This shootout listing was written sometime around 2008.
We hadn’t discovered the right imports for this album yet, that would not happen for many more years, hence the error we made in thinking that some especially good sounding domestic copies could win a shootout.
Back then they could, but with the right pressings in the mix there is not a chance in the world that would happen now.
A classic case of Live and Learn.
Some domestic pressings do end up having low level Hot Stampers, but it’s rare. Our best Brits just kill ’em.
Our Old Hot Stamper Commentary
This is the first Hot Stamper copy of Low to ever hit our site, and it’s a darn good one — especially on side one, where all the “pop” songs are found. We just had a huge shootout for this album featuring all the copies we’ve picked up over the years, and this domestic (!) pressing shocked us by blowing away our Brit copies on side one.
If you aren’t interested in the instrumental Bowie/Eno synth-heavy soundscapes that fill side two, this is THE copy to own.
I’ve said it on the site numerous time, but I spent a good portion of the ’70s playing art-rock records like Taking Tiger Mountain, Crime Of The Century and Deceptive Bends. I remember being blown away when Low came out, and it was a blast to hear how good a Hot Stamper pressing can sound on a highly-evolved stereo system today. Side one of this album features the more traditional (not really the right word, but I digress) Bowie rockers like Sound and Vision and Be My Wife, while side two sounds more like the instrumental synth music of Kraftwerk or Eno.
Side one here was killer, strong enough to rate between A++ and A+++. Compared to our other copies, it had more presence, more transparency, more energy and more weight to the bottom. The soundfield is open with some real depth to it, and the instruments and vocals all have real texture to them.
Side two was also very good though not quite in a league with side one. It’s got nice bottom end weight and texture to the synths but is not as big or open as the best we heard. I’m guessing some of you could care less for the synth experiments on this side and this would be a good copy for someone who’s all about the rock songs.