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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Flag

  (Item #: tayloflag_1704) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A wonderful Triple Triple 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
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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Flag

  (Item #: tayloflag_1707) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A wonderful Triple Triple 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

James Taylor
Gorilla

  (Item #: taylogoril_1611x) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, with excellent sound for one of James Taylor's best softer rock albums
  • Soulful soft rock at its best and his best, an underappreciated album by our man JT, and one that belongs in your collection
  • Mexico, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Was A Fool To Care are standouts, but there's not really a weak track here
  • Rolling Stone notes that "With Gorilla, Taylor is well on his way to staking out new ground. What he's hit upon is the unlikely mating of his familiar low-keyed, acoustic guitar-dominated style with L.A. harmony rock and the sweet, sexy school of rhythm and blues."
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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Flag

  (Item #: tayloflag_1703) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • A wonderful Double Plus (A++) copy on both sides means this Flag is nothing short of amazing
  • 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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Carole King - Tapestry

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: king_tapes_2016) 



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

Please note that we do not have a graphic for our chart to indicate the Four Plus grade, since we award it so rarely. Our rating system usually only goes to three pluses, but this side one was so amazing we had to give it a fourth!

This White Hot pressing gives you TRULY KILLER SOUND for this classic album! It's not easy to find great sound for Tapestry. Most pressings are either dull and veiled, or hard and edgy in the midrange -- not exactly the kind of sound we're after.

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James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: taylodadlo_2011) 



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

This Hot Stamper original Columbia is THE KING, the Best Sounding Copy we have ever played -- the sound was OUT OF THIS WORLD! In fact, side two went so far beyond what we've come to expect from this album that we had to award it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade.

The soundstage and depth on our Hot Stamper copies is HUGE -- this is without a doubt the most spacious recording by James Taylor we've ever heard. If you want your speakers to disappear, replaced by a huge studio full of musicians playing their hearts out, this is the album that can do it.

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James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: taylodadlo_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

Way too bright!

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James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work

His Most Underrated Album? Sadly, the Answer Is Yes

  (Item #: taylodadlo_underrated) 



This is one of our favorite James Taylor albums here at Better Records, a Forgotten Classic from 1981. It's the last album written and performed by this hugely talented man that bears much resemblance to the genius of his early work. It's steeply, steeply downhill after DLHW. (Case in point: His specials for PBS of the last few years are a positive cure for insomnia, with every song slowed down and all the energy drained from the material.)

But he still had fire in his belly when he made this one -- one listen to Stand and Fight is all the evidence you need; the song rocks as hard as anything the guy ever did. And it's got plenty of cowbell, always a good sign.

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James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work

What to Listen For

  (Item #: taylodadlo_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.

The soundstage and depth on our Hot Stamper copies is HUGE -- this is without a doubt the most spacious recording by James Taylor we've ever heard. If you want your speakers to disappear, replaced by a huge studio full of musicians playing their hearts out, this is the album that can do it. But of course there's a lot more to the sound of the best copies than a big soundstage. Tonality is key.

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James Taylor - Flag

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: tayloflag_2015) 



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

White Hot Stamper sound on both sides! From the opening notes you will be amazed at how good this album sounds. As far as JT's recordings go, it's right up there at the top. Like his album JT, which came just before this one, the best copies of this record are smooth, rich, punchy and have great bass.

A Top Recommendation from Better Records. This is a Must Own James Taylor record.

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James Taylor - Gorilla

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: taylogoril_2011) 



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

This White Hot Stamper copy has TWO AMAZING sides back to back, with a side two that is so off the charts we seriously considered giving it Four Pluses. The Four Plus copies have to meet a standard higher than our regular top grade, and we define that standard as "better than we ever imagined any copy could ever sound." The Triple Plus side here is doing what it should -- it's correct from top to bottom, full of energy, transparent, and musical. It's exactly what you want it to sound like in every possible way.

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James Taylor - In The Pocket

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: taylointhe_2016) 



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

The quality of the songwriting is what makes this album such a moving listening experience. These songs are superb, individually and collectively, and can hold their own up against those found on Gorilla, an album with which In the Pocket has much in common.

Just as they did on Gorilla, Taylor and his multi-talented, multi-tracking production team polish these songs into three and four minute gems of popcraft, and they do so without ever compromising the emotional heart of the material. I've searched and I honestly cannot find a bad song on the album. Better than that, not even a weak one.

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James Taylor - James Taylor

  (Item #: taylojames_fame) 



A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.

We played a big stack of nothing but British Original pressings, and this one was the best overall by far. Side one rates above A+, side two rates above A++, and both sides play a solid Mint Minus throughout. There might be a better sounding copy out there somewhere, but we’re certainly not bold enough to expect to find it.

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James Taylor - JT

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: taylojt_depth) 



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

The good copies REALLY ROCK on a song like Honey Don't Leave L.A. or I Was Only Telling A Lie, yet have lovely, sweet transparency and delicacy on the ballads such as Another Grey Morning or There We Are.

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James Taylor - JT

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: taylojt_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

SUPERB SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! Both sides have MASTER TAPE SOUND. With six plusses between the two sides it sure doesn’t get much better than this copy!

And don't think we're kidding about turning up your volume and rockin' out to songs like Honey Don't Leave L.A. and I Was Only Telling a Lie. Those are real rock songs and they show that old JT can rock with the best of them when he wants to.

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James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: taylomudsl_2009) 



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

Side two here has STUNNING MASTER TAPE SOUND, and side one is not far behind. Side two is open and transparent with shocking clarity. All of the little details that are missing from the average copy really come through here -- the sound of the room around the guitars, the transients of the hand percussion, and the weight of the piano, to name a few. The acoustic guitar sound is Right On The Money and the vocals sound amazing. The bottom end on this copy just can’t be beat -- we’ve never heard another copy of Mud Slide Slim with such deep, note-like bass. The highs are silky sweet and there’s real three-dimensionality to the soundfield.

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James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: taylomudsl_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Mud Slide Slim has some of Taylor's strongest material: You've Got a Friend; You Can Close Your Eyes; Hey Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox, and one of his best and most underrated, Love Has Brought Me Around. If you've got a top copy of the album, this song, the leadoff on side one, can really rock. It's yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

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James Taylor - One Man Dog

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tayloonema_2012) 



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

Two SUPERB sides, including an AMAZING A+++ SIDE ONE! Huge and open with a fully-extended top end and the best bass we heard in our shootout, no other copy came close to this side one. And at A++, this side two absolutely kills most other pressings as well. (Side two, incidentally, never sounds quite as good as side one.)

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James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

A Rhino / Warners Heavy Vinyl Winner!

  (Item #: taylosweet_scorecard) 



Sonic Grade: B+

This Rhino 180g LP is the BEST SOUNDING Heavy Vinyl reissue to come our way in a long long time. Those of you who’ve been with us for a while know that that’s really not saying much, but it doesn’t make it any less true either, now does it. Let’s look at what it doesn’t do wrong first.

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James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: taylosweet_depth) 



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 White Hot Stamper is GUARANTEED to BLOW YOUR MIND, as James himself so famously sings on Steamroller here, and you can be sure that he never heard it sound any better on playback than it does here. This is truly Master Tape Sound -- transparent, present and Tubey Magical, the kind of sound that only the best pressings from the era can lay claim to. If you've got the stereo to play it, this record may become your new favorite Demo Disc. Yes, it's that good.

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James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

Our Shootout Winner for 2008

  (Item #: taylosweet_2008) 



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

It took three days, sixty seven copies, and multiple rounds, but SWEET BABY JAMES HOT STAMPERS ARE BACK! Both sides of this bad boy are DEMO QUALITY and ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. Add in the fact that the vinyl is unusually quiet, and you’ve got one heck of a copy here!

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James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

Warners / Rhino 180g EQ Anomaly Test

  (Item #: taylosweet_test) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

There is one obvious and somewhat bothersome fault with this new pressing, an EQ issue. Anybody care to guess what it is? Send us an email if you think you know. Hint: it’s the kind of thing that sticks out like a sore thumb, the kind of obvious EQ error I can’t ever recall hearing on an original.

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James Taylor aka Mud Slide Slim

Is He in a Booth or Isn't He?

  (Item #: taylomudsl_listen) 



That depends.

Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Midrange Presence is tough to come by on Mud Slide; most of the time JT’s voice is recessed, dark, veiled and has a slightly hollow quality. To find a copy where his vocals are front and center -- which of course is exactly where they should be -- but still rich, sweet and tonally correct is no mean feat. Only the best copies manage to pull it off. Out of the dozens of copies we played in our most recent shootout few had the midrange we were looking for and knew existed.

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James Taylor

  (Item #: _TaylorJames) 


James Taylor albums in stock

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