This original pressing has two excellent sides, which is two more than the typical cardboardy, flat, thin, lifeless copy has. If you like your music dry and clean, try the remixed version, the CD, or perhaps there is a heavy vinyl version out there (at one-tenth the price). That’s not our sound here at Better Records. The best recordings from the era do not have that sound, so when we find that kind of analog richness, sweetness and naturalness on a pressing such as this, we know the record is right.
The nearly 13-minute long version of Loan Me A Dime on side two is out of this world and the best reason to play the album. Another good reason: Duane “Skydog” Allman on guitar!(more…)
A stunning copy of this Hall and Oates classic from 1982 with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two, mated with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on side one – mostly quiet vinyl too
It’s lively, open, and natural – the voices of the two leads sound especially full-bodied, real and tonally correct from top to bottom, which is pretty much all you need to earn top grades in a shootout
Much more consistent than most of their releases, this one boasts three killer hits including Maneater, Family Man and my All Time Favorite by the band, One on One
4 stars: “Private Eyes solidified Hall & Oates’ status as one of the most popular acts in America in the early ’80s, and…… with 1982’s H2O, they capitalized on its success, delivering an album that turned out to bigger than its predecessor, as it climbed higher on the charts and launched three Top Ten singles…”
An incredibly good UK pressing – only the second Shootout Winner to hit the site in many years, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides
Big, lively and dynamic, with huge amounts of bass (Elvis’s trademark sound) and New Wave energy that’s off the charts
Get Happy, coming right before the brilliant Trust, contains Elvis classics like I Can’t Stand Up (for Falling Down) & Motel Matches
The AMG Five Star rating “…a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force…” and killer recording quality make this a Must Own for Elvis fans
Two amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sides for this rip-roarin’, twenty song, five star rated Elvis Costello extravaganza!
This is the record that came right after Armed Forces, which is a huge favorite around these parts, and the venerable All Music Guide gives both albums five big stars. I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but it’s certainly full of good material. Out of the twenty songs on here, exactly one clocks in at over three minutes.(more…)
This is an album of wonderful white soul music. As a bonus, it also happens to be very well recorded. The problem we ran into on copy after copy was a brighter than ideal tonal balance, hard vocals and, on those copies that don’t extend fully on the top and bottom, a somewhat squashed, peaky midrange.
The better copies deal with those issues and, for the most part solve them. There’s lovely texture to the strings, plenty of punchy rich bass, and all the elements of the recording are properly balanced, something they still knew how to do back in the all analog days of 1974, I’m glad to report.(more…)
This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl for the most part too, although one mark is a problem
Rich, smooth, Tubey Magical sound is what makes these wonderful import pressings win our shootouts – that and lots of funky bass
The best album Robert Palmer ever made – with Little Feat and The Meters helping out, it had to be
4 stars: “While the music is tight and solid, it is Robert Palmer’s voice that is revelatory — he sounds supremely confident among these talented musicians, and they seem to feed off his vocal intensity. Fans of the Meters or people who want to discover the funky side of Robert Palmer should check this one out.”
This original (SD-8239) pressing has two excellent sides, which is two more than the typical cardboardy, flat, thin, lifeless copy has. If you like your music dry and clean, try the remixed version (SD-19166), the CD, or perhaps there is a heavy vinyl version out there (at one tenth the price). That’s not our sound here at Better Records.
The best recordings from the era do not have that sound, so when we find that kind of analog richness, sweetness and naturalness on a pressing such as this, we know the record is RIGHT.
What to Listen For — Background Singers You Can “See”
If you have multiple copies of the album and want to shoot them out, here’s an easy test. Listen for how clear and correct the female background singers sound. This is an excellent test because it will hold true for both sides on the album.
On opaque copies they are hard to “see”; on transparent copies they are easy to “see.” On tonally thin copies they will sound edgier and harder than they should. And on Tubey Magical copies they will sound full-bodied, solid and real.
A superb copy of Wavelength with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
Richer, warmer and bigger than practically all of the other copies we played, here is the kind of analog smoothness that’s essential to the sound of Morrison’s music
His biggest selling album to date? Seems hard to believe but that’s what is says on Wikipedia – it went gold in 3 months
Time magazine raved: “Morrison has made two, maybe three albums that rank high among the finest of all rock ‘n’ roll. Wavelength is good enough to stand close by Morrison’s best work, a record of sinuous, sensuous magic. The man just can’t be beat.”
A stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) copy of this great sounding Van Morrison album, a favorite of ours here at Better Records
The sound is full-bodied, clear, and brimming with the soulful energy of this great artist
The best sounding Van Morrison album, a Top 100 title, with classic 1970 Analog sound – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
“As “Domino” opens the album with a show of strength. “Street Choir” closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van’s two or three finest songs.” Rolling Stone
This is the album that came out between Moondance (in the same year in fact, 1970) and Tupelo Honey, but for some reason, it don’t get no respect. We think that’s insane — the material on this album is stellar and the sound on the best pressings is out of this world!
Here’s a copy that really makes our case for us. Both sides of this original Warner Bros. pressing sound AMAZING! We went through a massive stack of copies and let me tell you — most of them sure don’t sound like this! Take this one home for some of the best Van Morrison sound you will ever hear.
For years I thought that Moondance was the best sounding album in the Van Morrison catalog. His Band And Street Choir is even better. One reason for that would have to be that Robert Ludwig mastered it, and he can usually be counted on to do an excellent job.(more…)
We’ve always been big fans of their AWB album, but it was only recently that we discovered how good Cut The Cake can sound on the right pressing. Most of the copies we’ve heard over the years have sounded flat and dry, but we got a hold of a hot one here! All Music Guide calls it “one of their finest, most engaging albums” and when it sounds this good, we sure aren’t going to argue!
Check out the title track and School Boy Crush for some funky fun with great sound!(more…)
A superb copy of Scaggs’ Masterpiece, with amazing Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
This copy brings out of the mix the solid, weighty piano that’s missing from the CBS Half-Speed and 90% of the reissues
We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
5 stars: “[Scaggs] hit the R&B charts in a big way with the addictive, sly Lowdown… and expressed his love of smooth soul music almost as well on the appealing What Can I Say.”
NOTE: *On track three there are five light ticks during the outro.
Stunning sound on the better recorded tracks, which I’m happy to say are most of them. And why not? This band is basically Toto with Boz Scaggs singing lead. Paich wrote most of the songs and most of the Toto band (which didn’t exist yet of course) is in the house. (No Lukather, but the guitarists on hand manage to pull it off without him.) Check out the legendary Jeff Porcaro’s twin hi-hats on Lowdown, one per channel, energizing the rhythm of the song big time.
One of the main qualities separating the winners from the also-rans on this title is the quality of the bass. This is rhythmic music, first and foremost. David Hungate just kills on this album; he’s giving a master class on rock and roll bass on practically every track.
And, for us audiophiles, the good news is the bass is very well recorded — big, punchy and well upfront in the mix. The bad news is that only the best copies show you the note-like, clear, rich bass that must be on the master tape. Vague and smeary bottom end is the rule, not the exception, and it’s a veritable crime against Well-Recorded Sophisticated Pop such as this.(more…)