A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
White Hot Stampers for Rumours with UNBELIEVABLY GOOD SOUND (and quiet vinyl) FROM START TO FINISH! Folks, if you’re looking for a Demo Quality version of one of the most beloved pop albums of all time, this is the record for you! Side one was so darned good that we had to bust out the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade, and side two is just about as amazing. It certainly ain’t a cheap record, but it’s beyond difficult to find copies of this classic with two sides that sound like this and play quietly.
Trust us, we’ve been trying for years and have only come up with a small handful of copies that could even come close to this one.
We award this copy’s side one our very special Four Plus grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea could even exist. We estimate that less than one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can’t get much more rare than that.
Both sides here are nothing less than STUNNING. The sound is open, spacious and transparent with a huge three dimensional soundfield. Christine McVie’s vocals are perfection, they have lots of body and presence. The bass sounds excellent and the banjo is Right On The Money. The sound is richer, sweeter and warmer here than on any other copy we played. You will not believe how lively the sound is!
We considered awarding the Four Plus grade to side two as well, but ended up calling it an especially strong A+++. It’s full-bodied, dynamic and lively with excellent bass and lots of presence. It’salso very open and transparent with a nice bottom end and smooth, sweet vocals. Drop the needle on Dreams and listen to how silky the acoustic guitars are in the left channel!
You would have to go through at least 25 or more copies of this record to even hope to find one in a league with our best pressings. That’s a lot of record hunting, record cleaning and record playing! (If you know anything about this record, you know that the average domestic pressing of this album is quite average sounding; the good ones are few and far between.)
And the stampers, as we’ve come to learn, aren’t the whole story. For one thing, there are at least 75 different side ones and 75 different side twos, all cut by Ken Perry at Capitol on the same three cutters from the same tapes — but they all sound different! (Ken also cut the original English and Japanese pressings; his KP is in the dead wax for all to see. The import KP copies that I’ve heard were quite good, by the way. Not the best, but very good. He only cut the originals though, so practically every import copy you can find will be a reissue made from a dub, ugh.)
The new lineup that Fleetwood Mac successfully unveiled with their eponymous 1975 album became even more successful with the multi-platinum Rumours, which became the band’s most celebrated album and one of the best-selling albums of all time. To be sure, this was a very different sounding Fleetwood Mac than the blues-rock outfit of the late ’60s… But as commercial and slick as Rumours is, the music has a lot of heart and never comes across as insincere.