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1980

Some Groundbreaking Albums with Very Good Sound Were Released That Year

  (Item #: 1980) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1980 was a surprisingly good year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1980.

And HERE to see the records from 1980 that we've reviewed.


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1981

Some of Our Favorite Albums Were Released That Year

  (Item #: 1981) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1981 was a surprisingly good year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1981.

And HERE to see the records from 1981 that we've reviewed.


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1982

Some Surprisingly Good Sounding Records Were Made That Year

  (Item #: 1982) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1982 was a surprisingly good year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1982.

And HERE to see the records from 1982 that we've reviewed.


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1983

Some of Our Favorite Albums Were Released That Year

  (Item #: 1983) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1983 was a surprisingly good year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1983.

And HERE to see the records from 1983 that we've reviewed.


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1984

The Eighties Were Tough, But on the Right Pressing these Titles Can Be Amazing

  (Item #: 1984) 



When you look closely at all the records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1984 produced some -- not many, some -- exceptional recordings.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1984.

And HERE to see the records from 1984 that we've reviewed. We admit there aren't that many, but in our defense we would like to point out that the '80s have always been a tough decade for quality recordings (Born in the U.S.A. anyone?).


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1987

Some of Our Favorite Albums Were Released That Year

  (Item #: 1987) 



Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1987.

And HERE to see the records from 1987 that we've reviewed.


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1989

Some Outstanding Albums Were Released That Year (This One by Tom Petty, For Example)

  (Item #: 1989) 



Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1989.

And HERE to see the records from 1989 that we've reviewed.


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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Back In Black

  (Item #: acdc_backi_1903_) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


  • With Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this Back in Black ROCKS like no other copy you've heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides play exceptionally well for a Robert Ludwig original, which is absolutely the only way to go on the album
  • Top 100, and if you turn it up good and loud, one of the biggest, boldest, hardest rockin' records ever made
  • 5 stars: "... tawdry celebration of sex is what made AC/DC different from all other metal bands — there was no sword & sorcery, no darkness, just a rowdy party, and they never held a bigger, better party than they did on Back in Black."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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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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AC/DC - Back In Black

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: acdc_backi_fame) 



If you love HUGE drums, meaty guitars, and monster riffs as much as we do, you’re going to freak out over the MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES. Moments after dropping the needle we heard a prominent low octave to the intro bells that we hadn’t noticed on other copies. We kept our fingers crossed and waited for the band to kick in, hoping for some serious bottom end power. And man oh man, it was there all right! I am pleased to report that the whomp factor on this copy was nothing short of MASSIVE.

I ask you, what album from 1980 sounds better than Back in Black?

More AC/DC


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Letter of the Week

Wow, does it ever ROCK!

  (Item #: acdc_backi_testimonial_0409) 


Another new and satisfied Hot Stamper customer. Martin recently received a batch of records from us including his very first Hot Stamper, AC/DC - Back In Black, which by all accounts is not a bad place to start! Needless to say he was very impressed with the sound.
More AC/DC


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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
For Those About To Rock

  (Item #: acdc_forth_1901_1) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Once again Robert Ludwig delivers the Rock and Roll Power -- incredibly big, bold and full-bodied with a massive bottom end
  • Both sides are pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "On For Those About to Rock We Salute You, AC/DC’s best album, the case for the band’s talents is finally made with undeniable force and clarity. You want anthems? Here, they abound." - Rolling Stone
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Andy Johns

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: allandyjohns) 



ANDY JOHNS is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Andy Johns engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Andy Johns Engineered Albums with Hot Stampers

Andy Johns Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Bonnie Raitt Discography

  (Item #: allbonnieraitt) 



1971 - Bonnie Raitt
1972 - Give It Up
1973 - Takin' My Time
1974 - Streetlights
1975 - Home Plate
1977 - Sweet Forgiveness
1979 - The Glow
1982 - Green Light
1986 - Nine Lives
1989 - Nick of Time
1991 - Luck of the Draw
More Bonnie Raitt


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Our Favorite Studios (First of a Series)

Columbia 30th Street Studios

  (Item #: allcolumbia30th) 



Columbia 30th Street Studios is one of our favorite recording venues. Click on the link above to find our in-stock Hot Stamper pressings of albums recorded at that location from 1949 to 1981. The list of recordings made there stretches from West Side Story to Kind of Blue, all the way up to Pink Floyd's The Wall in 1979. (Who knew?)
More Recording Venues We Love


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The Doobie Brothers Discography and Bio

  (Item #: alldoobiebrothers) 



The Doobie Brothers (1971)
Toulouse Street (1972)
The Captain and Me (1973)
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974)
Stampede (1975)
Takin’ It to the Streets (1976)
Livin’ on the Fault Line (1977)
Minute by Minute (1978)
One Step Closer (1980)
Farewell Tour (1983)
More Doobie Brothers


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Fleetwood Mac Discography

  (Item #: allfleetwoodmac) 



1968 Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1968 Mr. Wonderful
1969 Then Play On
1969 English Rose (compilation)
1969 Pious Bird of Good Omen (compilation)
1970 Kiln House
1971 Future Games
1971 Black Magic Woman (compilation)
1969 Greatest Hits
1972 Bare Trees
1973 Penguin
1973 Mystery to Me
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find
1975 Fleetwood Mac
1977 Rumours
1979 Tusk
1980 Fleetwood Mac Live [bad sound]
1982 Mirage


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Gordon Jenkins

One of Our Favorite Arrangers

  (Item #: allgordon_jenkins) 



GORDON JENKINS is one of the All Time Greats.

He's the man behind the scenes for Nilsson's Must Own classic, A Little Touch Of Schmillson in The Night, a Desert Island Disc for yours truly. His work for Nat King Cole is beyond fault.

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers and Arrangers series


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Joni Mitchell Discography

  (Item #: alljonimitchell) 



1968 Song to a Seagull*
1969 Clouds*
1970 Ladies of the Canyon*
1971 Blue* -- Top 100
1972 For the Roses* -- Some of her best sound
1974 Court and Spark
1974 Miles of Aisles*
1975 The Hissing of Summer Lawns*
1976 Hejira*
1977 Don Juan's Reckless Daughter*
1979 Mingus*
1980 Shadows and Light*
1982 Wild Things Run Fast* -- TAS List but shouldn't be
1985 Dog Eat Dog
1988 Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm
1991 Night Ride Home
More Joni Mitchell


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Kenneth Wilkinson

  (Item #: allkenneth_wilkinson) 



KENNETH WILKINSON is one of our favorite engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Kenneth Wilkinson engineered albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Recordings made in Kingsway Hall


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Rhett Davies

  (Item #: allrhettdavies) 



RHETT DAVIES is one of our favorite producers and recording / mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Rhett Davies engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

Davies recorded some of our favorite albums of all time and we want to pay tribute to this unsung hero, a man who has brought so much joy and pleasure to audiophiles through albums like those listed below.

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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Roxy Music Discography

  (Item #: allroxymusic) 



Some of our favorite Roxy Music recordings are displayed here, as well as albums by Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno.

Click on the picture to the left and scroll down to see the band's discography through 1983.


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Santana Discography

The Classic Era

  (Item #: allsantana) 



1969 Santana
1970 Abraxas
1971 Santana III
1972 Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!
1972 Caravanserai
1972 Love Devotion Surrender
1973 Welcome
1974 Illuminations
1974 Borboletta
1976 Amigos
1977 Festival
1977 Moonflower
1978 Inner Secrets
1979 Marathon
1980 The Swing of Delight
More Santana


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Ambrosia - One Eighty

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: ambrooneei_2013) 



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

This is smooth, rich ANALOG at its best, easy on the ears as we like to say.

This is clearly the poppier side of Ambrosia, containing as it does two of their highest-charting mainstream hits, Biggest Part of Me (#3) and You're the Only Woman (#13). I myself of course prefer the proggy first two albums, falling as they do into the broad category of Art Rock where my favorite albums by Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Supertramp, 10cc, later-period Beatles, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Traffic and so many others from the last forty-plus years can be found.

More Ambrosia


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Ambrosia - One Eighty

A Little Soft Rock Never Hurt Anybody, Right?

  (Item #: ambrooneei_soft_rock) 



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

One Eighty has an excellent mix of rock songs and softer pop ballads. The last track, Biggest Part Of Me, no matter how many times you may have heard it on the radio is an exceptionally well-produced (designed?) piece of songcraft that will tug at anyone's heartstrings, anyone who has a heart that is (if I may quote the title of the best song Burt Bacharach ever wrote). On a big audiophile system it should be both powerful and emotional.

More Ambrosia


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Ambrosia - Somewhere I've Never Travelled

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: ambrosomew_2012) 



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

This SUPERB WHITE HOT STAMPER copy is our overall winner from the recent huge Hot Stamper shootout we did for Ambrosia’s second -- and second best -- album. Friends, it’s been a long time coming but, judging by this copy and the others which fared well, it was worth it. We LOVE this music.

Ambrosia is one of the few groups that has mastered the technique of being both far-out galactic in scope of vision and mainstream AM commercial in execution... There is an unusual dreamlike quality that pervades its work. The songs seem to be reaching the listener direct from some strange and beautiful realm of the unconscious. It is an experience rare in popular music today, or at any time.

Billboard, 1977



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Ambrosia and Its Elusive Hot Stampers

"Press on" - Sage Advice from Calvin Coolidge

  (Item #: ambrosomew_mistake_2014) 



“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Calvin Coolidge

If you substitute "finding Hot Stamper pressings" for the words "the human race" you will surely appreciate the point of this commentary.

More Ambrosia


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The B-52s - Wild Planet

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: b-52swildp_2016) 



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

This recording, like the band's first album, reminded me of a really good Don Landee / Ted Templeman production, the kind you hear on JT or Simple Dreams or the better Doobie Brothers albums -- with a difference.

Like the abovementioned albums, everything is laid out clearly: there's a space created for every part of the frequency spectrum from the lowest lows to the highest highs, with nothing crowding or interfering with anything else. The production is professional, clean, clear and REAL sounding everywhere you look.

More B-52s


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Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor / Discovery / Welch

  (Item #: bach_disco) 



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

This is an INCREDIBLY RARE Wilson Audio LP in IMMACULATE condition, with works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor and others. Click on the images of the record labels for a full track listing. This is actually an amazing sounding record. I’ve owned a copy for over 20 years. It's some of the best sounding organ music with the deepest bass I've ever heard.

More of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)



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JS Bach / The Goldberg Variations / Glenn Gould

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: bach_goldb_2011) 



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

Interesting record. The first side sounds about like what one would expect from an old Columbia six-eye mono piano recording -- not bad but not particularly good either, with a tonally correct but rather small and distant piano in the middle of a big room.

Imagine our surprise and delight when we flipped the record over and heard a shockingly ROBUST, CLEAR and PRESENT piano, sounding pretty much -- if one were to close one's eyes -- like a real piano in a practice hall. We call it at least Super Hot Stamper sound. Without more copies to compare it to, this may be for all practical purposes As Good As It Gets.

More of the music of JS Bach


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Joan Baez - Joan Baez

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joanb_2014) 



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

This former member of the TAS list is the kind of recording that has everything going for it: Golden Age equipment in a live acoustic with a simple arrangement for voice and guitar (or two).

The purity and complete freedom from distortion allow the listener to imagine himself, to borrow a phrase, in the Living Presence of the performer. With a record this good it takes no effort whatsoever to suspend disbelief and imagine Joan and her guitar directly in front of you, a command performance if you will.

More Joan Baez


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Anita Baker - Giving You The Best That I Got

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bakergivin_2013) 



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

This White Hot Stamper Anita Baker LP has an AMAZING A+++ SIDE TWO and a great A+ - A++ side one, both very quiet, giving you excellent sound for this '80s soul classic! We remembered this as a good recording and were still surprised with how good the best copies sounded. All Music Guide gave it four out of five stars, calling it "far superior to most of 1988's uninspired R&B releases."

See all of our Soul and R&B albums in stock


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Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Playboys

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bakerplayb_2015) 



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

Side one is White Hot, side two nearly so, and both contain swingin' West Coast Jazz from 1956. These 1983 reissues on Boplicity are dynamic and lively, perfectly suited to the energy of the music. The 1956 All Tube mono recording here has this Hot/Cool jazz sounding the way it should.

More Chet Baker / More Art Pepper


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Super Hot Stamper

Anita Baker
Rapture

  (Item #: bakerraptu_1901_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This quiet-storm classic earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER for sound on both sides and plays on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • Rapture is one of the best sounding recordings from the era - with all due respect to Whitney Houston, if I could only have one album of '80s female vocals, it would have to be this one
  • Key to the sound is richness and Tubey Magic, along with strong midrange presence, and on this Super Hot Stamper you get all three
  • 5 stars: "Rapture gave Baker one moving hit after another, including "Sweet Love," "Caught up in the Rapture," "Same Ole Love," and "No One in This World."
See all of our Soul and R&B albums in stock


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The Band - Music From Big Pink

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: band_music_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

In 2012 the new MoFi put out another remastered Big Pink. Since their track record at this point is, to be honest, abysmal, we have not felt the need to audition it.

It's very possible, even likely, that they restored some of the bass that's missing from the originals. But bad half-speed mastered bass -- poorly defined, never deep and never punchy -- is that the kind of bass that would even be desirable?

More by The Band


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The Band - Music From Big Pink

Thoughts on MoFi's Midrange Suckout

  (Item #: band_music_mofi_midrange_suckout) 



I was a big Mobile Fidelity fan in 1982 when they released this album, which, for some strange reason, I knew practically nothing about. I was 15 when the second album came out and I played that album all the time, but the first album had eluded me. How it managed to do that I cannot understand, not at this late date anyway. A major malfunction on my part to be sure.

At some point in the early '90s I got hold of an early British pressing of the album. Comparing it to my MoFi I was shocked to hear the singers in the band so present and clear. Having only played MoFi's remastered LP I had never heard them sound like that. The MoFi had them standing ten feet back; the Brit put them front and center. There was no question in my mind which presentation was right.

More by The Band


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This unusually strong copy of an exceptionally well-recorded classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, 88 Basie Street has got it going on
  • With 18 pieces in the studio this is a real powerhouse - the sound is rich, powerful, dynamic and HUGE
  • 4 stars: "One of Basie's final albums, the very appealing title cut seems to sum up his career, a lightly swinging groove with a strong melody. Two small-group performances with guest Joe Pass on guitar add variety to a particularly strong set."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Count Basie - 88 Basie Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: basie88bas_2011) 



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

A White Hot Stamper 2-pack giving you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides of this killer Basie album!

This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on! With 18 pieces in the studio this album can be a real powerhouse -- if you have the right copy -- and this two-pack with White Hot Stamper sound for each side shows you just how lively and dynamic this music can be. It's got Demo Disc qualities, no doubt about it.

More Count Basie


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Basie Big Band - Farmers Market Barbecue

First Among Equals, or The Best Pablo Ever?

  (Item #: basiefarme_first) 



Musically FMB is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way. This should not be surprising: many of his recordings for Pablo in the '70s and early '80s display the talents of The Count and his band of veterans at their best.

Sonically it's another story. Based on our recent shootout for this title, in comparison to the other Basie titles we've done lately we would have to say that FMB is the best Basie big band title we've ever played. Since so many Basie big band recordings are so good, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves; after all, we haven't done shootouts for all of his Pablo large group recordings. To be safe we'll just call this one First Among Equals.

More Count Basie


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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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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Me and You

  (Item #: basiemeand_1903_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with each side earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER
  • Both sides are big, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a lovely bottom end
  • "... recorded only a little more than a year before his death. However, the spirit of this music (helped out by some Ernie Wilkins) arrangements) make Count Basie seem ageless." - All Music
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie Meets Oscar Peterson
The Timekeepers

  (Item #: basietimek_1709_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $50.99 / 34%)


  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this copy was one of the best we heard in our most recent shootout
  • Basie and Peterson recorded five albums together, and this may very well be the best of the bunch, though I have yet to hear one that I didn't enjoy the hell out of
  • Wonderful engineering from the legendary Val Valentin, the man behind some of the best sounding jazz records of all time
  • "... this quartet date features the two pianos of Oscar Peterson and Count Basie collaborating and interacting on swing standards and blues. Any of their five albums together are worth acquiring."
More Count Basie / More Oscar Peterson


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The Beatles - Revolver

1981 Parlophone Mono Reissue

  (Item #: beatlrevol_mono) 



Sonic Grade: F

A great sounding record in stereo, potentially anyway, but this later reissue in mono is so awful it deserves a special place in our Hall of Shame.

My notes for side one: hard, sour, no bass. Side two: dumbass small mono, so unclear.

We love the mono mix of For No One, but not when it sounds like this! The only Beatles vinyl we offer on our site are stereo pressings. Our reasons for doing this are straightforward enough. (Continued below)

More Beatles


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The Beatles Heavy Rubber Soul

Finally, MF and Better Records Can Agree on Something

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_heavy_vinyl) 



We are so excited to tell you about the first of the Heavy Vinyl Beatles remasters we've played! As we cycle through our regular Hot Stamper shootouts for The Beatles' albums we will be of course be reviewing more of them*. I specifically chose this one to start with, having spent a great deal of time over the last year testing the best vinyl pressings against three different CD versions of Rubber Soul.

The short version of our review of the new Rubber Soul vinyl would simply point out that it's awful, and, unsurprisingly, it's awful in most of the ways that practically all modern Heavy Vinyl records are: it's opaque, airless, energyless and just a drag.

More Rubber Soul


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The Beatles Heavy Vinyl Sgt. Pepper’s

Well, I Guess If You Don't Know Any Better...

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_180_debunk_2015) 



Sonic Grade: D

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

You might agree with some reviewers that EMI's engineers did a pretty good job with the new Pepper. In the March 2013 issue of Stereophile Art Dudley weighed in, finding little to fault on this title but being less impressed with most of the others in the new box set. His reference disc? The MoFi UHQR! Oh, and he also has some old mono pressings and a domestic Let It Be. Now there's a man who knows his Beatles. Fanatical? Who wouldn't be? We're talkin' The Beatles for Chrissake.

More Sgt. Pepper


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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

UHQR Debunked

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

We charge hundreds of dollars for a Hot Stamper Sgt. Pepper, which is a lot to pay for a record. But consider this: the MoFi UHQR typically sells for more than the price we charge and doesn’t sound as good.

Of course the people that buy UHQRs would never find themselves in a position to recognize how much better one of our Hot Stampers sounds in a head to head shootout with their precious and oh-so-collectible UHQR. They assume that they’ve already purchased the Ultimate Pressing and see no need to try another.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Mobile Fidelity and the Limited Edition Pressing

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_limited) 



Many audiophiles are still operating under the misapprehension that Mobile Fidelity, what with their strict ’quality control’, managed to eliminate pressing variations of the kind we discuss endlessly on the site.

Such is simply not the case, and it's child's play to demonstrate how false this way of thinking is, assuming you have these four things: good cleaning fluids and a machine, multiple copies of the same record, a reasonably revealing stereo, and two working ears (I guess that's actually five things, my bad). With all five the reality of pressing variations for ALL pressings is both obvious and incontrovertible.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Pat Benatar - Crimes of Passion

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: benatcrime_2016) 



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

Credit for the sound must go to the brilliant engineer Keith Olsen, the man behind the amazing sounding Buckingham Nicks album and the even-more-amazing Fleetwood Mac self-titled release from 1975. Is there a better sounding Fleetwood Mac album? I certainly can't think of one.

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Super Hot Stamper

Blondie
Autoamerican

  (Item #: blondautoa_1812_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A superb sounding copy of this KILLER New Wave Pop record with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • The overall sound here is super clean, clear and full-bodied with plenty of energy
  • Pretty darn quiet throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "... they continued to expand their stylistic range, with greater success, at least on certain tracks, than they had on Eat to the Beat." - All Music
See all of our Blondie albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Blondie
Autoamerican

  (Item #: blondautoa_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • DEMO DISC Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this poppy New Waver - The Tide Is High sounds amazing here
  • This one was doing it all -- cleaner, clearer, more full-bodied, more energy, and the list goes on
  • Mostly quiet vinyl throughout with one issue - we've dropped the price considerably
  • "... they continued to expand their stylistic range, with greater success, at least on certain tracks, than they had on Eat to the Beat."
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Blondie - Autoamerican

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: blondautoa_2009) 



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

DEMO DISC SOUND on this A+++ Hot Stamper Side One! This is one KILLER New Wave Pop Record. All the Blondie magic you could ever want is in these grooves! The truly POWERFUL sound of this Power Pop Band really comes through on this Bad Boy, or should we say Bad Girl? Whatever. This was the Hands Down Hot Stamper Winner of our latest shootout. Man, we had a ball with this one.

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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
David Live

  (Item #: bowiedavid_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $169.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $40.99 / 24%)


  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on all four sides of this Bowie classic -fairly quiet vinyl too
  • One of our favorite live recordings - a great overview of Bowie's career through 1974
  • 1984, Rebel Rebel, Sweet Thing and Rock & Roll With Me come ALIVE in performance like you have never heard before
  • A-List players of the day deliver sonic treats, including multiple horn players, multiple percussionists, all-male chorus background vocals, the searing fuzzed-out guitar leads of Earl Slick, piano and Mellotron by Mike Garson, and the amazing Herbie Flowers on bass
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David Bowie - David Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bowiedavid_2010) 



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

The best copies have Live Rock and Roll Energy like you will not believe. The band is ON FIRE. These are the A List players of the day and they gell like a band that's been together for years. The sonic treats include multiple horn players (David Sanborn KILLS on almost every track, and the baritone sax and oboe are rendered beautifully ) and multiple percussionists, all-male chorus background vocals, the seering fuzzed-out guitar leads of Earl Slick, piano and Mellotron by Mike Garson, the amazing Herbie Flowers on bass -- the list goes on.

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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Diamond Dogs

  (Item #: bowiediamo_1811) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - this UK pressing will show you a Diamond Dogs you had no idea existed, yet here it is
  • One of the better copies from our most recent shootout (especially on the first side) - the sound is big, full, lively and spacious with hard-rockin' energy to spare
  • It's ridiculously tough to find even passable sound for this album - we guarantee you'll be blown away by this pressing
  • Great songs including the title track, Rebel Rebel, 1984, Sweet Thing, Big Brother, Rock & Roll With Me and more
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David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: bowiediamo_2016) 



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

The sound on this copy is KILLER. It's incredibly big and open with tons of space around the instruments and wonderfully present vocals. Super rich, full and Tubey Magical yet still clean, clear and spacious -- good luck finding another copy with sound anything like this!

Both sides were shootout winners and earned A+++ grades. This copy was better than the rest of them in every way we could imagine -- livelier, more transparent, cleaner, more present and all that good stuff.

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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Let's Dance

  (Item #: bowieletsd_1811_1904) 

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


  • These two excellent sides, both rating Double Plus (A++) grades for sound, are guaranteed to deliver the funky goods on this '80s classic - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We love the low end weight and midrange smoothness on these killer copies - they're big, clear and rich with some of the most powerful, punchiest bass you've ever heard
  • A real Demo Disc at high volumes on the right system - Modern Love, China Girl and the title track are knockouts when you play them good and loud
  • Top 100 of course - Let's Dance is one of the best sounding Bowie albums ever recorded - this superb pressing is proof!
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Let's Dance

  (Item #: bowieletsd_1812) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • We love the low end weight and midrange smoothness on these killer copies - they're big, clear and rich with some of the most powerful, punchiest bass you've ever heard
  • A real Demo Disc at high volumes on the right system - Modern Love, China Girl and the title track are knockouts when you play them good and loud
  • Top 100 of course - Let's Dance is one of the best sounding Bowie albums ever recorded - this superb pressing is proof!
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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bowieletsd_2008) 



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

This Let’s Dance may look like an ordinary record, but it sure doesn’t sound like one. The sound is OUT OF THIS WORLD! You’re looking at THE Big Beat Demo Disc of All Time. What the Hot Stamper copy of Back in Black was to Super-Fidelity HARD Rock, this White Hot Stamper of Let’s Dance is to Super-Fidelity FUNKY Rock. In other words, this is the FREAKISHLY HOT STAMPER copy that gives you As Good As It Gets, Demo Disc, Mind Altering Sound.

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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bowieletsd_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

With Let's Dance the name of the game is ENERGY, and boy does this copy have it! Both sides have the deep, punchy bass and sweet, extended highs that Bowie's music needs to come ALIVE. With that big bass and smooth top end this is one record you can turn up GOOD and LOUD without fear of fatique. On a big pair of dynamic speakers you will really get your money's worth from the best Hot Stamper pressings.

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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Scary Monsters

  (Item #: bowiescary_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding copy of what some have called Bowie's last great album, with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or better - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The best British pressings like this one are big and clear yet rich and smooth, the best of all possible worlds
  • This UK LP plays about as quietly as any we have heard - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • 5 Stars: "David Bowie returned to relatively conventional rock & roll with Scary Monsters, an album that effectively acts as an encapsulation of all his '70s experiments. Reworking glam rock themes with avant-garde synth flourishes, and reversing the process as well, Bowie creates dense but accessible music throughout Scary Monsters."
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David Bowie - Scary Monsters

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: bowiescary_2018) 



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

This British pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.

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1980s Albums

  (Item #: BR_1980s) 


1980s Albums

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Brahms / Hungarian Dances / Dvorak / Slavonic Dances

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: brahmhunga_6198_2011) 



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

The London pressing of this music used to be on the TAS List but appears to have been dropped at some point over the years. Not that I would notice what comes and goes on HP's list, as I do not hold it in as high a regard as most audiophiles I have met over the years. For some reason there were those who tended to think it definitive or consistent. I can assure you it is neither.

The Brahms here (side one) is nothing special on this copy, but the Dvorak is SUPERB, sounding much better than the other Bluebacks we played and the Stereo Treasury copies as well. With Reiner at the helm both sides are lively and fun.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms


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Jackson Browne - Hold Out

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: brownholdo_2010) 



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

HOT STAMPERS DISCOVERED for Jackson Browne's first Number One album! We just finished our first major shootout for this album and here's a copy that stood head and shoulders above the pack. Most copies we played were too thick, veiled and/or smooth to get excited about, but this one presents the music in a much more enjoyable fashion. Both sides are clean, clear and transparent with the kind of presence to the vocals that the typical pressing lacks.

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Dave Brubeck Quartet - Near Myth

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: brubenearm_2011) 



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

This original STEREO BLUE VINYL Fantasy pressing has Hot Stamper sound on both sides, with rich and musical Tubey Magical qualities appropriate to this early '60s West Coast jazz. We've known about this album for close to twenty years, having played the surprisingly good sounding OJC pressing and recommended it back in the days when those kinds of records were still in print.

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Bruch / Scottish Fantasy / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bruchscott_2603_0412) 



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

WHITE HOT Stamper sound for the Bruch side of this original RCA Shaded Dog, one of the best Heifetz concerto titles of all time. (I'm trying to think of a Heifetz title that sounds better and coming up blank.)

This was our shootout winner on side two, beating all comers, earning our highest grade, the full Three Pluses (our blue ribbon, gold medal, and best in show all wrapped into one). The sound is nothing short of DEMO DISC QUALITY.

More of the music of Max Bruch


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Super Hot Stamper

Kate Bush
Hounds Of Love

  (Item #: bush_hound_1811_1901) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $169.00 (You save $30.99 / 15%)


  • You'll find outstanding audiophile sound throughout, with each side rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides of this original UK pressing are wonderful: full-bodied, energetic, spacious, and above all, musically involving
  • Hounds Of Love is widely considered Bush's best album and listed among the Top 100 albums of all time by NME Magazine
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...wonderfully overpowering as a piece of pop music. Indeed, this reviewer hadn't had so much fun and such a challenge listening to a new album from the U.K. since Abbey Road, and it's pretty plain that Bush listened to (and learned from) a lot of the Beatles' output in her youth."
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White Hot Stamper

Kate Bush
Hounds Of Love

  (Item #: bush_hound_1901_1903) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A stunning sounding original UK pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Full-bodied, energetic, spacious, and above all, musically involving, this copy was Hard To Fault (HTF)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Hounds of Love was more carefully crafted as a pop record, and it abounded in memorable melodies and arrangements, the latter reflecting idioms ranging from orchestrated progressive pop to high-wattage traditional folk; and at the center of it all was Bush in the best album-length vocal performance of her career, extending her range and also drawing expressiveness from deep inside of herself, so much so that one almost feels as though he's eavesdropping at moments during "Running Up That Hill.""
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White Hot Stamper

Kate Bush
The Kick Inside

  (Item #: bush_kicki_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A stunning sounding early British pressing of Kate Bush's debut album with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings - here is the rich, Tubey Magical sound of the real Master Tape
  • Includes Bush's hit "Wuthering Heights," and a number of tracks written by this precocious artist at only 15
  • 4 stars: "... the sound of an impressionable and highly precocious teenager spreading her wings for the first time... a mightily impressive debut."
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Super Hot Stamper

Kate Bush
The Kick Inside

  (Item #: bush_kicki_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two, this vintage British pressing will be very hard to beat
  • Both sides here are rich, smooth and full-bodied with a nice bottom end and a lovely musical quality that's missing from most of the copies we played
  • Includes Bush's hit "Wuthering Heights," and a number of tracks written by this precocious artist at only 15
  • 4 stars: "... the sound of an impressionable and highly precocious teenager spreading her wings for the first time... a mightily impressive debut."
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Benny Carter - Meets Oscar Peterson

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: cartemeets_2007) 



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

This Minty looking Pablo Promo LP, engineered by Allen Sides, is one of the TOP PABLO titles for both sound and music. Top Recommendation.

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The Recordings of Benny Carter

These Three Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: carter_benny) 



These are just some of the recordings by Benny Carter that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Benny Carter Albums with Hot Stampers

Benny Carter Albums We've Reviewed



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Ray Charles & Betty Carter - Ray Charles & Betty Carter

DCC Clear Vinyl Pressing

  (Item #: charlraych_dcc_clear) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another DCC LP debunked.

This Dunhill Compact Classics LP pressed on CLEAR VINYL is one of DCCs earliest forays into analog production. Unfortunately it sounds like a bad CD. In fact, you can be sure that Hoffman's CD murders it in every way. Don't waste your money.

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Ray Charles - The Genius After Hours

Top Quality Remastering Was Possible in 1985

  (Item #: charlthege_remastering) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on records.

Proof positive that there is nothing wrong with remastering vintage recordings if you know what you're doing. These sessions from 1956 (left off of an album that Allmusic liked a whole lot less than this one) were remastered in 1985 and the sound -- on the better copies mind you -- is correct from top to bottom.

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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Another Ticket

  (Item #: claptanoth_1903_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This vintage pressing has the richness, clarity and British Blues Rock Energy that was missing from many of the copies we played, which of course explains why it earned such good grades
  • "The first and last Clapton studio album to feature his all-British band of the early '80s, it gave considerable prominence to second guitarist Albert Lee and especially to keyboard player/singer Gary Brooker (formerly leader of Procol Harum), and they gave it more of a blues-rock feel than the country-funk brewed up by the Tulsa shuffle crew Clapton had used throughout the 1970s."
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White Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Another Ticket

  (Item #: claptanoth_1904) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A KILLER sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from the first note to the last - this is As Good As It Gets, folks
  • This vintage pressing impressed us with its massive amounts of Tubey Magic, rhythmic drive and British Blues Rock Energy - no other copy was doing what this copy was doing
  • "The first and last Clapton studio album to feature his all-British band of the early '80s, it gave considerable prominence to second guitarist Albert Lee and especially to keyboard player/singer Gary Brooker (formerly leader of Procol Harum), and they gave it more of a blues-rock feel than the country-funk brewed up by the Tulsa shuffle crew Clapton had used throughout the 1970s."
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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Journeyman

  (Item #: claptjourn_1903_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A superb sounding Duck/Reprise import copy with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget the dry sounding domestic copies - these imports were the only ones good enough for us to put them in a shootout
  • Rich, lively, clear and spacious - these imports are surprisingly good sounding for a recording from as late as 1989
  • The big hit was Pretending, but Bad Love (both went to Number One) won the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... a laid-back and thoroughly engaging display of Clapton's virtuosity. On the whole, it's the best studio album he's released since Slowhand."
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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Just One Night

  (Item #: claptjusto_1802_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb early RSO pressing boasting Double Plus (A++) sound on ALL FOUR sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This one is doing pretty much everything right-- it's bigger, bolder, richer and more clean, clear and open than most of what we played
  • Sure to be the best live Clapton sound you'll hear on vinyl -- and the music is wonderful as well
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The most notable difference between Just One Night and Clapton's other live albums is his backing band. Led by guitarist Albert Lee, the group is a collective of accomplished professionals who have managed to keep some grit in their playing. They help push Clapton along, forcing him to spit out crackling solos throughout the album."
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White Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Just One Night

  (Item #: claptjusto_1902) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on sides one and two and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on sides three and four - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This one is bigger, bolder and richer, as well as more clean, clear and open than any copy we played (which is of course the way it earned those Triple Plus grades)
  • Sure to be the best live Clapton sound you'll hear on vinyl - and the music is wonderful as well
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The most notable difference between Just One Night and Clapton's other live albums is his backing band. Led by guitarist Albert Lee, the group is a collective of accomplished professionals who have managed to keep some grit in their playing. They help push Clapton along, forcing him to spit out crackling solos throughout the album."
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Eric Clapton - Just One Night

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: claptjusto_2014) 



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

With so many bad sounding Clapton albums from the mid- to late '70s out there in the bins, it's refreshing to hear this material sounding lively and clear for a change. The performances seem to hold up as well. If you like the "Tulsa Time" era, this record is going to be hard to beat.

Many of his best songs are here, including Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, After Midnight, Blues Power, Cocaine, Further on Up the Road and plenty more.

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Eric Clapton - Money and Cigarettes

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: claptmoney_2013) 



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

This Minty looking Warner Brothers Duck Promo LP fetures Ry Cooder, Donald Duck Dunn and Albert Lee.

This album has that Master Tape sound. You feel as though you are hearing what the engineer intended. The one real flaw in the recording is the amount of compression the engineer used -- it's a bit heavy handed. This is after all a radio friendly pop album, so no surprise there. I doubt if there are many better sounding copies around than this one.

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White Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Unplugged

  (Item #: claptunplu_1903) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A stunning import copy of Clapton's acoustic classic with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Forget the CD - playing the vinyl is the only way to retrieve the warm, natural sound of the live event
  • The best album Clapton has made in 20 years and an absolute Must Own - no one recorded an Unplugged session to rival this one
  • The music on this masterpiece is every bit as good as they say -- deserving of the six Grammys it won
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Clapton is embracing his middle age and the pleasure of Unplugged is to hear him opt out of the pop star game as he plays songs he's always loved."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Clash
Combat Rock

  (Item #: clashcomba_1804_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound and exceptionally quiet vinyl from start to finish
  • This is the band's last release featuring the classic lineup - this and London Calling are surely their two Must Own Albums
  • Glyn Johns produced and mixed this album, so its BIG and BOLD sonic credentials are certainly in order
  • "Combat Rock appears to be a retreat from the sprawling stylistic explorations of London Calling and Sandinista... [it] contains heavy flirtations with rap, funk, and reggae, and it even has a cameo by poet Allen Ginsberg..."
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White Hot Stamper

The Clash
Combat Rock

  (Item #: clashcomba_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $499.99
Sale Price: $399.00 (You save $100.99 / 20%)


  • An insanely good sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both the two big jammers are on this killer side one: Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock the Casbah - you've never heard them sound like this!
  • Glyn Johns produced and mixed Combat Rock, so its sonic credentials are certainly in order
  • If you're a fan of meaty bass, grungy guitars and punchy drums, this is the copy for you
  • ...its finest moments — "Should I Stay or Should I Go," "Rock the Casbah," "Straight to Hell" — illustrate why the Clash were able to reach a larger audience than ever before with the record."
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The Clash - Combat Rock

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: clashcomba_2010) 



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

White Hot Stampers on side two with a side one that's right up there with it, this Glyn Johns-mixed rocker is really ROCKIN'! The big hits -- Rock The Casbah and Should I Stay or Should I Go? -- sound SUPERB on this copy. Last time around we played nearly a dozen pressings including imports and reissues, but this time we stuck with the copies we knew to have real Hot Stamper potential, and that meant original pressings made right here in the good old U. S. of A. (Look for Masterdisk in the dead wax, the mark of quality.)

More from The Clash


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Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: cohenimyou_2014) 



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

This side two demonstrates that it is in fact possible to make a good "modern" recording, and to do so even as late as 1988, although you would need to go through quite a pile of copies to find a side two that sounds like this one.

The sound is clearly more artificial than The Man's recordings from the '70s, but that is to be expected, unavoidable even. Who could make records in the '80s that sound as good as their records from the '70s? No one leaps to mind.

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Nat King Cole - Sings Hymns and Spirituals

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cole_sings_2016) 



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

The sound is big, open, rich and full. The highs are extended and silky sweet. The bass is tight and punchy. And this copy gives you more life and energy than most, by a long shot. Very few records out there give you the kind of realistic, lifelike sound you get from this pressing, particularly on side one.

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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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Nat King Cole - Welcome To The Club

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: cole_welco_2005) 



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

Capitol Records Original Multi-Color Label LP in excellent condition. The reason this Nat King Cole record is so good is simple -- he’s joined here by top jazz players from the big bands of the day. They make these sessions swing.

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White Hot Stamper (with Issues)

Phil Collins
Face Value

  (Item #: collifacev_1810_1902_1) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


  • This incredible UK pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides (but there are some condition issues)
  • Hugh Padgham discovered an amazing drum sound on Peter Gabriel's 3rd album, and he really went to town with it on this one, Collins' debut (and Masterpiece)
  • His most consistent songwriting and many of his biggest hits - In The Air Tonight sounds amazing, but practically everything here does
  • 5 stars: "Phil Collins' first solo album, 1981's Face Value, was a long time coming, but it proved worth the wait... He went on to become a huge star, with loads more hits, but Face Value stands as his masterpiece and one of the finest moments of the '80s musical landscape."
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Super Hot Stamper

Phil Collins
Face Value

  (Item #: collifacev_1903_) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Great sound throughout with both sides of this original UK pressing rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER
  • The sound on this superb pressing is full-bodied and lively, with solid and present vocals, as well as excellent clarity all around
  • His most consistent songwriting and many of his biggest hits - In The Air Tonight sounds amazing, but practically everything here does
  • 5 stars: "Phil Collins' first solo album, 1981's Face Value, was a long time coming, but it proved worth the wait... He went on to become a huge star, with loads more hits, but Face Value stands as his masterpiece and one of the finest moments of the '80s musical landscape."
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Phil Collins - Face Value

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: collifacev_2007) 



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

This Minty British LP has two AMAZING SIDES! Song after song, Collins’ songwriting and musicianship shine with this breakout record. The sound on these Hot Stampers is VIBRANT! Side one has SUPERB extention on the top, PUNCHY BASS and excellent texture on the drums and percussion. Side two has BIG SOUND with really spacious strings and vocals.

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Phil Collins - Face Value

Whomp Factor

  (Item #: collifacev_whomp) 



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.

Until we heard some of the better copies we were simply not able to appreciate just how important good bass definition and serious weight down low are to the sound of this record. When the bass is wooly or thin, as it is on so many copies -- not clear, not deep, not full enough -- it throws the rest of the mix off. When the bass is huge and powerful the music itself becomes huge and powerful.

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Super Hot Stamper

Phil Collins
Hello, I Must Be Going!

  (Item #: collihello_1812) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy of Collins' second studio album with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • The sound is big and rich, yet still wonderfully clean, clear and open with fantastic energy - you will not believe all the space and ambience on this copy
  • Includes Phil's killer version of the Supreme's classic, "You Can't Hurry Love"
  • Fairly quiet vinyl throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • 4 stars: "... the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.
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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.

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Elvis Costello - Blood and Chocolate

Reviewed in 2000

  (Item #: costeblood_2000) 



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

Some brilliant songs on this one: I Want You comes to mind, one of the best tracks Elvis ever laid down. This is not a pretty record -- it's lean, mean, rock and roll, if you're into that sort of thing (which I am of course).

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Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Get Happy

  (Item #: costegetha_1805_1902) 

Our Price: $39.99

  • This vintage British pressing of Get Happy boasts Hot Stamper sound from first note to last
  • This release, coming right before the brilliant Trust, contains Elvis classics like I Can't Stand Up (for Falling Down) & Motel Matches
  • The AMG 5 star rating, "...a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force..." and killer recording quality make this a Must Own for Elvis fans
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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Get Happy

  (Item #: costegetha_1902) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • A superb sounding vintage UK copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or better from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big, lively and dynamic, with plenty of bass (Elvis's trademark sound) and New Wave energy
  • This release, coming right before the brilliant Trust, contains Elvis classics like I Can't Stand Up (for Falling Down) & Motel Matches
  • The AMG Five Star rating "...a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force..." and killer recording quality make this a Must Own for Elvis fans
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Elvis Costello - Get Happy

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: costegetha_2012) 



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

AN AMAZING A+++ WHITE HOT SIDE TWO backed with a pretty darn good side one on this rip-roarin', twenty song, five star rated Elvis Costello extravaganza! We shot out well over a dozen Brit Import copies and this was one of a very small group that really rocked our world. Most copies were veiled, smeary, and thick but this one presents the music with the kind of energy these songs demand.

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Elvis Costello - Girls Girls Girls

Skip It on Vinyl (But Buy the CD Set)

  (Item #: costegirls_1989) 



This is a Minty looking British Import Demon Records LP with Virtually No Sign of Play (VNSOP). This copy sounds decent -- better than you'd find on any domestic copy -- and the songs, spanning the period from 1976 to 1986, are GREAT!


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