liner notes tell us it's the same studio, even the same day, but there is simply no mistaking the better sound quality. Such are the vagaries of the vinyl record. if you're in the market for a top quality Oscar Peterson piano trio recording (with bonus guitar), this side two should be just the ticket.

More Oscar Peterson


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Sonny Stitt - Sits in With The Oscar Peterson Trio

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: stittsitsw_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame from 1959.

This is an original Verve Black Label LP with NEAR DEMO DISC SOUND! Stitt is amazing on this album!

More Oscar Peterson


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The Recordings of Oscar Peterson

Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: peterson_oscar) 



These are just some of the recordings by Oscar Peterson that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Oscar Peterson Albums with Hot Stampers

Oscar Peterson Albums We've Reviewed



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Jimmy Smith - Christmas Cookin’

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: smithchris_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This HOT STAMPER copy of the swingingest Christmas record ever made has SWINGING SOUND to match. It's relaxed and musical, with lovely 3D openness.

Mostly gone is the dull, smeary blare of RVG's horns, replaced by real leading edge transients and air going through brass, while mostly avoiding the grit and grain that all too often passes for detail. Good extension on both ends helps a lot. Harmonics up top keep the sound open and airy, and plenty of bottom end lets the solid rhythm section come through the mix like gangbusters.

More Jimmy Smith


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The Recordings of Lou Rawls

These Are Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: rawls_lou) 



These are just some of the recordings by Lou Rawls that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Lou Rawls Albums with Hot Stampers

Lou Rawls Albums We've Reviewed



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The Recordings of Hubert Laws

These Are Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: laws_hubert) 



These are just some of the recordings by Hubert Laws that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Hubert Laws Albums with Hot Stampers

Hubert Laws Albums We've Reviewed



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White Hot Stamper

Grover Washington
Winelight

  (Item #: washiwinel_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A killer 2-pack - Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side, nearly as impressive (A++ to A+++) on the first
  • A SHOCKINGLY good recording that really comes to life on these two discs
  • What's unusual about this album - shocking really - is how MEATY the bottom end is
  • You've heard of the so-called "Hot Mix" for Zep II? Well, this is the "Fat Mix" for Winelight, and it's awesome
See all of our Grover Washington albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Grover Washington Jr.
All The King’s Horses

  (Item #: washiallth_1608s) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $79.00 (You save $20.99 / 21%)


  • An excellent pressing of a wonderful RVG Large Group recording - both sides rate a strong Double Plus (A++)
  • Huge, spacious, solid, present and punchy - this is how Grover Washington's band ought to sound!
  • If you like soul jazz with more of a pop mentality, you're sure to enjoy this classic album
  • Without a doubt the best album Washington ever made, a desert island disc and a true Must Own
See all of our Grover Washington albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Peggy Lee
Pass Me By

  (Item #: lee__passm_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sides, this original Capitol stereo pressing simply could not be beat
  • We discovered that this is one of the better Peggy Lee albums from the mid-'60s, 1965 to be exact
  • If you hear an echo of the type of music Nancy Sinatra would soon be topping the charts with, don't worry - we heard it too
  • "Peggy Lee's alluring tone, distinctive delivery, breadth of material, and ability to write many of her own songs made her one of the most captivating artists of the vocal era ... [finding] a balance between sultry swing and impeccable musicianship."
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White Hot Stamper

Chet Baker
She Was Too Good To Me

  (Item #: bakershewa_1704_) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sides, this copy of Chet's 1974 return to form simply could not be beat
  • The sweetness and clarity of Chet Baker's breathy horn are captured beautifully on this copy
  • Great emseplayers include Steve Gadd, Bob James, Hubert Laws and Ron Carter
  • "Baker began his comeback after five years of musical inactivity with this excellent CTI date. Altoist Paul Desmond is a major asset on two songs and the occasional strings give variety to this fine session."
See all of our Chet Baker albums in stock


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Doc Evans - Traditional Jazz

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: evanstradi_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

If you're a fan of Traditional Jazz, what normally would be referred to nowadays as Dixieland Jazz, you will have a very hard time finding a record that sounds as good as this one. The energy, the size, the dynamic power of every instrument is captured with such fidelity it will put the lie to most of what passes for Modern Good Sounding Jazz.

This is the real Audiophile Label, not just some label that's making records to appeal to audiophiles, and there is a world of difference between the two.

1956 - It Was a Very Good Year


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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Miles Davis

  (Item #: davismiles_1704_) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Two Miles Davis classics, representing another remarkable find from the relentless Record Hunting Audiophiles here at Better Records
  • Triple Plus (A+++) on three sides and close to it the fourth, there was no other copy that could begin to do what this pressing was doing
  • Must Own Music with top sound - the better tracks here can hold their own with virtually any Miles record we know of
  • "[These two discs present] the Miles Davis Quintet from a pair of legendary recording dates which would generate enough music to produce four separate long-players ... Each is considered not only to be among the pinnacle of Davis' work, but of the entire bop subgenre as well."
More Miles Davis


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Stephen Stills - Manassas

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: stillmanas_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

Our first Hot Stamper shootout for Manassas produced a number of good sounding sides on the original pressings, but we held back our highest sonic grade because even the best of the best still had problems. Most copies we played were a disaster: grungy, veiled, no real top end, grainy, stuck in the speakers, tubby bass -- these and other problems were all too common. When a double album sounds like this it makes for a very long day.

After playing four or five bad sounding copies we almost threw in the towel. Everyone kept asking me: Does this record ever sound good?

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David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name...

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: crosbifico_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: C-

Another Classic Records LP reviewed.

What do you get with Hot Stampers compared to the Classic Heavy Vinyl reissue? Dramatically more warmth, sweetness, delicacy, transparency, space, energy, size, naturalness (no boost on the top end or the bottom, a notable failing of the Classic); in other words, the kind of difference you almost ALWAYS get comparing the best vintage pressings with their modern remastered counterparts, in our experience anyway. The Classic is a nice record, a Hot Stamper is a MAGICAL one.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young


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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: buffaagain_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This original Plum and Tan Atco label Hot Stamper pressing has TWO AMAZING SIDES and fairly quiet vinyl. A Double Plus (A++) Sound and Mint Minus vinyl makes the copy the Black Swan of this shootout, that’s for sure.

You have never heard a better pressing of what many consider to be Buffalo Springfield's Masterpiece, Buffalo Springfield Again. We guarantee this copy will blow your mind or your money back! Only one side of one copy had better sound, and that one was noticeably noisier, so we crowning this one King of the Buffalo Springfield Again Shootout for 2007.

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White Hot Stamper

Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills
Super Session

  (Item #: bloomsuper_1611s) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $50.99 / 17%)


  • A killer Top Copy, the first to hit the site in 2016!
  • Side one earned a Double Plus (A++) while side two impressed enough to earn our top Triple Plus (A+++) grade
  • Both sides are incredibly rich and full with great energy and huge amounts of studio space - qualities that bring out the best in this music
  • Season of the Witch on a Triple Plus side two? You won't believe how BIG and BOLD the sound gets on this copy
  • "This is one of those albums that seems to get better with age... This is a super session indeed. "
More Al Kooper / More Stephen Stills


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Super Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1610s) 

Our Price: $169.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $20.99 / 12%)


  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it, pressed on the quietest vinyl we have ever heard - both sides play a true Mint Minus!
  • The sound is HUGE, lively, rich and tubey, with unusually high resolution for the big choruses on side one
  • Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album
  • A triumph of engineering for Bill Halvorsen and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are both landmarks of Big Production Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars in the AMG: "Listening to this album three decades on, it's still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace

A Bit of Experimentation with VTA Can Really Pay Off

  (Item #: frankamazi_wtlf) 


This is a handy record for VTA setup, a subject we discuss at length below.

On the better copies Aretha's vocals are as dynamic as any you will ever hear, and unlike all the records she did with Tom Dowd, her voice never breaks up on this record. If you have big speakers that can play at loud levels, with the right volume level you can really get Aretha to belt it out like nothing you have ever heard.

See more of our Aretha Franklin albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Aretha Franklin
Amazing Grace

  (Item #: frankamazi_1704_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • DEMO QUALITY sound on all four sides with each rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it
  • The overall sound here is out of this world -- bigger, fuller and more lively than every other copy we played
  • Superb vocal immediacy, three-dimensional imaging, incredible energy and serious dynamics throughout
  • "She returned in triumph on this 1972 double album, making what might be her greatest release ever in any style." -- Allmusic, 4 1/2 stars
See more of our Aretha Franklin albums in stock


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John Sebastian - John B. Sebastian

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: sebasjohnb_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Super Hot side one was clearly better than every other side one we played, with the exception of our shootout winner of course. It's big, full-bodied and rich; in other words, it has that classic 1970 analog rock sound that we love. Bruce Botnick and his brother are two of the many engineers on the project, along with John Haeny, the man who recorded his share of legendary albums, some of our favorites by Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt and others.


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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel

Direct Disk Labs Debunked

  (Item #: gabrigabr1_dd_labs) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Half Speed Mastered Record that belongs in our Hall of Shame

The Direct Disk Labs half-speed here is thick, compressed and lifeless, though fairly rich. You could do worse I suppose, but too much of the life of the music will be lost when playing their remastered pressing.

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Art Pepper - Gettin’ Together

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: peppegetti_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

TWO GREAT SIDES on VERY QUIET vinyl, including an As Good As It Gets A+++ side two! This album, and this copy in particular, deliver some serious Art Pepper Contemporary Magic. We're big fans of Pepper and this label, and we love the sound Roy DuNann was able to get out of these guys. On the best pressings, such as this one, there's just nothing between you and the music! You will have a very hard time finding a much better sounding jazz record than side two of this copy -- anywhere.

More Art Pepper


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Helen Humes - Songs I Like to Sing

Our Black Label Shootout Winner

  (Item #: humessongs_blk_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Contemporary Black Label Original LP has AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! It has that classic tube-mastered sound -- warmer, smoother, and sweeter than the later pressings with more breath of life.

More Helen Humes


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White Hot Stamper

Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt

  (Item #: vanzatowne_1704) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This Triple Plus (A+++) pressing on Tomato from 1978 is a knockout from first note to last
  • Both sides are big, lively, clear and present - we really could find no fault in the sound
  • If you like your Singer Songwriter/Country Folk albums darker and more austere, this is the album for you
  • "As usual, his closely observed lyrics touched on desperate themes, notably in tbe mining ballad "Lungs," but they were still highly poetic, especially the album-closing "None But The Rain," which reflected on a failed relationship."
See more of our Singer Songwriter albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Birth of the Cool

  (Item #: davisbirth_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An incredible pressing of this Jazz Classic, with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a Double Plus (A++) side one
  • The sound is dramatically richer, fuller and livelier than the typical pressing
  • We have one these hit the site about once every 3-4 years, so Miles fans should jump on this one
  • "Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz." -- Allmusic, 5 stars
See all Miles Davis Hot Stampers in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
King of America

  (Item #: costekingo_1704_) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Elvis's brilliant 1986 release finally comes to the site with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two
  • Side one was right up there with the best we played, earning a strong Double Plus (A++) grade for its weight and richness
  • Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is only one highlight among many - these are some of his best songs
  • AMG raves: "Stripping away much of the excess that cluttered Punch the Clock and Goodbye Cruel World, Elvis Costello returned to his folk-rock and pub rock roots with King of America, creating one of his most affecting and personal records ... one of his masterpieces."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Chet Atkins
The Most Popular Guitar

  (Item #: atkinmostp_1704_) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Superb Shootout Winning sound on both sides of this original pressing, earning Triple Plus (A+++) grades and playing fairly quietly
  • Bill Porter working in his custom Nashville studio sure knows how to not make an amazing Living Stereo recording
  • If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1961 All Tube Analog sound can be, this copy is just the record that can do it
  • The soundstage, depth and height of this spacious recording are as huge and three-dimensional as any you've heard
See all of our Chet Atkins albums in stock


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Roy Orbison - Sings Lonely and Blue

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: orbissings_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

Can’t recommend this one. It’s too bright. The DCC LP of Orbison’s material is dramatically better. I’ve had some discussions with some audiophiles who liked this album, and I’m frankly surprised that people find this kind of sound pleasing, but if you’re one of those people who likes bright records, this should do the trick!


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Super Hot Stamper

The Who
Tommy

  (Item #: who__tommy_1611x) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Consistent, outstanding sound for Tommy, with all four sides earning Double Plus (A++) sonic grades
  • Here's the rich, spacious, Tubey Magical, lively sound that brings the story of this deaf, dumb and blind boy to life
  • A truly incredible recording that is an out of this world immersive experience on a great copy like this
  • Top 100 of course, and the early British Track vinyl is exceptionally quiet throughout
See all of our Who albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Who
Quadrophenia

  (Item #: who__quadr_1611s) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $50.99 / 17%)


  • Four excellent sides, averaging Double Plus (A++) and peaking with an incredible side one (A++ to A+++)
  • The sound is big, lively, punchy and powerful -- this is the sound you want for The Who
  • Killer sound for The Real Me, Drowned, Sea And Sand and many other classic tracks
  • A 4 1/2 star album in the AMG and one of the few truly Must Own Who albums
See all of our Who albums in stock


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The Crusaders - Chain Reaction

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: crusachain_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

ANOTHER MoFi BITES THE DUST! This original ABC Blue Thumb has A++ SIDES; it absolutely destroyed the Mobile Fidelity pressing and most of a big stack of standard copies. Let’s be honest, the MoFi is far better sounding than the average domestic pressing. The average domestic pressing sucks. Why do you think it’s taken us this long to put up these Hot Stampers? The properly mastered copies are just not out there, folks. You can find copies of this album in just about every used record bin, but most of them don’t sound anything like this!

More Soul, R&B and Blues


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Bob Dylan - New Morning

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: dylannewmo_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Side one of this Columbia pressing is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! That's where the great song If Not For You is found, and on this copy it is SMOKIN'. There's tons of energy, real texture to the vocals, and more presence than we heard elsewhere. Check out that BIG bottom end! This side earned our top A+++ grade.

Side two is strong as well, earning a plus and a half -- A+ to A++, as we say. The sound is clean, clear and transparent, but not quite as lively or present. It's still better than many of the copies we played against it.

More Bob Dylan


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White Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_1704) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Incredible sound for this Mono pressing with both sides rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it
  • Our knockout mono pressing here was fuller, more natural and more involving than any copy we heard in our shootout
  • Presence and immediacy to put Ella practically in the room with you - it's her performance that really comes to life
  • Our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year
See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elton John
Rock of the Westies

  (Item #: john_rocko_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An amazing early British pressing, earning a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two
  • This copy rocks like crazy with serious weight down low, huge size and space, and plenty of driving energy
  • The better copies like this don't get too congested in the choruses, a typical problem with the album
  • Best bets: Medley (Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly); Island Girl; Street Kids and Hard Luck Story
  • "Rock of the Westies appears in retrospect to be his last great rock album. It certainly does rock consistently harder than any other John album..." - Amazon
See all of our Elton John albums in stock


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Peggy Lee - Latin ala Lee!

S&P (Reviewed in the '00s)

  (Item #: lee_latin_SandP_reviewed) 



Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the 2003 when this record came out, but here it is anyway.

The Record of the Year for 2003. I know how crazy that sounds, but it's true! If you don't have a smile on your face fifteen seconds after playing track one, you better check your pulse, cuz, as the famous song has it: Jack, You Dead. Amazingly good sound, courtesy of a fabulous and painstakingly difficult remix by the mastering guru himself, Steve Hoffman. This is popular music for the previous generation -- but why should we be denied these long forgotten treasures?

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White Hot Stamper

Free
Tons of Sobs

  (Item #: free_tonso_1704) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • One of the best copies to ever hit the site with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • Both sides here are absolutely KILLLER -- big, rich and full with excellent clarity, a massive bottom end and tons of energy
  • It's practically impossible to find these imports in anything but beat condition, which is why they so rarely hit the site
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...a blistering combination of youth, ambition, and, despite those tender years, experience that, across the course of their debut album, did indeed lay the groundwork for all that Zeppelin would embrace."
See all of our Free albums in stock


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Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks - Striking It Rich

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hicksstrik_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Normally this record sounds thick and dead. It's very rare to find a copy like this that has any real transparency. The vocals are sweet and silky and the string instruments are more clear in the mix.

There's nothing more frustrating than a record that defies every effort to hear into it, typically the feeling I get when listening to Dan Hicks' recordings. But on this pressing I could actually appreciate the music without having to fight the sound.

More Dan Hicks


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Peggy Lee - Guitars Ala Lee

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: lee_guita_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Full-bodied sound, open and spacious, bursting with life and energy -- these are the hallmarks of our Truly Hot Stampers. If your stereo is cookin' these days this copy of Guitars Ala Lee will be an unparalleled Sonic Treat.

We guarantee that no heavy vinyl pressing, of this or any other album, has the kind of analog magic found here.

See all of our Peggy Lee albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Joe Cocker
Mad Dogs And Englishmen

  (Item #: cockemaddo_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A very good sounding copy with all four sides earning Hot Stamper grades and playing about as quiet as these originals ever do The overall sound is fairly rich and full with plenty of energy and much of the top end extension that's missing from most
  • An extremely difficult album to find with good sound and decent surfaces - this is the first one to hit the site in almost two years
  • "... its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique." - All Music 4 1/2 Star Review
See all of our Joe Cocker albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Flag

  (Item #: tayloflag_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A wonderful "Triple Triple" for Flag -- A+++ sound on BOTH sides and one of the best copies to ever hit the site
  • Credit for the big, rich, super lively throughout must go to the superbly talented engineer, Val Garay
  • Taylor's hilarious homage to Doo Wop, Is That The Way You Look?, had Demo Disc quality sound
  • The great sounding 1979 follow-up to his wonderful JT album - and one of the man's most underrated albums
See all or our James Taylor albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Where’s The Money?

  (Item #: hickswhere_1704) 

Our Price: $139.99

  • An excellent copy with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) and playing about as quiet as they ever do
  • The sound is clean, clear, open and relaxed with much of the richness that most copies lack
  • The dryness, the flatness, the you-are-so-not-thereness of their studio recordings is missing on these sides, thank goodness
  • Allmusic 4 1/2 Stars: "...the album does in fact capture a certain intimacy missing from their studio debut."
See all of our Dan Hicks albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Shadows and Light

  (Item #: mitchshado_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer copy with all four sides averaging out to a solid Double Plus (A++)
  • All four sides here are big and full with tons of energy and big punchy bass
  • This is a tough one to find with great sound and quiet surfaces, which is why we so rarely have them on the site
  • "The musicians are given room to jam, and they sound terrific on up-tempo songs such as "Coyote" and "In France They Kiss on Main Street." - All Music
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Van Halen
1984

  (Item #: vanha1984_1704) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Stunning sound on both sides with each rating a Double Plus (A++) or better!
  • Both sides here big and lively with deep punchy bass and plenty of energy and presence
  • Tons of hits - Panama, Hot For Teacher, Jump - and they all sound fantastic here
  • 5 stars in Allmusic: "Just their flat-out best album overall."
See all of our Van Halen albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Dire Straits
Love Over Gold

  (Item #: diresloveo_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Both sides are clean, clear and open with deep punchy bass and plenty of energy
  • Relatively quiet surfaces - it's very tough to find these vintage UK pressings any quieter
  • "Certainly a quantum leap from the organic R&B impressionism of the band's early LPs and the gripping short stories of Making Movies, Love Over Gold is an ambitious, sometimes difficult record that is exhilarating in its successes and, at the very least, fascinating in its indulgences." - Rolling Stone
See all of our Dire Straits albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Stravinsky / The Firebird / Dorati

  (Item #: stravfireb_90226_1704) 

Our Price: $219.99

  • Double Plus (A++) Front Row Center sound or close to it on both sides for one of the all time great recordings of The Firebird
  • One listen to either side of this pressing and you'll see why this is one of the Top Mercury Titles of All Time
  • Dorati breathes life into the work as only he can and the Mercury engineers IN 1960 do him proud
  • "The magic lies in the elaborate orchestration and the excitingly uneven rhythmic writing. Stravinsky changes the orchestration of his themes at each repetition, breaks them down into their constituent parts, pushes their accents across the bar-line, and moves them out of sync with their own accompaniments."
More of the music of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)


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Super Hot Stamper

Weather Report
Sweetnighter

  (Item #: weathsweet_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer copy hasn't hit the site in a while, but here's one with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) Demo Disc sound on both sides
  • Boogie Woogie Waltz was one of the most mindblowing tracks found on any album from 1973
  • The sound is huge, spacious, lively, transparent and punchy - this is jazz fusion that really rocks
  • " It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers." 4 stars
See all of our Weather Report albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Fillmore East - June 1971

  (Item #: zappafillm_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound from start to finish - Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Side one has some of the strongest, funniest, most politically incorrect material: The Mud Shark, What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are? and Bwana Dik
  • When you can hear it right this is an incredibly fun live album with surprisingly good sound
  • Thanks god Flo and Eddie (AKA The Turtles) have the vocal chops and then some to pull off this hilarious comic opera
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Weather Report - Heavy Weather

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: weathheavy_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

TWO AMAZING SIDES ON QUIET VINYL, including an A+++ side one! The sound was positively jumping out of the speakers and dynamic as all get out. The grit, grain and grunge of the typical pressing was nowhere to be found on EITHER side of this copy, and that alone puts it in a very special league. Drop the needle on either side and get ready for some of the most dynamic, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling jam-packed sound ever committed to vinyl.

More Weather Report


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Weather Report - Sweetnighter

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: weathsweet_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Side two earned a grade of A+++, absolutely As Good As It Gets! The top end is fully extended here in a way the average copy barely hints at, and the overall sound is amazingly transparent and three-dimensional. The brass is full and rich, the percussion is lively and present, and the bass is weighty and defined.

More Weather Report


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Lincoln Mayorga - The Missing Linc

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: mayormissi_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Hall of Fame.

Super Hot, and definitely not your typical Sheffield pressing. Some of them are aggressive, many of them are dull and lack the spark of live music, some of them have wonky bass or are lacking in the lowest octave -- they are prey to every fault that befalls other pressings.

Which should not be too surprising. Records are records. Pressing variations exist for every album ever made. If you haven't noticed that yet, start playing multiple copies of the same album, while listening carefully and critically.

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John Klemmer - Touch

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: klemmtouch_5006_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Super Hot Stamper copy of Touch is one of the best sounding records Mobile Fidelity ever made, and the ONLY record of theirs I know of that can't be beat by a standard real-time mastered pressing.

We’re talking DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND here. The spaciousness of the studio and the three-dimensional placement of the myriad percussion instruments and bells within its walls make this something of an audiophile spectacular of a different kind -- dreamy and intensely emotional.

More John Klemmer


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Thelma Houston - I’ve Got The Music In Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: houstivego_65702_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

In our last shootout this White Hot Stamper tied for the best side two we have ever heard! In the final round it simply came down to the fact that the other copy was a little more clear, this one is a little richer. They were both so amazing we couldn't decide which we preferred so we gave them both White Hot Stamper grades.

More Audiophile recordings


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Flamenco Fever "Live Direct to Disc"

Reviewed in 2017

  (Item #: rosa_flamc_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides, this is a Direct to Disc Demo Disc like nothing you've heard. The sound is breathtakingly real - you are there in the club with the guitarist and these dancers. If you have the power to drive big speakers, the dynamics and bass transients of this copy are going to rock your world, literally.

More Audiophile recordings


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The Recordings of Stan Getz

These Are Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: getz_stan) 



These are just some of the recordings by Stan Getz that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

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Michel Legrand - After the Rain

An Amazing Pablo Jazz Album You Never Heard Of

  (Item #: legraafter_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This album is PURE MAGIC! I know of no other jazz album like it. It's lyrical and moody, yet comes to life at a moment's notice when the horn players start to feel the spirit. If you're familiar with the music he wrote for The Thomas Crown Affair (he won an Academy Award for "Windmills of Your Mind"), you may have a good feel for subtle, impressionistic, often moody quality of After the Rain . Or check it out on youtube (while trying to imagine the sound being at least one million times better).

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Zoot Sims - Zoot Sims Plays Johnny Mandel: Quietly There

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: sims_zoots_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Minty looking Pablo LP, engineered by the brilliant Allen Sides, has very good sound. Which is to be expected from this amazing engineer, responsible for recordings like 88 Basie Street and Kenny Burrell’s Heritage album.

This is one of the best Zoot Sims records as well. He plays beautifully. This melodic, smooth material is what he excels at. His breathy saxophone style will remind you of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. This recording captures that sound perfectly.


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The Recordings of Zoot Sims

Four that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: sims_zoot) 



These are just some of the recordings by Zoot Sims that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

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Super Hot Stamper

Jellyfish
Bellybutton

  (Item #: jellybelly_1609x) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Excellent Double Plus sound or close to it on both sides
  • Side one is rich and full with no edginess
  • Side two is super lively and energetic
  • This POWER POP CLASSIC from 1990 is a SHOCKINGLY well recorded album
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Hot Stamper

Eagles
Eagles

  (Item #: eagleeagle_1611s) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • Both of these Hot Stamper sides have a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical Country Rock sound The Eagles wanted you to hear
  • These early pressings are clearly made from the British Master Tapes - the sound is so present, lively and real
  • One of the Best Sounding Rock Records Ever Made, Glyn Johns' masterpiece and a Demo Disc for Tubey Magical Guitar sound
  • A Top 100 disc that delivers top sound for songs like Take It Easy, Witchy Woman, Early Bird, Peaceful Easy Feeling and more
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Super Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
Late for the Sky

  (Item #: brownlatef_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A very strong copy, rating Double Plus (A++) from the first note to the last
  • Compared to most pressings, this one is very tubey with good size, clarity and separation
  • Nearly impossible to find these in even decent condition with good sound these days
  • 5 stars from AMG and Rolling Stone: "...it’s the quintessential Browne album."
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Super Hot Stamper

Bee Gees et al.
Saturday Night Fever

  (Item #: beegesatur_1704) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Superb sound on all four of these Double Plus (A++) sides - there's real Bee Gees vocal magic here
  • Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, More Than a Woman, Jive Talkin', and even A Fifth of Beethoven all sound great
  • It's no walk in the park to find a copy with sound this good and reasonably quiet vinyl, but here it is
  • Allmusic 4 1/2 stars: "Saturday Night Fever is virtually indispensable as a Bee Gees album, not just for the presence of an array of songs that were hits in their own right but because it offered the Gibb brothers as composers as well as artists..."
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