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White Hot Stamper

Neil Young
After The Gold Rush

  (Item #: youngafter_1610) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A stunning Top Copy, Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides, the first to hit the site in over a year
  • Stunning classic rock sound: rich, full-bodied, warm, punchy, dynamic and clear
  • One of our favorite classic rock albums for music and sound, arguably Neil's best
  • Allmusic 5 Stars, A Top 100 title, and a Demo Disc that is guaranteed to knock your socks off
  • "It's a magnificent, style-setting album which saw the Canadian's elevation to rock hero. For those who like their emotion raw."
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1612) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • An incredible copy with all four sides rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it - this is about as good as it gets, folks
  • If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this is the pressing that can do it
  • Bill Halverson did a great job but you have to work your tail off to find a copy that does his brilliant engineering justice. Sad, isn't it?
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

David Crosby
If I Could Only Remember My Name

  (Item #: crosbifico_1607s) 

Our Price: $499.99
Sale Price: $449.00 (You save $50.99 / 10%)


  • A mindblowing Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, close behind on side two (A++ to A+++)
  • You will not believe how Tubey Magical and Three Dimensional this album can be when your pressing sounds like this
  • TAS List and Top 100 - one of the best sounding rock records ever made - Stephen Barncard's engineering masterpiece
  • Finding clean copies of this album with Demo Disc sound is a near impossibility - most copies are too noisy to sell, and fewer still have the sonic goods this one does
  • "The songs range from brief snapshots of inspiration to the full-blown, rambling western epic "Cowboy Movie," and there are absolutely no false notes struck or missteps taken." - Allmusic, 4 1/2 stars
See all of our CSN&Y albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Zuma

  (Item #: youngzuma_1611_1) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus sound or very close to it for both sides, making this a Top Copy that will FLOOR Neil Young fans
  • Both side are amazingly rich and full with incredible energy and serious weight down low
  • Relatively quiet for this album, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • 4 1/2 stars Allmusic, a Better Records Rock & Pop Top 100 album, and a true Demo Disc
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Deja Vu

  (Item #: crosbdejav_1607_1s) 

Our Price: $399.99
Sale Price: $349.00 (You save $50.99 / 13%)


  • A superb Big and Bold copy that earned seriously good sonic grades of Double Plus (A++) on both sides
  • The sound is HUGE -- lively, present and rich in a way that most pressings cannot begin to compete with
  • It's rare that we find a copy this quiet - the first one we've found that plays Mint Minus on both sides in a long, long time
  • One of our all time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
  • "A rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners" - Allmusic 5 stars
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Turn! Turn! Turn!

  (Item #: byrdsturnt_1608s) 

Our Price: $399.99
Sale Price: $349.00 (You save $50.99 / 13%)


  • Triple Triple! Sure to be some of the very best Byrds sound you'll ever hear
  • Both A+++ sides and very rich and full-bodied with superb presence -- they just don't get any better than this!
  • So many copies are gritty and dull -- it's a real treat to hear one sound like this
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic and one of the better sounding Byrds recordings
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Zuma

  (Item #: youngzuma_1605_1s) 

Our Price: $349.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $100.99 / 29%)


  • An outstanding copy of this superb recording, rating Double Plus (A++) or better throughout
  • A hard-rockin' album with Demo Quality sound powerful enough to blow away just about any rock record in your collection
  • Cortez The Killer and Dangerbird sound STUNNING here -- you will be floored
  • "The music had a lively sound well-suited to the songs, which were some of the most melodic, pop-oriented tunes Young had crafted in years, though they were played with an electric-guitar-drenched rock intensity." Hell yeah they were!
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Comes A Time

  (Item #: youngcomes_1611) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first, Double Plus (A++) on the second, killer from start to finish
  • Drop the needle on Comes A Time or Look Out For My Love and hear how rich and warm the sound is - wow
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "Comes a Time finally was the Neil Young album for the millions of fans who had loved Harvest"
  • A Top 100 title because the best copies of Comes a Time are right up there with the best recordings in Neil's catalog. That's saying a lot
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
After The Gold Rush

  (Item #: youngafter_1609) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A superb pressing, Double Plus (A++) or better on both sides, killer from first note to last
  • One of our favorite classic rock albums for music and sound, arguably Neil's best
  • A Top 100 title, and a Demo Disc that will knock your socks off if you turn it up good and loud
  • "One of the definitive singer/songwriter albums" -- All Music Guide, 5 stars
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Harvest

  (Item #: youngharve_1609) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A great pressing of this classic album, with Double Plus (A++) or better sound throughout
  • The sound is rich and full-bodied with lots of warmth and wonderful presence
  • Neil's vocals sound great, with lots of detail, texture and breath
  • A Better Records Top 100 album and a truly superb recording
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills
Super Session

  (Item #: bloomsuper_1611_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • 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 of our albums featuring Al Kooper in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Younger Than Yesterday

  (Item #: byrdsyoung_1701_2) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A killer copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one
  • Both sides are clean, clear and lively with tons of energy and bottom end weight
  • So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star, My Back Pages and Have You Seen Her Face are all here, sounding wonderful
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "The most durable of the Byrds' albums. David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and especially Chris Hillman come into their own as songwriters on an eclectic but focused set blending folk-rock, psychedelia, and early country-rock."
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Again

  (Item #: buffaagain_1606) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Double Plus (A++) or better Tubey Magical Analog sound from start to finish
  • Few copies are as big, lively and clear as this one - it's no contest
  • The vinyl plays pretty well, Mint Minus Minus - we can't find them much quieter
  • A Desert Island Disc for yours truly - "...this record stands as their greatest triumph." 5 Stars
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

David Crosby
If I Could Only Remember My Name

  (Item #: crosbifico_1611) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Exceptionally big, rich and Tubey Magical Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end
  • TAS List and Top 100 - one of the best sounding rock records ever made - Stephen Barncard's engineering masterpiece
  • Finding clean copies with Demo Disc sound is a near impossibility - most copies are too noisy to sell, and fewer still have the sonic goods this one does
  • "The songs range from brief snapshots of inspiration to the full-blown, rambling western epic "Cowboy Movie," and there are absolutely no false notes struck or missteps taken." - Allmusic, 4 1/2 stars
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Graham Nash
Songs For Beginners

  (Item #: nash_songs_1605s) 

Our Price: $249.99
Sale Price: $199.00 (You save $50.99 / 20%)


  • Two excellent sides, of this Better Records favorite, both rating a strong Double Plus (A++)
  • We love the sound of this album, especially on a copy as rich and full-bodied as this one
  • One of the very best solo CSN&Y albums and a member of our Top 100
  • A very tough album to find in clean enough condition for our shootouts, which is why we almost never have copies on the site
  • Allmusic 4 1/2 stars: "It inevitably brings a smile to anyone who hears it"
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

  (Item #: youngevery_1610) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Two excellent sides, the best copy to hit the site in well over a year
  • Side one rates Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++), side two close behind at Double Plus (A++)
  • The sound is exceptionally big, clear, open and lively -- nothing like the average copy
  • [B]reathtakingly different... both for Young and for rock in general." Allmusic 5 Stars
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Last Time Around

  (Item #: buffalastt_1701_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An amazing Top Copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two!
  • Relaxed, rich and tubey, giving you exactly what you would expect from a Top Quality pressing - without the noise, veiling and distortion that you're used to hearing
  • A White Hot copy with vinyl this quiet? Might be easier to find a unicorn!
  • Some of the best songs the band ever wrote are right here: I Am A Child, Kind Woman and many, many more
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby / Nash
Graham Nash/ David Crosby

  (Item #: crosbgraha_1610) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Triple Triple! The best copy of this wonderfully well recorded album to hit the site in ages
  • Both A+++ sides are open, spacious and very tubey -- qualities that bring out the best in this music
  • The breathy, hi-res vocals are smooth and sweet here, not bright or grainy as on many copies
  • Four stars in Allmusic: "One of the most impressive side projects to arise from CSN."
See all of our C, S, N or Y albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Live Rust

  (Item #: youngliver_1609) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Powerful live Neil Young sound -- Double Plus or better on all four sides
  • Full and present with great space and energy throughout
  • Relatively quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus from start to finish
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic, just check the tracklisting and get ready to hear these NY classics come to life
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby / Nash
Whistling Down The Wire

  (Item #: crosbwhist_1701) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The second Triple Triple copy to ever hit the site - this one is firing on all cylinders, and that almost never happens!
  • The vocals are clear and breathy, the drums are solid and punchy, and the overall tonality is rich and full
  • Finding good sound on an album with two or more members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in any configuration, has never been easy
  • The pair's third and best album, with better sound than Wind on the Water as well as some of their strongest songwriting
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Graham Nash
Wild Tales

  (Item #: nash_wildt_1701) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An incredible Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one and close on side two (A++ to A+++)
  • The sound is rich, warm and full-bodied with real energy and strength down low
  • Filling out the band: Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Dave Mason, Neil Young, David Lindley and others
  • This may not be a well-known album, but any CSNY fan should find a lot to like here -- give this one a shot!
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Harvest

  (Item #: youngharve_1701_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • A great pressing of this classic album, rating between a Single and Double Plus (A+ to A++) throughout
  • Both sides are rich and warm with great bass and plenty of presence
  • It's becoming increasingly rare to find a copy that plays this quiet -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides
  • A Better Records Top 100 album and a truly superb recording
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Fifth Dimension

  (Item #: byrdsfifth_1607_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end
  • Both sides are clean, clear and open with great bass and plenty of presence
  • Like all Byrds albums, it's very tough to find with great sound and clean surfaces
  • Allmusic gives it 4 1/2 stars and credits the original material as "some of the first and best psychedelic rock".
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Younger Than Yesterday

  (Item #: byrdsyoung_1610) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) on both sides for this early Byrds gem from 1967 - not many copies can compete with these sonics
  • It's very rich and tubey with exceptionally rich, tight bass - this is the sound that lets this folky pop music work
  • So You Want to Be a Rock 'N'Roll Star, My Back Pages and Have You Seen Her Face are all here, sounding wonderful
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "The most durable of the Byrds' albums."
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Time Fades Away

  (Item #: youngtimef_1611) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • A very strong copy, with Double Plus (A++) sound quality on both sides
  • A big step up from the average pressing -- this one is full-bodied, smooth and musical
  • Never released on CD, this is one of the toughest Neil Young albums to find in the bins, or with good sound
  • "Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career — like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn't for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects." -- Allmusic, 4 stars
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1610) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it, pressed on the quietest vinyl we have ever heard - 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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Super Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Last Time Around

  (Item #: buffalastt_1606) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two excellent sides, at or near Double Plus (A++) throughout, with relatively quiet vinyl too!
  • Plenty of rich, warm, Tubey Magical Analog sound, the kind you could easily find in 196
  • Copies that have this kind of natural, balanced sound are tough to come by on vinyl as quiet as this
  • If Buffalo Springfield Again deserves its Five Stars then Last Time Around does too
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Graham Nash
Wild Tales

  (Item #: nash_wildt_1607_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end for Nash's second solo album
  • Big, rich and full-bodied, with plenty of presence and bottom end weight - this is the way to hear Wild Tales
  • Lending a hand to the nicest guy in rock: Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Dave Mason, Neil Young, David Lindley and others
  • Not a well-known album, but any CSNY fan should find a lot to like here -- one listen and you just become a fan
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Comes A Time

  (Item #: youngcomes_1701) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent copy, with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - quiet vinyl too
  • Drop the needle on Comes A Time or Look Out For My Love and hear how rich and warm the sound is
  • A Top 100 title - the best copies of Comes a Time are right up there with the best recordings in Neil's catalog. That's saying a lot
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Comes a Time finally was the Neil Young album for the millions of fans who had loved Harvest"
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
The Byrds

  (Item #: byrdsbyrds_1701) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • The Byrds reunion album from 1973 returns to the site, and the sound is outstanding with Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • Rich, tubey, solid, with tight, note-like bass, what early Byrds record sounds this good?
  • Top quality covers of great songs by Joni Mitchell (For Free) and Neil Young (Cowgirl in the Sand, See the Sky About to Rain)
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills
Super Session

  (Item #: bloomsuper_1612) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This Must Own Al Kooper classic has two Hot Stamper sides on reasonably quiet vinyl
  • For fans of BS&T's first album (and everybody else) Super Session is a Must Own
  • 4 1/2 Stars in Allmusic and a True Rock Classic - Season of the Witch is so amazing on this album
  • "This is one of those albums that seems to get better with age... This is a super session indeed. "
More of our albums featuring Al Kooper in stock


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Hot Stamper

Neil Young
Hawks and Doves

  (Item #: younghawks_1609) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A very good pressing with Hot Stamper sound on both sides
  • Big and full with lots of presence and most of the tubey magic that's missing from the average copy
  • Quiet vinyl too -- both sides play Mint Minus
  • "Side two is quite brilliant, and unlike anything Young's ever done." Robert Christgau (A-)
See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Younger Than Yesterday

  (Item #: byrdsyoung_1701_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This stereo pressing has very good sound, especially for a Byrds album from 1967
  • Balanced, clear and lively, with less distortion and edge than most copies you might have heard
  • So You Want to Be a Rock 'N'Roll Star, My Back Pages and Have You Seen Her Face are all here
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and especially Chris Hillman come into their own as songwriters on an eclectic but focused set blending folk-rock, psychedelia, and early country-rock."
See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Bloomfield / Kooper / Stills - Super Session

All Things Are Never Equal

  (Item #: bloomsuper_equal) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning (usually old) records.

Can the Red Label reissues sound any good?

Why yes, they can, and here's why. Every once in a while, when it comes time to stamp out some more copies of slow but still-selling records, "back catalog" as they are known in the trade, someone has to go into the vault and find a tape with which to master. Maybe that person finds a real master tape. Or maybe that person finds a master tape and makes a really high quality dub of it to master from. Either one of those possibilities might produce a great sounding final product relative to the sub-generation, EQ'd, compressed cutting tape used to make most copies, including the originals.

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Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills - Super Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bloomsuper_2012) 



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

Possibly the BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD! Neither side suffered from the problems we heard on copy after copy: bright, gritty, spitty, edgy, harsh, upper-midrangy vocals. The Red Labels tend to be worse in this respect, but plenty of original 360 pressings have that sound too. Let's face it: If the vocals are wrong this album pretty much falls apart. Here's a copy that gets the midrange right, along with most everything else, and that puts it way ahead of the pack.

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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Extracting the Midrange Magic

  (Item #: buffaagain_wtlf) 



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

So many copies of this album sound so bad and play so poorly that most audiophiles have by now written it off as a lost cause. But we didn't. We kept at it, and our main motivation was the music.

Extracting the midrange magic from a album like this should be the goal of every right-thinking audiophile. Who cares what's on the TAS Super Disc List? I want to play the music that I love, not because it sounds good, but because I love it. And if the only way to find good sounding copies of typically poorly-mastered, beat-to-death records such as this one is to go through a big pile of them, well then, I guess that's what we'll have to do.

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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: buffaagain_1007) 



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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Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: buffabuffa_fame) 



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

This is the first White Hot Stamper pressing of Buffalo Springfield's self-titled LP to ever hit the site, and folks, you are in for shock if you know this album at all. Although for the most part this is no Demo Disc, this super-rare pressing is SO MUCH BETTER than any other version we know of that it just blows our minds. I had my mind blown about ten years ago when I found my first one, and nothing has changed. It's still the best pressing ever.

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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Listening for Tubey Magic Down Low

  (Item #: buffalastt_wtlf) 



On even the best copies there's a bit too much Tubey Magic in the bass I regret to say. Tubbiness and bloat were par for the course. This may explain why so many copies have rolled off bass; the engineer cut the bass because he heard how tubby it was and figured no bass is better than bad bass.

Which is just not true. Cutting the bass leans out and "modernizes" the sound, making the voices sound thin and dry. This pretty much ruins everything on this album just the way it ruins everything in practically every modern recording I hear. Having your bass under control on the playback side isn't easy -- in fact it's probably the hardest thing to achieve in audio -- but it can be done, and with good bass control the slightly wooly bass is just part of the sound you learn to accept.

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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: buffalastt_2013) 



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

It's really shocking how good this album can sound on the right pressings. When you get hold of one and know how to clean it right, some of these pressings are a damn sight better than the vast majority of audiophiles think! And the music, of course, is CLASSIC. The best side one and the best side two in our last shootout, unfortunately, were less than impressive on their flipsides. We've paired them up to give you the best sound we can find for the entire album! And if you want to hear exactly what you're paying for, just turn either copy over and prepare to be underwhelmed.

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Crosby / Nash - Graham Nash/ David Crosby

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbgraha_2015) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.

This album has some of the BEST SOUND Crosby and Nash ever recorded, but you'd never know that listening to the average pressing. You need plenty of deliciously rich Tubey Magic if this music is going to work, and on that count this copy certainly delivers.

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Crosby / Nash - Whistling Down The Wire

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosbwhist_2012) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++! This is the pair's third and best album, with better sound than Wind on the Water as well as their strongest songwriting. This is arguably a better CSN record than the album titled CSN from 1977. For one thing, the harmonies are superior, even without Stephen Stills. (Crosby and Nash were in big demand in the Rock and Pop world of the '70s for their impressive background vocal skills.) For another it's clearly a better recording.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Nice enough I suppose, but where’s the Midrange Magic?

The Classic 180g version was a revelation when it came out years ago. Bernie actually cut it pretty darn right. However, his mastering chain cannot compete with the one used on the best original pressings.

The evidence for this is overwhelming. There simply is no Bernie-Grundman-cut record that is the equal of the best pressings not cut on his current chain that I have heard over the years. (His old cutting system, the one that cut Stardust and Blue and much of the Contemporary catalog, was KILLER. Wonder what happened to it?)

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Crosby, Stills & Nash's first album.

Although millions of copies of this album were sold, so few were mastered and pressed well, and so many mastered and pressed poorly, that few copies actually make it to the site as Hot Stampers. We wish that were not the case -- we love the album -- but the copies we know to have the potential for Hot Stamper sound are just not sitting around in the record bins these days.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Critical Listening Exercise (WTLF)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_test) 



This commentary from an older Hot Stamper listing for CSN’s debut makes note of some specific qualities in the recording that are a good test for midrange transparency and naturalness.

What’s magical about Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)?

Their voices of course. It’s not a trick question. They revolutionized rock music with their genius for harmony. Any good pressing must sound correct on their voices or it has no value whatsoever. A CSN record with bad midrange -- like most of them -- is a worthless record.

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Crosby, Stills & Nash on Nautilus

THE Most Bloated Bass in Half Speed History

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_nr_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

An audiophile record dealer (of course; who else?) once raved to me about Crosby Stills and Nash on Nautilus. I said "What are you talking about? That version sucks!" He replied "No, it’s great. Helplessly Hoping sounds amazing."

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 4 Way Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosb4ways_2012) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.

If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this copy will let you do it. It's not easy to find good sound on even one side of this album, let alone all four!

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu on MoFi

Live and Learn

  (Item #: crosbdejav_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Just for fun about 10 years ago I pulled out a MoFi pressing of Deja Vu I had laying around. I hadn't played their version in a long time. I could have gone a lot longer without playing it, because what I heard was pretty disappointing. Playing their record confirmed all my prejudices. The highs sizzled and spit. The heart of the midrange was recessed and sour.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Latest Developments

  (Item #: crosbdejav_wrong_2016) 



There are two areas in which we would like to amend some of the previous comments we've made about Deja Vu. The first has to do with early pressings. Many years ago we wrote the following:

As we noted in previous commentary, the originals are uniformly awful. Want some inside info on stampers to avoid, free of charge? C and D are pretty bad news most of the time.

Although that's still true -- Deja Vu is a very difficult album to find with good sound no matter what stampers you have -- we now know that there are very good sounding copies, Shootout Winning copies in fact, with early stampers.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2007) 



MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES -- Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this. To say this copy murders the competition is the understatement of the year. There is only ONE stamper that gives you the Deja Vu magic from top to bottom and this is it. All three of our Super Hot Stamper copies have exactly the same stampers on both sides, and if that doesn’t tell you something is up with those numbers I don’t know what would. (Of course the numbers are only part of the story, which explains why some sides get Three Pluses and some sides get only one.)
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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: crosbsofar_0807_2) 



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

This Hot Stamper copy has SUPERB SOUND ON SIDE TWO -- the best we’ve ever heard. It sounds like it was made from the MASTER TAPE, and believe me, not many of them do. This LP killed any and all of the competition during this shootout; no other copy earned Three Pluses on Side Two. The sound is BIG and BOLD as it gets -- it practically LEAPS out of the speakers. That's what we call Hot Stamper sound. No other copy did that, on side two anyway. Side one has the highly-coveted unreleased material, so this copy, with "only" an excellent side one, is being priced somewhat more competitively and represents real value for money.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Music Does the Driving

  (Item #: crosbstillsandnash_overview) 



Of course it's easy to argue that finding good sound on an album with two or more members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in any configuration, has never been easy. It's the rare copy of either of the first two albums that's even listenable, and the CSN album from 1977 doesn't sound nearly as good as any of the first three Crosby/Nash albums. Which simply means that the "good" sound of our Hot Stamper copies is far better than what most audiophiles own of any of these guys in combination.
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David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name...

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: crosbifico_debunk) 



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.

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David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name

What to Listen For

  (Item #: crosbifico_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.

Note how Crosby's voice is "chesty" -- some copies make him sound like he's all mouth and no diaphragm. When his voice is full-bodied and solid, that's when he sounds more like a real person and less like a pop recording of a person. All credit must go to Stephen Barncard.

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Detail on Crosby Stills and Nash’s First Album

Holy Grail or Audio Trap?

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_detail) 



Detail may be the Holy Grail to most audiophiles, but detail can be a trap we all too easily fall into if we are not careful. Tonal balance is the key. Without it no judgments about detail have any real value.

One example: As good as the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressing is, the guitar at the opening of Helplessly Hoping tells you everything you need to know about what’s missing. The guitar on the Hot Stamper domestic copies has a transparency that cannot be found on Classic’s version. The Classic gets the tonal balance right, but their guitar doesn’t have the subtlety and harmonic resolution of the real thing.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's albums


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Graham Nash - Better Days

A Good Reason to Get into Audio

  (Item #: nash_songs_wtlf) 



This is one of the records that convinced me that I should enthusiastically and actively pursue high quality home audio. That I should devote the time, energy and money into improving my system so that I could play records like this louder and get them to sound clearer.

I had such inexpressibly deep feelings while listening to this album that I knew I had to do everything in my power to make it sound better. And the song that really did it for me on the album was Better Days.

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Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners

Greatest "Copy" Ever

  (Item #: nash_songs_fame) 



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

WHOA! We've paired up two FOUR PLUS sides to create this stunning 2-pack with mindblowing Demo Quality sound for the whole album. These A++++ sides will show you just how amazing it can sound: super full-bodied, rich, warm and natural.

Please note that we award this very special grade so rarely that we don't even have a graphic to represent it in our sonic grade box. The scale usually only goes to three pluses, but these two sides went up to four!

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Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: nash_songs_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Songs for Beginners.

This is one helluva well recorded album. Most of the credit must go to the team of recording engineers, led here by the esteemed Bill Halverson, the man behind all of the Crosby Stills Nash and Young albums. Nash was clearly influenced by his work with his gifted bandmates, proving with this album that he can hold his own with the best of the best.

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Graham Nash's Wild Tales

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: nash_wildt_2015) 



This is a Forgotten Classic from Graham Nash.

Like the man's first album, no one pays much attention to this music nowadays, but Better Records is trying to remedy that situation by making available to the audiophile public numerous copies of this album, every one of which is guaranteed to turn you into a fan. This is not new music, but it may be new music to you, so "discovering" it will be every bit as much fun for you in 2016 as it was for me in 1973.

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Graham Nash's Wild Tales

and Their Mysteries Many and Deep

  (Item #: nash_wildt_wtlf) 



What hurts so many pressings of this album is an overall lifeless, compressed quality and a notable lack of presence.

Were the stampers a bit worn for those copies? Or was it bad vinyl that couldn't hold the energy of the stamper? Or perhaps some stampers just weren't cut right? These are mysteries, and they are mysteries that will always be mysteries, if for no other reason than that the number of production variables hopelessly intertwined at the moment of creation can never be teased apart no matter how hard one thinks about them.

As we like to say at every turn, thinking is really not much help with regard to finding better sounding records.

More from our Thinking About Hot Stampers series


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How to Find a Hot Stamper Deja Vu

Hint: Ignore Conventional Wisdom

  (Item #: crosbdejav_conventionalwisdom) 



A testimonial from a customer for his Hot Stamper Deja Vu provides a forum for the discussion of just what are the higher fidelity pressings.

Never make the mistake of confusing Better Sounding pressing with More Original pressing; they have nothing -- and I mean nothing -- to do with each other. It’s just another Record Collecting Canard. The audio world is full of them.

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Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: youngafter_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

I won't go into too much detail discussing the sound of this new pressing because, frankly, it's just not worth anybody's time, even mine, and I do this for a living.

We know what the good pressings of the album sound like, we play them regularly, and this newly remastered vinyl is missing almost everything that makes the album essential to any Right Thinking Music Lover's collection.

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Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

Our Shootout Winner from 2005

  (Item #: youngafter_2005) 



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

I've been looking for a great sounding version of this record for 20 years. I can't say that this is the best sounding copy in the world, but it's the best sounding copy I've ever heard (almost -- more about that later). This copy has incredible tubey magic, the likes of which I have never heard for any Neil Young record. It's rich, sweet, smooth, transparent -- it's hard to believe that this is a "modern" transistor rock recording, because it sure doesn't sound like one on this pressing. The vocal harmonies have those silky textures you expect to find on gold label Warner Brothers Peter Paul and Mary records, not orange label Neil Young records.

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Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Live and Learn

  (Item #: youngevery_wrong) 



Below you will see our old Hot Stamper commentary from 2004 as part of the discussion of EKTIN in an older shootout (9-08), comments which we now renounce, disown, reject, repudiate and disavow with extreme prejudice. Huh? Here's part of our mea culpa.

Our latest shootout this time around left us with a fairly large serving of egg on our face concerning the commentary we had written for our previous shootout, a textbook example of We Was Wrong. We rarely try to make excuses for our mistakes, but give us a break, that last shootout was more than four years ago (September 2004)!

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Stephen Stills - Manassas

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: stillmanas_0609) 



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? I said I thought it did, I thought I heard a good copy or two when we listened to them in our preliminary rounds, but hey, maybe I was wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.



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Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

What to Listen For

  (Item #: stillsteph_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.

When all the elements are working together as they do here, the music on Steve Stills' first album is postively AMAZING. Until I hear something better, I'm going to have to call this BILL HALVERSON's Engineering Masterpiece.* Yes, on the best copies it's that good.

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The Byrds - Fifth Dimension

Sundazed Debunked

  (Item #: byrdsfifth_sundazed) 



Sonic Grade: D

The best stereo copies are rich, sweet and Tubey Magical -- three areas in which the Sundazed reissues are seriously lacking. (If anyone still cares; we can't be bothered with mediocrities such as this.)

And none of the Columbia monos we've played did much for us either. Congested and compressed, with no real top, who in his right mind could possibly prefer that sound?

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The Byrds - Fifth Dimension

The Red Labels Can Rock

(More Accurately, Some of Them Can)

  (Item #: byrdsfifth_fame) 



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

There was not other Red Label that could hold a candle to this copy in our recent shootout, and no 360 label copy either. It's the exception that proves the rule.

Does it have 100% of the Tubey Magic of the best 360 Label copies? Maybe not, but it has quite a healthy dose, and it does so many things so much better than any of the tube-mastered originals we played that it was simply no contest. There was nothing that communicated the music remotely as well as this Red Label copy did.

More of The Byrds


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The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man

A Sundazed Heavy Vinyl Winner!

  (Item #: byrdsmrtam_scorecard) 



Sonic Grade: B

This is probably the best of all the new [2006] Sundazed mono reissues. I never thought I would hear a Sundazed record with this kind of richness and sweetness. It reminds me of a good 360 pressing, and that has virtually never happened before. Side one is a tad better than side two, which is slightly brighter than it should be. But both sides are exceptionally good considering the modern mastering.

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The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man

What to Listen For

  (Item #: byrdsmrtam_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

Want to hear what the best copies of Mr. Tambourine Man can do? Play Chimes of Freedom, one of the best sounding tracks on side two, if not THE best. Listen to how breathy Jim (later Roger) McGuinn's vocals are. Byrds records almost never sound like that.

I Knew I’d Want You is another one that sounds amazingly Tubey Magical on the best pressings.

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The Byrds in Mono

How Do They Sound?

  (Item #: byrdsmono) 



Practically none of the MONO pressings of The Byrds' albums that we've played in shootouts over the course of the last few years has impressed us much, none that I can recall anyway.

Congested and compressed, with no real top, who in his right mind could possibly tolerate that kind of sound on modern equipment?

Although, to be fair, we've stopped buying them, so there may actually be a good copy or two out there in used record land that we haven't heard. In our defense, who really has the time to play records with so little potential for good sound?

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The Turn Up Your Volume Test

Almost Cut My Hair

  (Item #: crosbdejav_volume_2014) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The only time Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young actually sound like a real rock and roll band is on the track Almost Cut My Hair. According to Stephen Barncard, one of the engineers on Deja Vu, the track was actually recorded live in the studio. Boy, it sure sounds like it. The amount of energy the band generates on this one song exceeds the energy of the entire first album put together.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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VTA Adjustment

Helplessly Hoping to Get It Right

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment, using a Hot Stamper of the track Helplessly Hoping from CSN’s So Far.
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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VTA Adjustment on Crosby Stills and Nash

Using the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl LP (2005)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta_200) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment for 200 gram vinyl, using the CSN track Helplessly Hoping.

Helplessly Hoping is a wonderful song with plenty of energy in the midrange and upper midrange area which is difficult to get right. Just today (4/25/05) I was playing around with VTA, having recently installed a new Dynavector DV-20x on my playgrading table (a real sweetheart, by the way), and this song showed me EXACTLY how to get the VTA right.

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Yes, You Too Can Get an Old Buffalo Springfield Record to Sound This Good!

  (Item #: buffalastt_commentary) 



Not long ago we found a White Hot Stamper pressing of Last Time Around that really blew our minds. We were surprised to hear
...some of the breathiest, silkiest vocals we’ve ever heard on ANY Buffalo Springfield album, with startling presence and immediacy to boot! This side two had BY FAR the most energy and life of any side of any copy we've ever played. Man, does it ROCK.

Even as recently as 2010 we would not have expected to find that kind of sound on a vintage '60s pop/rock album. We know better now.

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Crosby Stills Nash (&) Young

  (Item #: _CrosbyStillsNashYoung) 


Crosby, Stills, Nash and/or Young albums in stock

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