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Joe Cocker - Joe Cocker (1969)

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cockejoeco_1969_2016) 



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

I put this album up against the best Cocker has ever made. He released both of his first two albums in 1969, strikingly reminiscent of another band we revere, Led Zeppelin. (Small world: Jimmy Page plays on Cocker's first release.)

The consistently high quality of the material is another reason this album has to be considered a Must Own. Did Cocker ever release an album with more good songs than these? On side one alone you'll find Dear Landlord; Bird on the Wire; She Came in Through the Bathroom Window; and Hitchcock Railway. On side two: Something; Delta Lady; Hello, Little Friend; and Darling Be Home Soon.

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Joe Pass - For Django

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: pass_fordj_2016) 



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

White Hot Stamper sound on both sides -- this is some killer jazz guitar "trio" sound. There are actually two guitarists on this record, John Pisano being the other one, plus bass and drums. We're big fans of Pacific Jazz recordings from this era, with 1964 live in the studio Tubey Magic to die for.

See all of our Joe Pass albums in stock


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Nat King Cole - The Very Thought Of You

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cole_veryt_2016) 



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

The presence and immediacy here of Nat King Cole's vocals are '50s Capitol Recording Magic at its best. Set the volume right and Nat is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. The selection of material and the contributions of all involved are hard to fault.

More Nat "King" Cole / More Albums Arranged by Gordon Jenkins


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The Byrds - Ballad of Easy Rider

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: byrdsballa_2016) 



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

The first White Hot copy of this great Byrds album -- 4 stars on Allmusic -- to EVER hit the site, and it's a killer Triple Triple copy! Anyone who has played the typical copy of this album is probably familiar with the dull, lifeless, opaque sound that plagues most pressings. We collect these in bulk (natch) and it's disappointing how mediocre most copies sound.

See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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Deep Purple - In Rock

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: deeppinroc_2016) 



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

The best pressings give you exactly what you want from this brand of straight ahead rock and roll: presence in the vocals; solid, note-like bass; big punchy drums, and the kind of live-in-the-studio energetic, clean and clear sound. (AC/DC is another band with that kind of live studio sound. With big speakers and the power to drive them YOU ARE THERE.)

See all of our Deep Purple albums in stock


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The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: moodytoour_2016) 



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

This Decca original British pressing has TWO STUNNING SIDES! The sound is incredibly lively and dynamic with the kind of top end extension that's missing from most copies (of any Moody Blues album). Most aren't nearly this airy, open or spacious. The bottom end is strong with nice weight and great bass definition. The vocals are big and solid.

You get amazing richness, fullness and warmth on these sides, which is exactly what you want for the Moodies' music. Nothing else in our shootout came close to this side two, which of course is why it won the shootout.

See all of our Moody Blues albums in stock


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Coleman Hawkins - Hawk Eyes

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hawkihawke_2016) 



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

This 1960 Saxophone Ballad session from 1960 has to be seen as yet another recording triumph for Rudy Van Gelder

The best pressings of these OJC and Prestige reissues from the '70s and '80s sound like the vintage jazz albums they emulate, and sometimes they even beat the originals at their own Tubey Magical game. They can be every bit as rich, sweet and spacious as their earlier-pressed brethren in our experience.

See all of our Coleman Hawkins albums in stock


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Poco - Poco

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: poco_poco_2016) 



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

Poco's second album is an unusual blend of country-rock, with some long, jazzy instrumental breaks that center around Rusty Young's pedal steel, which doesn't sound like any pedal steel guitar you've ever heard. It's played with a wah-wah pedal and, if that wasn't enough, the resulting sound is sent through a Leslie organ speaker.

We know it sounds crazy, but it really works. There is nothing else like it on record, nothing that we've ever heard anyway.

See all of our Poco albums in stock


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Jerry Jeff Walker - Mr. Bojangles

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: walkemrboj_2016) 



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

The clear winner of our recent shootout, this Atco original boasts White Hot stamper sound on both sides. The biggest and clearest of any we played, the sound was also full-bodied and present like no other. The engineering team of Tom Dowd and Phil Lehle work their magic on this one, just as they did for so many John Coltrane albums of the '60s.

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Gerry Mulligan Quartet - What Is There To Say?

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mulliwhati_2016) 



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

This Six Eye stereo LP put every other copy we played to shame on side one with shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound. Side two earned a Double Plus (A++) grade for its explosive dynamics and rich, full-bodied, Tubey Magical sax sound. Tubier, more transparent, more dynamic, with that "jumpin' out of the speakers' quality that only The Real Thing ever has. Hard to imagine any reissue, vintage or otherwise, can hold a candle to the sound of this amazing record.

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John Coltrane - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_2016) 



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

An outstanding copy of this classic Jazz Vocal album, with superb sound throughout. The sound is huge and spacious with richness and Tubey Magic like nothing you've heard. I defy you to find a Male Vocal record produced in the last thirty years that can hold a candle to this one sonically or musically. A wonderful collaboration between a horn player and a singer, perhaps the greatest of all time.

"Hartman was in prime form on the six ballads, and his versions of "Lush Life" and "My One and Only Love" have never been topped. Classic, essential for all jazz collections."

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Jethro Tull - Benefit

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jethrbenef_2016) 



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

WHOA! The best copy of Benefit to hit the site in OVER EIGHT YEARS! The sound is big, rich, tubey and solid with excellent transparency

See all Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Richard & Linda Thompson - I Want To See The Bright...

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: thompiwant_2016) 



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

The first White Hot Stamper of this 1974 classic to make it to the site, and it's wonderful on both sides. Rich, full-bodied, with big bass and gobs of studio ambience, this is the way this music was meant to be heard. Kurt Loder writing in Rolling Stone noted that there's "not a single track that's less than luminous."

See all of our Richard & Linda Thompson albums in stock


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June Christy - This Is June Christy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: christhisi_2016) 



This wonderful recording from 1958 is a distinguished member of the Better Records Popular Hall of Fame.

It's very rare that a Shootout Winning copy of a June Christy album from the late '50s would have vinyl this quiet. Can't recall the last time that happened, or if it ever has.

Both sides of this '50s All Tube Recorded and Mastered record are just as rich and relaxed as you would expect. The balance is correct, which means the top is there as well as the bottom, with good vocal presence throughout.

More June Christy


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Wes Montgomery - Boss Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: montgbossg_2016) 



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

This is one of Wes Montgomery's best albums from his prime '60s period, if not THE best. Rich and full-bodied but clear and spacious, the 1963 All Tube Analog sound is perfect for Wes's organ trio format.

See all of our Wes Montgomery albums in stock


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Gerry Mulligan - Jeru

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mullijeru_2016) 



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

This Black Print 360 original stereo pressing from 1962 put every other copy we played to shame - it's White Hot on both sides. Tubier, more transparent, more dynamic, with that "jumpin' out of the speakers' quality that only The Real Thing (an old record) ever has. Hard to imagine any reissue, vintage or otherwise, can beat the sound of this amazing LP - we sure couldn't find one.

See all of our Gerry Mulligan albums in stock


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Gerry Mulligan - And His Concert Jazz Band On Tour

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mulliandhi_2016) 



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

White Hot on side two, nearly White on side one, this live album is crazy good sounding on this copy. Huge space, size and clarity, with Tubey Magical richness befitting its 1960 recording dates. On the second track of side two the swingin' Zoot Sims is as immediate and real as any sax player can be.

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Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: stewaevery_2016) 



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.

A knockout Top Copy, with a side one so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied and open with excellent clarity -- you will be FLOORED.

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Chabrier / Orchestral Music / Ansermet

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: chabrorche_2016) 



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

The Espana side earned our rare and coveted Four Plus (A++++) Sonic Grade - Wow! Monstrous size and dynamic power thanks to the brilliant Decca engineering of Roy Wallace. Without a doubt the most spectacular sound we’ve ever heard from CS 6438.

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


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Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_2013) 



We are calling this White Hot Stamper 2-pack set THE ULTIMATE SGT. PEPPERS EXPERIENCE. These two sides give you EVERYTHING you could ask for from this album. Side one earned the rare Four Plus A++++ grade and side two was a killer A+++; both sides play a very quiet Mint Minus throughout. The sound is so big and rich throughout that we would be very surprised, shocked even, if you've ever imagined that Sgt. Pepper could sound this powerful and REAL.
More Beatles


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Chicago - Chicago VI

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: chicachica6_2016) 



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

The background vocals on these sides are super-breathy and clear, a far cry from the typically smeary, dark voices we heard on most of the pressings we played, all originals in this case.

More often than not the brass lacks bite and presence, but these sides had the Chicago horns leaping out of the speakers. What is a Chicago record without great horns? Without that big bold sound you may have something, but it sure ain't Chicago.

See all of our Chicago albums in stock


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Chicago - Chicago V

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: chicachica5_2016) 



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

Triple Triple! The best copy to ever hit the site - Saturday In The Park is really rockin' this side two. Both of these amazing A+++ sides are rich, full and warm - the brass has tremendous power and energy. 4 stars on Allmusic and one of the best sounding albums in their massive catalog, the last they recorded at Columbia's 30th Street studios

  • Their first Number One, and The Biggest Selling Album of 1972 (!), spending nine weeks at the top of the charts.
    See all of our Chicago albums in stock


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  • 10cc - How Dare You

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: tencchowda_2016) 



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

    With this superb British pressing some of you who might consider yourselves more devoted fans of the band will finally be able to hear what a good recording this is. The typical domestic copy is a disaster as are some of the British originals and reissues; we should know, we cleaned them, played them and heard them for ourselves.

    See all of our 10cc albums in stock


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    Bee Gees et al. - Saturday Night Fever

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: beegesatur_2016) 



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

    This copy of the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack has truly killer sound throughout, and that ain't no jive talkin'! We collected a bunch of these and put them through the shootout process and were delighted to find out that some of the material on here can sound wonderful on the best pressings.

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    Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: dylanjohnw_2016) 



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

    SUPERB SOUND and UNUSUALLY QUIET VINYL on both sides -- I don't think we've ever had a copy this amazing! Both sides earned our Top Grade of A+++. This copy has the bass, fullness & vocal presence that are hard to come by for this album. The title track, Dear Landlord, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, All Along the Watchtower and I Pity The Poor Immigrant are just some of the most memorable songs here.

    More Bob Dylan


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    Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: jonesricki_2016) 



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

    TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! This is an excellent recording, but you'd never know that listening to the average pressing. This copy is a big step up from the average pressing with real fullness and weight, plus SIZE and ENERGY that must be heard to be believed!

    More Rickie Lee Jones


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    Jethro Tull - This Was

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: jethrthisw_2016) 



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

    Guaranteed to MURDER any Pink Label Island original you have ever heard - these are the Hot Stampers.

    Folks, this is the best copy we are going to have on the site for a very long time. It took years and hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get this shootout going and this killer copy is the result.

    See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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    Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: hendraxisb_2016) 



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

    What a copy! Super rich and full-bodied with a wide, tall soundstage and plenty of punch, this is exactly the right sound for this music. It sure ain't easy to find good-sounding Hendrix records, and most copies of Axis are positively painful. You need rich, full tonality and plenty of space up top if this album is going to work, and on those counts this copy certainly delivers!

    See all our Jimi Hendrix albums in stock


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    The Eagles - One Of These Nights

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: eagleoneof_2016) 



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

    This is one of the toughest Eagles albums to find with good sound, which is why only a small handful have ever made it to the site. This album may never sound quite as good as Hotel California or the self-titled debut, but there are some wonderful songs here and this copy brings them to life in a way that most pressings can't begin to. There's a level of presence and spaciousness here that is miles ahead of most we heard in our shootout.

    See all of our Eagles albums in stock


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    Billie Holiday - Lady In Satin

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: holidladyi_2016) 



    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.

    The better copies reproduce clearly what to our minds are the three most important elements in the recording -- strings, rhythm, and vocal -- and, more importantly, the are reproduced properly balanced with one another.

    The monos, as you might expect, balance the three elements well enough, but the problem with mono is that the vocals and instruments are jammed together in the center of the soundfield, layered atop one another.

    See all of our Billie Holiday albums in stock


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    Miles Davis - Quiet Nights

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: davisquiet_2016) 



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

    A Top Shelf copy of this Miles Davis - Gil Evans classic, and only the second to hit the site in five years. Fred Plaut engineered the sessions, which here, sound rich, warm, and smooth, with excellent presence. Gil Evans conducts the orchestra, adding a lovely feel reminiscent of Sketches Of Spain.

    See all of our Miles Davis albums in stock


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    Miles Davis - In A Silent Way

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: davisinasi_2016) 



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

    Sit down with this record, draw the blinds, and you’ll hear why AMG gave it 5 Stars. Perhaps it’s the extended solos from John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock Wayne Shorter, and Davis himself. Perhaps it’s the slippery, spiraling nature of these signature jazz fusion epic pieces. Perhaps it’s the grooves that Tony Williams and Dave Holland spin, slowly at first, building later in each of the LP’s mesmerizing tracks.

    See all of our Miles Davis albums in stock


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    Kenny Dorham - Una Mas

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: dorhaunama_2016) 



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

    A fun and lively Blue Note, presented here with two especially hot sides and quiet vinyl!

    After hearing a copy that blew us away a few years back, we went on the hunt for enough pressings to get this shootout off the ground. It wasn't easy -- run across many clean Kenny Dorham LPs recently? -- but we finally pulled it off and this copy really impressed the hell out of us compared to the others we had on hand to play.

    More recordings by Rudy Van Gelder


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    Ella Fitzgerald - Whisper Not

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: fitzgwhisp_2016) 



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

    Both sides of this original stereo pressing are White Hot - Triple Plus all the way! Breathy, tubey, big and clear, this is the best sound we have ever heard for Whisper Not. Superb engineering from the man behind so many great sounding Verve records, Val Valentin. "These fine-tuned arrangements also provide the perfect launching pad for Fitzgerald to place her own stamp on material associated with other singers."

    More Ella Fitzgerald


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    Michael Jackson - Off The Wall

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: jacksoffth_2016) 



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

    ABSOLUTELY STUNNING SOUND for this White Hot Stamper pressing!

    Side two cannot be beat, and side one is not far behind. Both have the BIG M.J. SOUND that jumps from the speakers and fills the room. We've never a copy that was so full of ANALOG MAGIC!

    More Off the Wall


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    John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: lennoplast_2016) 



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

    The first Top Copy to ever hit the site and it's a Triple Triple, with both sides earning our top A+++ grade. An absolute knockout on the better copies; here it's super clean, clear, punchy, full-bodied and solid. Working Man's Hero, Love, Mother -- classic Lennon tracks, all with superb sound.

    See all of our John Lennon albums in stock


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    Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

    Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: costemyaim_2016) 



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

    STUNNING! This insanely good pressing earned the rare FOUR PLUS (A++++) grade on side one -- it's OFF THE CHARTS! Side two is incredible as well, earning our standard top grade of Triple Plus (A+++) The sound is incredibly lively, punchy, and powerful; with all due respect, it should MURDER whatever copies you may have. Relatively quiet for this album, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides.

    More Elvis Costello


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    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Clearwater...

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: creedcreed_2016) 



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

    It's unlikely you will be demonstrating your system with this record, but you may find yourself enjoying the hell out of it for what it is -- an early example of Roots Rock that still holds up today.

    This is an album that's nearly impossible to find with excellent sound and clean surfaces. We've only had one Hot Stamper copy on the site before this year and it rated around A+ for both sides. This is the best copy we've managed to get on the site by a HUGE margin.

    More Creedence Clearwater


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    Cream - Goodbye

    Some of the Best Live Rock Sound Ever Recorded

      (Item #: creamgoodb_2016) 



    When you get a good side one of Goodbye you'll hear exactly why we are calling it one of the Best Sounding Live Rock Albums of all time.

    Goodbye has the Big Rock Sound that we go crazy for here at Better Records. The top copies just plain ROCK HARDER than all the others. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top. But what really sets them apart is the tremendous Energy they contain in their grooves. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies like practically nothing you have ever heard.

    More Cream


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    Paul McCartney and Wings - At the Speed of Sound

    Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: mccaratthe_2016) 



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

    This is a classic case of Live and Learn. We were wrong about At the Speed of Sound as a recording. As to whether or not there are great sounding pressings of it, having just done a big shootout for the album in 2016 we now know there most certainly are.

    More Paul McCartney


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    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: creedwilly_2016) 



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

    The typical copy of this album is grainy, murky, and veiled -- and that's just for starters. It took us a HUGE stack of copies to find ANY that had bottom end weight, midrange presence, freedom from grain (mostly) and real energy.

    See all of our CCR albums in stock


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    Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention - Absolutely Free

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: zappaabsol_2016) 



    A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame from 1967.

    BY FAR the best copy to ever hit the site - White Hot on side one and Nearly White on side two. You will not believe how rich and Tubey Magical this copy is, and yet so CLEAR and undistorted. If you've suffered through reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound of this copy,

    See all of our Frank Zappa albums in stock


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    Blondie - Parallel Lines

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: blondparal_2016) 



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

    Can this kind of music get any better? This album is a MASTERPIECE of Pure Pop, ranking right up there with The Cars first album. I can't think of many albums from the era with the perfect blend of writing, production and musicianship Blondie achieved with Parallel Lines.

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    Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 2 / Fennell

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: holstbriti_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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    Nat "King" Cole - Love Is The Thing

    The Breatkthrough We Were Waiting For

      (Item #: cole_lovei_2016) 



    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.

    Love Is The Thing has long been one of the best sounding Nat "King" Cole recordings we had auditioned over the years. With a large variety of copies to play, including some interesting "finds" among them, we now know it actually is The Best. We have never heard the man sound better than he does on the hot copies of this record.

    More Nat "King" Cole


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    Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: pinkfwishy_2016) 



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

    Amazing! Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides, making this a Top Copy that will knock you out. The sound is, in a word, HUGE. You won't believe how full, rich and clear this one is.

    This copy has the size, energy and presence to bring the music out of the speakers and right into your listening room!

    More Pink Floyd


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    Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

    What a Record!

      (Item #: londojulieis_2016) 



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

    We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a given recording to a level we've never experienced before and had no idea could even exist. We estimate that about one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

    More Julie London


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    Cream - Disraeli Gears

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: creamdisra_2016) 



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

    This copy’s got the kind of tubey analog sound you need for this music -- it’s warm, rich, smooth, and pretty much free of the nasty grain that gets in the way on most pressings. There’s good extension up top, and the bottom end is meaty and well-defined.

    The lesson we learned is that when the extremes are properly transferred to the vinyl, the middle will take care of itself. Since the extremes seem to be the hardest thing to get right, at least on this record, that might explain why so many copies don't really cut the mustard while this one did.

    More Eric Clapton and Cream


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    Roxy Music - Stranded

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: roxymstran_2016) 



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

    Stranded is one of the higher quality recordings by the band, coming in second for sonics only to the first album, which is really saying something considering that the first album is a Top 100 title. The Tubey Magic on the early albums has to be heard to be believed.

    More Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry


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    Peter Frampton - Wind of Change

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: frampwindo_2016) 



    A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and Frampton's debut MASTERPIECE.

    Hot Stampers for one of our favorite Classic Rock records have finally made it to the site! This British original is the very definition of TUBEY MAGIC. The sound is so rich and sweet it will make you want to take all your CDs and dump them in the trash (if you haven’t done so already).

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    The Pentangle - The Pentangle

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: pentapenta_2016) 



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

    This is an honest-to-goodness Demo Disc. When for a (thankfully) brief time back in the '70s I was selling audio equipment, the song "Pentangling" was a favorite demo cut to play in the store. The sound of the string bass and snare drum are amazingly natural; I don't know of any other pop album from the era that presents the vibrant timbre of those two instruments better.

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    Milt Jacskon - Sunflower

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: jackssunfl_2016) 



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

    The first track, at more than ten minutes, is yet another one of our favorite orchestra-backed jazz recordings here at Better Records. Other albums of this sort that we love are Wes Montgomery's California Dreaming (1966, and also Sebesky-arranged), Grover Washington's All the King's Horses (1973) and Deodato's Prelude (also 1973, with brilliant arrangements by the man himself).

    See all of our Milt Jackson albums in stock


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    The Doors - L.A. Woman

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: doorslawom_2016) 



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

    The first White Hot Stamper version of L.A. Woman to EVER hit the site! This is a 2-pack set with a Triple Plus (A+++) copy for side one and a Double Plus (A++) copy for side two. The sound here goes DRAMATICALLY beyond the average copy -- huge, super lively and very rich.

    Engineered by the man responsible for the amazing sound on The Doors' albums, BRUCE BOTNICK.

    More of The Doors


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    AC/DC - Back In Black

    Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: acdc_backi_2016) 



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

    Musically Back In Black has everything you'd want from this kind of hard rock -- a tight, punchy rhythm section; raging guitar riffs; and deliciously decadent lyrics screamed to perfection. What surprised us is how amazing this music sounds on the right copy. You've probably heard these songs a million times, but we bet you haven't heard them sound like this. This is the kind of record that you'll want to keep turning up. The louder you play it, the better it gets -- but only if you've got a great pressing like this.

    Side two earned our rare A++++ grade. Our sonic grade graphics only go up to three pluses, but this side two took it all the way to four!

    More AC/DC


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    Count Basie / Kansas City 3 - For The Second Time

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: basieforth_2016) 



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

    Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this killer piano trio recording. It's a joy to hear Basie perform as a frontman, stretching out on tunes that were no doubt dear to him. Veterans of hundreds of sessions, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson are just as interesting as Basie, high praise. Recorded by the legendary engineer Ed Greene (Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba) - that accounts for the exceptional sound.

    See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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    Dave Brubeck Trio w/ Gerry Mulligan - Blues Roots

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: brubeblues_2016) 



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

    A very different quartet appears on this record, with Mulligan's baritone sax replacing Desmond's alto and a whole new rhythm section behind both of these veteran leaders.

    We've been surprised how good these mid- to late-'60s Brubeck recordings can sound. There's still plenty of Tubey Magical richness on the best pressings of these records, a quality that is especially important when trying to reproduce the full-bodied sound of a baritone sax.

    See all of our Dave Brubeck albums in stock


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    John Coltrane - Lush Life

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: coltrlushl_2016) 



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

    We've been searching for years trying to find just what kind of Lush Life pressing -- what era, what label, what stampers, mono or stereo, import or domestic -- had the potential for good sound.

    No, scratch that. We should have said excellent sound. Exceptional sound. We've played plenty of copies that sounded pretty good, even very good, but exceptional? A pressing of that caliber had eluded us -- until 2016.

    More John Coltrane


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    Ella Fitzgerald - Sings the Harold Arlen Song Book #2

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: fitzgarlen_2016) 



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

    The first Harold Arlen Song Book to hit the site, and with sound like this it's going to be very hard to beat. White Hot on side two, Super Hot on side one, Ella is especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy throughout. Look at the great songs on Volume 2: Come Rain Or Come Shine, It's Only A Paper Moon, One For My Baby, Get Happy, I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, Over The Rainbow and more.

    See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


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    Hovhaness / Sym. #4 / Giannini #3 / Eastman Wind Ensemble

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: hovhasym4_2016) 



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

    These symphonies for winds are an audiophile delight. Mercury is famous for their wind band recordings and this is clearly one of their best.

    The idea of a symphony performed only by wind instruments (with added harp and percussion) is novel, to me anyway, and I found the music nothing short of enchanting. One of the first wind recordings I fell in love with decades and decades ago was British Band Classics on Mercury with the EWO under Fennell. Whenever a copy comes in I play it and fall in love with it all over again. You may feel the same about this very record.


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    Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

    Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: dylanfreew_2016) 



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

    This is a 2-pack of two Mono pressings, each with a killer Triple Plus (A+++) side. The White Hot sides are amazingly spacious, full-bodied, natural and clear with great presence. We greatly prefer the best Mono pressings to the best stereo copies, but they are very hard to come by.

    This is our favorite of the early Dylan albums for both music and sound! We're picking up both mono and stereo copies when we see them clean (which is rare) but the best mono copies truly take this music to a whole new level.

    More Bob Dylan


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    Roxy Music - Siren

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: roxymsiren_2016) 



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

    Siren is one of our favorite Roxy albums, right up there with the first album and well ahead of the commercially appealing Avalon. After reading a rave review in Rolling Stone of the album back in 1975 I took the plunge, bought a copy at my local Tower Records and instantly fell in love with it. As is my wont, I then proceeded to work my way through their earlier catalog, which was quite an adventure. It takes scores of plays to understand where the band is coming from on the early albums and what it is they're trying to do. Now I listen to each of the first five releases on a regular basis.

    More Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry


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    The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: rolligoats_2016) 



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

    The impossible has happened - we found a good sounding copy of Goats Head Soup, only 53 years after it was first released.

    Why did it take us so long to find a killer copy? Let's just say the pressing is somewhat "off the beaten path" and leave it at that. We ran into it by accident during an attempted shootout not long ago, and it was so much better than the other records we were playing at the time that we had to postpone the shootout until we could find more of these specific pressings. It took some months but we managed to get a big pile of "happy accidents" together and the result was a gamechanging White Hot copy.

    More Rolling Stones


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    John Mayall with Eric Clapton - Blues Breakers

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: mayalblues_2016) 



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

    DRAMATICALLY SUPERIOR to the typical pressing, the MOFI Gold CD and every other version that I know of. This is it folks! They cut this one right. It sounds the way you always wished it would sound. We've been searching for these for years -- everyone wants a great copy, but they are TOUGH to come by.

    More John Mayall / More Eric Clapton


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    Verdi / Rossini / Overtures and Intermezzos / Solti

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: varioover_1119) 



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

    This White Hot Stamper Plum Victrola pressing has GORGEOUS Tubey Magical Analog sound the likes of which you may have never heard. Yes, it's that good! Recorded in England by Decca in 1959, with Solti at the helm of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the music herein was originally released on the album Venice, LSC 2313, with a lovely die-cut cover. Six years later, still clearly in the Golden Age of Tubes, it was reissued on Victrola, and it would be hard to imagine it sounding any better than it does here. (We keep a noisy Venice as a ref but it sure doesn't sound like this pressing.)

    More Living Stereo


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    Andre Previn & His Pals - Pal Joey

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: previpaljo_2016) 



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

    The piano sounds uncannily lifelike right from the start, a beautiful instrument in a natural space, tonally correct from top to bottom. I can't think of many records off the top of my head that get a better piano sound than this one.

    ROY DUNANN and HOWARD HOLZER in 1957 are hard to beat.

    More Andre Previn


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    The Band Album You Don't Know

    Northern Lights - Southern Cross

      (Item #: band_north_2016) 



    A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and one of their four essential albums (the others being Music from Big Pink, the Self-Titled second and Rock of Ages).

    This is the UNDISCOVERED GEM in the Band catalog. Allmusic is right on the money when they call this the best Band album since their self-titled second release. I positively LOVE this music, having practically worn out my copy soon after the album was released in 1975.

    More of The Band


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    Benny Goodman - Combos

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: goodmcombo_2016) 



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

    We've dropped the needle on a number of Goodman vintage mono records over the years but I don't recall ever hearing one sound like this.

    On side two listen for the wonderful electric guitar tone, I think on the first track if my notes are correct. Great sound for this era.

    By the second track on side two the sound is clear and rich. Turn it up to hear Benny and his crew playing the hell out of this group of tunes.

    More Benny Goodman


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    Henry Mancini - The Blues and The Beat

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: manciblues_2016) 



    A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1960.

    If you like your large group recordings to have huge three-dimensional space and depth, look no further. This is vintage RCA Living Stereo at its best - transparent, Tubey Magical, big and bold. Let's give credit where credit is due, to the amazing AL SCHMITT.

    We know his work well; he happens to have engineered many albums with SUPERB SOUND: Aja, Hatari, Breezin', Late for the Sky, Toto IV, as well as some we can't stand (the entire Diana Krall digital-echo-drenched catalog comes to mind).

    More Henry Mancini


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    Count Basie - Kansas City 5

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: basiekansa_2016) 



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

    Another amazingly well recorded Count Basie album, and this one is killer with Triple Triple grades. It's bigger, more solid and rich, with extension on both ends of the frequency spectrum that no other copy could match. First time on the site - a great session with a fresh sound for Basie, with Milt Jackson on vibes and Joe Pass on guitar.

    More Count Basie


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    Sting - The Dream Of The Blue Turtles

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: stingdream_2016) 



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

    This album has long been a favorite among audiophiles and it's pretty easy to see why. What Sting does here with jazz music is very similar to what Paul Simon later did with African music on Graceland. Sting surrounded himself with legitimate jazz musicians and together they've created an album that gives you the loose, relaxed feel of jazz mixed with Sting's distinct pop sensibility. There are elements of worldbeat, reggae and soul here as well, but the album never feels disjointed; Sting managed to pull it all together to create a sound that is somehow unique and familiar at the same time.

    See all of our Sting / Police albums in stock


      more Info











    Gabor Szabo with Gary McFarland - Gypsy ’66

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: szabogypsy_2016) 



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

    One of the qualities that we don't talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record's presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don't extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don't seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy for the instruments or vocals in the center.

    More Gabor Szabo


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    Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Duke's Place

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: fitzgellaa_2016) 



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

    We have a very hard time doing the famous Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks due to the fact that so many pressings don't sound good, and the ones that do sound good are usually noisy.

    That's why it came as a pleasant surprise that Ella At Duke's Place had the potential for excellent sound and reasonably quiet vinyl on the best copies.

    More Ella Fitzgerald


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    Frank Sinatra - All The Way

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: sinatallth_2016) 



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

    This vintage '60s Capitol pressing was our clear winner, with Triple Plus sound on both sides. It has the all the Tubey Magic one could ask for, allowing Sinatra's rich baritone to work its magic on every phrase. As you can well imagine, finding clean, scratch-free '60s Sinatra records like this one, in stereo no less, is no walk in the park.

    This group of singles and B-sides was recorded from 1957 to 1960 - it contain some of Sinatra's better known songs arranged by Nelson Riddle.

    More Frank Sinatra


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    John Coltrane - The Stardust Session

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: coltrstard_2016) 



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

    Superb sound quality courtesy of Rudy van Gelder (1958) and the brilliant mastering of David Turner (1972). The combination of old and new works wonders on this title as you will surely hear for yourself on these incredibly Hot sides.

    We were impressed with the fact that these pressings excel in so many areas of reproduction. What was odd about it -- odd to most audiophiles but not necessarily to us -- was just how rich and Tubey Magical the reissue can be on the right pressing.

    More John Coltrane


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    Ted Heath - Shall We Dance

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: heathshall_2016) 



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

    One of the best sounding records we have ever played, the Gold Standard for Tubey Magical Big Band. Both sides are huge, rich, weighty and dynamic like few records you have ever heard. Three elements create the magic here: Kingsway Hall, Kenneth Wilkinson and the Decca "Tree" microphone setup.

    More Big Band Jazz


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    Bob Seger - Night Moves

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: segernight_2012) 



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

    We've been trying to find killer copies of Night Moves for ages but it is not easy. Most copies out there are thin and dry, which is no way to hear these classic '70s tracks. We brought in copy after copy that made us think, "I swear this sounds better on the radio!"

    Finally, after pulling together a ton of copies from different eras, we started to realize that there were indeed vinyl pressings of Night Moves that sounded right... but they are few and far between, the exception and not the rule so to speak. Here's a copy with an excellent side one and a killer side two -- the first Hot copy of a Bob Seger album to EVER hit the site.

    More Bob Seger


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    The Joe Cocker You Don't Know

    With A Little Help From My Friends

      (Item #: cockewitha_2016) 



    A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and Cocker's MASTERPIECE of White Soul.

    We just finished our first shootout in over FIVE years for the album and were SHOCKED by how amazing the best copies can sound, even better than we remember them from last time around. Turn this one up good and loud and you’ll have Joe Cocker in all his raspy glory belting out With A Little Help From My Friends right in your very own listening room!

    More Joe Cocker


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    Squeeze - Argybargy

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: squeeargyb_2016) 



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

    If you think you might enjoy the mashup of Pub Rock and New Wave that this group unleashed on the pop music scene of the '70s and '80s I could not recommend any album of theirs more highly than Argybargy. It's a MASTERPIECE.

    Squeeze's prime period with Jools Holland on keyboards encompasses four albums, any of which is worth owning. The band really gets going with their second album, Cool for Cats (1979), then pulls it all together and takes it to another level for their breakthrough third, Argybargy (1980).

    More Squeeze


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    John Coltrane - Ole Coltrane

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: coltrole_2016) 



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

    Olé! Here's a great copy of a wonderful Coltrane album that we seriously enjoy but just don't see enough to keep in our regular rotation. And that's a shame, because these Top Copies are a THRILL to hear. Both sides give you an exceptionally strong bottom end, and with two bass players contributing on much of the album that is essential for this music. The overall sound is lively, dynamic, and very transparent.

    More John Coltrane


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    Tears For Fears - The Seeds Of Love

    A Near Perfect Pop Masterpiece

      (Item #: tearsseeds_2016) 



    The band's MAGNUM OPUS, a Colossus of Production to rival the greatest Prog, Psych and Art Rock recordings of all time. (Whew!)

    When it comes to Genre Busting Rock I put this album right up at the top of the heap, along with several other landmark albums from the Seventies: Roxy Music's first, The Original Soundtrack, Crime of the Century, Ambrosia's first two releases, The Yes Album, Fragile, Dark Side of the Moon and a handful of others.

    The Seeds Of Love is clearly the band's masterpiece, and being able to hear it on a White Hot Stamper pressing is nothing short of a THRILL.

    More Tears for Fears


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    Beethoven / Symphony #6 (Pastoral) / Ansermet

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: beethsym6_6160_2016) 



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

    In our opinion this is the best sounding Beethoven 6th Symphony ever recorded. It is the most beautiful of them all, and has long been my personal favorite of the nine Beethoven composed.

    Ansermet's performance is clearly definitive to my ear as well. The gorgeous hall the Suisse Romande recorded in was possibly the best recording venue of its day, possibly of all time; more amazing sounding recordings were made there than any other hall we know of. There is a richness to the sound that exceeds all others, yet clarity and transparency are not sacrificed in the least.

    More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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    Coleman Hawkins - At Ease With Coleman Hawkins

    Our OJC Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: hawkiateas_2016) 



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

    This 1960 Saxophone Ballad session has to be seen as yet another recording triumph for Rudy Van Gelder. The best pressings of these OJC reissues from 1989 sound like the vintage jazz albums they emulate, and sometimes they even beat the originals at their own Tubey Magical game. They can be every bit as rich, sweet and spacious as their earlier-pressed brethren in our experience.

    In the case of At Ease with Coleman Hawkins, we simply have never seen an original copy clean enough to buy, so we have no reference for what an original would sound like.

    More Coleman Hawkins


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    Frank Sinatra - My Kind of Broadway

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: sinatmykin_2016) 



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

    Sinatra set very high standards for his repertoire, his musicians, his arrangements and most of all, his performances. I find no evidence to support the contention that any of the above are lackluster or second-rate on My Kind of Broadway.

    If you have any doubts, go to youtube, pull up the album and take a listen to some of the tracks. We can't find a bad one and we would be surprised if you could either. There are lots of great ones in fact.

    More Frank Sinatra


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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.

    More Carole King


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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.

    More James Taylor


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    The Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: mahavinner_2016) 



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

    This is the first album by the band, recorded only a year after Bitches Brew single-handedly created the genre of Jazz Fusion itself. Or is it better described as an album of Prog Rock without the vocals? Remember, King Crimson had a violinist and not a whole lot of singing too.

    Whatever it is, mostly what this music wants to do is rock.

    More Mahavishnu Orchestra


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    Beethoven / Symphony No. 9 / Ansermet

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: beethsymp9_2016) 



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

    The is the best recording of the Beethoven 9th Symphony we have ever played here at Better Records

    Ansermet's performance is clearly definitive to my ear as well. The gorgeous hall the Suisse Romande recorded in was possibly the best recording venue of its day, possibly of all time; more amazing sounding recordings were made there than any other hall we know of.

    More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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    Harry Belafonte - Sings The Blues

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: belafsings_2016) 



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

    If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy may be just the record for you.

    Naturally the vocals have to be the main focus on a Harry Belafonte record. He should sound rich and tubey, yet clear, breathy and transparent. To qualify as a Hot Stamper the pressings we offer must be highly resolving, not crude and ambience-challenged the way so many modern LPs seem to be. You should be able to hear every element of the recording, with the voice and instruments surrounded by the natural space of the studios in which the recording was made.

    More Harry Belafonte


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    Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: nelsoblues_2016) 



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

    Oliver Nelson's masterpiece debuts at Better Records with at least White Hot Stamper sound on both sides. Side one was so HUGE and Tubey Magical we called it at least White Hot - it's out of this world. If all you know is the Van Gelder original cutting, you will surely have your mind blown by this Hot Stamper LP.

    More Oliver Nelson


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    Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: getzbjazzs_2016) 



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

    TWO INCREDIBLE SIDES on unusually quiet vinyl! We just finished a big shootout for this great album and this copy was a KNOCKOUT. The sound is rich and full with good size to the soundfield. It's very tough to find good sounding Stan Getz records, so if you're a fan I think you'll be quite impressed with the sonics on this pressing. As for the music, it's top notch; All Music Guide gave it a Five Star rating and we agree wholeheartedly!

    More Stan Getz


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    Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The George Gershwin Song Book

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: fitzggersh_2016) 



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

    This 2-pack offers HUGE White Hot Stamper sound from start to finish. Ella sounds especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy -- this is a real Demo Disc. It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass right on the same copy, but these did it. Nelson Riddle's arrangements are especially interesting and artful throughout.

    More Ella Fitzgerald


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    Frank Sinatra - Sings Days of Wine and Roses & more

    Judging Books and Covers

      (Item #: sinatdayso_fame) 



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

    Presented with the less-than-captivating cover and title of Days of Wine and Roses, we were put off by our first impression; that of a budget thrown-together compilation, brought even lower by the fairly generic shot of Old Blue Eyes on the cover. We didn't think an album that looked like this could possibly contain the swinging (or deeply emotional, both are fine with us) Sinatra music we've grown to love from his best Capitol- and Reprise-era releases.

    More Frank Sinatra


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    Nat "King" Cole - Love Is The Thing

    The Breatkthrough We Were Waiting For

      (Item #: cole_lovei_fame) 



    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.

    Love Is The Thing has long been one of the best sounding Nat "King" Cole recordings we had auditioned over the years. With a large variety of copies to play, including some interesting "finds" among them, we now know it actually is The Best. We have never heard the man sound better than he does on the hot copies of this record.

    More Nat "King" Cole


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    Jeff Beck - Truth

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: beck_truth_2016) 



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

    One of the most surprising things we learned during this shootout was how well recorded the album is. It's yet another triumph from one of our favorite engineers, KEN SCOTT.

    An interesting bit of trivia: most side twos earned a sonic grade that was a full plus higher than any given copy's grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album.

    More Jeff Beck


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    Barbra Streisand - Je M'Appelle Barbra

    '60s 360 Vs. '70s Red

      (Item #: streijemap_fame) 



    For Barbra Streisand's early albums the original pressings on the 360 label have just got to be better, right?

    Nope. It’s just another Record Myth. The best of the 360 pressings in our shootout did well, just not as well.

    Our good later label pressings had all the richness and Tubey Magic of the 360s -- one really couldn't tell which pressing was on the turntable by the sound -- but had a bit more space, clarity and freedom from artificiality.

    More Barbra Streisand


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