Paul Simon – Paul Simon – Our Shootout Winner from 2008


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

MASTER TAPE SOUND on side one, backed with a great side two! We just finished our first big shootout for this wonderfully fun album, and I gotta tell you — I don’t think any Paul Simon solo album was recorded any better! I can’t imagine that you’ll find a better sounding side than the first side of this copy; it’s doing EVERYTHING right.

AMG gives the album 5 Big Stars, and it’s easy to see why. The songs have a looser feel than the Simon & Garfunkel stuff, with a carefree vibe that really comes through on a Hot Stamper copy. Take, for example, the reggae-tinged Mother And Child Reunion, the Latin-flavored Duncan, and the funky Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard. Each are wonderful songs that just wouldn’t have made much sense on a more serious album like Parsley Sage or Bookends. Not ontly that, but the sidemen on this record are FANTASTIC, including Airto, Stefan Grossman, the great Hal Blaine, Ron Carter, and members of Jimmy Cliff’s backing band providing the authentic Jamaican funk on Mother and Child Reunion.

The Best Sound We Heard

You just can’t beat the sound on side one. Trust us, we tried! It’s got superb clarity, wonderful transparency, and more energy than we heard anywhere else. The vocals are Right On The Money (ROTM). Many copies we played had a tendency to be at least a bit dark and smeary, but this one managed to be cut without a trace of those issues. The bass is tight and punchy and the tonal balance is JUST RIGHT. The overall sound is airy, open, and spacious with real depth to the soundfield.

Side two is clean, clear, and transparent with real weight to the bottom end. It lacks a degree of presence next to side one, but it beats the pants off the average copy, and certainly the mediocre-at-best DCC pressing.