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Steely Dan

  (Item #: _SteelyDan) 


Steely Dan albums in stock

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1972

Ziggy Played Guitar, Steely Dan Couldn't Buy a Thrill, and The Eagles Debuted

  (Item #: 1972) 



1972 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 1972.

And HERE to see the records from 1972 that we've reviewed.


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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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Peter Gabriel

Commentary and Overview

  (Item #: allpeter_gabriel) 



I’m a huge PETER GABRIEL fan, having grown up with every one of the first five studio albums practically as they were released.

The first is an operatic extravaganza, with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production, a sound PG would never return to for some reason. Maybe he needed to get it out of his system?

Hot Stamper Peter Gabriel 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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Donald Fagen - The Nightfly

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: fagennight_2012) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++! Super energetic and present, this record is on a completely different level than the typical pressing. We just finished a big shootout for Donald Fagen's solo effort from 1982 (just two years after Gaucho and the end of Steely Dan) and we gotta tell you, there are a lot of weak sounding copies out there! We should know; we played them.

More Donald Fagen


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Donald Fagen - The Nightfly

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: fagennight_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing.

More phony MoFi EQ on the top and sloppy bass. You can do a whole lot better and you sure won't have to try very hard to do it.

Yet another Mobile Fidelity Pressing Debunked. Our Audiophile Scorecard has plenty more where this one came from.

More Donald Fagen


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Fagen's The Nightfly & Digital Sound

Do All the Pressings Have to Sound Like CDs?

  (Item #: fagennight_digital) 



The average copy of this digitally recorded, mixed and mastered LP sounds just the way you would expect it to: like a CD. It's anemic, two-dimensional, opaque, thin, bright, harsh, with little extreme top and the kind of bass that's all "note" with no real weight, solidity or harmonic structure. Sounds like a CD, right? (That's the way most of my CDs sound, which is why I no longer listen to them except in the car)

But what if I told you that the best copies of The Nightfly can actually sound like a real honest-to-goodness ANALOG recording, with practically none of the nasty shortcomings listed above? You may not believe it, but it's true.

More Donald Fagen


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White Hot Stamper

Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel

  (Item #: gabrigabr3_1807_1904) 

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


  • An absolutely incredible copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you're a fan of the album your mind is going to be BLOWN by the sound of this UK pressing - it's nothing less than a MONSTER
  • Most copies - even the "right" Brit pressings - aren't nearly as rich and smooth, yet clear and open, as this one
  • 5 stars: "Generally regarded as Peter Gabriel's finest record, his third eponymous album finds him coming into his own, crafting an album that's artier, stronger, more song oriented than before."
See all of our Peter Gabriel albums in stock


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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (3rd)

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: gabrigabr3_2010) 



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

A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! This smokin' hot British pressing just couldn't be beat in our huge (and very enjoyable) shootout. The sound on this bad boy positively JUMPS out of the speakers and fills the room! Both sides are incredibly big and bold with superb clarity, amazing transparency, considerable dynamics and loads of energy. The sound is ridiculously full-bodied with texture and weight to all the various elements. If you're a fan of this album, widely regarded as Gabriel's masterpiece, your mind is going to be BLOWN.

More Peter Gabriel


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Little Feat - Hoy-Hoy

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: littlhoyho_depth) 



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

The recording quality of many of these songs is OUT OF THIS WORLD, as good as any rock record I can think of. Although Waiting For Columbus is arguably the best sounding live rock 'n roll album ever made, some of the tracks on this album are every bit as good or BETTER. (And the promo EP is practically in a league of its own for sound!)

More Little Feat


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Super Hot Stamper

The Outlaws
Outlaws

  (Item #: outlaoutla_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • These superb sides each rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER give you Top Quality Country Rock sound from first note to last
  • Big, rich and meaty, this pressing shows you just how well recorded their Classic Debut album really is
  • There Goes Another Love Song and Green Grass & High Tides (at almost ten minutes!) sound surprisingly good here
  • "The Outlaws' debut blew a fresh blast of rock & roll onto a scene increasingly dominated by synthesizers and dance music. It will leave the listener singing along and dreaming about the good ol' days." (You got that right)


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The Outlaws - The Outlaws

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: outlaoutla_2015) 



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

It's easy to spot the good ones. They're big and rich, never thin nor harsh. They open up on the top end and go down deep on the bottom. They're smooth and full-bodied in the midrange. The guitars ring out. The energy of the performance drives the music the way you want it to.

In short, the best copies demonstrate what's good about All Amercan Analog Recording from the mid-'70s, the kind of sound the Doobies had for Toulouse Street, Linda Ronstadt for Simple Dreams and Steely Dan for Pretzel Logic. If you prefer the recordings of Diana Krall, Patricia Barber and Jennifer Warnes, this may not be your sound, but it sure is ours.


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Tom Petty - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: pettytompe_2008) 



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

Big and punchy with great energy, this copy really rocks. And rockin' is what this album is all about -- this is fun, high-energy music, but it takes a Hot Stamper copy like this to bring it life.

This is the classic first album, with two of their best songs: Breakdown and American Girl. It's straight ahead rock and roll, with sonics to match.

More Tom Petty


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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
Flesh + Blood

  (Item #: roxymflesh_1809_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish -- big, clean and clear with plenty of bottom end weight
  • Credit as always goes to the brilliant engineering of Roxy's go-to guy, Rhett Davies
  • Flesh + Blood from 1980 is the precursor to Avalon, with much the same style and sound
  • Some of Roxy's best material and biggest hits are here, on exceptionally quiet British vinyl too
See all of our Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry albums in stock


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Roxy Music - Flesh + Blood

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: roxymflesh_2013) 



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

The British Original Polydor Super Deluxe pressings are the only way to go on this album. No domestic pressing or other import was better than passable; we know, we played them. The British LP is cut by one of my favorite mastering houses in England, which no doubt accounts -- at least partly -- for the excellent sound.

See all of our Roxy Music albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Roxy Music
For Your Pleasure

  (Item #: roxymforyo_1901_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two stunning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this UK LP came in just shy of our shootout winner
  • These sides are exceptionally rich and Tubey Magical - Roxy on record just does not get much better than this very album
  • We've been working on this shootout for over ten years - here is one of the better copies we have to show for our effort
  • 5 Stars: "...another extraordinary record from Roxy Music, one that demonstrates even more clearly than the debut how avant-garde ideas can flourish in a pop setting."
More Roxy Music / More Brian Eno


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Super Hot Stamper

Roxy Music
For Your Pleasure

  (Item #: roxymforyo_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this UK LP is sure to be one of the best sounding Roxy Music records you'll ever play - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These sides are exceptionally rich and Tubey Magical - Roxy on record just does not get much better than this
  • We've been working on this shootout for over ten years - here is one of the better copies we have to show for our effort
  • 5 Stars: "...another extraordinary record from Roxy Music, one that demonstrates even more clearly than the debut how avant-garde ideas can flourish in a pop setting."
More Roxy Music / More Brian Eno


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Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: roxymforyo_2017) 



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

This album is a MASTERPIECE of Art Rock, Glam Rock and Bent Rock all rolled into one. Spacious, dynamic, present, with HUGE MEATY BASS and tons of energy, the sound is every bit as good as the music. (At least on this copy it is. That's precisely what Hot Stampers are all about.)

More Roxy Music / More Brian Eno


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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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Roxy Music - Roxy Music

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: roxymroxym_2011) 



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

The legendary first Roxy Music album returns to the site in tip top White Hot Stamper form, boasting no less than an incredible A+++ White Hot Side Two coupled with a superb A++ Super Hot Side One! Folks, it doesn't get much better than this!

In considering both music and sound, this is arguably the best record the band ever made. Siren, Avalon and Country Life are all musically sublime, but the first album has the kind of dynamic, energetic, POWERFUL sound that their other records simply never show us. And we've played them by the dozens, so there's a pretty good chance we will never find copies with the abundant richness and power we found here.

More Roxy Music


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Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees

That Rich, Solid Piano - The Forgotten Sound of '70s Rock

  (Item #: scaggsilkd_piano) 



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

What do you hear on the best copies? Well, the first thing you hear is a rich, solid piano, a piano that's missing from the CBS Half-Speed and 90% of the reissues we've played. Like so many recordings from the '70s this album is surprisingly natural sounding. I've had the same experience with Billy Joel's '70s records. I was surprised to hear how well recorded they are -- and how full-bodied the piano is -- after I stopped listening to the audiophile and import pressings and went back to the original domestic copies.

More Boz Scaggs


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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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White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Steely Dan
Aja

  (Item #: steelaja__1904_3x) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A STUNNING copy - you won't believe how BIG and BOLD the sound is - Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it on both sides
  • Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music
  • A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on an exceptional pressing like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records ... a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest. "
See more of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Steely Dan - Aja

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: steelaja__mobile_fidelity) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

More Mofi Bashing, But Boy Does The MOFI Deserve It.

I remember back in the ’70s when I thought this album sounded pretty good on my plain old ABC original. Then I got a copy of the Mobile Fidelity pressing and I thought it sounded even better. Side two of the MOFI had bass that was only hinted at on my domestic copy.

More Aja


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Steely Dan's Aja

Letters, Testimonials and Commentaries

  (Item #: steelaja__overview) 



There are a number of Letters, Testimonials and Commentaries associated with Aja which may be of interest to you. Scroll past the copies currently for sale to read more about Aja, a record we have been playing regularly for more than 35 years (ouch, that makes me feel even older than I already feel).

It's SHOCKING how good this recording can sound when you get a good copy. We could literally spend hours describing what sets the best copies apart from the very good ones, but we've already gone overboard enough with our track commentary, so we will try to keep some of this brief. Although our enthusiasm for this album is out of control, we'll try to keep a lid on it as best we can.

More Steely Dan


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Steely Dan - Aja

That Kind of Money Damn Well Better Buy You Amazing Sound!

  (Item #: steelaja__testimonial_) 



This letter of the week comes from one of our long time customers, Gary, who was blown away by the sound of our Aja and Fragile Hot Stampers.

Dropping you a line to tell you that these two albums have four of the greatest sounding sides of music I have experienced.

Last week, when the Thursday mailer came out, I happened to be listening to The Yes Album, your hot stamper. I am astounded every time I play that record. I had no choice but to grab your Fragile HS. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on Aja as well, after shooting out the 4 or 5 copies I have. (I have an older HS of yours, but have misplaced it, or it was in the “good but not great” range).

More Steely Dan


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Steely Dan
Aja

  (Item #: steelaja_1904_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding copy of Steely Dan's 1977 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music
  • A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on an exceptional pressing like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records ... a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest. "
See more of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Aja

  (Item #: steelaja_1904_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of Steely Dan's 1977 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music
  • A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on an exceptional pressing like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records ... a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest. "
See more of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Steely Dan - Aja

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: steelaja_2007) 



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

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for -- AJA HOT STAMPERS! Believe me, they don’t get hotter than these. From the first note of Black Cow, you get presence like you’ve never heard -- the sound positively JUMPS out at you! This is the most spacious, transparent, DYNAMIC copy of Aja we've EVER heard -- a DEMO DISC in the truest sense of the word.

We had the chance to go back and do a final round shootout for all the best copies, and this one was BY FAR the most DYNAMIC and PRESENT of them all. Bernie turned off ALL the compression for this bad boy. The ENERGY of the ensemble playing here was simply in a league of its own.

More Aja


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Steely Dan - Aja

Cisco Debunked

  (Item #: steelaja_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing from Cisco / Impex.

I’ve had the opportunity to play our Hot Stampers against the Cisco for friends on more than one occasion. The problem is, the more you listen to the Cisco pressing, the worse it sounds. We wanted to like it, but the more we played it, the more we realized just how wrong it was in too many important ways.

More Aja


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Steely Dan - Aja

Listening in Depth

(with Free Cisco Debunking Tool)

  (Item #: steelaja_depth) 



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

Our track commentary for the song Home at Last makes it easy to spot an obvious problem with Cisco's remastered Aja: This is the toughest song to get right on side two. Nine out of ten copies have grainy, irritating vocals; the deep bass is often missing too. Home at Last is just plain unpleasant as a rule, which is why it's such a great test track.

More Aja


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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Can't Buy A Thrill

  (Item #: steelcantb_1904_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An absolutely amazing sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and Double Plus (A++) on the second - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big, bold and Tubey Magical, with guitars and vocals that will jump out of your speakers, this is absolutely the right sound for Steely Dan's auspicious debut, with a side one that has everything going for it and then some
  • "Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were remarkable craftsmen from the start, as Steely Dan's debut illustrates. Each song is tightly constructed, with interlocking chords and gracefully interwoven melodies, buoyed by clever, cryptic lyrics."
More Steely Dan / More Can't Buy a Thrill


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Steely Dan - Can’t Buy A Thrill

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: steelcantb_2010) 



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

ONE OF THE HOTTEST COPIES OF CAN'T BUY A THRILL TO EVER HIT THE SITE! If you're ready to hear what a superb pressing of this great album can do, I suggest you jump on this one quickly. This one's got all the qualities we look for in a great Steely Dan album -- punchy lows, extended highs, tons of energy and real immediacy.

More Steely Dan / More Can't Buy a Thrill


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Steely Dan - Can’t Buy A Thrill

Speakers Corner Debunked

  (Item #: steelcantb_2015) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

This has to be one of the worst sounding versions ever pressed. You think the average ABC or MCA pressing is opaque, flat and lifeless, not to mention compromised at both ends of the frequency spectrum? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!

As bad as the typical copy of this album is, the Speakers Corner Heavy Vinyl is even worse, with not a single redeeming quality to its credit.

More Steely Dan / More Can't Buy a Thrill


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Steely Dan - Can’t Buy A Thrill

A Classic Case of Live and Learn

  (Item #: steelcantb_wrong) 



Years ago, starting with our first shootout in 2007 for the album, we had this to say:

This isn't Aja, Pretzel Logic or Gaucho (their three best sounding recordings). We doubt you'll be using a copy of Can't Buy A Thrill to demo your stereo.

We happily admit now that we got Can't Buy a Thrill all wrong. It's actually a very good sounding record - rich, smooth, natural, with an especially unprocessed sound. In that regard it is superior to most of their catalog; better than Countdown to Ecstacy, Katy Lied, Royal Scam and maybe even Gaucho.
More Steely Dan / More Can't Buy a Thrill


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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Countdown to Ecstasy

  (Item #: steelcount_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • This shootout winning copy has stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Show Biz Kids, My Old School, Pearl of the Quarter and King of the World are As Good As It Gets on this pressing
  • The richest and clearest we played all day - this is the sound that lets the only real rock album this band ever made actually ROCK
  • 5 Stars: "...its eight songs are rich with either musical or lyrical detail that their album rock or art rock contemporaries couldn't hope to match."
See all of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Countdown to Ecstasy

  (Item #: steelcount_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This Steely Dan favorite boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides and the vinyl is about as quiet as we can find it
  • Razor Boy (a personal favorite), Show Biz Kids, My Old School, Pearl of the Quarter and King of the World are superb here
  • Richer and clearer than most, with a more solid bottom end - this is the sound that lets the only real rock album this band ever made actually ROCK the way it should
  • 5 Stars: "...its eight songs are rich with either musical or lyrical detail that their album rock or art rock contemporaries couldn't hope to match."
See all of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: steelcount_2009) 



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

It's time for our annual Countdown to Ecstasy -- whatever that is -- and for 2009 this copy took TOP HONORS with superb sound on both sides! We just finished doing a huge shootout for this album with well over a dozen copies, winnowed down from close to twenty at the start, and the winner and new champion is this very copy -- on the yellow label no less!

We had done shootouts in the past in which all the best copies of this album were on the black label, but this time around the yellow labels came out victorious.

More Countdown to Ecstasy


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Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy

Singing Along with My Old School

  (Item #: steelcount_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Countdown to Ecstasy, Steely Dan's wonderful second album.

We've found that two songs are especially helpful in this regard: Razor Boy on side one, and My Old School on side two.

More Countdown to Ecstasy


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Gaucho

  (Item #: steelgauch_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side two and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one, this copy will be very hard to beat
  • This original pressing has three-dimensional ambience, tubey richness, you-are-there immediacy, tight bass, clear guitar transients, silky highs, and truckloads of analog magic on every track
  • 4 stars in the AMG, 4 1/2 in Rolling Stone, and one of their Three Best Sounding Albums - a true Must Own
  • "Despite its coolness, the music is quite beautiful. With its crystalline keyboard textures and diaphanous group vocals, ''Gaucho'' contains the sweetest music Steely Dan has ever made." New York Times
See more of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Gaucho

  (Item #: steelgauch_1905) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound from beginning to end for the last of Steely Dan's insanely well recorded Classic Seven Albums
  • This copy offers tons of ambience, amazing richness, you-are-there immediacy, tight bass, clear guitar transients, silky highs, and truckloads of analog magic
  • 4 stars in the AMG, 4 1/2 in Rolling Stone, and one of their Three Best Sounding Albums - a true Must Own
  • "Despite its coolness, the music is quite beautiful. With its crystalline keyboard textures and diaphanous group vocals, ''Gaucho'' contains the sweetest music Steely Dan has ever made." New York Times
See more of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Steely Dan - Gaucho

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: steelgauch_2010) 



A distinguished member of our Better Records Hall of Fame.

Your Steely Dan Hot Stamper Collection is far from complete without a killer copy of Gaucho, and I don’t think you’re going to be able to find a much better copy than this one no matter what you do! Both sides are wonderful, with side two boasting BIG, BOLD A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND that’s sure to blow the minds of all you Steely Dan maniacs. From top to bottom I don’t think you could cut or press this album any better.

More Gaucho


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Steely Dan - Gaucho

Capitol Records Debunked

  (Item #: steelgauch_capitol) 



Sonic Grade: D

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers. When such records are clearly inferior to their mass-produced counterparts (Heavy Vinyl pressings are mass-produced too by the way), we put them in our Hall of Shame.

Reasonably good bass, we'll give it that, but no top end and no Tubey Magic. More of Ron McMaster’s handiwork and the result is a record that simply has no reason to exist. The AVERAGE original pressing sitting in your local record store bin right now for probably all of five bucks will MURDER this piece of crap.

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Steely Dan - Gaucho

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: steelgauch_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Gaucho, the last of the Must Own Steely Dan albums.

Of all the great albums Steely Dan made, and that means their seven original albums and nothing that came after, there are only three in our opinion that actually support their reputation as studio wizards and recording geniuses.

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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Katy Lied

  (Item #: steelkatyl_1901_1903) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A killer copy with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • The sound is HUGE -- big, bold, dynamic, and lively, just the way you want The Dan to sound
  • Our pick for the best Steely Dan album of them all, a Masterpiece of jazzy swing pop that will surely reward hundreds of plays
  • 5 stars: "Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos."
See all of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Katy Lied

  (Item #: steelkatyl_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding original copy of Steely Dan's fourth album with solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • Take it from Steely Dan: "The sound created by musicians and singers is reproduced as faithfully as possible, and special care is taken to preserve the band-width and transient response of each performance."
  • Our pick for the best Dan album of them all, a Masterpiece of Jazzy Swing Pop that is sure to reward hundreds of plays
  • 5 stars: "Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos."
See all of our Steely Dan albums in stock


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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: steelkatyl_2010) 



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

This White Hot Stamper side one is an ABSOLUTE KNOCKOUT. Even our usual top grade of A Triple Plus was not enough to tell the story, so we awarded this side one the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is HUGE -- big, bold, dynamic, and lively. The clarity and transparency exceeded all our expectations; we felt as if we were hearing every last Steely Dan-sweated detail. The overall sound is natural, relaxed, and musical. The highs are as sweet as they come (which is not as sweet as they should have been, more about that later) and the bottom end has the weight and punch this music needs to rock.

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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: steelkatyl_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

By the time I was avidly collecting Mobile Fidelity records in the late '70s this title had already gone out of print, one of the first to do so. My guess is that even the cloth-eared audiophiles at MoFi knew when they had a turkey on their hands and mercilessly put this one out to pasture. Yes, the sound is so bad that even MoFi could hear it.

Compressed and lifeless as the screen speakers so popular at the time, it's hard to imagine any version sounding worse than this one.

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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: steelkatyl_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The trick with Katy Lied is to find the right balance between richness, sweetness and clarity.

Take three or four Katy Lied pressings, clean them up and play just one or two of the tracks we discuss below. You won't find any two copies that get those tracks to sound the same. We do our shootouts with dozens of copies at a time and no two sound the same to us.

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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

Live and Learn

  (Item #: steelkatyl_jpn) 



And to think I used to swear by this pressing -- specifically the 2000 Yen reissue, not the 1500 Yen original -- another example of just how Wrong you can be.

We happily admit to our mistakes because we know that all this audio stuff and especially the search for Hot Stampers is a matter of trial and error. We do the trials; that’s how we avoid the kinds of errors most audiophiles and audiophile record dealers make when it comes to finding the best sounding records. Of course, being human we can’t help but make our share of mistakes. The difference is that we learn from them. We report the facts to the best of our ability every time out.

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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: steelkatyl_obsess) 



KATY LIED is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it. And scroll down to see a wonderful testimonial from one of our good customers about a killer copy we sent him years ago.

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 STEELY DAN albums.


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Pretzel Logic

  (Item #: steelpretz_1806_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Clear, present and dynamic, with a punchy bottom end - you'd be hard pressed to find a better sounding copy
  • Becker and Fagen spared no effort in the recording of this album - the mix is PERFECTION
  • A Top 100 Album and our pick for The Best Sounding Steely Dan Recording of Them All
  • 5 stars: "Becker and Fagen's craft has become seamless while remaining idiosyncratic and thrillingly accessible... Steely Dan made more accomplished albums than Pretzel Logic, but they never made a better one."
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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Pretzel Logic

  (Item #: steelpretz_1904x) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, we guarantee you've never heard Pretzel Logic sound remotely as good as it does here - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • In the Steely Dan canon, Pretzel Logic is the richest, most dynamic and most Tubey Magical of them all
  • Becker and Fagen spared no effort in the recording of this album - the mix is PERFECTION
  • A Top 100 Album and our pick for The Best Sounding Steely Dan Recording of Them All
  • 5 stars: "Becker and Fagen's craft has become seamless while remaining idiosyncratic and thrillingly accessible... Steely Dan made more accomplished albums than Pretzel Logic, but they never made a better one."
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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: steelpretz_2011) 



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

This BEYOND White Hot side one (A++++) has nothing less than MASTER TAPE SOUND. Our Four Plus ranking is rare enough, but in this case it has the added benefit of conferring upon this very pressing the status of the BEST SOUNDING STEELY DAN RECORDING we have ever heard.

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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: steelpretz_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

It’s positively criminal the way this amazingly well-recorded music sounds on the typical LP. And how can you possibly be expected to appreciate the music when it sounds like that?

The reason we audiophiles go through the trouble of owning and tweaking our temperamental equipment is we know how hard it is to appreciate good music which sounds bad. Bad sound is a barrier to understanding and enjoyment, to us audiophiles anyway.

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Steely Dan and Pretzel Logic

Donald Gets Dynamic on Rikki

  (Item #: steelpretz_listen) 



Rikki Don't Lose that Number -- yet another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

This is one knockout recording. After having done shootouts for every Steely Dan title, I can say that sonically this one has no equal in their canon.

Which is really saying something, since Becker and Fagen are known to be audiophiles themselves and real sticklers for sound. No effort in the recording of this album was spared, that I can tell you without fear of contradiction. They sweated the details on this one. The mix is PERFECTION.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Steely Dan's albums


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Steely Dan

The Parker's Band Saxophone Battle Listening Exercise

  (Item #: steelpretz_listen_1) 



Parker's Band -- another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Take three or four Pretzel Logic pressings, clean them up and just play the saxophone battle we discuss below. You won't find any two copies that get those saxes to sound the same. We had twenty and no two sounded the same to us.

By far the TOUGHEST test on side two is the saxophone battle at the end of the song. If you've got a badly mastered or pressed copy it's sure to be an unmitigated sonic DISASTER: aggressive, hard, shrill, sour, irritating -- pick whatever adjective makes you wince, because wincing is exactly what you will find yourself doing with the typical ABC or MCA LP on your table.

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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: steelpretz_obsess) 



PRETZEL LOGIC 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 too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

This link will take you to all of our other STEELY DAN albums.


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Steely Dan Testimonial

... It Was Great Hearing Stuff I Never Heard Before ...

  (Item #: steelpretz_testimonial_) 



This week’s letter comes from our good friend Roger, who bought one of our Pretzel Logic Hot Stamper pressings. He gladly doled out his 200 clams, and here’s what he had to say:
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Steely Dan's albums


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Steely Dan's Pretzelly Logic

Holy Shit! This Is a GREAT LP!

  (Item #: steelpretz_testimonial_0409) 


"I Took Tom’s Advice and Played It Real Loud."

One of our newest Hot Stamper converts, John R., a customer only since February, has already managed to acquire about a dozen of our best Hot Stamper LPs to the tune of many thousands of dollars. As we like to say, the best copies may not be cheap, but here at Better Records you most certainly get what you pay for. Just ask John. If I read him right what he got for his 650 clams was something that exceeded any expectation he might have had for it. Like we say ourselves sometimes: Who knew? How would anyone know this album could so this good? The average copy barely hints at the sound the engineers recorded.

Anyway, that’s our story. Now here’s John’s.


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Steely Dan Testimonial

... The best sounding rock album I’ve ever heard ...

  (Item #: steelpretz_testimonial_2007) 



This week’s entry is from our good friend Phil, who put a fresh twist on Pretzel Logic with his letter below, which includes the line

"An extraordinary melange of glorious guiltars, voices, drums." Yeah baby!

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Steely Dan's albums


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Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic

Letters & Commentaries

  (Item #: steelpretz_testimonials_2015) 



Click HERE to see what our customers think of our amazing Hot Stamper pressings of Pretzel Logic
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Steely Dan's albums


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
The Royal Scam

  (Item #: steelroyal_1812_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This KILLER copy of The Royal Scam earned nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides, right behind our Shootout Winner
  • This copy of The Dan's hard-rockin' classic from 1976 has the right sound for this music - rich and meaty, with powerful rhythmic energy
  • "Drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie lashes out the rolling grooves on most of the nine tracks, establishing the album's anxious feel, and Larry Carlton's jaw-dropping guitar work provides a running commentary to Fagen's strangulated vocals... These are not the sort of Steely Dan songs favored by smooth-jazz stations."
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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
The Royal Scam

  (Item #: steelroyal_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - the GLORIOUS sound of the One True Royal Scam is back
  • This killer Shootout Winning copy has what you need for The Dan's hard-rockin' classic from 1976 - it's bursting with driving rhythmic energy and offers relatively smooth vocals
  • "Drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie lashes out the rolling grooves on most of the nine tracks, establishing the album's anxious feel, and Larry Carlton's jaw-dropping guitar work provides a running commentary to Fagen's strangulated vocals... These are not the sort of Steely Dan songs favored by smooth-jazz stations."
More Royal Scam / More Steely Dan


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
The Royal Scam

  (Item #: steelroyal_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This early pressing earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades - this is a Royal Scam with energy and drive
  • This copy of The Dan's hard-rockin' classic from 1976 has the right sound for this music - rich and meaty, with powerful rhythmic energy
  • "Drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie lashes out the rolling grooves on most of the nine tracks, establishing the album's anxious feel, and Larry Carlton's jaw-dropping guitar work provides a running commentary to Fagen's strangulated vocals... These are not the sort of Steely Dan songs favored by smooth-jazz stations."
More Royal Scam / More Steely Dan


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Steely Dan - The Royal Scam

Our $600 Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: steelroyal_2009) 



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

Steely Dan fans, brace yourselves! This White Hot Stamper copy of The Royal Scam ROCKS HARDER than you’d ever imagine! We play dozens and dozens of these each year, and it’s a shame more of them don’t sound like this. All the elements necessary to really bring this music to life are here: tight, punchy bass; knockout energy; big time presence; shocking clarity and so forth. Everyone gets all hot and bothered about Aja (and with good reason) but there’s no denying how POWERFUL this material is after you’ve heard these songs sound like this!

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Steely Dan - The Royal Scam

Turning Aggressive Energy into Pure Excitement

  (Item #: steelroyal_wtlf) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

We really went overboard with the track commentary for this one. This should make it easy for you to compare what we say about the sound of these songs with what they sound like to you on your system, using the copy you own or, better yet, one of our Hot Stampers.

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The Recordings of Steely Dan

These Four Compilations Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: steely_dan) 



These are just some of the recordings by Steely Dan that we've auditioned over the years and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor to mediocre-at-best sound, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection.

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

Steely Dan Albums with Hot Stampers

Steely Dan Albums We've Reviewed



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The Recordings of Steely Dan

These Four Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: steely_dan_2) 



These are just some of the recordings by Steely Dan that we've auditioned over the years 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.

Steely Dan Albums with Hot Stampers

Steely Dan Albums We've Reviewed



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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis?

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: supercrisi_obsess) 



CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? 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 our other SUPERTRAMP albums.


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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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Neil Young - On The Beach

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: youngonthe_2008) 



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

HOT STAMPERS FOR THIS NEIL YOUNG GEM FINALLY DISCOVERED! We’ve been trying for quite a while to find a copy of this album with the kind of wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling sound we get from the best copies of Zuma and After The Gold Rush, but it's been quite the tough task. We love the music, but most of the copies we played left us wondering if we'd ever play one worthy of the Hot Stamper designation. Well, folks, I'm pleased to report that we've finally confirmed what we had imagined and hoped -- that on the best pressings, this album can sound OUT OF THIS WORLD!

More Neil Young


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