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Fleetwood Mac Discography

  (Item #: allfleetwoodmac) 



1968 Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1968 Mr. Wonderful
1969 Then Play On
1969 English Rose (compilation)
1969 Pious Bird of Good Omen (compilation)
1970 Kiln House
1971 Future Games
1971 Black Magic Woman (compilation)
1969 Greatest Hits
1972 Bare Trees
1973 Penguin
1973 Mystery to Me
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find
1975 Fleetwood Mac
1977 Rumours
1979 Tusk
1980 Fleetwood Mac Live [bad sound]
1982 Mirage


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Sergio Mendes Discography

  (Item #: allsergiomendes) 



1966 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
1967 Equinox
1967 Look Around
1968 Fool on the Hill
1969 Crystal Illusions
1969 Ye-Me-Le
1970 Stillness
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Jackson Browne - For Everyman

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: brownforev_2010) 



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

An excellent copy of JB's sophomore effort, with wonderful Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides. Rich, smooth and musical, with plenty of bottom end weight, this is the way you want to hear it. David Lindley joins the band, and the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Glen Frey, David Crosby, Elton John and Joni Mitchell contribute.

The average copy of this record is absolute MUD, but this one shows you that the master tape of For Everyman is a whole lot better than most audiophiles would suspect. (The first album is the same way.)

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Jackson Browne - Hold Out

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: brownholdo_2010) 



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

HOT STAMPERS DISCOVERED for Jackson Browne's first Number One album! We just finished our first major shootout for this album and here's a copy that stood head and shoulders above the pack. Most copies we played were too thick, veiled and/or smooth to get excited about, but this one presents the music in a much more enjoyable fashion. Both sides are clean, clear and transparent with the kind of presence to the vocals that the typical pressing lacks.

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Jackson Browne - Jackson Browne

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: brownjacks_2018) 



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

Folks, this is an incredibly difficult album to find in audiophile playing condition. I can’t tell you how many copies we have to go through to find the one or two originals that are even passable, let alone with good sound. We buy them locally and off ebay whenever we see them and most of them go straight back to the seller, covered with scratches and full of groove damage just the way they arrived.

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Jackson Browne - Jackson Browne

What to Listen For

  (Item #: brownjacks_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Jackson Browne's first (and best) album.

The real trick with this album is in striking the right balance between richness and presence. A White Hot Stamper from years back made me change my mind about this recording. I used to think it was dull, but I was wrong. I used to think that even the best copies of this recording sounded rolled off on the top end. I no longer believe that to be true. On the best pressings the top end is correct for this music.

See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Jackson Browne - Late for the Sky

This Kind of Clarity Quickly Wears Out Its Welcome

  (Item #: brownlatef_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 Late for the Sky.

It's not easy to find copies that get the tonal balance right the way the best copies do. Most err in one of two ways -- either they're rich, full and a little veiled, or they're clear and transparent, but leaned-out and boosted.

See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1802) 

Our Price: $34.99

  • Jackson Browne's breakthrough massive commercial hit album boasts very good Hot Stamper sound on this early pressing, from first note to last
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • "Teaming with Bruce Springsteen's producer, Jon Landau, Browne himself clearly sought to up the ante with more epic settings, while Landau worked on pumping up the star's vocal attack."
See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1806_1812) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides make this a Pretender that will rock with the best of them
  • 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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Jackson Browne - The Pretender

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: brownprete_2015) 



Amazing A++++ (Four Plus) sound, so good we rated it beyond our usual top grade of Triple Plus. Without a doubt it's the best sounding Jackson Browne record ever made, and this copy backs up everything we say and more.

Side one was super transparent, with breathy, present vocals. What really blew us away on this one is the sheer size and openness of the soundfield. We were so impressed that we went beyond our usual top grade of A+++, something we rarely do. But when a copy like this comes along and sets a new standard for an album's sonic potential, there's nothing else we CAN do!

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Super Hot Stamper

J.J. Cale
Troubadour

  (Item #: cale_troub_1810_1901) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound for this classic JJ Cale album - both sides earned sonic grades of Double Plus (A++) or BETTER and play as quietly as any copy ever will
  • Cale fans take note: this early Shelter pressing was doing almost everything right - it's rich, smooth, musical and very ANALOG
  • Eric Clapton described the man as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock."
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "J.J. Cale's albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you'll want to have them all."
See all of our J.J. Cale albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

J.J. Cale
Troubadour

  (Item #: cale_troub_1810_2) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • Very good sound for this classic JJ Cale album - both sides earned Hot Stamper grades and play as quietly as any vintage copy ever will
  • Eric Clapton described the man as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock."
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "J.J. Cale's albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you'll want to have them all."
See all of our J.J. Cale albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

J.J. Cale
Troubadour

  (Item #: cale_troub_1901) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Off the charts "Triple Triple" sound for this classic JJ Cale album - both sides won our shootout, earning our top grade of Triple Plus (A+++)
  • Cale fans take note: this early Shelter pressing was doing it all, and clearly doing it better than any other copy we played
  • Eric Clapton described the man as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock."
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "J.J. Cale's albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you'll want to have them all."
See all of our J.J. Cale albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Death of a Ladies' Man

  (Item #: cohendeath_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This superb copy of Cohen's fifth studio album boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This one is almost impossible to find with good sound and quiet vinyl, but we've done it here
  • Clear, full, and with plenty of space, this pressing brilliantly showcases Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production technique
  • 4 stars: "Death of a Ladies' Man represents the peak of Cohen's first decade or so as a recording artist, both lyrically and stylistically stepping into wholly untapped musical directions... It might even be his masterpiece."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Leonard Cohen - Death of a Ladies' Man
Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: cohendeath_2018) 



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

What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and on and on down through the list.

More Leonard Cohen / More Singer Songwriter albums


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Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: cohenimyou_2014) 



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

This side two demonstrates that it is in fact possible to make a good "modern" recording, and to do so even as late as 1988, although you would need to go through quite a pile of copies to find a side two that sounds like this one.

The sound is clearly more artificial than The Man's recordings from the '70s, but that is to be expected, unavoidable even. Who could make records in the '80s that sound as good as their records from the '70s? No one leaps to mind.

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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Live Songs

  (Item #: cohenlives_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • The overall sound are super rich and full-bodied with a nice bottom end and plenty of presence
  • This live album is compiled from different shows Cohen performed in 1970 and 1972
  • "... for those who've formed a friendship with the words and wisdom of Leonard Cohen, this album finds him raw and naked in one of his finest hours."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Leonard Cohen - Live Songs
Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: cohenlives_2017) 



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

We had a big shootout for this live album, compiled from different shows Cohen performed in 1970 and 1972, and we're pleased to report that the sound was killer on both sides of this copy.

Drop the needle anywhere and you'll notice the impressive immediacy to the vocals, the clear transients on the guitars and the deep, note-like bass. Cohen's voice sounds just right here -- deep and gravely -- and the overall sound is rich, warm and full.

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White Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
New Skin For the Old Ceremony

  (Item #: cohennewsk_1808_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • If you're trying recreate a solid, palpable Leonard Cohen singing live in your listening room - sounding just as his did in the studio back in 1974 - this side two will let you do just that
  • "New Skin for the Old Ceremony may be Leonard Cohen's most musical album, as he is accompanied by violas, mandolins, banjos, and percussion that give his music more texture than usual. The fact that Cohen does more real singing on this album can be seen as both a blessing and a curse -- while his voice sounds more strained, the songs are delivered with more passion than usual."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Leonard Cohen - New Skin For the Old Ceremony
Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: cohennewsk_2018) 



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

Leonard Cohen was a poet long before he decided to pick up a guitar. Despite singing in a dry baritone over spare arrangements, Cohen is a gifted lyricist who captivates the listener. New Skin for the Old Ceremony may be Leonard Cohen's most musical album, as he is accompanied by violas, mandolins, banjos, and percussion that give his music more texture than usual. The fact that Cohen does more real singing on this album can be seen as both a blessing and a curse -- while his voice sounds more strained, the songs are delivered with more passion than usual.

More Leonard Cohen


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Recent Songs

  (Item #: cohenrecen_1802_1902) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding copy of Cohen's 1979 return to form, with solid Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides
  • Not only is the sound excellent, but the vinyl is exceptionally quiet - this pressing plays Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • Our Hot Stamper pressings, of this and Cohen's other albums as well, offer dramatically more warmth, richness and smoothness than any other copy you have heard, guaranteed
  • "The first thing Leonard Cohen's music fans noticed about his sixth new studio album, given the typically open-ended title Recent Songs, was that, musically, it marked a return to the gypsy folk sound of his early records..."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Recent Songs

  (Item #: cohenrecen_1809_1902) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $50.99 / 17%)


  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - the best copy to ever hit the site bar none
  • Unbeatable richness and freedom from artificiality in the midrange allowed this one to tower over the rest of the field
  • Fairly quiet vinyl on both sides -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus (with a very light mark that plays)
  • "The first thing Leonard Cohen's music fans noticed about his sixth new studio album, given the typically open-ended title Recent Songs, was that, musically, it marked a return to the gypsy folk sound of his early records..."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Leonard Cohen - Recent Songs

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: cohenrecen_2013) 



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

This is easily the best copy of this album to ever hit the site, with a superb A+++ side one and an excellent A++ side two! This 1979 album marks Cohen's return to the simple folk arrangements of his early albums. The songs are as stunning as ever, but only the best pressings really do them justice. As you might expect, the key elements here are going to be vocals, acoustic guitars and Cohen's trademark female backup vocalists. This one really gets them all right, with the kind of big, spacious soundstage and full, rich tonality nothing else in our shootout could compete with.

More Leonard Cohen


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Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room
Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: cohensongs_from_2016) 



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

A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish. The sound on this 360 Label LP is incredibly big, clean and clear with a solid bottom end and lots of space around all of the instruments.

More Leonard Cohen / More Singer Songwriter albums


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Songs Of Leonard Cohen
(360 Label)

  (Item #: cohensongs_of_leonard_1902) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This is an outstanding original Canadian 360 copy with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • Bigger, richer and clearer than most of what we played - intimate, breathy vocals are key to the better copies such as this one
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl on this mostly quiet music is a big help here - this one plays Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, as quiet as any copy we've ever played
  • 5 stars: "A breathtaking and perfect debut, Songs of Leonard Cohen marked the emergence of one of the most enduring, unique, and brilliant voices in popular music... A masterpiece of perversity and pain."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Songs Of Leonard Cohen

  (Item #: cohensongs_of_leonard_1902_1) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A KILLER sounding original 360 copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • Bigger, richer and clearer than any other copy we played - the wonderfully intimate, breathy vocals are the key to these amazing sounding pressings
  • 5 stars: "A breathtaking and perfect debut, Songs of Leonard Cohen marked the emergence of one of the most enduring, unique, and brilliant voices in popular music... A masterpiece of perversity and pain."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Cohen
Songs Of Leonard Cohen

  (Item #: cohensongs_of_leonard_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This is an outstanding vintage Red Label copy with superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Bigger, richer and clearer than most of what we played - intimate, breathy vocals are key to the better copies such as this one
  • 5 stars: "The ten songs on Songs of Leonard Cohen were certainly beautifully constructed, artful in a way few (if any) other lyricists would approach for some time, but what's most striking about these songs isn't Cohen's technique, superb as it is, so much as his portraits of a world dominated by love and lust, rage and need, compassion and betrayal...few musicians have ever created a more remarkable or enduring debut."
See all of our Leonard Cohen albums in stock


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Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Leonard Cohen
Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: cohensongs_of_leonard_2017) 



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

Get ready for some serious goosebumps! If this White Hot copy of Songs Of Leonard Cohen doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what will. This copy is a HUGE step up from the typical pressing, with the kind of rich, full tonality and open, transparent soundfield we just don't hear often enough on this album.

More Leonard Cohen / More Singer Songwriter albums


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Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Love And Hate
Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: cohensongs_of_love_2018) 



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

Audiophiles should go crazy for this one! On the best pressings, the sound is SO tubey magical with wonderful transparency and the kind of richness that you just won’t find on other copies.

More Leonard Cohen / More Singer Songwriter albums


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John Denver - Poems, Prayers and Promises

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: denvepoems_2017) 



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

This original Orange Label RCA pressing was clearly superior to everything we played - it's fuller, bigger and clearer than them all. Superb engineering by Ray Hall. The recording is from 1971 but in some ways it sounds as good as if it had been made in 1961, and that's high praise in these parts.

See all of our John Denver albums in stock


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Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: diamohotau_2015) 



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

Our two White Hot sides here are bigger, richer, clearer, livelier and more tonally correct than the two others -- two others which are guaranteed to be bigger, richer, clearer, etc. than any sides of any copy you own or even any copy you have ever heard .

In fact, the sound here presents a textbook case of just what the basic elements we listen for would be, for Hot August Night as well as practically any other Classic Live Rock Album we might be playing. As we've said for years, none of this rocket science. It all boils down to critical listening to lots of copies played on top quality equipment -- no more, no less.

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Neil Diamond - Stones

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: diamostone_2015) 



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

On the Hot Stamper copies that do have sweet and rich ANALOG sound, credit naturally belongs with Neil's go-to engineer, ARMIN STEINER. He was one of the engineers on Spirit's first album (a truly phenomenal recording from 1968), assisted on Ram, recorded some of the best sounding, most Tubey Magical Chart Topping Pop Rock for Bread in the early '70s, and, if that's not enough, has more than a hundred other engineering credits.

More Neil Diamond


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan (in Mono)

  (Item #: dylananoth_1807_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An excellent Mono copy of this early Dylan classic with surprisingly good Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • We were impressed by just how clear and present Dylan's voice sounded on this copy - this is the way you want to hear the man
  • Many classics are here: All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom, My Back Pages, It Ain't Me Babe and 7 more
  • 5 Stars: "Another Side of Bob Dylan is a more varied record and it's more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike. The result is one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan (in Stereo)

  (Item #: dylananoth_1903_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An excellent Stereo copy of this early Dylan classic with surprisingly good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The mono pressings are superb as well, but we were surprised at just how clear and present Dylan's voice sounded on this copy
  • Many classics are here: All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom, My Back Pages, It Ain't Me Babe and 7 more
  • 5 Stars: "Another Side of Bob Dylan is a more varied record and it's more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike. The result is one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Blood On The Tracks

  (Item #: dylanblood_1902) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A shootout winning copy of the only Dylan record to make our Top 100 list - this one earned Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides
  • For musical, un-hyped acoustic guitars and vocals, the sound of this album is tough to beat in Dylan's catalog
  • The better copies are rich, warm, tubey and full-bodied - in other words, they are what's good about vintage analog
  • 5 stars: "...it's an affecting, unbearably poignant record, not because it's a glimpse into his soul, but because the songs are remarkably clear-eyed and sentimental, lovely and melancholy at once. Dylan made albums more influential than this, but he never made one better."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Blood On The Tracks

  (Item #: dylanblood_1903_) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this is an outstanding Blood on the Tracks from start to finish
  • For musical, un-hyped acoustic guitars and vocals, the sound of this album is tough to beat in Dylan's catalog
  • The better copies are rich, warm, tubey and full-bodied - in other words, they are exactly what's good about vintage analog
  • 5 stars: "...it's an affecting, unbearably poignant record, not because it's a glimpse into his soul, but because the songs are remarkably clear-eyed and sentimental, lovely and melancholy at once. Dylan made albums more influential than this, but he never made one better."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: dylanblood_2008) 



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

For the first time ever, A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES. We had to pair up two copies to do it, but the good sides on each were so exceptional, they were just begging to be put together. I’ve never heard this wonderful album sound quite this amazing.

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Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

What to Listen For

  (Item #: dylanblood_wtlf_1) 



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.

Many copies have no bass, while other copies are bright, a combination which ruins the sound of the acoustic guitars that dominate the album. On the better Hot Stamper pressings the bass will be deep and well-defined and the tonal balance will be correct.

The copies that fared the best in our shootouts were rich, warm, tubey and full-bodied -- in other words, analog sounding.

More Bob Dylan


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White Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Nashville Skyline

  (Item #: dylannashv_1805_1903) 

Our Price: $249.99
Sale Price: $199.00 (You save $50.99 / 20%)


  • With Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and Double Plus (A++) on the second, this copy has the real Nashville Skyline magic
  • A notoriously difficult record to find with the right sonics and surfaces - this one is about as quiet as they come
  • "Lay Lady Lay," "To Be Alone With You," "I Threw It All Away," "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" are true country-rock standards
  • 5 stars: "It's a warm, friendly album, particularly since Bob Dylan is singing in a previously unheard gentle croon — the sound of his voice is so different it may be disarming upon first listen, but it suits the songs."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Nashville Skyline

  (Item #: dylannashv_1811) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of this Dylan classic with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • The right 360 pressings always win the shootouts - they have more of the Tubey Magical intimacy the recording needs
  • "Lay Lady Lay," "To Be Alone With You," "I Threw It All Away," "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You," and the duet with Johnny Cash on "Girl From the North Country" have become country-rock standards
  • 5 stars: "It's a warm, friendly album, particularly since Bob Dylan is singing in a previously unheard gentle croon — the sound of his voice is so different it may be disarming upon first listen, but it suits the songs."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Bob Dylan - Street-Legal

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: dylanstree_2017) 



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

This copy has an insanely good Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two.

Which breaks the rules a bit because most side twos earned a sonic grade that was about a half plus higher than the average copy's grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album.

Here are some other albums with notable Side to Side Differences.

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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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Flack / Hathaway - Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: flackrober_2013) 



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

This White Hot Atlantic 2-pack has an AMAZING A+++ SIDE ONE backed with an EXCELLENT A++ SIDE TWO! These soulful duets are WONDERFUL SOUNDING when you get a Hot Copy. There's tubey magic, sweetness and spaciousness all over this recording, more on some songs than others of course, but when it all comes together like it does on Where Is The Love you won't believe how good this record can sound!

More Soul, R&B and Blues


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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.

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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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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Richie Havens
The End Of The Beginning

  (Item #: haventheen_1805_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides, this copy of Richie's 1976 release will be hard to beat
  • This copy has surprisingly big, punchy, spacious and open Demo Quality Sound from start to finish
  • Havens' eclectic, unique style embraces elements of folk, soul, and rhythm & blues - on this pressing his music really comes to life
See all of our Richie Havens albums in stock


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Billy Joel - Piano Man

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: joel_piano_2011) 



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

This is the first Super Hot Stamper copy of Billy Joel's classic Piano Man to ever hit the site! We've been trying to find great copies of this one for ages, but it is TOUGH. This copy gets you much better sound than most of them out there -- it's cleaner, clearer and more open with the kind of vocal presence needed to make the title track come to life. So many copies we played were thin, dry and grainy -- sonic issues that really gets in the way of enjoying this music.

More Billy Joel


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Super Hot Stamper

Billy Joel
Streetlife Serenade

  (Item #: joel_stree_1904) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • This outstanding copy of Joel's third studio album earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally queit vinyl too
  • The sound is open and transparent and the piano is clear and correct, showcasing Joel's immeasurable talent on the keys
  • Features some of Billy's big hits, including The Entertainer as well as Los Angelenos
  • This is one of the toughest classic Billy Joel albums to find with good sound and quiet vinyl, but this one is doing it all
See all of our Billy Joel albums in stock


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Rickie Lee Jones - Pirates

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jonespirat_2016) 



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

The typical copy of this album has a number of problems: midrange honk; hardness to the vocals; lack of presence; congestion; insufficient energy; blunted transients; grainy highs and so on. The Warner Bros. team of this era (Herscberg, Titleman, Waronker, etc.) brought us some wonderful recordings, but you'd never know it from listening to the typical '80s WB Tan Label LP, which tend to be pretty poor. Of course, search hard enough and you can find a copy that delivers some of the magic of the master tape, and that's exactly what we have here.

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Super Hot Stamper

Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones

  (Item #: jonesricki_1904) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • An outstanding copy of this Singer Songwriter Classic with both sides earning Double Plus (A++) grades for sound
  • Both sides are big and clear, with plenty of warmth and richness befitting an all analog recording, even one from as late as 1979
  • The superbly talented musicians and engineers deserve much of the credit for turning Rickie's debut into a Must Own Audiophile Favorite (and Grammy winner too)
  • "One of the most impressive debuts for a singer/songwriter ever, this infectious mixture of styles not only features a strong collection of original songs but also a singer with a savvy, distinctive voice that can be streetwise, childlike, and sophisticated, sometimes all in the same song."
See all of our Rickie Lee Jones albums in stock


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Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jonesricki_2016) 



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

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! This is an excellent recording, but you'd never know that listening to the average pressing. This copy is a big step up from the average pressing with real fullness and weight, plus SIZE and ENERGY that must be heard to be believed!

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Hot Stamper

Carole King
Tapestry

  (Item #: king_tapes_1811_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound from start to finish on this copy of Carole King's beloved Tapestry
  • The vinyl is exceptionally quiet for Tapestry - it's the rare copy that can play Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus the way this one does
  • Carole's masterpiece is just loaded with great songs, and they sure sound better here than on most pressings
  • 5 stars: "...an intensely emotional record, the songs confessional and direct; in its time it connected with listeners like few records before it, and it remains an illuminating experience decades later."
See all of our Carole King albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Carole King
Tapestry

  (Item #: king_tapes_1903_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This wonderful original pressing of King's beloved Tapestry boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is clearly Carole's masterpiece - it's loaded with more great songs than you can shake a stick at, and they all sound surprisingly good here
  • The sound is punchy, clear and open, and the good news is that this copy is pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl (for this title!)
  • 5 stars: "...an intensely emotional record, the songs confessional and direct; in its time it connected with listeners like few records before it, and it remains an illuminating experience decades later."
See all of our Carole King albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Carole King
Tapestry

  (Item #: king_tapes_1903_2_1904) 

Our Price: $549.99

  • This KILLER copy of King's beloved Tapestry earned top honors -- Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides are big, full and Tubey Magical yet still clean, clear and open - you will hear that the dark veils of most copies have finally been lifted
  • This album is clearly Carole's masterpiece - it's loaded with great songs, and they all sound fantastic here
  • 5 stars: "...an intensely emotional record, the songs confessional and direct; in its time it connected with listeners like few records before it, and it remains an illuminating experience decades later."
See all of our Carole King albums in stock


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Carole King - Tapestry

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: king_tapes_2016) 



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

Please note that we do not have a graphic for our chart to indicate the Four Plus grade, since we award it so rarely. Our rating system usually only goes to three pluses, but this side one was so amazing we had to give it a fourth!

This White Hot pressing gives you TRULY KILLER SOUND for this classic album! It's not easy to find great sound for Tapestry. Most pressings are either dull and veiled, or hard and edgy in the midrange -- not exactly the kind of sound we're after.

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Carole King - Tapestry

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

  (Item #: king_tapes_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 Tapestry.

Notice how the third track on side two, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, which Carole wrote when she was only eighteen and which became a big hit for The Shirelles, is actually the best sounding song on the entire album.

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Carole King - Tapestry

The Piano Stylings of Carole King

  (Item #: king_tapes_wtlf_1) 



One quality that we had no trouble recognizing on the better copies was TRANSPARENCY. The more transparent copies made it possible to hear through the mix to Carole's piano, which is usually placed toward the back of the mix. There it serves to underpin the music, playing more of a supporting role than a leading one, very unlike the piano on a Joni Mitchell album for example.

The best copies let you easily follow Carole's playing all the way through every song, from start to finish, no matter how quiet her part or how far back in the mix she may be placed.

See all of our Carole King LPs in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Kris Kristofferson
Jesus Was A Capricorn

  (Item #: kristjesus_1811_1903) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • An outstanding copy Kris' 4th album, with solid Double Plus (A++)sound from first note to last
  • It's richer, fuller, more musical and more natural - Kristofferson's breathy voice is reproduced with a solidity and immediacy that's not easy to find
  • The vocals sound particularly nice on this copy - rich, warm and full, just as they should
  • "Both album and single went gold, giving Kristofferson his greatest success as a recording artist."
See all of our Kris Kristofferson albums in stock


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Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: lightifyou_2014) 



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

Exceptionally good sound -- the best we have yet to hear on a Lightfoot album. We were certainly surprised and quite pleased with the sound of the better copies, so watch for more of Gordon Lightfoot's music coming to the site as we work through his classic catalog from the '70s.

One of the top guys at Warners, LEE HERSCHBERG recorded (with Gary Brandt) and mixed the album, along with a number of others by Gordon Lightfoot.

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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!)

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The Seventies

We Didn't Know How Good We Had It

  (Item #: matthsteal_70s_2016) 



Produced in 1978, the best copies of Stealin' Home are rich, smooth and sweet in the best tradition of the ANALOG record.

It would only be a few years until this sound was out of style, replaced by the edgy, hard, digital sound preferred by synthpop bands like Tears for Fears and Simple Minds. This would turn out to be a bad time for audiophiles (like me) who liked the pop music of the day but not the pop sound of the day. Heavy-handed processing as well as the overuse of synthesizers and drum effects, with the whole of the production slathered in digital reverb, have resulted in most of the albums from the early to mid-'80s being all but impossible to enjoy on a modern high-end system.

The '70s - They Were Very Good Years


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Joni Mitchell
Blue

  (Item #: mitchblue_1811_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Stunning sound throughout for arguably Joni's greatest album with both sides rating a Double Plus (A++) for sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Full-bodied and balanced with the kind of smooth musicality that's not always easy to find for Blue
  • A Better Records Top 100 title that belongs in any audiophile music collection worthy of the name
  • 5 stars: "Sad, spare, and beautiful, Blue is the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album. Forthright and poetic, Joni Mitchell's songs are raw nerves, tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity..."
More Blue / More Joni


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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Blue

  (Item #: mitchblue_1902) 

Our Price: $699.99

  • Stunning sound throughout for arguably Joni's greatest album with both sides earning shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • Stunning immediacy and presence coupled with superb richness and warmth - this is the right sound for Blue
  • A Better Records Top 100 title that belongs in any audiophile music collection worthy of the name
  • 5 stars: "Sad, spare, and beautiful, Blue is the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album. Forthright and poetic, Joni Mitchell's songs are raw nerves, tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity..."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Blue

  (Item #: mitchblue_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Stunning sound throughout for arguably Joni's greatest album with both sides rating a Double Plus (A++) for sound
  • Full-bodied and balanced with the kind of smooth musicality that's not always easy to find for Blue
  • A Better Records Top 100 title that belongs in any audiophile music collection worthy of the name
  • 5 stars: "Sad, spare, and beautiful, Blue is the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album. Forthright and poetic, Joni Mitchell's songs are raw nerves, tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity..."
More Blue / More Joni


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Joni Mitchell - Blue

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: mitchblue_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 Blue.

You’ve probably heard us say this before, but top quality copies of Blue are few and far between. It’s not just the toughest nut to crack in Joni’s catalog, it’s one of the most difficult albums in ALL OF POP MUSIC to get to sound right.

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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark (Quiet Vinyl)

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding early pressing with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • 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
  • 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."
More Court and Spark / More Joni Mitchell


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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_1904_1) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) sound on the first; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • 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
More Court and Spark / More Joni Mitchell


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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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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.
More Court and Spark


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
For The Roses

  (Item #: mitchforth_1801_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this early Asylum pressing was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • The sound is especially rich, warm and natural, with exceptional immediacy to Joni's vocals and Tubey Magic for days
  • One of the best sounding Joni records, on a par with Court and Spark and Blue, fine company indeed
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The lyrics here are among Mitchell's best, continuing in the vein of gripping honesty and heartfelt depth exhibited on Blue.... More than a bridge between great albums, this excellent disc is a top-notch listen in its own right."
See all our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
For The Roses

  (Item #: mitchforth_1902) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A wonderful sounding copy: Triple Plus (A+++) from start to finish
  • The sound is incredibly rich, warm and natural with real immediacy to Joni's vocals, with Tubey Magic for days
  • One of the best sounding Joni records, on a par with Court and Spark and Blue, fine company indeed
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The lyrics here are among Mitchell's best, continuing in the vein of gripping honesty and heartfelt depth exhibited on Blue.... More than a bridge between great albums, this excellent disc is a top-notch listen in its own right."
See all our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Joni Mitchell - For The Roses

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mitchforth_2011) 



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

This is probably the most underrated Joni Mitchell album, both in terms of sonics and music. It seems that everyone wants a great copy of Blue or Court And Spark, but this album ranks right up there with them and does not deserve to be overlooked.

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Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: mitchladie_2008) 



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

This Ladies Of The Canyon absolutely BLEW US AWAY on side two, defeating a huge stack of originals! When we dropped the needle on this side two, we heard the kind of Joni Mitchell magic that is so hard to come by, even when armed with dozens and dozens of pressings.

Folks, this album comes to life on this side two in a way that is natural and musical, and never forced or phony. It's The Real Sound, plain and simple -- and very few copies have it.

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Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon

What To Listen For

  (Item #: mitchladie_wtlf) 



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

The growl of the cello on Rainy Night House can clearly be heard behind Joni, with the wood of the instrument sounding real and correct. The kind of You Are There immediacy and transparency of the best copies has to be heard to be believed.

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Joni Mitchell - Miles Of Aisles

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: mitchmiles_2008) 



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

WONDERFUL LIVE SOUND AND GREAT MUSIC (of course) on this stunning double LP! We finally had a chance to do a big shootout for this album, and when you find one like this it is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Not too many live albums have this kind of stunning, "you are there" immediacy! Turn down the lights, crank up the volume, and you'll be right there in the crowd as Joni and the LA Express (Tom Scott, Robben Ford, and the crew) knock out wonderful versions of some of her best material.

More Joni Mitchell


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Mingus

  (Item #: mitchmingu_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy of this wonderful collaboration from 1979 with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Rich, dynamic and natural sounding with low end weight, midrange smoothness and powerful, punchy bass
  • If you're a fan of Joni's more adventurous work you'll find a lot to like here
  • Features "luminaries" including Herbie Hancock and some of Weather Report, who join Mingus in helping Joni bring these jazzy works to life
  • "... Mitchell could not have chosen any finer musicians than the sextet she ultimately incorporated into this work."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Joni Mitchell - Mingus

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: mitchmingu_2014) 



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

STUNNING A+++ SOUND FOR BOTH SIDES! Dynamic and very natural sounding with a huge three dimensional soundfield and way more energy than the typical copy, this is absoloutely as good as it gets.

Two of Joni's more famous late '70s songs are on here -- God Must Be A Boogie Man and The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey. If you like the more adventurous music that Joni produced at different stages of her career, this should make a wonderful addition to your collection.

See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Song To A Seagull

  (Item #: mitchsongt_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $79.00 (You save $20.99 / 21%)


  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • The vocals are breathy and clear, and the overall sound is rich and full with lovely guitar transients
  • Our favorite Joni Mitchell album by far - as good as her others are, this one has a special charm we can find on no other record, by Joni or anyone else
  • "What sets this release apart from those of other confession-style singer/songwriters of the time is the craft, subtlety, and evocative power of Mitchell's lyrics and harmonic style... " Allmusic
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Wild Things Run Fast

  (Item #: mitchwildt_1801_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on side two and outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on side one, this copy has Joni rockin' like you will not believe
  • Her last great record - fortunately for us audiophiles, it's spacious, open and powerful with present vocals and solid bass
  • Relatively quiet, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout - they don't come any quieter
  • "...her best album since the mid-'70s." and famously on the TAS List
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Joni Mitchell - Wild Things Run Fast

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: mitchwildt_2013) 



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

One of our favorite Joni Mitchell albums. A Desert Island disc for me & one of the few good reasons to listen to new music in the '80s. I think it's one of Joni's masterpieces. (One is only supposed to be allotted one masterpiece, but considering all the stylistic changes she's been through, she's earned the right to have as many as she likes. I count at least three so far and perhaps there will be more coming down the road, although I very much doubt it.)

More Joni Mitchell


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Van Morrison - Into The Music

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: morriintot_2014) 



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

Two incredible sounding sides for this great Van Morrison album, one that Allmusic calls one of his best records! Not a lot of casual Van Mo fans are familiar with this album, but after a big shootout we were left very impressed with the sound of the best pressings and the quality of the music throughout. Morrison's catalog after the early '70s leaves plenty to be desired, but this one is a real return to form.

More Van Morrison


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Hot Stamper

Willie Nelson
Without A Song

  (Item #: nelsowitho_1712_1902) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • This Willie Nelson classic album of standards boasts very good Hot Stamper grades and fairly quiet vinyl from first note to last
  • Nelson's 32nd studio album, this sequel to Stardust includes a collaboration with Julio Iglesias on If Time Goes By
  • Showcases Booker T. Jones' superb arrangements on Great American Songbook perennials such as Autumn Leaves, As Time Goes By, Harbor Lights and of course, Without a Song
See all of our Willie Nelson albums in stock


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Randy Newman - 12 Songs

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: newma12son_2016) 



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

Both sides here were incredible. You get a very strong bottom end, lovely richness and warmth, real space and separation between the instruments and wonderful immediacy throughout. The heavy, "swampy" vibe of the music comes through well without the sound getting too murky or muddy.

More Randy Newman


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Super Hot Stamper

Randy Newman
Good Old Boys

  (Item #: newmagoodo_1801_1812) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two and a side one that's right up there with it, this copy has a lot going for it
  • Big and rich analog, tonally Right On The Money (ROTM) as well
  • Dramatically fuller and smoother than the average pressing
  • 5 Stars: "Good Old Boys is one of Newman's finest albums; it's also one of his most provocative and infuriating, and that's probably just the way he wanted it."
See all of our Randy Newman albums in stock


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Randy Newman - Little Criminals

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: newmalittl_2013) 



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

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES, making this by far the best copy to ever hit our site! We recently finished our second-ever shootout for Little Criminals and it was a blast. We've only found out recently just how good the best sounding pressings of Randy Newman's records can sound, and we were quite pleased with how rich, full and dynamic the Hot Stampers of this album are.

More Randy Newman


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Randy Newman - Randy Newman Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: newmalive_2013) 



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

We paired up a wonderful A++ side one with an even better A+++ side two to create this killer Randy Newman Live 2-pack, giving you wonderful sound for this whole album! We had a ton of these around and finally got to the task of comparing them. Many copies were too congested or had an unpleasant edgy quality to the vocals, but the Hot sides of the 2-pack give you the kind of sound that you want for this music.

More Randy Newman


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Randy Newman - Trouble In Paradise

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: newmatroub_2014) 



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

Big, punchy sound for Randy Newman's classic '80s album Trouble In Paradise! We collected a big stack of these and set to work looking for copies that delivered the kind of sound that would bring the fun of this album to life in your listening room. Most were disappointing but this copy was a nice step up. Both sides are lively and dynamic with good weight and punch to the bottom end. If you've sat through the typical thin, grainy pressing you'll understand that this is exactly the kind of sound that this music needs.

See all of our Randy Newman LPs in stock


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Hot Stamper

Harry Nilsson
Aerial Ballet

  (Item #: nilssaeria_1809_1901) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • A wonderful Hot Stamper copy, with both sides getting most of what we like about the sound of the album right
  • A Must Own Harry Nilsson album - these sides are fairly open, clear and full-bodied
  • We're big Nilsson fans here at Better Records - play this record and you might become one too!
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "Harry Nilsson decided to pick up where he left off with his debut, offering another round of effervescent, devilishly clever pop, equal parts lite psychedelia, pretty ballads, and music hall cabaret."
See all of our Harry Nilsson albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Harry Nilsson
Aerial Ballet

  (Item #: nilssaeria_1810_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • With tons of ambience, amazing richness, you-are-there immediacy, and tight bass, this is a stunning pressing of this Must Own Nilsson album
  • We're big Nilsson fans here at Better Records - play this record and you might become one too!
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "Harry Nilsson decided to pick up where he left off with his debut, offering another round of effervescent, devilishly clever pop, equal parts lite psychedelia, pretty ballads, and music hall cabaret."
See all of our Harry Nilsson albums in stock


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Harry Nilsson - Aerial Ballet

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: nilssaeria_2015) 



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

A stunning "Triple Triple" copy with A+++ sound on both sides. Big, clear and full-bodied throughout; this copy is absolutely as good as it gets. A rare original pressing that includes Daddy's Song, which is one reason it won the shootout - the original version, when it's pressed right, just can't be beat.

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Harry Nilsson - Harry

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: nilssharry_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Pop Hall of Fame and a Forgotten Classic from one of our favorite singer songwriters of the last fifty years, Mr. Harry Nilsson.

This forgotten gem sank like a stone in 1969, but time has treated this album well; it stil holds up. The production is superb throughout. Judging by this early Nilsson's album, it appears he was already a pro in the studio, as well as an accomplished songwriter, and, more importantly, the owner of one of the sweetest tenors in popular music, then or now.

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Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: nilssnilss_2013) 



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

We're huge Harry Nilsson fans here at Better Records, and it warms our hearts that many of our customers seem to be as well. We've been trying to track down great copies of this album for ages, but they are tough to come by in any condition and are often noisy and/or mediocre when we find 'em. This copy has the kind of rich, full, analog sound that we've been trying to find for years with so little luck.

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Bonnie Raitt - Bonnie Raitt

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: raittbonni_2013) 



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

The average Green Label Warner Bros. copy we played was lackluster to say the least. The words on some of my notes read flat, veiled, dry, dark, edgy: None too promising, but we persevered and found this one! The reissues we heard tended to be modern and thin. Definitely not our sound.

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Kenny Rankin - Silver Morning

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: rankisilve_2005) 



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

This is a wonderful Kenny Rankin album. I played side one all the way through and enjoyed it immensely. I don’t know why this record is so rare -- it’s got great songs like Blackbird and People Get Ready, which to me sound like they almost could have been hit songs.


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Carly Simon - Another Passenger

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: simonanoth_2010) 



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

A TOP PRESSING of what we consider to be the best -- and best-sounding -- Carly Simon album! I’ve been telling people for years how amazing this album can sound, but we almost never hear it sound quite like this! Side one rates A++, side two rates A+++ and both sides play quietly. Most copies are gritty and edgy, but this one is smoother, sweeter and much more musical.

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Carly Simon - Another Passenger

What to Listen For

  (Item #: simonanoth_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.

There's one quality in particular that added immensely to our enjoyment of the music -- gobs and gobs of Tubey Magic. The copies that were opaque, dry, flat and "modern" sounding -- which pretty much describes practically every Heavy Vinyl record we've played in the last five years -- bored us to tears, not surprisingly in the very same way that most Heavy Vinyl does.

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Super Hot Stamper

Carly Simon
Boys In The Trees

  (Item #: simonboysi_1712_1901) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • You'll find very good Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, on both sides of this Carly Simon favorite
  • The sound is dynamic and transparent on the better copies, with low distortion and solid bass -- pretty much all the stuff you need for an audiophile-quality pop album.
  • "You Belong to Me" sounds amazingly rich and natural, with lovely immediacy and transparency
  • The vinyl is exceptionally quiet at Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus - we can't find them any quieter
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Super Hot Stamper

Carly Simon
Carly Simon

  (Item #: simoncarly_1712_1809) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • Both sides of this original Elektra LP earned excellent Double Plus (A++) grades for their sound and play reasonably quietly
  • Legendary producer and engineer Eddie Kramer lends his talent to this album and knows how to get the best sound
  • That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be is the killer track here and it sounds fantastic on this copy
  • Can you believe that the producer and engineer of Carly's 1971 debut here is none other than Eddie Kramer!?
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Carly Simon - Carly Simon

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: simoncarly_2015) 



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

Two Shootout Winning sides bundled together to give you top sound for the whole album. We just finished our first shootout for this, Carly's debut, and found a lot to like about both the sound and the music.

That's not to say that we'd put this recording on the same level as an audiophile knockout like Dark Side of the Moon, but the richness and the sweetness of the midrange on the best copies is exactly what you'd want to hear. Credit must go to venerable Eddie Kramer, producer and engineer. He knows how to get the big sound here all right.

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Carly Simon - Carly Simon

What to Listen For

  (Item #: simoncarly_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.

Too many copies we played erred on the hi-fi side, with not enough warmth. The copies that sound incredibly clean and clear just didn't do much for us; they weren't able to convey the intimacy and emotion of the music. I'm sure you've had a similar experience playing CDs of some of your old favorites. You keep wondering why you liked the music in the first place. Don't blame the music. Blame those crappy CDs.

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