A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This is undoubtedly the band’s MASTERPIECE, assuming you’re a Michael McDonald fan, and we very much are fans here at Better Records. With this Super Hot Stamper side two we can now definitively say that the quality of the sound matches the quality of the music. What a WONDERFUL sounding pop record. This is Donn Landee at his best — tonally correct, spacious, clear and sweet, with vocal choruses that can really take off when called upon. With Ted Templeman running the show this is an Audiophile Quality Pop Music Production that’s as close to perfect as one has any right to expect.
At A+++, absolutely As Good As It Gets (AGAIG)! Super spacious and three-dimensional, as soon as we dropped the needle here we were knockd out. The vocals are perfection, with tons of presence and Right On The Money (ROTM) tonality. This side brings out all the upper harmonics in the instruments like few can!
A++ to A+++, very nearly as good! Rich and full with a big, punchy low end and present vocals, this side just kills the typical pressing.
You may remember reading on the site that we used to like the Nautilus Half-Speed of this title. Playing our Nautilus copy against these good domestic pressings made us wonder what the hell we must have been smoking. The Nautilus was awful — veiled and compressed, with a lightweight bottom end. (The Nautilus of Threshold of a Dream is another one we used to like and boy does that record sound awful these days.)
Maybe we had played a better copy years ago, or maybe we had played some really bad domestics back then, who can say? A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. All we can say for now is that our Hot Stampers are going to blow that audiophile piece of junk — and any other pressing of the album that might exist — right out of the water. (Or your money back.)
And the gold CD too of course. I have never in my life heard a CD sound like this record does, and I don’t think anyone else has either. CDs do some things reasonably well, but few of them have the kind of richness, sweetness and tubey magic that the best vinyl copies of this album do, cleaned right and played on a proper stereo of course.
1979 Record Of The Year for “What A Fool Believes”
1979 Song Of The Year for “What A Fool Believes”
1979 Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus for “Minute By Minute”
1979 Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals for “What A Fool Believes”
Here to Love You
What a Fool Believes
Minute by Minute
Dependin’ on You
Don’t Stop to Watch the Wheels
Open Your Eyes
Steamer Lane Breakdown
You Never Change
How Do the Fools Survive?
It’s still all pretty compelling even if its appeal couldn’t be more different from the group’s earlier work (i.e., The Captain and Me, etc.). The public loved it, buying something like three million copies, and the recording establishment gave Minute by Minute four Grammy Awards, propelling the group to its biggest success ever.