- With outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on all FOUR sides, this copy of The Wall is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other pressing you’ve heard
- Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of Floyd’s magnum opus from 1979, this is the way to go
- The Wall demands big, bold, explosively dynamic ANALOG sound, and here is a copy that delivers on that promise
- Grungy electric guitars, breathy vocals, HUGE punchy drums, earth-shaking bass and room-filling ambience are all here like you’ve never heard before
- One of the best sounding rock recordings of all time – here is a copy that will make our case
We spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning, playing, and comparing copies of this classic double album for our shootouts and let me tell you, there are a lot of weak copies out there.
What do these kinds of top grades give you for The Wall? Top-notch clarity and transparency, mind-blowing immediacy, weight to the bottom, extension up top, HUGE open soundfields, real texture to all the instruments, TONS of energy with serious dynamics, BIG punchy drums and loads of natural ambience.
Pink Floyd tends to be an amazingly well-recorded band, and this album is certainly no exception. If you’ve taken home one of our Hot Stampers for Dark Side of the Moon, Meddle, or Wish You Were Here, then you certainly know what we’re talking about.
We’ve been telling people for years that The Wall is one of the best-sounding rock records ever, and this is the copy to show you exactly why. When sound effects are introduced into the mix — buzzing helicopters, ringing telephones, clicking typewriters, and so on — they happen RIGHT THERE in the room with you. If you’ve got a front end with serious resolving power and the watts to really pump up the volume, you’re going to be right there behind the wall with Pink.
What The Best Sides of The Wall Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1979
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Choruses Are Key
The richness, sweetness, and freedom from artificiality are most apparent on The Wall where you most always hear those qualities on a pop record: in the biggest, loudest, densest, most climactic choruses.
We set the playback volume so that the loudest parts of the record are as huge and powerful as they can possibly grow to be without crossing the line into distortion or congestion. On some records, Dark Side of the Moon comes instantly to mind, the guitar solos on Money are the loudest thing on the record. On Breakfast in America, the sax toward the end of The Logical Song is the biggest and loudest sounding instrument on the record, louder even than Roger Hodgson’s near-hysterical multi-tracked screaming “Who I am” about three-quarters of the way through. Those, however, are clearly exceptions to the rule. Most of the time it’s the final chorus that gets bigger and louder than anything else.
A pop song is usually structured so as to build more and more strength as it works its way through its verses and choruses, past the bridge, coming back around to make one final push, releasing all its energy in the final chorus, the climax of the song. On a good recording — one with real dynamics — that part should be very loud and very powerful.
It’s almost always the toughest test for a pop record, and it’s the main reason we play our records loud. The copies that hold up through the final choruses of their album’s largest scaled productions are the ones that provide the biggest thrills and the most emotionally powerful musical experiences we have around here. Our Top 100 is full of the kinds of records that reward listening at loud levels.
We live for that sound here at Better Records. It’s what vintage analog pressings do so brilliantly. They do it so much better than any other medium that there is really no comparison and certainly no substitute. If you’re on this site you probably already know that.
What We’re Listening For on The Wall
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
In The Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 1
The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2
Goodbye Blue Sky
One Of My Turns
Don’t Leave Me Now
Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Is There Anybody Out There?
Bring The Boys Back Home
The Show Must Go On
In The Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting For The Worms
Outside The Wall
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
The Wall was Roger Waters’ crowning accomplishment in Pink Floyd. It documented the rise and fall of a rock star (named Pink Floyd), based on Waters’ own experiences and the tendencies he’d observed in people around him.
By then, the bassist had firm control of the group’s direction, working mostly alongside David Gilmour and bringing in producer Bob Ezrin as an outside collaborator. Drummer Nick Mason was barely involved, while keyboardist Rick Wright seemed to be completely out of the picture. Still, The Wall was a mighty, sprawling affair, featuring 26 songs with vocals: nearly as many as all previous Floyd albums combined.
The story revolves around the fictional Pink Floyd’s isolation behind a psychological wall. The wall grows as various parts of his life spin out of control, and he grows incapable of dealing with his neuroses. The album opens by welcoming the unwitting listener to Floyd’s show (“In the Flesh?”), then turns back to childhood memories of his father’s death in World War II (“Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1”), his mother’s over protectiveness (“Mother”), and his fascination with and fear of sex (“Young Lust”). By the time “Goodbye Cruel World” closes the first disc, the wall is built and Pink is trapped in the midst of a mental breakdown.
On disc two, the gentle acoustic phrasings of “Is There Anybody Out There?” and the lilting orchestrations of “Nobody Home” reinforce Floyd’s feeling of isolation. When his record company uses drugs to coax him to perform (“Comfortably Numb”), his onstage persona is transformed into a homophobic, race-baiting fascist (“In the Flesh”). In “The Trial,” he mentally prosecutes himself, and the wall comes tumbling down. This ambitious concept album was an across-the-board smash, topping the Billboard album chart for 15 weeks in 1980. The single “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” was the country’s best-seller for four weeks.
The Wall spawned an elaborate stage show (so elaborate, in fact, that the band was able to bring it to only a few cities) and a full-length film. It also marked the last time Waters and Gilmour would work together as equal partners.