Genre – Rock – Glam Rock

City Boy – Young Men Gone West

More Glam Rock

More Albums from 1977

  • Super Hot Stamper or better sound on both sides of this Arty Glam Rock album
  • Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange before he hit it big with Foreigner and Def Leppard
  • As far as I know Mr Lange never produced an album that sounds this good
  • Plenty of Tubey Magical richness, which only the UK Vertigo pressings seem to have

Like many of my personal favorites, this is a band that never caught on in the states. I saw them live back in the late ’70s and thought they were killer — they reminded me of a more accessible version of 10cc. They write amusingly witty, clever lyrics and mate them to catchy melodies with lots of pop hooks, all produced with meticulous care and engineered with top audiophile sound.

They might fit in the general category of Glam Rock, owing, as they do, so much to Supertramp, Badfinger, Queen, 10cc, Ziggy-period Bowie and the like, but even as I write that it seems unfair to the band, which had a unique style all its own, worthy of the respect and admiration due any of these artists (well, maybe not all the respect, but some of it anyway). Fortunately for us record lovers, this is their best album. (more…)

Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure

More Roxy Music 

More Brian Eno

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) or BETTER sides, this UK copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • Roxy and their engineers and producers manage to capture a keyboard sound on their first two albums few bands in the history of the world can lay claim to
  • 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
  • 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.”

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.)

Strictly in terms of recording quality, For Your Pleasure is on the same plane as the other best sounding record the band ever made, their self-titled debut.

Siren, Avalon and Country Life are all musically sublime, but the first album and this one are the only two with the kind of dynamic, energetic, powerful sound that Roxy’s other records simply cannot show us (with the exception of Country Life, was is powerful but a bit too aggressive).

The super-tubey keyboards that anchor practically every song on the first two albums are only found there. If you want to know what Tubey Magic sounds like in 1972-73, play one of our better Hot Stamper Roxy albums.

Roxy and their engineers and producers manage to capture a keyboard sound on their first two albums that few bands in the history of the world can lay claim to. I love the band’s later albums, but none of them sound like these two. The closest one can get is Stranded, their third, but it’s still a bit of a step down. (more…)

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts / I Love Rock ‘n Roll – A Surprisingly Well Recorded Album for 1981

More Joan Jett

More Women Who Rock

  • A superb copy of Joan Jett’s iconic 1981 release boasting Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • A surprisingly well-recorded album for 1981 – rich and full-bodied down low, smooth up top, present and natural in the midrange, this audiophile sound quality really took us by surprise
  • And as you can see from the above description, when a pressing sounds like this, you can play it good and loud – the louder you play it, the better it sounds
  • 4 stars: “That dynamic, hard rock crunch is what made the title track into an international hit, but it also gives the album dimension — not only can Jett & the Blackhearts tear up heavy glam rockers, but they also pull off the mock psychedelia of Tommy James & the Shondells’ ‘Crimson and Clover’ with aplomb.”

(more…)

David Bowie / Aladdin Sane

More David Bowie

xxxxx

  • An outstanding vintage UK pressing of Bowie’s 1973 post-Ziggy classic with solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Remarkable for the richness, smoothness and warmth that the best Ken Scott Tube Recordings are renowned for
  • Plenty of Bowie Classics: Watch That Man; Aladdin Sane; Panic in Detroit; Cracked Actor; The Jean Genie; Lady Grinning Soul and more
  • “Bowie encyclopedist Nicholas Pegg describes it as ‘one of the most urgent, compelling and essential’ of his releases.”
  • Fun fact: Bowie “ruled the (British) album chart, accumulating an unprecedented 182 weeks on the list in 1973 with six different titles.”

THE BIG BOWIE SOUND for this wonderful follow-up to Ziggy Stardust! We just finished shooting out a number of import pressings of the album, and this import was one of the better copies we heard. This one’s got the kind of Tubey Magical Richness that takes these Glam Rockers to a whole new level. (more…)

Phil Manzanera / Diamond Head – Sonically As Big and Bold as They Come

More Roxy Music

More of Our Best Art Rock Records

xxxxx

  • This superb pressing of Phil Manzanera’s debut album boasts Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Two excellent sides – Demo Disc quality sound barely begins to describe the size and power of this recording
  • This album is an amazing SONIC BLOCKBUSTER, with sound that will positively leap out of your speakers
  • A shockingly well-recorded album from the ultra-talented Rhett Davies – this is his Engineering Masterpiece

The wind is at your back here because this is one seriously well-recorded album. If this copy doesn’t wake up your stereo nothing will.

Like its brother, 801 Live, this album is an amazing sonic blockbuster, with sound that positively leaps out of the speakers. Why shouldn’t it? It was engineered by the superbly talented Rhett Davies at Island, the genius behind Taking Tiger Mountain, the aforementioned 801 Live, Avalon, Dire Straits’ first album and many many more.

If we could regularly find copies of this Audiophile Blockbuster (and frankly if more people appreciated the album) it would definitely go on our Top 100 Rock and Pop List. In fact, it would easily make the Top Twenty from that list, it’s that good.

Looking for Tubey MagicRhett Davies is your man. Just think about the sound of the first Dire Straits album or Avalon. The best pressings of those albums — those with truly Hot Stampers — are swimming in it. (more…)

David Bowie – Space Oddity

More David Bowie

More Art Rock Records

xxxxx

  • An outstanding copy of Bowie’s sophomore release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • The sound here is huge, full-bodied, punchy and relatively smooth throughout, with real space and ambience around the vocals and instruments
  • “Abandoning both the mod and Anthony Newley fascinations that marked his earlier recordings, Bowie delves into a lightly psychedelic folk-rock, exemplified by the album’s soaring title track. . .”

One of the reasons the song “Space Oddity” sounds so amazing is that it was produced by none other than Gus Dudgeon, the man behind all the best Elton John records. It has Paul Buckmaster doing the string arrangements as well. His work on Elton’s self-titled album is awe-inspiring; we know of none better. (more…)

The Tubes – The Tubes

More of The Tubes

More Glam Rock

xxxxx

  • An outstanding copy of The Tubes self-titled debut with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • We guarantee the sound is dramatically bigger, richer, fuller, and livelier than any pressing you have ever heard
  • Their music is definitely not for everyone – I saw them live many years ago and they did put on one helluva show, but you have to be a fan of eccentric pop or none of it will make any sense
  • “Produced by Al Kooper, this debut by the notorious San Francisco group is best known for the blazing anthem “White Punks on Dope.” Although the Tubes’ raison d’être was their shock-rock stage dynamic, Bill Spooner, Fee Waybill, and company could, on occasion, deliver some offbeat pop splendor.

(more…)

Queen / News Of the World – We Made a Major Discovery in 2007

More Queen

Hot Stamper Albums with Huge Choruses

xxx

This EMI import LP has TWO SUPERB DEMO DISC QUALITY SIDES! Each received an A+++, making this BY FAR THE BEST SINGLE COPY we have ever heard. This copy set a new standard for the sound of this album; we’ve never heard anything like it! 

Side two made possible a major discovery regarding this recording. Through the first two songs on this side, the sound on the whole is very consistent – fairly dark and somewhat compressed (like most Queen records now that I think of it).

Then we listened to “It’s Late” with dropped jaws. It’s like a completely different album! It’s got high-end extension that can even be heard on the bad copies. Can you imagine having to be the mastering engineer for this album? The problems seem far too varied and complex to be fixed in the mastering. Then you hear a track like this and realize that the cutting equipment they were using must have been great. The sound is awesome.

No other record in our shootout received an A+++. In our last shootout of this record there were just too many problems with the recording itself, and now those problems seem to have been fixed. We can’t be sure there isn’t a copy out there that tops this one — The Black Swan effect — so top honors are being happily given out now.

Believe us when we say that you have never heard a News Of The World that comes close to our A+++ copy here, or your money back.

To say that this amazing sounding copy is rare is an unbelievable understatement. If this record is as meaningful for you as it is for me, I think you will quickly appreciate that it’s worth every penny of its price. All you have to do is drop the needle. All questions will be answered and all mysteries revealed.

Owning this White Hot Stamper is a PRIVILEGE that affords the listener insight into Queen that simply is not possible any other way. The emotional power of these songs is communicated so completely through this copy that the experience will be like hearing it for the first time.

Queen – Sheer Heart Attack

More Queen

Hot Stamper Albums with Huge Choruses

xxxxx

  • Queen’s killer 1974 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This copy rocks like crazy with serious weight down low, huge size and space, and plenty of driving energy
  • 4 1/2 stars: “. . . this sense of scale, combined with the heavy guitars, pop hooks, and theatrical style, marks the true unveiling of Queen, making Sheer Heart Attack the moment where they truly came into their own.”

(more…)

801 Live – When Clarity Obscures the Point

More Brian Eno

More Live Recordings of Interest

xxx

Some audiophiles get worked up listening for details in their favorite recordings. Is that where the music is – in the details? Lots of details come out when one copy is brighter than another.

Brighter ain’t necessarily better. Most of the time it’s just brighter. 

This album isn’t about clarity. It’s about the sound of a live Rock and Roll concert. It’s about the raw power of one of the most phenomenal rhythm sections ever to be captured in performance.

Next time you try out some audiophile wire or a new tweak, play this record to make sure you haven’t lost the essential weight and power of the sound. This album doesn’t care about your love of detail. It wants you to feel those bass notes going right through you. If the new wire can’t get that right, it’s got to go.

Our Hot Stamper Commentary for 801 Live Circa 2007

This is a one of my All Time Favorite records — a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one. I treasure this album. And I just now finally figured out how to tell the good ones from the not-so-good ones. I confess I was listening for the wrong things in the shootouts I was doing over the last few years, and in that I have the feeling I was not alone. I think this is a fairly common Major Audiophile Pitfall that we all get stuck in on occasion.

In this case I was trying to find a more transparent copy, one with more shimmer to the cymbals and air around the instruments. The first track is a little opaque and I wanted to be able to hear into the music better. I tried many import and domestic copies, but none of them seemed to have the particular qualities I was looking for. They all sounded different, but I could not for the life of me find one that sounded clearly better. (more…)