We shot out over two dozen copies of Please Please Me — German, British, and American pressings of various vintages. The best German copies such as this one stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. However, we did manage to find some wonderful Brit and domestic copies which will be making it to the site very soon.
This German Beatles album has DEMO DISC SOUND and some of the best pop music ever recorded! We LOVE this album here at Better Records.
A++ TOP sound on BOTH sides! We just finished a monster shootout for this album, and this German Apple LP was the ONLY copy to rate better than an A+ for BOTH sides! It’s been just over a year since we last listed Hot Stamper copies of this record.
Since then, we’ve made great strides, both in terms of improvements to the system and our approach to the listening process. There’s clearly no way of telling how the Hot Stamper copies we found this time match up with those we played last year, but we can certainly tell you that we’ve NEVER heard better sound for this album than we heard on the best copies we played this time.
There’s a subtle smearing and masking that occurs on most pressings. You don’t notice it because you have nothing better to compare it to. It doesn’t call attention to itself like other flaws in a pressing; it’s much harder to recognize what might be missing than to recognize what’s actually wrong.
But when you have many copies of the same pressing, and you are lucky enough to discover a Hot One lurking among them, you can hear instantly how much more REAL sounding all the instruments and voices are. On the best copies you hear the instruments floating on a bed of air. Cool air, the kind they have in a studio full of open mics that can pick up that sound. This recording is absolutely dripping with it.
On the top copies the presence of the vocals and guitars is so real it’s positively startling at times. Dynamic contrasts widen and deepen. Everything just starts to sound RIGHT, so right in fact that you forget it’s a record. What started out as a great Beatles recording had turned into a great Beatles album. Now it’s a piece of music as opposed to a piece of plastic. As the old saying goes, disbelief has been suspended.
And the odd thing is that many of the hot copies have exactly the same stampers as the less than hot copies. It’s a mystery, and the only solution is to play the record.
Side one of this copy is OUT OF THIS WORLD! It’s silky sweet and full-bodied with more life and energy than we heard elsewhere. The wonderful transparency allows you to appreciate every last subtlety , and the overall sound is high resolution and tonally correct from top to bottom. The amounts of detail, texture, and ambience audible on this copy will BLOW YOUR MIND! There’s plenty of extension on the top end matched up with a solid, punchy bottom end. We rate side one an A++ — it’s superb in every way.
Side two is every bit as amazing — superb clarity, super low distortion, extremely transparent, and tonally correct. There’s virtually none of the grain nor spit that are so common to both domestic and import copies of this record. The vocals sound just right, with lots of that breathy quality that we value so much here at Better Records. We rate side two an A++ as well.
With all due respect to Sir George Martin, we played a mono pressing of this record and weren’t all that impressed. With an exceptional stereo copy of this record, you get more room around the instruments and virtually no congestion.
By the way, if you own the MOFI, do yourself a favor and buy this record. (Actually any good import pressing will do.) What’s the first thing you will notice other than correct tonality, better bass and overall more “life”?
No spit! As I’ve commented elsewhere, MOFIs are full of sibilance because of the cutting system they used. As I was playing this record, maybe by about the fifth or sixth song it occurred to me that I hadn’t been hearing the spit that I was used to from the MOFI. You don’t notice it when it’s not there. But your MOFI sure has a bad case of spitty vocals. If you never noticed them before, you will now.