- This vintage import pressing boasts an INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one mated to a solid Double Plus (A++) side two – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- An amazing 10-song compilation from 1970 of some of the band’s biggest and best hits – “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Paperback Writer,” “Lady Madonna,” and the iconic title track among them
- Longtime customers know that we had never been able to offer this title up until 2022 – it took us twenty years to figure out what the right pressings are, and believe me, we had to go through a lot of crap to find them
- If you know the album at all, you know how bad it sounds on the average copy, and my guess is you just gave up on the idea of finding good sound for these songs, which is more or less the way we felt too, but we finally found what we were looking for, and here it is
- And Past Masters, referred to in the Allmusic review below, is not the answer they seem to think it is — it has some of the most abominably bright and aggressive digital mastering we have ever heard
- Your one other option for some of this music with top quality sound is the 1967-1970 compilation album, the Hot Stamper pressings for which have only recently been found
- “…showcases the Beatles’ versatility and growth, as they move from the exuberance of Beatlemania to the intense psychedelia of the mid-’60s and then settle into rich post-Pepper days…. Great songs all.”
If you love these songs as much as we do, you won’t believe how good they sound here.
This vintage import pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of Hey Jude 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 beginning in 1970
- 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.
Pop and Rock Shootouts
What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record — any Pop or Rock record — should be judged?
Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.
When we can hear a good many of the qualities mentioned above on the side we’re playing, we provisionally award it a Hot Stamper grade. This grade is often revised over the course of the shootout, as we come to more fully appreciate just how good some of the other copies are.
Once we’ve been through all our side ones, we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner. Other copies have their grades raised or lowered depending on how they sounded relative to the shootout winner.
Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they’re a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing — or your money back.
What We’re Listening For On Hey Jude
- 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.
A Must Own Pop Record
Hey Jude is a Beatles recording that belongs in any serious Popular Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
Can’t Buy Me Love
I Should Have Known Better
Old Brown Shoe
Don’t Let Me Down
The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Appearing in the U.S. just two months prior to the band’s April 1970 breakup, Hey Jude is one of the odder Beatles records released during the group’s lifespan. Essentially a clearinghouse for singles that never appeared on album, the record relies heavily on songs released between 1968 and 1969, but it also stretches back to get both sides of the 1966 single “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Should Have Known Better,” two 1964 songs that never appeared on a Capitol LP (but did show up on the soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night, which was released by United Artists in 1964).
This scope inadvertently showcases the Beatles’ versatility and growth, as they move from the exuberance of Beatlemania to the intense psychedelia of the mid-’60s and then settle into rich post-Pepper days, where John, Paul, and George (Ringo sings no songs here) were all pursuing their own obsessions. Paul has the title track and the Fats Domino homage “Lady Madonna,” George counters with the boogie of “Old Brown Shoe,” and John delivers the searing rock & roll of “Revolution,” the heart-wrenching soul of “Don’t Let Me Down,” and the clever pseudo-autobiography “The Ballad of John & Yoko.”
Great songs all, they all sound good together here and if the usefulness of the compilation diminished after the 1988 release of Past Masters, Hey Jude is nevertheless a fun, satisfying (albeit short) listen.