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Rolling Stones

  (Item #: _RollingStones) 


Rolling Stones albums in stock

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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
For Those About To Rock

  (Item #: acdc_forth_1906) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy of this AC/DC Classic with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Once again Robert Ludwig delivers the Rock and Roll Power - incredibly big, bold and full-bodied with a massive bottom end
  • For Those About To Rock has wall to wall sound and in-the-room presence like you will not believe
  • "On For Those About to Rock We Salute You, AC/DC’s best album, the case for the band’s talents is finally made with undeniable force and clarity. You want anthems? Here, they abound." - Rolling Stone
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Andy Johns

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: allandyjohns) 



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

Andy Johns Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Dave Hassinger

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: alldave_hassinger) 



DAVE HASSINGER is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Dave Hassinger engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

"'Satisfaction' was [mixed] on four tracks," Hassinger recalls. "That was a big thing." He adds:

"When I first arrived at RCA there were three tracks. When it went to four tracks we were all thinking. What are we going to do with the extra track?"

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Glyn Johns

  (Item #: allglynjohns) 



GLYN JOHNS is one of our favorite producers and engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Glyn Johns engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

It was only about 2000 or so that we discovered what an amazing engineer and producer Glyn Johns is. A Hot Stamper of the first Eagles album (his masterpiece) on the original Asylum White Label blew my mind, produced and engineered by none other, so I quickly started looking around for other records he might have had a hand in. How about Who's Next. Let It Bleed. On The Border (my personal favorite Eagles album). Led Zeppelin's debut (my favorite Zep LP). A Nod Is As Good As A Wink. All his.

More Engineers, Producers and Arrangers


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Gregg Allman - Laid Back

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: allmalaidb_2017) 



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

We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans' album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters. Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals, this is the sound we love at Better Records.

More Allman Brothers


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Joan Baez - Joan Baez

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joanb_2014) 



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

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

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

More Joan Baez


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The Band Album You Don't Know

Northern Lights - Southern Cross

  (Item #: band_north_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and one of their four essential albums (the others being Music from Big Pink, the Self-Titled second and Rock of Ages).

This is the UNDISCOVERED GEM in the Band catalog. Allmusic is right on the money when they call this the best Band album since their self-titled second release. I positively LOVE this music, having practically worn out my copy soon after the album was released in 1975.

More of The Band


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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy (or our copy) of Rubber Soul. (If you have the MoFi pressing please click on the Track Listing tab below to read about its most glaring shortcoming.)
More Rubber Soul


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Super Hot Stamper

Jeff Beck
Truth

  (Item #: beck_truth_1707_1902) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end for Beck's amazingly well recorded masterpiece - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Here is the Big Rock Sound and the kind of Powerful Rock Energy that we go crazy for here at Better Records
  • Really fun music - it's a blast to hear Rod Stewart fronting such a heavy rock band
  • Easily and by a wide margin the best sounding record Jeff Beck ever made - thanks Ken!
  • 5 Stars "...almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums."
See all of our Jeff Beck albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1806_1905) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound AND exceptionally quiet vinyl on both sides make this a Pretender that will rock with the best of them
  • This vintage pressing is well balanced, yet big and lively, with such wonderful clarity in the mids and highs as well as deep punchy bass and a big open and spacious soundfield
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • Without a doubt the best sounding record Jackson Browne ever made - this is the pressing that backs up everything we say and more
See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding pressing of JB's fourth studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • One of the all time great rock / pop Demo Discs -- the best copies are so rich and full-bodied they make most rock records sound positively anemic
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • Without a doubt the best sounding record Jackson Browne ever made - this is the pressing that backs up everything we say and more
See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Backless

  (Item #: claptbackl_1709_1904-) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding British original earned Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Rich, smooth, clear sound throughout - listen to the grungy guitars on Walk Out In The Rain - that's the way they should sound all right
  • Clapton comes to life on the traditional blues Early In The Morning - it also has the best sound on the album
  • "Backless is a seductive record, if you're attracted to the interplay of Clapton's dolorous voice and Marcy Levy's raspy backup vocals, George Terry's slide guitar and Glyn Johns' pristine production." Rolling Stone
See all of our Eric Clapton, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes and Blind Faith albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker (1972)

  (Item #: cockejoeco_1972_1901) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • This outstanding copy of Joe Cocker's patented Blue Eyed Soul Album rates a solid Double Plus (A++) on both sides and plays quietly to boot
  • The sound on this pressing is rich, full-bodied, warm and smooth throughout, with plenty of Vintage Analog Tubey Magic
  • Pardon Me Sir; High Time We Went and Black-Eyed Blues, Midnight Rider; Do Right Woman, Do Right Man and St. James Infirmary - so many of his best songs
  • "With 'St. James' Infirmary,' Joe Cocker has moved into a whole different sphere of musical activity, far distant from the rip-roaring anarchism of the Mad Dogs ... This album is, when all be said and done, riddled with meaningful soul." -- Rolling Stone
See all of our Joe Cocker albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1905) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • 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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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1906) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • With two insanely good nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this vintage UK pressing came in just shy of our Shootout Winner and 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."


  more Info










Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Punch The Clock

  (Item #: costepunch_1803_1902) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • You'll find Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this Elvis Costello classic - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • "Punch the Clock won't alter anyone's opinion of Elvis Costello because it doesn't represent much of a change for him. He remains the most consistently interesting songwriter in rock & roll, and there is evidence that a new, more emotionally generous sensibility may soon be present in his work." Rolling Stone
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Crack The Sky - Crack The Sky

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: crackcrack_2010) 



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

This White Hot Stamper pressing of the first and best album by the legendary-but-now-mostly-forgotten American Prog band Crack The Sky shows just how amazingly well recorded their debut really was.

This is Big Production rock that pulls out all the stops and then some, with a massive Beatlesque string section, horns, synths, backward guitars and every other kind of studio effect that they could work out.

More Crack the Sky


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Robert Cray Band
Strong Persuader

  (Item #: craybstron_1906_1) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • With STUNNING Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from first note to last, this is almost As Good As It Gets for Strong Persuader - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is the album that propelled Cray into the mainstream, earning him a spot on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 80's, 5 stars on AMG, and endless accolades from critics and fans alike
  • Clear and open, with good balance and prodigious bass, this copy has just the right the sound for this blues rock
  • 5 stars: "The set that made Cray a pop star, despite its enduring blues base... his innovative expansion of the genre itself that makes this album a genuine 1980s classic."
See all of our Robert Cray Band albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Robert Cray Band
Strong Persuader

  (Item #: craybstron_1907) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • With STUNNING Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last, this is As Good As It Gets for Strong Persuader
  • This is the album that propelled Cray into the mainstream, earning him a spot on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 80's, 5 stars on AMG, and endless accolades from critics and fans alike
  • Clear and open, with good balance and prodigious bass, this copy has just the right the sound for this blues rock
  • 5 stars: "The set that made Cray a pop star, despite its enduring blues base... his innovative expansion of the genre itself that makes this album a genuine 1980s classic."
See all of our Robert Cray Band albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1905_1) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Consistently outstanding sound for CSN&Y's classic live double album, with all four sides boasting solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it
  • This live album gives you the "naked" sound of the real thing - the real voices and the real guitars and the real everything else, in a way that would never happen again
  • Their brilliant engineer, Bill Halverson, worked his magic here, but only the best pressings let his genius shine the way this one does
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Consistently outstanding sound for CSN&Y's classic live double album, with all four sides boasting solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER and mostly quiet vinyl
  • This live album gives you the "naked" sound of the real thing - the real voices and the real guitars and the real everything else, in a way that would never happen again
  • Their brilliant engineer, Bill Halverson, worked his magic here, but only the best pressings let his genius shine the way this one does
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Deep Purple
Made In Japan

  (Item #: deeppmadei_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This outstanding UK pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades for sound or BETTER on all four sides
  • Surpisingly clean, undistorted sound for a live album, yet every bit as big and lively as a Hard Rockin' Live Album should be
  • In terms of Tubey Magic, richness and naturalness, Made In Japan might just be The Best Sounding Live Album of All Time
  • Rolling Stone: "They've done countless shows since in countless permutations, but they've never sounded quite this perfect."
See all of our Deep Purple albums in stock


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Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Live and Learn

  (Item #: deeppmadei_2006) 



This is a classic case of Live and Learn. What we had to say below about Made in Japan back in 2006 is just plain emabarrassing.

"This is a very nice looking EMI British Import Double LP that plays Mint Minus. This copy sounds tonally correct and pretty lively. The DCC may be better but it’s a LOT MORE MONEY I haven't played that record since it came out years ago so who's to say."

Ouch.

More Deep Purple


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The Doors - The Doors

What to Listen For

  (Item #: doorsdoors_wtlf) 



What to Listen For? you ask?

ENERGY and RAW POWER. Few audiophiles have any idea how well recorded this album is, simply because most pressings don't do a very good job of encoding the life of the master tape onto the vinyl of the day, regardless of whether that day is in 1967 or 2017.

The first Doors album is without a doubt the punchiest, liveliest, most powerful recording in the entire Doors catalog.

More by The Doors


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Bob Dylan - Desire

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: dylandesir_2017) 



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

Two amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sides, huge and solid with tons of weight. Both sides are incredibly clean, clear and lively with lots of space around all of the instruments. Desire spent five weeks at Number One, mostly on the strength of the powerful and provocative "Hurricane."

More Bob Dylan


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White Hot Stamper

Eagles
The Long Run

  (Item #: eaglelongr_1902_1906) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, making this one of the best sounding copies of The Long Run you could ask for - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This pressing is head and shoulders above the pack, with the kind of big, punchy, full-bodied sound this music absolutely demands
  • The best songs - and only the best songs - prove that the Eagles were still at the height of their powers
  • "The Long Run is a chilling and altogether brilliant evocation of Hollywood's nightly Witching Hour, that nocturnal feeding frenzy first detailed by Warren Zevon on his haunting Asylum debut (Warren Zevon, 1976) and the equally powerful Excitable Boy." Rolling Stone
See all of our Eagles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Faces
Long Player

  (Item #: faceslongp_1702_1902) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) live-in-the-studio sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This Green Label original pressing conveys the raw power of one of the hardest rockin' bands of all time like nothing you've heard
  • 5 stars in Allmusic and probably the Faces' Best Album, for both sound and music - Maybe I'm Amazed sung by Rod Stewart? Hell yeah!
  • "...a ferocious rock & roll band who, on their best day, could wrestle the title of greatest rock & roll band away from the Stones."
See all of our Rod Stewart and Faces albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Faces
Long Player

  (Item #: faceslongp_1711_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A killer copy with a stunning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Amazing live-in-the-studio sound that conveys completely the raw power of one of the hardest rockin' bands of all time
  • 5 stars in Allmusic and probably the Faces' Best Album, for sound and music - Maybe I'm Amazed? Hell yeah!
  • "...a ferocious rock & roll band who, on their best day, could wrestle the title of greatest rock & roll band away from the Stones."
See all of our Rod Stewart and Faces albums in stock


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The Faces - Long Player

Their Best Sounding Album - Best Music Too

  (Item #: faceslongp_2010) 



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.

We knew this album could sound good, but back in the day we sure didn't know it could sound like this. The best pressings of this album have amazing live-in-the-studio sound that conveys completely the raw power of one of the hardest rockin' bands of all time.

Both musically and sonically I don't think the group ever recorded a better album than this one.

More Rod Stewart and the Faces


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Bryan Ferry - The Bride Stripped Bare

British Guy, British Pressing... Right?

  (Item #: ferrybride_myth) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

We were a bit surprised to find that the domestic copies we played were clearly better sounding than the UK imports. It may be counterintuitive but these are exactly the kinds of things you find out when doing blinded shootouts. We have little use for intuitions (UK recording, UK pressing) and rules of thumb (original = better sound). Hard data -- the kind you get from actually playing the records -- trumps them all.

More Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music


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Fleetwood Mac - Bare Trees

A Long Time Coming

  (Item #: fleetbaret_audio) 



Until not that many years ago we simply were not able to do successful shootouts for Bare Trees, Fleetwood Mac's wonderful album from 1972. The pressings we were playing just didn't sound very good to us. British, German, Japanese, domestic originals, domestic reissues; all of them left much too much to be desired.

Thankfully we can tell you that the best copies sound a whole lot better now than they did then.

It's always true, and needs to be remembered, that most of the shortcomings you hear in the sound of a record are caused by your equipment (which includes record cleaning equipment), your room, and your electricity.

More Fleetwood Mac


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Fleetwood Mac - Bare Trees

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: fleetbaret_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

This period of Fleetwood Mac, from Kiln House (1970) through Mystery to Me (1973) -- both are records I would take to my Desert Island -- has always been my favorite of the band. I grew up on this stuff, and I can tell you from personal experience, having played a dozen copies of Bare Trees practically all day at some pretty serious levels, it is a positive THRILL to hear it sound so good. For me, a big speaker guy with a penchant for giving the old volume knob an extra click or two, it just doesn't get any better than rockin' out to the song Bare Trees.

More Fleetwood Mac


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Peter Gabriel - So

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: gabriso_depth) 



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

With a digital recording such as this, the margin for mastering error is very slim. Most copies just aren't worth the vinyl they're pressed on. They can sound harsh, gritty, grainy, edgy, and thin. We love this music and we know there are great copies out there, so we keep picking these up. More often than not, we're left cold.

More Peter Gabriel


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Andrew Gold - All This and Heaven Too

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: gold_allth_2016) 



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

Superb engineering by Greg Ladanyi (Toto 4, The Pretender, El Rayo-X, demo discs one and all). Contains the monster hit Thank You for Being a Friend. AllMusic gives this one 4 1/2 Stars. It's also the last good album our fab friend made.

More Andrew Gold


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Andrew Gold - Andrew Gold

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: gold_andre_2010) 



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

As audiophiles we all know that sound and music are inseparable. My comments for this side two note how spacious and present and full of energy it is. After dropping the needle on a dozen or so copies, all originals by the way, you KNOW when the music is working its magic and when it's not.

As with any pop album there are always some tracks that sound better than others, but when you find yourself marvelling at how well-written and well-produced a song is, you know that the sound is doing what it needs to do. It's communicating the Musical Values of the material. This Hot Stamper copy brings Andrew Gold's music to LIFE.

More Andrew Gold


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Andrew Gold - What's Wrong With This Picture?

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: gold_whats_fame) 



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

The best copies of Gold's sophomore release are incredibly rich, sweet and Tubey Magical. They also have tons of deep punchy bass and wonderfully breathy vocals.

If you own many Asylum records, you know this title is yet another example of classic Asylum Analog. Think of the sound of the Eagles first album and you won't be far off.

More Andrew Gold


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Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades

  (Item #: grading) 


A quick overview:
  • Every record you see on the site has been put through our unique cleaning process.
  • Once cleaned, it is evaluated against other pressings and our Reference LPs in what we call a "shootout," with each side receiving a grade for its sound.
  • Each side's sound quality is rated independently on a Three Plus scale. Pluses are only awarded to the sides that clearly sound better than average.
  • The average pressing will not receive a Plus Rating for sound, and the same is true for most of the Heavy Vinyl and Audiophile Pressings we have auditioned. (Our distaste for them can best be appreciated by clicking here.)

Read below to learn about our Rating System for Hot Stampers, as well as info on our vinyl playgrades.


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Super Hot Stamper

Grateful Dead
Europe '72

  (Item #: grateeurop_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Superb sound throughout with all six sides of this epic live collection earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them
  • "No record album can replace a live appearance by the Dead — but those who can’t get enough of this exceptional band will be kept busy for a good little while with this one." - Rolling Stone
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The band mixes a bevy of new material with revisitations of back-catalog favorites. Sadly, this European jaunt would be the last of its kind to include the formidable talents and soul of founding member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who was in increasingly fragile health. Although few in number, his contributions to Europe '72 are among the most commanding not only of this release, but of his career."
More Grateful Dead


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The Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead

Rhino Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: grateworki_rhino) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

The 2003 Rhino reissue on heavy vinyl of Workingman's Dead is absolutely awful. It sounds like a bad cassette. The CD of the album that I own is superb, which means that the tapes are not the problem, bad mastering and pressing are.

More Grateful Dead / More Hippie Folk Rock


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Super Hot Stamper

Gun N' Roses
Appetite For Destruction

  (Item #: gunsnappet_1908_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding copy of this hard rock classic, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Surprisingly big, lively, open, rich and present with real extension both up top and down low
  • 5 stars: "Guns N' Roses' debut, Appetite for Destruction was a turning point for hard rock in the late '80s -- it was a dirty, dangerous, and mean record in a time when heavy metal meant nothing but a good time... as good as Rose's lyrics and screeching vocals are, they wouldn't be nearly as effective without the twin-guitar interplay of Slash and Izzy Stradlin, who spit out riffs and solos better than any band since the Rolling Stones, and that's what makes Appetite for Destruction the best metal record of the late '80s."
See all of our Guns N' Roses albums in stock

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Super Hot Stamper

Herbie Hancock
Head Hunters

  (Item #: hancoheadh_1905) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of Hancock's 1973 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you've been disappointed by the sound of the album in the past, here's a copy that can show you a whole new Head Hunters
  • Described as "a key release in Hancock's career and a defining moment in the genre of jazz" and a member of Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time
  • 5 stars: "It had all of the sensibilities of jazz, particularly in the way it wound off into long improvisations, but its rhythms were firmly planted in funk, soul, and R&B, giving it a mass appeal that made it the biggest-selling jazz album of all time (a record which was later broken)."
See all of our Herbie Hancock albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix / Otis Redding
Historic Perform...

  (Item #: hendrhisto_1907_) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound - close to our Shootout Winner - on both Hendrix and Otis Redding sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Better sound than most of these artists' studio recordings - the live energy is simply unsurpassed here
  • It's got everything that a good live record needs: correct tonality, super low distortion, surprising dynamics, and amazing transparency
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... this was the album that made stars out of both Hendrix and Redding. Other than the original Whiskey A Go-Go record, it's the best live Redding set ever issued, and was the definitive live Hendrix as well until Band of Gypsys."
More Jimi Hendrix


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Super Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix / Otis Redding
Historic Perform...

  (Item #: hendrhisto_1907_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • You'll find outstanding, live Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this wonderful pressing
  • Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight down low and lots of space around all the instruments
  • It's got everything that a good live record needs: correct tonality, super low distortion, surprising dynamics, and amazing transparency
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... this was the album that made stars out of both Hendrix and Redding. Other than the original Whiskey A Go-Go record, it's the best live Redding set ever issued, and was the definitive live Hendrix as well until Band of Gypsys."
More Jimi Hendrix / More Otis Redding


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Super Hot Stamper

The Kinks
Sleepwalker

  (Item #: kinkssleep_1802_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A superb copy of the Kinks triumphant return to the charts, with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one
  • It's the first copy to hit the site in a year, and it plays on relatively quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • The sound is full-bodied, lively and smooth - RL's mastering contributes the big bottom end you want for this music
  • Juke Box Music, representing Ray Davies' fun and engaging pop sensibilities at their best
  • Rolling Stone raved that "The Kinks' playing on Sleepwalker is easily their most powerful since 'Lola.'"
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Super Hot Stamper

Annie Lennox
Diva

  (Item #: lennodiva_1903_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This vintage import offers outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound for both sides of this Annie Lennox classic from 1992
  • Dramatically bigger, richer, smoother, more transparent and just more ANALOG sounding than any other copy you've heard, guaranteed or your money back
  • "State-of-the-art soul pop, Annie Lennox's solo debut is sonically gorgeous..." - Rolling Stone
  • "Diva glides with a rich, feminine dignity that stands tall in pop history." - Slant
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The Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mahavinner_2016) 



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

This is the first album by the band, recorded only a year after Bitches Brew single-handedly created the genre of Jazz Fusion itself. Or is it better described as an album of Prog Rock without the vocals? Remember, King Crimson had a violinist and not a whole lot of singing too.

Whatever it is, mostly what this music wants to do is rock.

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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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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Miles of Aisles

  (Item #: mitchmiles_1907) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • This Joni Mitchell classic boasts STUNNING Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on all four sides
  • The sound is incredibly rich, warm and Tubey Magical with huge amounts of space and breathy presence on her vocals
  • Joni reworks all her material here, giving the songs new arrangements and making them fresh again - it's got a cool Court and Spark vibe
  • "It's a strong album of her best songs performed mostly informally... Much of the material here is beautiful, replete with the patented Mitchell tension. And a word for engineer Henry Lewy—the sound is terrific, the best reproduced concert album I've heard." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Miles of Aisles

  (Item #: mitchmiles_1907_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • This Joni Mitchell classic boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides; super quiet vinyl too!
  • The sound is super clean, clear, and full-bodied with a lovely bottom end and plenty of space and breathy presence on her vocals
  • Joni reworks all her material here, giving the songs new arrangements and making them fresh again - it's got a cool Court and Spark vibe
  • "It's a strong album of her best songs performed mostly informally... Much of the material here is beautiful, replete with the patented Mitchell tension. And a word for engineer Henry Lewy—the sound is terrific, the best reproduced concert album I've heard." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

The Monkees
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.

  (Item #: monkepisce_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This 1967 Stereo pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end
  • These two sides are exceptionally (for this album) smooth, rich, sweet, and clear - and the vinyl is crazy QUIET for a Monkees album
  • Forget the early albums, we've never heard any of them sound good - their fourth release is practically the only one with audiophile potential
  • 4 1/2 stars: "To think that both this album and Headquarters came out the same year! Most bands would be lucky to have two albums this good come out their entire career. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is a must-have for any fan of smart, fun, and exciting '60s pop. It doesn't get much better than this."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Van Morrison
His Band And Street Choir

  (Item #: morrihisba_1905_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With both sides earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER, this is a killer copy of a wonderful sounding, shockingly underrated album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The band is swinging, the material top-notch - Domino, Crazy Face, Blue Money and other classics are right here
  • We vote this The Best Sounding Van Morrison Album - a classic of 1970 Tubey Magical analog - and his only title to make our Top 100
  • "As 'Domino' opens the album with a show of strength, 'Street Choir' closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van's two or three finest songs." Rolling Stone
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White Hot Stamper

Van Morrison
His Band And Street Choir

  (Item #: morrihisba_1905x) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) copy of this great sounding Van Morrison album, a favorite of ours here at Better Records
  • The sound is incredible throughout - full-bodied, clear, and brimming with the soulful energy of this great artist
  • The material is top-notch - Domino, Crazy Face, Blue Money and other classics are all here
  • The best sounding Van Morrison album, a Top 100 title, with classic 1970 Analog sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • "As "Domino" opens the album with a show of strength. "Street Choir" closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van's two or three finest songs." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

Van Morrison
His Band And Street Choir

  (Item #: morrihisba_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With both sides earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades, this is a killer copy of a wonderful sounding, shockingly underrated album
  • The band is swinging, the material top-notch - Domino, Crazy Face, Blue Money and other classics are right here
  • We vote this The Best Sounding Van Morrison Album - a classic of 1970 Tubey Magical analog - and his only title to make our Top 100
  • "As 'Domino' opens the album with a show of strength, 'Street Choir' closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van's two or three finest songs." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

Van Morrison
Saint Dominic’s Preview

  (Item #: morrisaint_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An outstanding copy of Van Morrison's sixth studio album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom
  • It's unusual (to say the least) to find copies of Moondance or Astral Weeks that sound anything like the better copies of Saint Dominic’s Preview (or His Band and Street Choir for that matter)
  • One of the best sounding Van Morrison recordings thanks to the superb engineering skills of Donn Landee at Wally Heider's
  • 5 Stars in Rolling Stone: it's "The coexistence of two styles on the same record turns out to be very refreshing; they complement each other by underscoring the remarkable versatility of Van's musical imagination... the best-produced, most ambitious Van Morrison record yet released."
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Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: nilssschmi_2011) 



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

TWO WONDERFUL SIDES, capable of delivering the Nilsson Schmilsson GENIUS in a way few copies out there can! We’re just wild about Harry ’round these parts, but it’s unbelievably difficult to find copies of his albums that sound any good. Beyond that, most of the Nilsson records out there in used record land are noisy, thanks to that super-high-quality RCA Dynaflex vinyl. (Your sarcasm detector should be going off like crazy right about now.)

Ah, but here’s a Nilsson Schmilsson that’s dramatically more audiophile-friendly than other copies.

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Super Hot Stamper

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Long After Dark

  (Item #: pettylonga_1812_1907-) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on this copy of the band's fifth studio album
  • Rich and full-bodied with tight bass, and brimming with Petty's unique brand of "meat and potatoes" rock and roll
  • You Got Lucky was the big hit on this album 4 Star Album from 1982
  • Rolling Stone raves "...overall, Long after Dark is Petty's most accomplished record."
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White Hot Stamper

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Long After Dark

  (Item #: pettylonga_1907) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A STUNNING sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides are incredibly rich, full-bodied and spacious with tight bass, and brimming with Petty's unique brand of "meat and potatoes" rock and roll
  • You Got Lucky was the big hit on this 4 Star Album from 1982
  • Rolling Stone raves "...overall, Long after Dark is Petty's most accomplished record."
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Super Hot Stamper

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
You're Gonna Get It!

  (Item #: pettyyoure_1905_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A solidly hard rockin' copy with seriously good grades of Double Plus (A++) or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Rich and open with a killer bottom end, musically it's surely the best record Tom Petty ever made - a late '70s Rock Classic
  • Three of Petty's best songs are on this one - Restless, I Need To Know and Listen To Her Heart - and they sound amazing
  • "Overall, the current LP boasts an impressive stylistic cohesiveness with its predecessor, but what makes the album exciting are the fresh hints of openness and expansion just beneath the surface. The rhythms are a bit looser, and there's a new emphasis on Petty's rough, driving, rock & roll guitar in the mix." Rolling Stone
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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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Gerry Rafferty - City To City

Our First White Hot Stamper - 2011

  (Item #: raffecityt_2011) 



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

The BEST SOUNDING City to City to EVER hit our site -- White Hot on side one backed with a nearly White Hot side two, which means that the chances of finding an overall better sounding copy than this are vanishingly small, even for us.

In addition, we are especially delighted to report that not only is the sound better than ever, the music is too. The album as a whole, unlike so much of what came out in 1978 (Do Ya Think I'm Sexy asks Rod Stewart, followed by stony silence) does not seem to have dated in the least, with the possible exception of the big hit Baker Street, which is arguably somewhat over the top...

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Gerry Rafferty - City To City

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: raffecityt_2012) 



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

This Gerry Rafferty White Hot Stamper LP has THE BEST SIDE ONE WE'VE EVER HEARD. So good in fact that we had to go above and beyond our usual top grade of three pluses and award this amazing copy a huge A++++! It's guaranteed to put to shame any UK import you may have. Since those are the only pressings with any hope of sounding good, it simply means that we are very confident in the sound of this copy.

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White Hot Stamper

R.E.M.
Green

  (Item #: rem_green_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A STUNNING copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • The overall sound here is super big, full-bodied, clean and clear with a massive bottom end and lots of space around all of the instruments
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "Musically, Green quotes a lot of sources. Listen closely and you can hear references to the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Sly Stone and others... R.E.M. may be dangerously close to becoming a conventional rock & roll band, but Green proves it’s a damn good one." - Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
Aftermath

  (Item #: rolliafter_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Both sides of this copy were outstanding, earning Double Plus (A++) grades for their Tubey Magical '60s British sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Lady Jane, Under My Thumb and Mother's Little Helper are three of the best sounding tracks on side one - all are lively and solid here
  • It's ridiculously tough to find copies that sound this good and play this quietly, which is why we so rarely have them up on the site
  • Their first album made up of all original material, 5 stars on Allmusic, and the first of a string of Must Own Stones albums
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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Aftermath

  (Item #: rolliafter_1907) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • This stunning copy earned shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them on both sides
  • Lady Jane, Under My Thumb and Mother's Little Helper are three of the best sounding tracks on side one - all are big, lively and solid here
  • Their first all-original album, 5 stars on Allmusic, and the earliest Must Own Stones album in our opinion
  • "The Rolling Stones finally delivered a set of all-original material with this LP, which also did much to define the group as the bad boys of rock & roll..."
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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: rolliafter_2009) 



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

What do you get on these better Decca pressings? Lots of rich, sweet, Tubey Magic. Lovely spaciousness. Fairly correct tonality. There are going to be distorted parts to some of the songs, but that distortion is on the tapes - to some degree it’s unavoidable.

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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Surprisingly Good Domestic Pressings Do Exist

  (Item #: rolliafter_2015) 



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

We've paired up a Double Plus (A++) copy for each side to create this Super Hot 2-pack, which is the only way we were able to find good sound for the whole album. Paint It Black is missing from the Brit version, but it's here and it sounds wonderful.

A big surprise -- domestic Super Hot Stamper sound for Aftermath! We didn't even know it was possible, but on a lark we pulled a big stack of these out of the back and played them against our best imports. We were blown away when the best domestic copies held their own and delivered some seriously good early Stones sound!

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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: rolliafter_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Lady Jane, Under My Thumb and Mother's Little Helper are three of the best sounding tracks on side one -- all three are lively and solid here. On side two Out of Time and I Am Waiting are especially well recorded.

DAVE HASSINGER rightly deserves the credit for the best sounding early Stones album -- this one.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Beggars Banquet

  (Item #: rollibegga_1907_2) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • A killer vintage copy of this exceptionally well-recorded Stones album from '68, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • The long lost Tubey Magic of these early pressings has them sounding clear, rich and lively throughout
  • This is the way Beggar's Banquet should sound and it doesn't take a pair of golden ears to hear it
  • One of a select group of Rolling Stones Must Own titles we prize above all others - Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed round out the trio
  • 5 stars: "Basic rock & roll was not forgotten, however: 'Street Fighting Man'... was one of their most innovative singles, and 'Sympathy for the Devil'... was an image-defining epic."
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The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: rollibegga_2014) 



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

AN AMAZING, SHOOTOUT-WINNING A+++ SIDE TWO backed with an excellent A++ side one. It is not easy to find good copies of this album -- this kind of rich, full-bodied, MUSICAL sound is the exception, not the rule. And there's actual space and extension up top as well, something you certainly don't hear on the typical pressing! This is an amazing batch of songs, and a copy like this gives it the kind of sound it deserves.

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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
Between The Buttons

  (Item #: rollibetwe_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - one of the better copies from our recent shootout, and pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • This is classic '60s Stones sound, courtesy of Dave Hassinger, working in L.A. (RCA) and London (Olympic + Pye)
  • If you're looking for the ideal combination of Tubey Magical richness and transparency, this British Decca LP in stereo is one of the few that will show it to you
  • 5 Stars - Richie Unterberger hailed it as one of the Rolling Stones' "strongest, most eclectic LPs" and, according to Robert Christgau, Between the Buttons was "among the greatest rock albums."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Between The Buttons

  (Item #: rollibetwe_1906_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This is an outstanding UK pressing, earning Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides - it's one of the better sounding copies from our recent shootout
  • This is classic '60s Stones sound, courtesy of Dave Hassinger, working in L.A. (RCA) and London (Olympic + Pye)
  • If you're looking for the ideal combination of Tubey Magical richness and transparency, this British Decca LP is one of the few that will show it to you
  • 5 Stars - Richie Unterberger hailed it as one of the Rolling Stones' "strongest, most eclectic LPs" and, according to Robert Christgau, Between the Buttons was "among the greatest rock albums."
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The Rolling Stones - Between The Buttons

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: rollibetwe_2018) 



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

An insanely good pressing with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last - one of the best copies to hit the site in many years. This is classic '60s Stones sound, courtesy of Dave Hassinger, working in L.A. (RCA) and London (Olympic + Pye). If you're looking for the ideal combination of Tubey Magical richness and transparency, this copy is one of the few that will show it to you.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Black and Blue

  (Item #: rolliblack_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding copy of Black and Blue, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - relatively quiet vinyl too
  • Hand Of Fate on side one sounds particularly good - it has the meaty Glyn Johns sound we love
  • A full-bodied, solid copy like this lets you appreciate Billy Preston's contributions on the keys - he's all over the album, a very good thing indeed
  • "Melody ought to be a tentative experiment with Billy Preston's jazzy keyboard sound. Instead, it's a triumph, Jagger's voice swooping and snaking around Preston's piano and harmonies."
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The Rolling Stones - Black and Blue

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rolliblack_2016) 



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

This is in fact one of the better sounding "later period" (1976) Stones records we've played, that's if we're talking about the better copies of course, like this one. The best pressings however are big, open, dynamic and full-bodied, with exceptionally lively percussion. As always, credit goes to the recording engineers, Glyn Johns et al., as well as Lee Hulko at Sterling, the original mastering engineer (who's cut about as many good sounding records as anyone we can think of).

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The Rolling Stones - Black and Blue

Listen to Billy Preston's Piano

  (Item #: rolliblack_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

Billy Preston is all over this album on piano and organ and his contribution is crucial to the musical vibe on practically every song. Listen for Billy's full, solid, clear piano sound. When the piano is thin, the mix is thin and that's not the sound you want on a Stones album.

If the piano gets lost, your copy either has a smear problem or a transparency problem. Those are certainly easier to live with -- all the '70s systems I owned were smeary and opaque compared to my system today and I enjoyed the hell out of all of them -- but far from ideal.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Emotional Rescue

  (Item #: rolliemoti_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding copy of the Stones' 1980 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Dance (Pt. 1) and She's So Cold sound great here, and the title track, Emotional Rescue, is every bit as good
  • An underrated Stones album -- too good to call a guilty pleasure -- and very well-recorded by Chris Kimsey
  • Maybe it's good because "Mick Jagger sounds like he’s having a great time..."
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Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue

The Stones Album You Don't Know

  (Item #: rolliemoti_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the better late-period Stones albums, in this case from 1980.

Side two of this copy ranks up there with the very best we've ever heard, earning an A+++ grade and DESTROYING our preconceived notions about the kind of sonics we might get from the ultimate copies. This one DOES IT, plain and simple. It's got serious punch down low, superb clarity, all the extension up top, and a HUGE open soundfield that lets you hear every last detail. She's So Cold sounds amazing, we've never heard it sound better.

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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Exile On Main Street

  (Item #: rolliexile_1905x) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A KILLER copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on sides one, two and three and superb Double Plus (A++) sound on the fourth side
  • This is Exile raw and real the way it should be - full-bodied and punchy with great presence and energy
  • Exceptionally QUIET vinyl for this Stones album - here is a copy that plays Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on all four sides
  • 5 stars: "Few other albums, let alone double albums, have been so rich and masterful as Exile on Main St., and it stands not only as one of the Stones' best records, but sets a remarkably high standard for all of hard rock."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
Exile On Main Street

  (Item #: rolliexile_1908_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Superb sound throughout with all four sides earning Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is Exile raw and real the way Glyn Johns and the band wanted it, the way that only the best Artisan pressings have any hope of sounding
  • 5 stars: "Few other albums, let alone double albums, have been so rich and masterful as Exile on Main St., and it stands not only as one of the Stones' best records, but sets a remarkably high standard for all of hard rock."
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Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: rolliexile_2010) 



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

Another HUGE double album conquered! This shootout was a MAJOR struggle, an uphill battle all the way. Stones fans and Hot Stamper die-hards are going to flip out over this one -- here’s the Exile On Main Street you've been waiting for. You'd have to find, clean and play a ton of copies to come up with four sides that would come even close to the sound here.

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Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street

What to Listen For

  (Item #: rolliexile_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

The best copies will tend to have the qualities detailed below, and the more abundant these qualities are on any given pressing, the higher its grade will be.

Yes, it is a science, an empirical one, which can only be carried out by the use of strict protocols and controls, but it sure ain't rocket science. All you need is the system, the room, the records, the time and the will to do the painstaking critical listening required to carry out the task.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!

  (Item #: rolligetye_1806_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this Decca UK pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • With rock and roll energy and you-are-there presence, turn it up good and loud and you will find yourself at the Stones concert of a lifetime
  • The live performances of Sympathy For The Devil, Midnight Rambler, and Honky Tonk Woman are MAGICAL from these shows - the Stones in 1970 were taking their music to a whole new level
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Recorded during their American tour in late 1969, and centered around live versions of material from the Beggars Banquet-Let It Bleed era... Often acclaimed as one of the top live rock albums of all time..."
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The Rolling Stones - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rolligetye_2011) 



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

UNBELIEVABLE! The sound on this Decca Blue Label British Import pressing went far beyond our expectations and far beyond that of any copy we played it against -- on BOTH sides. And the music? It’s the Stones at their best, baby -- we love it!

The credit must of course go to GLYN JOHNS, who happens to be one of our favorite producers and recording / mixing engineers. It's albums with sound like this that make us such big fans of his work.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Goats Head Soup

  (Item #: rolligoats_1902_1906) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last on this superb copy of Goats Head Soup - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee the sound is dramatically bigger, richer, fuller, and livelier than any pressing you have ever heard
  • Who knew the record could sound this good? Certainly not us - we had no luck with this album for years
  • "This may not be as downright funky, freaky, and fantastic as Exile, yet the extra layer of gloss brings out the enunciated lyrics, added strings, wah-wah guitars, explicit sex, and violence, making it all seem trippily decadent..."
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The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

Live and Learn, A Lesson from 2011

  (Item #: rolligoats_2011) 



This is a classic case of Live and Learn.

We would agree with very little of what we had to say about Goat's Head Soup as a recording when we wrote about it back in 2011 -- and for the previous 35+ years since I first played a domestic original.

Having done a big shootout for the album in 2016 we now know there most certainly are great sounding pressings to be found, because we found some. The data are in, and now we know just how wrong we were. In our defense, let me just ask one question: Did anybody else know this record was well recorded? I can find no evidence to support anyone having ever taken such a contrarian position.

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The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rolligoats_2016) 



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

The impossible has happened - we found a good sounding copy of Goats Head Soup, only 53 years after it was first released.

Why did it take us so long to find a killer copy? Let's just say the pressing is somewhat "off the beaten path" and leave it at that. We ran into it by accident during an attempted shootout not long ago, and it was so much better than the other records we were playing at the time that we had to postpone the shootout until we could find more of these specific pressings. It took some months but we managed to get a big pile of "happy accidents" together and the result was a gamechanging White Hot copy.

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The Rolling Stones - It’s Only Rock N’ Roll

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: rolliitson_2018) 



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

It's Only Rock 'N' Roll is no slouch if you get hold of a good one. It can be a bit gritty and grainy at times, but you gotta believe that's the sound the Stones heard in the booth and were totally cool with. Andy Johns engineered and he's made as many super-tubey, super-rich and super-smooth recordings as anybody this side of Bill Porter.

The Stones didn't want that sound this time around. The Stones wanted this sound.

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Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: rolliletit_2018) 



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

This is, IMHO, the second or third best record the Stones ever made. (Sticky Fingers is Number One, and either this or Beggar's Banquet comes in a strong second.) With this pressing we can now hear the power and the beauty of this superb recording.

Love In Vain on a copy like this is one of the best sounding Rolling Stones songs of all time. In previous listings I've mentioned how good this song sounds -- thanks to Glyn Johns, of course -- but on these amazing Hot Stamper copies it is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

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The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: rolliletit_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.

Love In Vain on a copy like this is one of the best sounding Rolling Stones songs of all time. In previous listings I've mentioned how good this song sounds -- thanks to Glyn Johns, of course -- but on these amazing Hot Stamper copies it is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It's also our favorite test track for side one. The first minute or so clues you into to everything that's happening in the sound.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
No. 2

  (Item #: rollino2_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This vintage Decca pressing has outstanding sound - both sides did very well in our recent shootout, earning Double Plus (A++) grades and playing fairly quietly
  • This Mono pressing (made from the mono tapes) will show you the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "...[No. 2 includes] one of the group's best blues covers, their version of Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied," which wasn't released in America until 1973 and features some killer slide playing by Brian Jones."
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The Rolling Stones - No. 2

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rollino2_2016) 



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

The best word I could use to sum up both the sound and the music on this record is HONEST. If you want to hear how early Rolling Stones records sound when they sound right, this is the ticket. This is the real sound of the early, early Stones.

Probably what any modern engineer would want to do to the album would only end up making it worse. It is what it is and that’s good enough for us.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Out of Our Heads

  (Item #: rollioutof_1906_1) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - you will have a very hard time finding better sound for this album
  • These British sides impressed us -- big and full with great bass and midrange presence
  • With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sound, but this, folks, is about as good as it gets as far as we know
  • 4 1/2 Stars on Allmusic: "It's all good, solid, first-rate rock & roll and R&B, with a certain developing sophistication on songs like I'm Free."
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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Out of Our Heads

  (Item #: rollioutof_1906_1908) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • This is one of the best copies to ever hit the site, as good as we've ever heard, Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides and fairly quiet vinyl
  • These British sides impressed us with their Tubey Magical, fairly natural sound
  • With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sonics, but this is as good as it gets as far as we know
  • 4 1/2 stars: "In 1965, the Stones finally proved themselves capable of writing classic rock singles that mined their R&B/blues roots, but updated them into a more guitar-based, thoroughly contemporary context. The first enduring Jagger-Richards classics are here..."
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The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rollioutof_2016) 



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

This is the first truly killer copy to ever hit the site, quite possibly the best we've ever heard, A+++ on both sides. It's a problematical recording, but these British sides impressed us with their better balance, more bass, and least amount of grit and edge. With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sound, but this, folks, is about as good as it gets as far as we know.

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The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads

Mono or Stereo?

  (Item #: rollioutof_mono) 



On this London LP, even though it says the record is electronically re-processed stereo, the songs we heard on side one were dead mono.

Here are some records that we think sound amazing in MONO.

Here are some records that we don't think sound very good in MONO.

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The Rolling Stones - Rolled Gold

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rollirolle_2011) 



We took the best first LP and mated it to the best second LP from the set to create the overall Shootout Winner with EIGHT, count 'em, eight total pluses over the four sides! And side one was WHITE HOT. We certainly didn't expect to hear sound like that on a 1975 compilation of classic Stones hits such as this; most Stones compilations are awful sounding in our experience. Played Hot Rocks lately?

But these tracks have the potential to be taken from something very close to the real master tapes, a subject we discuss in one of our dirty little secret commentaries.

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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1810_1906) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • You'll find outstanding nearly Triple Plus (A++) sound - close to our Shootout Winner - on this vintage pressing of The Stones' 1964 release
  • Both sides of this Red Label British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and fairly tonally correct
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones - it is what it is, and trying to fix it will almost surely ruin what's good about it
  • "The Stones’ debut knocked The Beatles from the chart summit… They were on their way." - BBC Review
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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this outstanding pressing of The Stones' 1964 release - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides of this British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and full yet still clean, clear and lively with excellent bass
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones
  • "The Stones’ debut knocked The Beatles from the chart summit… They were on their way." - BBC Review
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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $349.99
Sale Price: $299.00 (You save $50.99 / 15%)


  • You'll find outstanding Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on this vintage pressing of The Stones' 1964 release
  • Both sides of this Red Label British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and spacious with a huge bottom end
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones - it is what it is, and trying to fix it will almost surely ruin what's good about it
  • "Set against the dependency on covers and the inexperienced vocalist, however, is a truly cooking and imaginative band. Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman provide a brawny frame for the intermeshing guitars of Richards and Brian Jones as the ensemble lovingly deliver some of their favourite shots of rhythm ‘n’ blues." - BBC
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