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Click HERE to read our update regarding COVID-19.

For the next few weeks, you can buy any two records from our Hot Stampers Under $75 section and get the cheaper one for half price. There's no limits on this one, so you can buy as many records as you'd like.

You can also buy any two records from our Hot Stampers Under $150 section and get the cheaper one for half price. There's a limit of 4 records per customer, per week for this one. If it has been at least seven days since you last bought 4 records from this section, you can buy four more!

There are no coupons needed for these offers. We'll apply the appropriate discount on our end when we process your order.

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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_2003_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A stunning copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
  • The sound is rich, warm and natural, with wonderful transparency, ambience and loads of Tubey Magic
  • Musically this is one of our favorite Joni albums here at Better Records, and probably her Best Recording as well
  • Court and Spark recently joined Blue on our Top 100 Rock and Pop List for 2019 - yes, it's that good sounding when it's mastered and pressed as well as this copy is
  • 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."
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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1912_2) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • An outstanding early pressing with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides
  • It's 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
  • "Playing behind her, musicians like Scott, guitarist Larry Carlton, drummer John Guerin and trumpeter Chuck Findley add colors and depth to songs that stretch melodies and vocal lines in surprising directions. And as always with Mitchell, the lyrics penetrate deftly to the painful core of feeling beneath the requisitely cool coupling of the early Seventies." Rolling Stone
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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 2018

  (Item #: mitchcourt_2018) 

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

Court and Spark deserves to be heard with all the clarity, beauty and power that only the best Hot Stamper pressings can convey.

What you hear is the sound of the real tape; every instrument has its own character because the mastering is correct and the vinyl -- against all odds -- managed to capture all (or almost all; who can know?) of the resolution that the tape had to offer.

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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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