Genre – Rock – British Blues Rock

Jethro Tull – Stand Up – Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2018

Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2018


  • A stunning Island Pink Label Import LP with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides
  • This is a True Tull Classic, and a VERY tough record to come by with this kind of sound
  • Both British sides give you richness, Tubey Magic, clarity and resolution few copies can touch – and what’s more, IT ROCKS
  • Their best album? It gets my vote, and this copy will really make the case if you turn it up good and loud

See all our Jethro Tull albums in stock

We just finished a big shootout for Stand Up with a variety of Brit pressings and a few domestics (which most of the time are awful but occasionally you run across one that’s pretty good on one side or another).

The following are some older notes that apply to the album in general.  

Tough Sledding with Stand Up

It’s very common for pressings of Stand Up to lack bass or highs, and more often than not both are lacking. The bass-shy ones tend to be more transparent and open sounding — of course, that’s the sound you get when you take out the bass. (90 plus percent of all the audiophile stereos I’ve ever heard were bass shy, no doubt for precisely that very reason: less bass equals more detail, more openness and more transparency. Go to any stereo store or audiophile show and notice how bright the sound is. Another good reason not to go to those shows, and we rarely do.)

Just what good is a British Classic Rock Record that lacks bass? It won’t rock, and if it don’t rock, who needs it? You might as well be playing the CD.

The copies that lack extreme highs are often dull and thick, and usually have a smeary, blurry quality to their sound. When you can’t hear into the music, the music itself quickly becomes boring.

If I had to choose, I would take a copy that’s a little dull on top as long as it still had a meaty, powerful, full-bodied sound over something that’s thin and leaned out. There are many audiophiles who can put up with that sound — I might go so far as to say the vast majority can — but I am not one of them. (more…)

Ten Years After – A Space In Time – Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2017

Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2017


  • Two superb sides, Triple Plus (A+++) for the second side and Double Plus (A++) for the first
  • One of the most Tubey Magical rock recordings out there, and a copy like this captures and delivers all of it
  • The sound is big, rich and full-bodied with massive size and tons of space
  • A Better Records Psych Rock Favorite with the hit single “I’d Love To Change The World”

See all of our Ten Years After albums in stock

This is some of the best high production value rock music of the ’70s. The amount of effort that went into the recording of this album is comparable to that expended by the engineers and producers of bands like Supertramp, Yes, Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, Pink Floyd and too many others to list. It seems that no effort or cost was spared in making the home listening experience as compelling as the recording technology of the day permitted. (Of course, as it turns out, recording technology only got worse as the decade wore on, and during the ’80s the sound of most records went off a cliff.)

Big Production British Rock & Roll

Just listen to the guitar solo on ‘Let The Sky Fall’. It comes complete with layer upon layer of guitars, acoustic and electric, with some backwards guitar thrown in for good measure. And that’s just the guitar parts. This kind of dense aural soundscape, presented with so many carefully placed elements from side to side and front to back, makes repeated listenings especially rewarding.

No matter how many times you play the album you are likely to hear (and hopefully appreciate) something new in the mix. I’ve been playing ASIT for forty years (bought my copy when I was still in high school) and I heard lots of things this time around I never knew were there. This is why we keep improving our systems, right? There is never going to be a time when these nearly forty year old recordings have nothing new to offer. (more…)

The Joe Cocker You Don’t Know – With A Little Help From My Friends

Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:

Forgotten Rock and Pop Classics


The Joe Cocker You Don’t Know

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and Cocker’s MASTERPIECE of White Soul, and, sadly, a Classic That’s All but Forgotten.

We just finished our first shootout in over FIVE years for the album and were SHOCKED by how amazing the best copies can sound, even better than we remember them from last time around. Turn this one up good and loud and you’ll have Joe Cocker in all his raspy glory belting out With A Little Help From My Friends right in your very own listening room!

More Joe Cocker

Blue-Eyed Soul doesn’t get much better than this. Cocker and his band chose SUPERB material for this album, including Dave Mason’s Feelin’ Alright; two of Dylan’s best, Just Like A Woman and I Shall Be Released; and of course the wonderful title track by no less than Joe’s fellow Brits Lennon and McCartney. The backing band features many great musicians including giants such as Jimmy Page and Stevie Winwood. No one’s making records like this anymore, not with this kind of musical and songwriting talent anyway.

What’s surprising is how good all the not-so-famous musicians are here. Chris Stainton is killer on bass, piano and organ. (He later toured extensively with Eric Clapton.) Henry McCullough (who joined Wings in 1971) handles the electric guitar duties so well (along with Jimmy Page and Albert Lee) that we would be hard pressed to say who turns in the better axe work on the album. (Some of these guys went on to become The Grease Band, but all of them had no trouble finding professional work with the best in the business.) (more…)

Every Picture Tells A Story – Our Shootout Winner for 2017


Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2017

  • A truly incredible copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one – a sonic powerhouse and Demo Disc par excellence
  • If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS in a BIG ROOM, with jump-out-of-the-speakers sound, this is the album for you
  • A Top 100 album, and Rod’s best music and best recording by far – nothing can touch it
  • “It’s a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music — few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.” – 5 Stars

More Rod Stewart / More Faces

This is a superb recording, and on a pressing like this it is a Demo Disc with little competition (if you have the kind of system designed to play these sorts of recordings).

Not too many of our Hot Stamper titles are going to ROCK the way this one can. We put it in a class with Led Zep II, Sticky Fingers, Nevermind, and Back In Black — elite company to say the least.

If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS in a BIG ROOM, with jump-out-of-the-speakers practically direct-to-disc sound quality, this is the album for you. The opening track on side one has drums that put to shame 99% of the rock drum kits ever recorded. The same is true of I Know I’m Losing You on side two. It just doesn’t get any better for rock drumming, musically or sonically. Micky Waller is brilliant throughout. Kenney Jones, who only plays on the showstopping “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, is clearly out of his mind).

Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here too — punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. If you have the system for it you are going to have a great time playing this one for your friends, audiophiles or otherwise. (more…)

What Other Live Rock Record Sounds This Good?


One of the best — if not THE best — rock concert albums we have ever heard. Can you imagine if Frampton Comes Alive sounded like this? If you want to hear some smokin’ Peter Frampton guitar work from the days when he was with the band, this album captures that sound better than any of their studio releases, and far better than FCA on even the best copies.

Grungy guitars that jump out of the speakers, prodigious punchy deep bass, dynamic vocals and drum work — the best pressings of Rockin’ The Fillmore have more live firepower than any live recording we’ve ever heard. Who knew?

Eddie Kramer, King of the Rockers

What Eddie Kramer did for Led Zeppelin II he’s done for Humble Pie on this album, and that’s saying a lot. If Zep II is the hardest rocking studio album in the history of the world, Rockin’ The Fillmore is its close companion, the hardest rockin’ live album in the history of the world.

Eric Clapton’s Debut Album – A Classic of Classic Rock

Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:

Forgotten Rock and Pop Classics


Eric Clapton

We had a killer pressing a few years back which sounded a whole lot better than I ever thought the album could sound. Man, what a revelation to hear an old favorite sound so amazingly spacious and sweet.

I’ve been playing this album since 1970, the year it came out. Back then my collection was made up of albums by The Beatles, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills and Nash, America, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Chicago, James Taylor, Spirit, The Band, Loggins and Messina, Blind Faith, Bread, The Who …

More Eric Clapton, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes

This was the music of my youth, and although many other artists and styles of music have been added to the playlist in the ensuing decades, Classic Rock still makes up a substantial portion of the music I play and enjoy today.

As is no doubt the case for many of you. It’s why Classic Rock is the heart and soul of our business. Finding quiet, exceptionally good sounding pressings of Classic Rock albums is probably the hardest thing we do around here. It’s what we devote most of our resources to, and if we can be indulged a self-compliment, it’s what we do best.

Of course having no competition to speak of is no little help in this regard. No one is even attempting to conduct the kind of record shootouts we find ourselves immersed in all week long. And who can blame them? It’s hard to put together the layers and layers of resources necessary to pull it off. There are a great many steps a record must go through before it finds itself actively for sale, and that means there are ten copies sitting in the backroom for every one that’s on the site. (more…)

Wheels of Fire and its Glaring Lack of Bass


It’s EXCEPTIONALLY difficult to find even decent sounding copies of this album. We’ve played SCORES of original domestic copies, original imports, and all kinds of reissues — trust me, most of them would make you cringe.

When you get a good copy, this music is AWESOME! For ’60s power trio hard rock, you just can’t do much better than the studio material.

White Room, Sitting On Top Of The World, Politician, Born Under A Bad Sign — this is the very essence of Classic Blues Rock. Unfortunately, the typical copy barely hints at the potential of this recording, and the audiophile pressings are even worse. (The DCC Gold CDs are especially bad in our opinion; they sound nothing like the good pressings we’ve played over the years.)

Where’s The Bass?

Most early pressings you find these days are thrashed beyond belief. We used to pick up every clean Plum & Gold label copy we’d find back in he day, but no more. We gave up. The Cream magic was just plain missing from the early domestic pressings. The problem is simple: a glaring lack of bass.

Let’s think about that. Cream is a power trio. The music absolutely demands a solid, weighty bottom end. Sacrifice the bass and the sound is just too lean to rock.

We can sum up the sound of the whomp-less copies in a word: fatiguing. As is always the case, some copies sound better than others, but none could give us the kind of bass that we were hoping for. (more…)

The Fleetwood Mac You Don’t Know – The Self-Titled First Album & English Rose

Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:

Forgotten Rock and Pop Classics


The Fleetwood Mac You Don’t Know

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and a Forgotten Classic from 1971.

You just can’t write better songs than Love That Burns or Black Magic Woman, both of which can be found here. And Albatross, the mellow instrumental that closes out side four, was a Number One hit in the UK in 1969, can you believe it? It was backed on some releases by Need Your Love So Bad, another one of our all time favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. The band was on fire back when Peter Green was at the helm. These two LPs are proof enough.

More Fleetwood Mac

The material found on this American-only compilation is tough to come by on vinyl; their early albums barely charted in the states and are anything but plentiful. The Peter-Green-led blues band that performed this music was huge in England however, and for me, personally, I would take Fleetwood Mac as a blues band over any other blues band from the period.

Keep in mind that some of these recordings are engineered to sound like old blues songs from the thirties and forties. Don’t expect audiophile sound on those tracks because it’s just not on the master tapes that way.

But it’s easy enough to tell when the material sounds right, and that’s all we are after here — the right sound. (more…)