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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
JT

  (Item #: taylojt_1701) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Triple Triple (A+++) - superb sound throughout - Your Smiling Face and Handy Man are simply amazing here
  • Both Shootout Winning sides have the kind Tubey Analog richness and smoothness that make this album such a joy to listen to
  • The best copies REALLY ROCK on songs like Honey Don't Leave L.A. or I Was Only Telling A Lie, yet have lovely, sweet transparency and delicacy on the ballads Another Grey Morning and There We Are
  • 4 stars on Allmusic ("his most consistent collection in years") and a Better Records Top 100 title
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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Mud Slide Slim

  (Item #: taylomudsl_1701) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • This wonderful Top Copy gives you Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it for each side of JT's classic followup to Sweet Baby James
  • Tons of gorgeous WB Tubey Magic, with superb presence and transparency as well
  • Some of his strongest material: You've Got a Friend, You Can Close Your Eyes, Hey Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox and more
  • 4 stars on Allmusic - it destroys the recent reissue, which lacks the texture and warmth you get in abundance on the best originals such as this one
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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Sweet Baby James

  (Item #: taylosweet_1703) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An amazingly good sounding pressing from start to finish: Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, Double Plus (A++) on side one
  • Just listen to all that lovely echo - it's a dead giveaway that side two has resolving power far beyond other copies you may have heard
  • Fire and Rain and Suite for 20 G (one of JT's All Time Best) on side two here are out of this world
  • A Top 100 Title - "Sweet Baby James launched not only Taylor's career as a pop superstar but also the entire singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s that included Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Cat Stevens, and others
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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Dad Loves His Work

  (Item #: taylodadlo_1705) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • One of the best copies to ever hit the site - a shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two mated to a killer Double Plus (A++) first side
  • Dramatically bigger, clearer and richer sounding than most, with a far more accurate and natural tonal balance
  • A favorite JT album and perhaps his most underrated, with a great set of songs including Stand and Fight and Summer's Here
  • 4 stars on Allmusic: "James Taylor bounced back from the spotty Flag with this all-original album led by his collaboration with J.D. Souther on "Her Town Too," his biggest pop hit since "Handy Man," and his biggest non-cover hit since his first, "Fire And Rain," in 1970."
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White Hot Stamper

James Taylor
One Man Dog

  (Item #: tayloonema_1706) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The best copy to hit the site in 2017! Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two
  • Big, rich and solid on both sides, with a more relaxed, musical quality, as well as the clarity that was missing from most of what we played
  • There is not a false note to be found on side one: it's brilliant from start to finish and side two is almost as good - we love the Abbey Road-like medley that makes up most of it
  • "Taylor turns in his best singing performance, running through the songs with fire, force, and enthusiasm, the qualities most notable by their absence on earlier recordings." Rolling Stone
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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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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
JT

  (Item #: taylojt_1610s) 

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


  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end for this exceptionally well recorded album
  • This copy is big and lively with plenty of bottom end weight and a nicely extended top end
  • The big hits Your Smiling Face and Handy Man both sound great here - thanks Val Garay!
  • "JT was James Taylor's best album since Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon because it acknowledged the darkness of his earlier work while explaining the deliberate lightness of his current viewpoint, and because it was his most consistent collection in years."
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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Sweet Baby James

  (Item #: taylosweet_1703_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Both sides here have excellent sound, with side two earning a Double Plus (A++) grade and side one close behind
  • This copy gives you big drums, lots of energy, and real presence to the vocals
  • Single-handedly started the "entire singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s."
  • AMG 5 stars, a Rock & Pop Top 100 title, and a Masterpiece mixing folk, country, gospel, and blues
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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Gorilla

  (Item #: taylogoril_1611) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • 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: $89.99

  • 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
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Hot Stamper

James Taylor
Mud Slide Slim

  (Item #: taylomudsl_1701_1) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • There's plenty of Tubey Magic to be found on this Hot Stamper original pressing
  • Exceptionally quiet true Mint Minus vinyl - we practically never hear this record play as quietly as this copy does
  • A Classic 4 Star album on Allmusic with You've Got A Friend and much more
  • Two more of JT's Ten Best Songs are here as well: Hey Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox and You Can Close Your Eyes
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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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George Benson - Other Side of Abbey Road

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bensoother_2013) 



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

An A++ side one backed with an A+++ side two! We just shot out a bunch of these and this copy finished way ahead of the pack. George Benson and a top-notch backing crew (Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Ray Baretto, Freddie Hubbard and many more) knock these jazzy Abbey Road covers out of the park, and Rudy Van Gelder did a great job putting it to tape. Of course not every pressing sounds good, but the best copies like this one are killer!

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Grover Washington Jr. - Inner City Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: washiinner_2012) 



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

TWO A+++ SIDES ON QUIET VINYL, making this the best copy of Inner City Blues we've found! This copy trounced the other ones we played, giving us the kind of open, transparent sound that brings out the best in this music. The overall sound is very clean and clear with lots of weight down low and extension up top. I don't think you could find a better sounding copy no matter what you did.

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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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