This commentary was written shortly after these three Universal Heavy Vinyl pressings were released in 2000.
Sonic Grades: F/F/F
Around 2000 Universal did the three most famous Cat Stevens titles, and they have to be three of the worst sounding records I have ever heard in my life. Many audiophile record dealers carry them. Have YOU been ripped off by one of these dealers? If so, we can help. We would never promote garbage like that.
Any record dealer who would actually charge money for these titles has to be either ignorant (having never taken the time to play the record — why bother when audiophiles will buy practically anything pressed on Heavy Vinyl?); auditorily-challenged (deaf, to be blunt about it); or cynically contemptuous of record lovers, music lovers and audiophiles in general.
If they’re gullible enough to buy into the 180 gram vinyl = better sound, they deserve what they get.
Mencken had a good take on a similar idea.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
If you want to stop throwing your money away on bad records, stop doing business with the ignorant, deaf or cynical people who peddle them.
We play mediocre-to-bad sounding pressings so that you don’t have to, a public service from your record loving friends at Better Records.
You can find these in our Hall of Shame, along with more than 350 others that — in our opinion — qualify as some of the worst sounding records ever made. (On some records in the Hall of Shame the sound is passable but the music is bad. These are also records you can safely avoid.)
Note that most of the entries are audiophile remasterings of one kind or another. The reason for this is simple: we’ve gone through the all-too-often unpleasant experience of comparing them head to head with our best Hot Stamper pressings.
When you can hear them that way, up against an exceptionally good record, their flaws become that much more obvious and, frankly, that much more inexcusable.
and we can’t forget this one