Wes Montgomery – A Day In The Life – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

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

THE BEST SIDE ONE WE’VE EVER HEARD on quiet vinyl nonetheless, giving you White Hot A+++ sound for Montgomery’s great cover of A Day In The Life! This was the only copy that absolutely nailed it for that tough track — top end extension, tons of tubey magic, loads of energy, huge three-dimensional sound and more. The big orchestral ending, where most copies fall apart, sounds EXCELLENT here. The brass and winds sound KILLER. 

We listened to a bunch of different copies in our recent shootout and this one had a side two that could not be beat. It’s damn near impossible to find decent sounding early A&M pressings, but the sound here is gorgeous. Almost every copy we listened to was dull, lifeless, and overly compressed. This becomes especially offensive when the strings come in, most notably in the climatic middle section of “A Day In The Life”. It’s abrasive, nondescript junk! Fortunately, this Hot Stamper lets you enjoy this great music with warm, rich sound that won’t make your ears bleed.

Side two is MAGICAL on this copy. There’s tons of tubey magic to go along with excellent clarity, strong presence and a wonderfully punchy bottom end. The percussion sounds incredible and the guitar is Right On The Money. You get the top end extension that’s sorely lacking from most pressings, and the transparency is to die for! A+++ all the way.

Side one is very good but lacks a slight degree of extension up top. Other than that, the sound is hard to fault. The big orchestral ending to the title track actually works well on this copy. Most copies aren’t nearly this warm, rich or full-bodied.

This is a jazz record that belongs in everyone’s collection. If you are going to own only one Wes Montgomery record, this is not a bad one to choose!

TRACK LISTING

Side One

A Day in the Life 
Watch What Happens
When a Man Loves a Woman
California Nights
Angel

Side Two

Eleanor Rigby
Willow Weep for Me
Windy
Trust in Me
The Joker

AMG Review

By the time Wes Montgomery recorded this album (his debut for A&M), he was a major name in the pop world. Montgomery’s melodic renditions of current pop hits caught on and were played regularly on Top 40 radio… Of his three A&M recordings, A Day in the Life (the first one) was by far the best.