Genre – Rock – Roots Rock

John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow

More John Cougar Mellencamp

xxxxx

  • Scarecrow finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • This copy rocks like crazy with serious weight down low, huge size and space, and plenty of driving energy
  • Featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s, boasting “Scarecrow consolidated the band’s rugged, roots-rock thrash and the ongoing maturation of Mellencamp’s lyrics.”
  • 4 1/2 stars: “A loose concept album about lost innocence and the crumbling of small-town America, Scarecrow says as much with its tough rock and gentle folk-rock as it does with its lyrics… [Mellencamp’s] writing has never been more powerful…”

(more…)

Dr. John – The Sun, Moon & Herbs

More Dr. John

xxxxx

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER for sound
  • Forget whatever lifeless, pointless Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful album from 1971, a vintage pressing like this one is the only way to go
  • “The seven cuts are all quite lengthy and the spells Dr. John and his consorts weave are dark and swampy… The Sun, Moon & Herbs is best listened to on a hot, muggy night with the sound of thunder rumbling off in the distance like jungle drums. Dr. John was definitely onto something here, but just what is left up to the listener.”

(more…)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

xxxxx

  • Insanely good CCR sound, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • An essential, Must Own for every Classic Rock collection, this LP includes some of the band’s biggest hits: Green River and Bad Moon Rising, Lodi, Wrote a Song for Everyone and plenty more
  • 5 stars “If anything, CCR’s third album Green River represents the full flower of their classic sound initially essayed on its predecessor, Bayou Country. One of the differences between the two albums is that Green River is tighter, with none of the five-minute-plus jams that filled out both their debut and Bayou Country, but the true key to its success is a peak in John Fogerty’s creativity.”

This copy is bigger, livelier, richer, more spacious, more relaxed and just plain more musically involving than every other pressing we played in our recent shootout. (more…)

Dr. John – Desitively Bannaroo

More Dr. John

More Roots Rock LPs

xxxxx

  • An incredible early Atco pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • Richness and plenty of tight bass are key to bringing the rhythmically challenging music of New Orleans to life, and here there is plenty of both
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they’re making – for Tubey Magic and energy, this is the only way to go
  • “As in In the Right Place, Mac has taken advantage of the specialized production talents of Allen Toussaint (at Toussaint’s own Sea-Saint Studios in New Orleans), and has again used the fabled New Orleans band The Meters as his studio group. Each of the 12 cuts on the LP has been well-conceived, clearly thought-out, and reveals a new level of musical depth for the doctor.”

(more…)

Dr. John – In The Right Place – Our Shootout Winner from 2017

xxxxx

 

Punchy drums, solid bass, smooth vocals, extended highs — this album was produced, recorded and mastered by superbly talented individuals who deserve a lot of credit for the work they have done here. 

If you like Little Feat this album should be right up your alley. They’re one of the all time great bands of the ’70s (and still going as far as I know).

This original Yellow Label Atco pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even 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. (more…)

The Band – Music From Big Pink

xxxxx

  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Forget all those veiled, lifeless, ambience-free, vague sounding Heavy Vinyl pressings – THIS is the sound of the album
  • This copy resolves the intricacies of the recording that make repeated plays the order of the day for us audiophiles
  • 5 stars: “…as soon as “The Weight” became a singles chart entry, the album and the group made their own impact, influencing a movement toward roots styles and country elements in rock. Over time, [the album] came to be regarded as a watershed work in the history of rock, one that introduced new tones and approaches to the constantly evolving genre.”

We guarantee you have never heard Music from Big Pink sound as good as it does on this very copy. There’s plenty of the all-important Tubey Magic and real weight to the bottom. You’ll have a VERY hard time finding one that sounds this good, if our experience is any guide.

This copy has the kind of sound we look for in a top quality Band record: immediacy in the vocals (so many copies are veiled and distant); natural tonal balance (most copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; ones with the right balance are the exception, not the rule); good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful); spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space); and last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sophisticated recording. (more…)

John Fogerty – Eye Of The Zombie

xxxxx

  • Good sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them
  • Don’t waste your money on whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of Fogerty’s second solo album, a vintage ’80s pressing like this one is the only way to go
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • John’s last album for over a decade and while not quite as good as Centerfield, there’s still some excellent tracks here, such as “Change in the Weather” and “Knockin on Your Door”

(more…)

The Band – Rock Of Ages

xxxxx

  • Superb sound throughout with all four sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The best copies are surprisingly TRANSPARENT — just listen to all the “room” around the vocals on these four sides
  • A classic double live album with a consistently well-arranged and energetically performed set of songs
  • 4 stars” “It could be argued that it captured the spirit of the Band at the time in a way none of their other albums do.”
  • One of the few copies from our shootout that had no marks that play, a rarity for this title!

The performances are uniformly excellent, and the live five-piece horn section adds a lot to the fun and energy of the music. (The same can be said for Little Feat’s live album, Waiting for Columbus. We’ve been offering Hot Stampers on that album for years; it’s the best way to hear the band at their best, outside the studio.)

There’s real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals, in-your-listening-room presence, and plenty of rock and roll energy.

All four sides here are bigger, richer, clearer and smoother than most of the other copies we played. The energy level is off the charts. This is The Band playing live at the peak of their powers. Hearing this killer pressing should be unlike anything you have experienced before, unless you saw them back in the day, more than forty years ago, and how many of us can honestly say we did? (Honestly being the operative word there.)

It should go without saying that this is music that belongs in any popular music collection. My favorite song here is “I Don’t Want To Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes.” It’s The Band at their best — LIVE. (more…)

The Band – Stage Fright

xxxxx

  • A KILLER sounding copy with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Both sides boast Tubey Magical richness, musical tonality and big bottom end
  • Stage Fright and The Shape I’m In are among the most well-known tracks here and they sound out of this world on a copy like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… their most nakedly confessional [album]. It was certainly different from their previous work, which had tended toward story-songs set in earlier times, but it was hardly less compelling for that.”

(more…)

The Band – The Band

xxxxx

  • With superb Double Plus (A++) sonic grades or BETTER on both sides, this is an outstanding copy of an absolutely essential album
  • Big bass, rich meaty guitars and smooth silky vocals make this a Band album like you have never heard before
  • Not only is the sound superb, but both sides here play Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as we can find them
  • 5 stars: “As had been true of the first album, it was the Band’s sound that stood out the most… The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal…”

The lucky person who takes this record home is in for quite a shock. This very pressing is proof positive that this album is much better recorded than the audiophile community gives it credit for being. How could anyone judge the sound of the record without a great copy such as this one to play?

This vintage pressing has no trace of phony sound from top to bottom. It’s raw and real in a way that makes most pop records sound processed and wrong. These two sides have plenty of the qualities we look for in an album by The Band. Energy, presence, transparency, Tubey Magic… you name it, you will find it here. Its biggest strength — and the biggest strength of the album as a whole — is its wonderful, natural midrange.

And the bass is HUGE. On the best copies it always is.

Drop the needle on The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down or King Harvest Has Surely Come and get ready for some serious Analog Magic. This is a Band album like you have never heard before. (more…)