This copy of Sheet Music boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound and relatively quiet vinyl too
Rich, full and balanced with plenty of deep bass and Arty Rock energy, this is a Truly Amazing Demo Disc
Bassist Graham Gouldman calls it “the definitive 10cc album” and he’s probably right about that (although we love The Original Soundtrack that came out a year later)
“Three hit singles spun off the record, and most of the other tracks could have followed suit; it says much for Sheet Music’s staying power that, no matter how many times the album is reissued, it has never lost its power to delight, excite, and set alight a lousy day.”
Sheet Music is in our opinion the most consistently well written and produced 10cc album, with every track performed with heart and recorded with exquisite attention to detail. Each song flows into the next and there is simply not a dull moment to be found. Sheet Music is arguably the best record they ever made, although I’m such a fan, I think they’re all great. (The first five albums anyway.)(more…)
By the time the guitars at the end of the title track fade out you will be ready to take your heavy vinyl Classic and ceremoniously drop it in a trashcan. (Actually, the best use for it is to demonstrate to your skeptical audiophile friends that no heavy vinyl pressing can begin to compete with a Hot Stamper from Better Records. Not in a million years.)
Over the course of the last 25 years we was wrong three ways from Sunday about our down-and-out friend Aqualung here. We originally liked the MoFi. When the DCC 180g came along we liked that one better, and a few years back I was somewhat enamored with some original British imports. Wrong on all counts. After playing more than two dozen pressings, it’s pretty clear that the right domestic pressings KILL any and all contenders. (more…)
This new Universal Super DeLuxe import LP appears to be the regular vinyl version that, for all we know, might actually still be in print in Europe. It appears to have been specially pressed on heavy import vinyl for our domestic market as part of the new Universal Heavy Vinyl series. Either that or it’s being made from the old metalwork for the LP that would have been available most recently in Europe (out of print by now I should think).
Which is a very long-winded way of saying that it is not in any real sense remastered, if such a claim is being made for it or the series. Rather it has simply been repressed on Heavy Vinyl in Europe and imported to the states. None of which is either here nor there because the record is an absolute DISASTER.
With two seriously good Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this UK LP is sure to be one of the best sounding Roxy Music records you’ll ever play
These sides are unbelievably rich and Tubey Magical – Roxy just does not get much better than this!
We’ve been working on this shootout for over ten years – here is one of the better copies we have to show for our effort
AMG 5 Stars: “…another extraordinary record from Roxy Music, one that demonstrates even more clearly than the debut how avant-garde ideas can flourish in a pop setting.”
This album is a MASTERPIECE of Art Rock, Glam Rock and Bent Rock all rolled into one. Spacious, dynamic, present, with HUGE MEATY BASS and tons of energy, the sound is every bit as good as the music. (At least on this copy it is. That’s precisely what Hot Stampers are all about.)(more…)
This killer early British Island import pressing had two amazing sides, each rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or very close to it
This one is simply bigger, richer, more clear and more Tubey Magical than almost every other copy we heard in our shootout
As quiet as any Island original we’ve ever heard – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus – they don’t come quieter
AMG raves that “…Country Life finds Roxy Music at the peak of their powers, alternating between majestic, unsettling art rock and glamorous, elegant pop/rock. Roxy Music rarely sounded as invigorating as they do here.”
Many of the best songs Bryan Ferry ever wrote and Roxy Music ever played are on this album. Musically it’s right up there with the first album and Siren. All three represent the high watermark of early- to mid-’70s Arty Rock.(more…)
A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
Both sides have that rare combination of silky highs and deep low end that make any record magical
5 stars: “Ranks alongside the most essential Eno material.”
Side one, the rock side, strongly relies on its deep punchy bass to make its material come to life and rock (or should we say art rock?). Eno’s vocals are clear and present with virtually no strain. Phil Collins’ drumming is energetic and transparent and perfectly complemented by Percy Jones’ simultaneously acrobatic and hard-driving bass work.
This album typically suffers from a severe case of rolled-off highs, compounding the problems in the midrange: veiled and smeary vocals. The average copy is thick, muddy and congested, lacking the kind of transparency and clarity that makes it possible for the listener to hear into Eno’s dense mixes and make musical sense of them.
Partly this is Eno’s fault. He overloads his recordings. Played The Joshua Tree lately? It has some of the same sonic shortcomings, (exacerbated by Direct Metal Mastering).(more…)
The first copy to ever hit the site and boy is it KILLER — Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides
“Repeating the formula of Low’s half-vocal/half-instrumental structure, Heroes develops and strengthens the sonic innovations David Bowie and Brian Eno explored on their first collaboration. The vocal songs are fuller, boasting harder rhythms and deeper layers of sound.” – All Music
It has taken us years to get this shootout going. The reason for the long delay is simple. The domestic pressings we had on hand to play were not exactly thrilling us and even the best of them are no better than acceptable, and not likely to win a shootout.
Even worse, our intuition that the British originals would sound the best also turned out to be incorrect. (In the audiophile record collecting world intuitions have a bad track record, but more than a few audiophiles — many of whom seem to be addicted to sharing their “record knowledge” on audiophile forums — seem to be unaware of this unassailably true fact.) The original UK Orange Label pressings did not sound especially good to us, so we kept looking.(more…)
[These notes were written many years ago, which means that we ourselves may not agree with some or all of the commentary.]
This version just plain KILLS most domestic copies and probably quite a few Brit ones too. Simply Vinyl did a superb job here.
Correction: an unnamed mastering engineer at the label did a superb job. Simply Vinyl isn’t in the business of mastering ANYTHING. They leave that up to the pros at the record labels. Sometimes those guys screw it up and sometimes they get it right.(more…)
This Tears for Fears album is a real desert island disc for me. When you get a big, rich, smooth copy such as this one, the short list of problems with the recording don’t interfere with the music. Like good stereo equipment, a good record lets you forget all that audio stuff and just listen to the music as music.
The Seeds Of Love is the band’s masterpiece, and hearing it this way is nothing short of a THRILL.
The sound of most copies is aggressive, hard, harsh and thin. What do you expect? The album is recorded digitally and direct metal mastered at Masterdisk. Most of us analog types put up with the limitations of the sound because we love the music, some of the most powerfully moving, brilliantly written and orchestrated psychedelic pop of the last thirty years. Imagine if the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour phase kept going in that direction. They very well might have ended up in the neighborhood of Sowing the Seeds of Love.(more…)