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Jethro Tull

  (Item #: _JethroTull) 


Jethro Tull albums in stock

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1968

Debut Albums by The Band, Spirit, BS&T, Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, and More

  (Item #: 1968) 



1969 turned out to be a great year in music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1968.

And HERE to see the records from 1968 that we've reviewed.


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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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Prog Rock and Art Rock

  (Item #: allprogrock) 



Below are links to help you find the PROG ROCK and ART ROCK albums on the site. Both genres are described in the commentary below.
Our PROG ROCK Albums with Hot Stampers

Some of the PROG ROCK Albums We've Reviewed
Our ART ROCK Albums with Hot Stampers

Some of the ART ROCK Albums We've Reviewed


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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.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ambrosia
Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled

  (Item #: ambrosomew_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them on both sides of this truly phenomenal '70s Big Rock Production - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The best sides have the trademark Alan Parsons sound, with huge amounts of space in the studio, and the kind of musical energy that made the first Ambrosia album (which he mixed) such a joy to play
  • This band, their producers, and their engineers sweated every detail of this remarkable recording
  • "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
See all of our Ambrosia albums in stock


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Why Own a Turntable if You're Going to Play Mediocrities Like These?

  (Item #: bad180) 



This commentary was posted in 2007 and amended later with the statement that we would no longer be ordering new heavy vinyl titles starting in 2010. By 2011 we had eliminated them completely from our site. If you bought any Heavy Vinyl pressing from us, ever, now is the time to get rid of it and hear what a Hot Stamper can do for your musical enjoyment.

Three of the Top Five sellers this week (8/22/07) at Acoustic Sounds are records we found hard to like: Aja, Aqualung and Blue. Can you really defend the expense and hassle of analog LP playback with records that sound as mediocre as this Rhino pressing of Blue?


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Camel - Breathless

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: camelbreat_2011) 



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

This Decca original UK pressed LP has BETTER than Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides. It finished just a half grade behind the best one we played, and we played close to ten copies for our shootout, all British imports, so that should tell you this is a very special pressing indeed. If you like your Prog with Pop flavorings, more Supertramp than King Crimson, you may find yourself liking Camel more than you thought you would. I was never a fan of the original iteration of the band, but both this album and Rain Dances, the one previous, have much to offer -- if you like this sort of thing. If you don't, hard to imagine you starting now. I grew up on this music and find it quite enjoyable to this day.


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1904) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A KILLER early UK pressing, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first - quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded, a True Demo Disc, just amazing on a pressing like this
  • 5 Stars and a Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album - every track is Elvis at this best
  • AMG is right: "It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1905) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this vintage UK pressing will show you just how good Elvis's Best Recording can sound on vinyl
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded, a True Demo Disc, just amazing on a pressing like this
  • 5 Stars and a Better Records Top 100 album - every track is Elvis at this best
  • "In contrast to the stripped-down pop and rock of his first two albums, Armed Forces boasted a detailed and textured pop production... However, the more spacious arrangements -- complete with ringing pianos, echoing reverb, layered guitars, and harmonies -- accent Costello's melodies... It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Dixie Dregs
Dregs of the Earth

  (Item #: dixiedregs_1810_1904-) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our last shootout
  • Huge and spacious, fully extended in both directions, here's the kind of rich, Tubey Magical sound we cannot get enough of
  • The energy and clarity here are superb, with the size and power of a True Rock Jazz Fusion Demo Disc
  • Brilliant from start to finish, the only Dixie Dregs vinyl record with music and sound of this quality
  • A uniquely compelling fusion of virtuosic rock, jazz, country, prog and even classical music
See all of our Dixie Dregs albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Peter Frampton
Wind of Change

  (Item #: frampwindo_1905) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Incredible Demo Disc sound throughout: Triple Plus (A+++) on side two and close to that (A++ to A+++) on side one
  • This British original is the very definition of TUBEY MAGIC, with sound so rich and sweet it will make you want to take all your CDs and dump them in the trash (now that record stores don't even want them anymore)
  • The best copies like this one keep what's good about the recording while letting us hear into the soundfield with glorious transparency
  • "The sound is crisp, the melodies catchy, and Frampton's distinctive, elliptical Gibson Les Paul guitar leads soar throughout... "
See all of our Peter Frampton albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Peter Frampton
Wind of Change

  (Item #: frampwindo_1905_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Superb sound throughout: solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This British original is the very definition of TUBEY MAGIC, with sound so rich and sweet it will make you want to take all your CDs and dump them in the trash (now that record stores don't even want them anymore)
  • The best copies like this one keep what's good about the recording while letting us hear into the soundfield with glorious transparency
  • "The sound is crisp, the melodies catchy, and Frampton's distinctive, elliptical Gibson Les Paul guitar leads soar throughout... "
See all of our Peter Frampton albums in stock


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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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White Hot Stamper

Michael Jackson
Thriller

  (Item #: jacksthril_1903) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • These INCREDIBLE sides are guaranteed to make this by far the best sounding Thriller you have ever heard - Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is HUGE - wide, deep, and open, with a solid bottom end and relentless rhythmic energy to spare
  • Billie Jean and Beat It sound out of this world, but that's not fair, since every track on this copy is good enough to blow your mind
  • 5 stars: "This was a record that had something for everybody, building on the basic blueprint of Off the Wall by adding harder funk, hard rock, softer ballads, and smoother soul — expanding the approach to have something for every audience."
See all of our Michael Jackson albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Michael Jackson
Thriller

  (Item #: jacksthril_1903_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER throughout, this pressing will be very hard to beat
  • The sound is huge - big, wide, deep, and open, with a punchy bottom end and rhythmic energy to spare; exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Billie Jean and Beat It sound out of this world, but that's not fair, since every track does
  • A Top 100 and 5 Stars on AMG: "This was a record that had something for everybody, building on the basic blueprint of Off the Wall by adding harder funk, hard rock, softer ballads, and smoother soul — expanding the approach to have something for every audience."
See all of our Michael Jackson albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Aqualung

  (Item #: jethraqual_1901_1_1904) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This wonderful copy of Jethro Tull's fourth studio album earned oustanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • The sound is excellent from start to finish - big, punchy, present, tubey and bursting with Rock and Roll energy
  • A Better Records Top 100 title that still floors us on the better copies, with sound that will jump right out of your speakers
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... one of the most astonishing progressions in rock history... the degree to which Tull upped the ante here is remarkable... Varied but cohesive, Aqualung is widely regarded as Tull's finest hour."
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: jethraqual_2008) 



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

OH YEAH! This Original Domestic Aqualung has TWO STUNNING SIDES that will MURDER the British Originals and make mincemeat out of any reissue! Folks, for hard rockin’, tubey magical, psychedelic ’60s analog, it just does not get much better than this album. Here’s a knockout copy that will bring the power of Aqualung to life right there in your living room. Side one rates A+++ and side two rates A++; both easily defeated our best Import pressings, including a handful of sides with 1U, 2U, and 3U stampers -- the kind that go for big dollars on eBay no matter what they sound like.

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: jethraqual_2013) 



This Original Reprise Aqualung has a STUNNING Beyond WHITE HOT side two that just may have the best sound we've ever heard for the album. It will absolutely MURDER the British Originals and make mincemeat out of any reissue! Folks, for hard rockin’, Tubey Magical, psychedelic early ’70s analog, it just does not get any better. Here's a knockout copy that will bring the power of Aqualung to life right in your very own listening room.

Keep in mind that most copies of Aqualung do almost nothing right. In fact, in one of our recent shootouts we didn't find a single copy worthy of a three-plus grade. This one was so impressive, we felt that A+++ was not enough. No, Three Pluses won't do for an Aqualung that sounds this good.

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: jethraqual_classic_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

By the time the guitars at the end of the title track fade out you will be ready to take your heavy vinyl Classic and ceremoniously drop it in a trashcan. (Actually, the best use for it is to demonstrate to your skeptical audiophile friends that no heavy vinyl pressing can begin to compete with a Hot Stamper from Better Records. Not in a million years.)

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

DCC Debunked

  (Item #: jethraqual_dcc_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another DCC LP debunked.

As bad as the MoFi is, the DCC is even worse. Murky and bloated, to my ear it does almost nothing right, not on vinyl anyway. I’ll bet you the DCC Gold CD is better, and it's certainly nothing to write home about.

Our Hot Stamper commentary below sorts out the DCC, the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl pressing and the MoFi Half-Speed Mastered LP, as well as British and domestic originals.

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Jethro Tull Aqualung Testimonial

It was like the musicians were right in my room ...

  (Item #: jethraqual_letter_roger) 



This week’s testimonial letter comes from our good customer Roger, who was blown away by the Hot Stamper pressing of Aqualung we sent him. Roger, as expected, did a thorough shootout of our Hot Stamper against the audiophile usual suspects. The results?
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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

British Band, British Pressing... Right?

  (Item #: jethraqual_myth_2014) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

As we’ve noted so many times before, this British band, like many of their brethren, had their master tapes sent to America to make our much-maligned domestic pressings. I maligned them myself, wrongly I now realize.

It takes an amazing stereo and a top quality Hot Stamper pressing to get this music to work its magic. If you are lucky enough to have those two things, you will not believe how good this album sounds on domestic vinyl, so much better than you ever thought possible. It’s not perfect, but with the right pressing you can hear why Anderson, his bandmates, the engineer and producer all thought they had put a real winner down on tape.

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: jethraqual_obsess) 



AQUALUNG is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

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Wire Testing

with Jethro Tull and His Friend Aqualung...

  (Item #: jethraqual_test_) 



... who seems to have a rather nasty bronchial condition...

Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Like Heart's Little Queen album, Aqualung presents us with a Demo Disc / Test Disc that really puts a stereo through its paces, assuming it’s the kind of stereo that’s designed to play an album like Aqualung.

Not many audiophile systems I’ve run across over the years were capable of reproducing the Big Rock Sound this album requires, but perhaps you have one and would like to use the album to test some of your tweaks and components. I used it to show me how bad sounding some of the audiophile wire I was testing really was.

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Not a Hot Stamper But You Could Do Worse!

  (Item #: jethraqual_UK) 



This Minty looking British Import Chrysalis LP with 1U/3U stampers is one of the cleanest Brit copies we've seen in a while. We cleaned this one up and gave it a listen, and while we certainly prefer the sound of the best domestic originals, this one was a nice step up from many of the copies we played it against. We rated side one about an A minus and side two around a solid A.
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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: jethraqualdebunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

We noted in our Hot Stamper review for Aqualung that the MoFi is a disaster, with the murky bloated DCC even worse. (We didn’t like the Classic either.)

But we used to like the MoFi and DCC just fine. What could possibly have changed?

See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Benefit

  (Item #: jethrbenef_1804_1904) 

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


  • Benefit on vintage British vinyl is back, now with killer Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Huge, rich, tubey and solid, the best track on the album - To Cry You a Song - rocks like you will not believe
  • The sound is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience - talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
  • "Benefit forms the perfect bridge between the rolling, tumbling Tull of old and the tightly braided riffs and prickly lyrics presented by Aqualung." Record Collector
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Benefit

  (Item #: jethrbenef_1903) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side one and a better than Double Plus (A++ to A+++) side two, this copy is practically as good as it gets
  • Huge, rich, tubey and solid, the best track on the album - To Cry You a Song - rocks like you will not believe
  • The sound is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience - talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
  • "Benefit forms the perfect bridge between the rolling, tumbling Tull of old and the tightly braided riffs and prickly lyrics presented by Aqualung." Record Collector
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Benefit

  (Item #: jethrbenef_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound from first note to last on this Jethro Tull 1970 classic
  • Discovering these very special British pressings - don't ask! - allowed us to get good sound and quiet vinyl on Benefit for the first time
  • This vintage import pressing plays on exceptionally quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • "Benefit forms the perfect bridge between the rolling, tumbling Tull of old and the tightly braided riffs and prickly lyrics presented by Aqualung." Record Collector
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Jethro Tull - Benefit

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: jethrbenef_2008) 



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

This WONDERFUL original Island Chrysalis Brit LP has AMAZING SOUND! This is the BEST sounding copy we’ve ever heard, better than any of the other Island imports! A Triple Plus AGAIG sound on side one and nearly as good on side two. Quiet too!

Both sides were the winners in this shootout, and the vinyl was some of the quietest we played. This is THE ONE! There are many sonic problems with this recording, but most of them disappear when you get a truly Hot Stamper copy like this one.

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Jethro Tull - Benefit

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jethrbenef_2016) 



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

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

Discovering these very special British pressings - don't ask! - allowed us to get good sound and quiet vinyl on Benefit for the first time in the history of Better Records.

See all Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Minstrel In The Gallery

  (Item #: jethrminst_1804_1812) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent sounding UK copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
  • This copy gets BIG when it needs to (the proggy parts), and that makes it fun
  • Exceptionally quiet for this title, playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus - most of the copies we got from overseas were too beat to even go into our shootout
  • "Minstrel in the Gallery was Tull's most artistically successful and elaborately produced album since Thick As a Brick..." - All Music
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Stand Up

  (Item #: jethrstand_1902_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two and a side one that's right up there with it, this copy has much to recommend it
  • This Jethro Tull Classic is a tough record to come by with this kind of sound and vinyl that plays so QUIETLY
  • Tull's best album? It gets my vote, and this copy will make the case if you turn it up good and loud
  • "Stand Up! has great textural interest, due, in part, to a more sophisticated recording technique, in part to the organ, mandolin, balalaika, etc., which Anderson plays to enrich each song. The band is able to work with different musical styles, but without a trace of the facile, glib manipulation which strains for attention."
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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

Notes from 2006

  (Item #: jethrstand_2006) 



This Island Pink Label Original British pressing has ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SOUND! We mention that there was a Sunray pressing that may have been even better, but I didn’t have this copy in hand to compare the Sunray to, so I can’t be sure that pressing was any better. This one sounds as good as any I've ever heard.

It's amazingly dynamic and powerful, yet full of tubey magic. I played almost ten different pressings of this record today (11/08/06): every domestic label variation and a handful of imports. This copy is clearly the best of the batch.

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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

Notes from 2009

  (Item #: jethrstand_2009) 



A distinguished member of our Better Records Hall of Fame.

Our last shootout for Stand Up was over a year ago, early in 2008. By some good fortune we have been able to find a number of fairly clean early British pressings, with both Pink and Sunray labels, as well as some very good sounding domestics. (Yes, they are out there. Few and far between and probably not the ones you would think to buy but out there nonetheless. Buy enough of them and clean them right and you will find some too.)

More Stand Up


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Jethro Tull's Stand Up

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: jethrstand_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

It's very common for pressings of Stand Up to lack bass or highs, and more often than not they lack both. The bass-shy ones tend to be more transparent and open sounding -- of course, that's the sound you get when you take out the bass. (90 plus percent of all the audiophile stereos I've ever heard were bass shy, no doubt for precisely that reason: less bass equals more detail, more openness and more transparency. Go to any stereo store or audiophile show and notice how bright the sound is.)

Just what good is a British Classic Rock Record that lacks bass? It won't rock, and if it don't rock, who needs it? You might as well be playing the CD.

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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: jethrstand_obsess) 



STAND UP is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

This link will take you to all of our other JETHRO TULL albums.


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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

Is The Pink Label Always The Hot Ticket?

  (Item #: jethrstand_pink) 



Well, it certainly can be, but sometimes it isn't, and failing to appreciate that possibility is a classic case of misundertanding a crucially important fact or two about records. Audiophile analog devotees would do well to keep these facts in mind, especially considering the prices original British pressings are fetching these days.

Simply put: Since no two records sound alike, it follow that the right label doesn't guarantee the right sound. A recent shootout illustrated both of these Truths.

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White Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Thick As A Brick

  (Item #: jethrthick_1904x) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A KILLER copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish
  • A Top 100 title and the BEST SOUNDING ALBUM Jethro Tull ever recorded - allow us to make the case
  • A stunning Demo Disc to Rule Them All -- sure to be the best you've ever heard Tull sound if you have the system for it
  • AMG 4 1/2 stars: "A masterpiece in the annals of progressive rock - a dazzling tour de force, at once playful, profound, and challenging, without overwhelming the listener."
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Thick As A Brick

  (Item #: jethrthick_1905_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • A Top 100 title and the BEST SOUNDING ALBUM Jethro Tull ever recorded - allow us to make the case
  • A stunning Demo Disc to Rule Them All -- sure to be the best you've ever heard Tull sound if you have the system for it
  • AMG 4 1/2 stars: "A masterpiece in the annals of progressive rock - a dazzling tour de force, at once playful, profound, and challenging, without overwhelming the listener."
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Jethro Tull
Thick As A Brick

  (Item #: jethrthick_1905_2) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An insanely good sounding copy with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish
  • A Top 100 title and the BEST SOUNDING ALBUM Jethro Tull ever recorded - allow us to make the case
  • A stunning Demo Disc to Rule Them All -- sure to be the best you've ever heard Tull sound if you have the system for it
  • AMG 4 1/2 stars: "A masterpiece in the annals of progressive rock - a dazzling tour de force, at once playful, profound, and challenging, without overwhelming the listener."
See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: jethrthick_2012) 



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

This A++++ Beyond White Hot Stamper copy of Thick As A Brick has the best side one we have ever heard! This copy is operating at A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL.

Side one has HUGE, room-filling, hi-definition sound, with levels of Tubey Magic one would simply never expect to hear coming from a run-of-the-mill domestic Reprise pressing such as this. But here they are; there's no denying the transparency, size and rock and roll energy of this mind-boggling side one. It's truly a Demo Disc of the highest order.

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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick

Ruthless When It Comes to Accuracy

  (Item #: jethrthick_wtlf) 



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

From 2009 to 2010 this was our single go-to record for testing and tweaking the system.

Although we now use an amazing copy of Bob and Ray (the big band version of The Song of the Volga Boatmen located therein has to be the toughest test we know of bar none), we could easily go back to using TAAB. It's absolutely ruthless when it comes to the slightest hint of artificiality in the sound of the system.

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Jethro Tull - This Was

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jethrthisw_2016) 



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

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

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

See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Jethro Tull - Twenty Years Of Jethro Tull (5 LP Box Set)

My God This Is Bad

  (Item #: jethrtwent_2014) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

And the sound is digitally remastered garbage.

This is a Minty looking Chrysalis 5 LP Box Set from 1988, featuring rare outtakes, unreleased cuts, live performances and more. The set comes with an full-color 24 page booklet which is in IMMACULATE condition.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Jethro Tull's albums


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White Hot Stamper

Elton John
Madman Across The Water

  (Item #: john_madma_1903) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • An insanely good copy of Madman with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout - this one is a Monster
  • A ridiculously tough album to find with the right sound and reasonably quiet surfaces -- which is why we never have them on the site
  • The trick is to balance Tubey Magical richness with clarity, and this copy nailed that balance better than any other copy we played
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The record remains an ambitious and rewarding work, and John never attained its darkly introspective atmosphere again."
See all of our albums by Elton John in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elton John
Madman Across The Water

  (Item #: john_madma_1903_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An outstanding copy of Madman with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last - and the vinyl is as quiet as we can find
  • A ridiculously tough album to find with the right sound and surfaces, which is why we so rarely have them on the site
  • The last of the classic albums Elton recorded at Trident, the best of which have more Tubey Magic than anything that came after
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The record remains an ambitious and rewarding work, and John never attained its darkly introspective atmosphere again."
See all of our albums by Elton John in stock


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Elton John - Madman Across The Water

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: john_madma_2016) 



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

Shockingly good sound, the best sound for any copy that has ever made it to the site. This Madman is guaranteed to blow your mind. It certainly blew ours.

A ridiculously tough album to find with the right sound and reasonably quiet surfaces -- which is why we never have them on the site.

More Elton John


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Elton John - Madman Across The Water

What To Listen For

  (Item #: john_madma_wtlf) 



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

This is the last of the classic Elton John albums recorded at Trident, the best of which have more Tubey Magic than anything recorded afterwards. There are three amazing sounding Elton John records on our Top 100 list, two of them engineered by the estimable ROBIN GEOFFREY CABLE, Trident Studios’ house engineer in 1972.

More Elton John


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Super Hot Stamper

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin III

  (Item #: ledze3_1903x) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Outstanding sound throughout with each side earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight down low and lots of space around all the instruments, this copy is guaranteed to rock like nothing you have ever heard
  • Since I've Been Loving You, Gallows Pole, Tangerine and That's the Way have truly awesome Demo Disc sound
  • "On their first two albums, Led Zeppelin unleashed a relentless barrage of heavy blues and rockabilly riffs, but Led Zeppelin III provided the band with the necessary room to grow musically. While there are still a handful of metallic rockers, III is built on a folky, acoustic foundation that gives the music extra depth."
See all of our Led Zeppelin albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Little Feat
Hoy-Hoy!

  (Item #: littlhoyho_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy of the band's superb 1981 double album with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on three sides and a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) fourth - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Our pick for the best sounding Little Feat album -- it's a monster, and a Must Own for any fan of the band
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Filled with live performances, obscurities, album tracks, and a new song apiece from Bill Payne and Paul Barrere, Hoy Hoy is a bit scattered, a bit incoherent, a little bewildering, and wholly delightful -- a perfect summation of a group filled with quirks, character, and funk, traits which were as much a blessing as they were a curse."
See all of our Little Feat albums in stock


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Manfred Mann - The Best Of...

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: mann_besto) 



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

This EMI British Import Mono LP (an early reissue from the '70s I'm guessing) has SHOCKINGLY GOOD sound, by far the best I have ever heard for this music and worlds better than expected. We cleaned this one up and gave it a listen; we couldn't believe how good it sounded! These songs are actually very well recorded -- and most were made way back in the early days of the British Invasion: '64 to '66! This is not your midrangey Mamas and Papas and Kinks; these recordings are rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of what was to follow in British Rock with The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Zep, Floyd and the like.


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Super Hot Stamper

Paul McCartney & Wings
Band on the Run

  (Item #: mccarbando_1812_1905) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • An outstanding British pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides and exceptionally quiet vinyl (for this title anyway)
  • Both sides of this early UK pressing sound right to us, and that makes it a very special copy indeed
  • The legendary Geoff Emerick engineered the album, a Top 100 title here at Better Records - it's an impressive recording when it sounds as good as this copy does
  • The title track, Jet, Bluebird, Mrs. Vandebilt, Let Me Roll It, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five - so many great songs!
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "...sophisticated, nuanced arrangements and irrepressibly catchy melodic hooks... McCartney's infallible instinct for popcraft overflows on this excellent release."
See all of our Paul McCartney albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Procol Harum
Broken Barricades

  (Item #: procobroke_1711_1904-) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Excellent sound throughout and the first copy to hit the site in many years; Double Plus (A++) or better on both sides
  • Looking for some proggy music that falls somewhere between Jethro Tull and Supertramp, with sonic credentials to match the recordings of those very well-recorded bands? Well, look no further
  • This early UK press is full of the Tubey Magic and studio space that makes the band's recordings the joy they are to play on a heavily-tweaked audiophile rig
  • "Simple Sister... is truly glorious, with Robin Trower's frightening lead guitar work juxtaposed nicely against a wonderful string arrangement."
See more of our Art Rock albums in stock


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Procol Harum - Broken Barricades

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: procobroke_2014) 



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

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES with each rating A++ or very close to it! Looking for some proggy music that falls somewhere between Jethro Tull and Supertramp, with sonic credentials to match the recordings of those very well-recorded bands? Well look no further. We LOVED playing this album, both for the music and the sound. These guys don't get the respect they deserve among audiophiles, but we're doing our best to try to change that.


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Artist Quick Links
  (Item #: quicklinks) 


Look below for an easy way to search the site for great sounding copies of albums from some of the more popular artists we carry. (Click on the arrow to your left.)


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Super Hot Stamper

Roxy Music
Roxy Music

  (Item #: roxymroxym_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This UK pressing earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - this is some of the most dynamic sound the band achieved - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Andy Hendriksen's engineering (over the course of a week!) is superb in all respects and practically faultless
  • A Top 100 album, the band's Masterpiece, and a Must Own Desert Island Disc of Glamorous Arty Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music's eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock's boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures."
More Roxy Music


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White Hot Stamper

Roxy Music
Roxy Music

  (Item #: roxymroxym_1905) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first for this UK pressing - this is some of the most dynamic sound the band achieved - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Andy Hendriksen's engineering (over the course of a week!) is superb in all respects and practically faultless
  • A Top 100 album, the band's Masterpiece, and truly a Must Own Desert Island Disc of Glammy, Arty Rock
  • "Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music's eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock's boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures."
Roxy Music


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How To Search Our Site  (Item #: search-guide) 



Here is what you'll find when you visit our Site Search page. Click on this image to start searching, or look below for search tips.



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Hot Stamper

Steeleye Span
Commoners Crown

  (Item #: steelcommo_1709_1710) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • An excellent early British pressing, with full-bodied and dynamic sound on both sides
  • The Tubey Magical Richness of this recording must be heard to be believed
  • Some of the best English Folk Rock Music ever recorded on analog tape - preserved on this lovely vinyl disc!
  • Allmusic gives it 4 1/2 stars: "Now a full-fledged rock group, competing with the likes of Jethro Tull and pumping out higher amperage than Fairport Convention, Steeleye engages in heavy riffing, savage attacks on their instruments, and generally kicks out the jams on this album."
See all of our Steeleye Span albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An outstanding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to the last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is HUGE, lively, rich and tubey, with unusually high resolution for the big choruses on side one
  • Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album
  • A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are both landmarks of Big Production Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars in the AMG: "Listening to this album three decades on, it's still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them."
See all of our Stephen Stills albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1905) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, this copy of Still's amazing debut is as good as it gets
  • Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album
  • A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are the very definition of Big Production Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Listening to this album three decades on, it's still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: stillsteph_2018) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and a Forgotten Rock Classic.

Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album. A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are the very definition of Big Production Rock.

More Stephen Stills


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Super Hot Stamper

Supertramp
Crime of the Century
(UK Pressing)

  (Item #: supercrime_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A huge and powerful UK pressing of Supertramp's Masterpiece, offering outstanding Double Plus (A++) quality sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Ken Scott engineered this one to have Cinerama-sized height, width and depth to rival the best albums you've ever heard
  • Clearly their Magnum Opus, a great leap forward and a permanent member of our Rock & Pop Top 100 Album List
  • "The tuneful, tightly played songs, pristine clarity of sound, and myriad imaginative sound effects, helped create an album that Sounds magazine likened to 'Genesis, The Beach Boys...a smattering of [Pink] Floyd.'"
See all our Supertramp albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Supertramp
Even In The Quietest Moments

  (Item #: supereveni_1901_1x) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one and a side two that's right up there with it, this copy has a lot going for it - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Quietest Moments can hold its own with any of the band's classics, from Crime all the way through to Breakfast
  • Big Production Tubey Magical British Art Rock just doesn't get much better than Supertramp in the Seventies
  • "The title of Even in the Quietest Moments... isn't much of an exaggeration — this 1977 album finds Supertramp indulging in some of their quietest moments... It feels more pop than it actually is, despite the opening single, "Give a Little Bit," their poppiest song to date, as well as their biggest hit."
See all of our Supertramp albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Supertramp
Even In The Quietest Moments

  (Item #: supereveni_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An insanely good sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first - exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Quietest Moments can hold its own with any of the band's classics, from Crime all the way through to Breakfast
  • Big Production Tubey Magical British Art Rock just doesn't get much better than Supertramp in the Seventies
  • "The title of Even in the Quietest Moments... isn't much of an exaggeration — this 1977 album finds Supertramp indulging in some of their quietest moments... It feels more pop than it actually is, despite the opening single, "Give a Little Bit," their poppiest song to date, as well as their biggest hit."
See all of our Supertramp albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Ten Years After
A Space In Time

  (Item #: tenyeaspac_1809_1902) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Two outstanding sides back to back - the Double Plus (A++) sonic grades mean that this is a real Demo Disc
  • This is some of the best high production value rock music of the '70s - go ahead, put it up against the best you've got
  • You don't need tube equipment to hear the prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic that exist on this recording
  • A Better Records Desert Island Disc and Psych Rock Favorite, including the monster hit "I'd Love To Change The World"
See all of our Ten Years After albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Ten Years After
A Space In Time

  (Item #: tenyeaspac_1901x) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Two superb sides, with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two
  • One of the most Tubey Magical rock recordings on the planet, and a copy like this captures and delivers that glorious analog sound like you will not believe
  • The sound is big, rich and full-bodied with massive size and tons of space - I'd Love to Change The World might just blow your mind on this Triple Plus side one
  • A Better Records Psych Rock Favorite with the hit single "I'd Love To Change The World"
See all of our Ten Years After albums in stock


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Ten Years After - A Space in Time

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: tenyeaspac_2010) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND on BOTH sides of this White Hot Stamper copy! Folks, it just does not get any better than this. It’s been more than two years (08/08) since last we embarked on a Hot Stamper shootout for this great album. I always knew it could sound good, but I sure never heard it sound like this! (I said that last time around too you may recall. Two years is a long time in audio. If your stereo and room are undergoing regular improvements, as they can and should be, the sound will be noticeably better every year, dramatically better after two.)

More Ten Years After


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Ten Years After - A Space In Time

Ranking the Most Tubey Magical Rock Recordings

  (Item #: tenyeaspac_tubeymagic) 



This is some of the best High-Production-Value rock music of the '70s. The amount of effort that went into the recording of this album is comparable to that expended by the engineers and producers of bands like Supertramp, Yes, Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, Pink Floyd and too many others to list. It seems that no effort or cost was spared in making the home listening experience as compelling as the recording technology of the day permitted.

Big Production Tubey Magical British Rock & Roll just doesn't get much better than A Space in Time.

More Ten Years After


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Our Rock and Pop Top 100 List

  (Item #: top100) 



In 2014 we updated our Rock and Pop Top 100 with ten new titles -- it had been two years since the last update. Those of you who have yet to try one of our Hot Stampers would be well advised to start with something from this list, as a Hot copy of any of these albums is bound to be an ear-opening experience. Click on any of the titles below to find the Hot Stamper copies that are currently in stock.

You can see all of our in-stock Top 100 titles HERE.


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Rock and Pop Top 100

Our 2008 Edition

  (Item #: top100_2008_archive) 



Presenting the roughly one hundred BEST SOUNDING albums with the BEST MUSIC that we can actually FIND to put on the site. In other words, there are Hot Stampers of these albums either on the site or coming to the site, so those of you on our email list will be seeing many if not most of these titles sometime in 2008. (Those of you not on our email list will see whatever is leftover after the mailing.)

The list has gone through a number of changes already and will go through many more as we work through our schedule of Hot Stamper shootouts. Each of these listings is now a link to make it easy for you to find copies on the site that are actually in stock.

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Rock and Pop Top 100

Our 2011 Edition

  (Item #: top100_2011_archive) 



Presenting the roughly One Hundred BEST SOUNDING Albums with the BEST MUSIC that we can actually find to put on the site. In other words, there are Hot Stampers of these albums either on the site or coming to the site, so those of you on our email list will be seeing many if not most of these titles sometime in the coming months.


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The Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 for 2012

Not Just The Usual Suspects

  (Item #: top100_2012archive) 



It was a long time coming, but in 2012 we finally updated our Rock and Pop Top 100 with over a dozen new titles. Those of you who have yet to try one of our Hot Stampers would be well advised to start with something from this list, as a Hot copy of any of these albums is bound to be an ear-opening experience. Click on any of the albums below to find the Hot Stamper copies that are currently in stock.

You can see all of our in-stock Top 100 titles here.

Click here to sort the list alphabetically by artist.


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Super Hot Stamper

The Who
Tommy

  (Item #: who__tommy_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound for all four sides - nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on side two - close to our Shootout Winner - and three at Double Plus (A++)
  • Our Black Label Track pressing here has the rich, spacious, Tubey Magical sound that truly brings the story of a deaf, dumb and blind boy to life
  • A truly incredible recording and a completely immersive experience on a copy that sounds as good as this one does
  • Top 100 (of course), and we're happy to report that the British Track vinyl is exceptionally QUIET throughout
  • "...Townshend's ability to construct a lengthy conceptual narrative brought new possibilities to rock music."
See all of our Who albums in stock


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Which Album by The Who Has the Best Sound?

We Think It's Tommy

  (Item #: who__tommy_sounds_best) 



I don't know of another Who album with such consistently good sound -- song to song, not copy to copy, of course. Just about every song on here can sound wonderful on the right pressing. If you're lucky enough to get a Hot Stamper copy, you're going to be blown away by the Tubey Magical Guitars, the rock-solid bottom end, the jumpin'-out-of-the-speakers presence and dynamics, and the silky vocals and top end. Usually the best we can give you for The Who is "Big and Rockin," but on Tommy, we can give you '60s analog magic like you will rarely hear in the decades to follow.

Acoustic guitar reproduction is key to this recording, and on the best copies the harmonic coherency, the richness, the body and the phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard in every strum.

More Tommy


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Who’s Next... to Remaster the Album Badly?

Our Audiophile LP Overview

  (Item #: who__whosn_remaster) 



Sonic Grades: Various

Who’s Next has been remastered for audiophiles many, many times, more often than not quite badly in our opinion. To be fair we should point out that our opinion has changed quite a few times over the course of the last twenty years.

More by The Who


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XTC - English Settlement

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: xtc__engli_2013) 



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

This is an AMAZINGLY well-recorded album, with huge amounts of open studio space and that Tubey Magical, rich, fat, dense British Rock Sound that we go crazy for here at Better Records.

If you have big speakers and a big room in which to play them this album -- on the right pressing -- can be quite the sonic tour de force. Credit HUGH PADGHAM, producer and engineer, who's worked with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

More XTC


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XTC - English Settlement

What to Listen For

  (Item #: xtc__engli_wtlf_2017) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF).

For Big Production Rock Albums like English Settlement there are some obvious problem areas that are often heard on at least one or two sides of practically any copy of this four sided album.

With so many heavily-produced instruments crammed into the soundfield, if the overall sound is at all veiled, recessed or smeared -- problems common to 90+% of the records we play in our shootouts -- the mix quickly becomes opaque, forcing the listener to work too hard to separate out the elements of interest.

A Big Speaker Record if ever there was one.


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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
Time And A Word

  (Item #: yes__timea_1806_1904) 

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


  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this killer UK pressing of Time And A Word - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best High Production Value rock music of the '60s and '70s, thanks to the band and a Mr Eddie Offord
  • If you've ever heard one of our Yes Album Hot Stampers, you'll know what to expect here - huge and powerful sound
  • "If Yes‘ debut was a prelude to their glory years as a band, Time and a Word sees them making a bold first step into the realm of prospective greatness."
See all of our Yes albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Yes
Time And A Word

  (Item #: yes__timea_1902_1905) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - one of the best copies to ever hit the site!
  • Our rare, original Plum and Orange UK original here put every other pressing to shame - some of the best High Production Value rock music of the '70s, thanks to the band and a Mr Eddie Offord
  • If you've ever heard one of our Yes Album Hot Stampers, you'll know what to expect here - HUGE and POWERFUL sound
  • "If Yes‘ debut was a prelude to their glory years as a band, Time and a Word sees them making a bold first step into the realm of prospective greatness."
See all of our Yes albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Yes
The Yes Album

  (Item #: yes__yesal_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A Big As Life copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides - Yours Is No Disgrace is mindblowing on this side one
  • This original pressing has some of the quietest vinyl we've heard for a Shootout Winner, but on side two there are some condition problems, discussed below
  • A Top 100 Album and the band's best sounding record if you ask us (although Fragile can sound absolutely amazing too)
  • "Organist Tony Kaye, guitarist Steve Howe and bass player Chris Squire play as though of one mind, complementing each other's work as a knowledgeable band should."
See all of our Yes albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
The Yes Album

  (Item #: yes__yesal_1812_1904_) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, the sound is huge and powerful - exceptionally quite vinyl too
  • Here is the mindblowing Prog Rock Power of Yes on brilliant songs including Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and I've Seen All Good People
  • Based on the 100 plus copies we've played over the years, this is as quiet as they come
  • Top 100 - the band's best sounding record if you ask us (although Fragile is right up there with it)
  • "It was the addition of Steve Howe's guitar pyrotechnics that finally allowed Yes to find their true identity. The Yes Album is a giant leap forward..."
More of The Yes Album / More Yes


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