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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.

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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 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!

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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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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.

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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.

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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).

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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


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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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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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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.

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June Christy - This Is June Christy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: christhisi_fame) 



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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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.

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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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Joe Cocker - Joe Cocker (1969)

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cockejoeco_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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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.

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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.

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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!

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Nat King Cole - The Very Thought Of You

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cole_veryt_1605) 



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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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.

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Paul McCartney and Wings - At the Speed of Sound

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mccaratthe_fame) 



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.

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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.

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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.

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Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: dylannashv_0708) 



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

STUNNING MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE, BACKED WITH A TOP SHELF SIDE TWO! It ain’t easy to find Hot Stamper copies of this album, but when you play one like this it is worth all the trouble. When Johnny Cash starts singing, it is positively chilling. That's the Man In Black, folks, and the immediacy of this copy puts him right there in the room with you!

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