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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1810) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides!
  • The sound is rich, warm and natural with wonderful transparency, ambience and loads of Tubey Magic
  • One of our very favorite Joni albums here at Better Records, and probably her Best Sounding Album
  • "[A] remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz ... the music is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last." - AMG 5 Stars
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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1805_1808) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding early pressing with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • The sound is rich, warm and natural with wonderful transparency, loads of ambience and - this is key - Tubey Magic
  • One of our very favorite Joni albums here at Better Records, and probably The Best Sounding Record She Ever Made
  • 5 stars: "A remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz ... the music is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1803_1) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • A excellent early pressing that earned Hot Stamper grades on both sides and plays fairly quietly
  • The sound is rich, warm and natural - any Heavy Vinyl pressing will have a hard time competing with it
  • One of our very favorite Joni albums here at Better Records, and probably her Best Sounding Album
  • "[A] remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz ... the music is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last." - AMG 5 Stars
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Dopey Record Theories

Putting Bad Ideas to the Test

  (Item #: mitchcourt_theory) 



In a recent listing for one of our Hot Stamper 2-packs we noted that side two of record one has Joni sounding thin, hard and veiled. If you look at the stampers you can see it's obviously cut by the same guy (no names please!), and we're pretty sure both sides were stamped out at the same time of day since it's impossible to do it any other way. What accounts for the amazing sound of one side and the mediocre sound of its reverse?

If your theory can't account for these huge differences in sound, your theory must be seen for what it is: hopelessly, fundamentally flawed. Mistaken. Inadequate. "Dopey" works too.

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Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark

Rating the DCC LP

  (Item #: mitchcourt_scorecard) 



Sonic Grade: B

The DCC -- Not Bad!

Steve's version is very musical; it's rich and natural sounding, which of course makes it very enjoyable. You can do a lot better but you sure can do a lot worse. Opaque, veiled, lifeless, dull sound is the norm for Court and Spark -- most copies are dead as a doornail. If they're not dead, they're likely to be thin and gritty. The DCC is a big improvement over the average domestic pressing. (The original Brit imports are fairly competitive with the DCC; the later Brits with the K catalog numbers suck as a rule.)

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Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: mitchcourt_2009) 



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

It was a tougher shootout than Blue has ever been around these parts, but after a MASSIVE shootout this week we managed to find a copy of Court and Spark with TWO AMAZINGLY GOOD SIDES and relatively quiet vinyl. Words can hardly convey how grueling the evaluation process was this time around. We played a huge number of copies to come up with a very small handful of exceptional pressings worthy of the Hot Stamper designation. In the end, it was worth all the trouble to hear a copy like this one, which gave us the warmth and richness we had hoped for without sacrificing any clarity or energy.

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Turntable Set Up Advice

Using Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_setup) 



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

There are loud vocal choruses on many tracks, and more often than not at their loudest they sound like they are either breaking up or threatening to do so. I always assumed it was compressor or board overload, which is easily heard on Down to You. On the best copies there is no breakup -- the voices get loud and they sound clean throughout.

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