Labels We Love – Arista

The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame. 

For the first time ever, we’ve found Hot Stamper versions of I Robot! No copy in our shootout fared better than this one, which earned an A+++ on side one, an A++ on side two and played pretty quietly throughout. If you’re a fan of this album who has been playing a typical copy, or — even worse — one of the MoFi versions, you are sure to be very impressed with the kind of sound this White Hot Stamper copy delivers. 

Side one earned our top grade of A+++ and did everything we were hoping for. You get a strong, solid bottom end setting the foundation, which is exactly what you need to make a funky tune like I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You come to life. The overall sound is clean, clear and transparent. Many copies tend to be overly smooth, this one has the kind of clarity that allows the natural textures of the instruments to come through. (more…)

The Kinks – Sleepwalker

More The Kinks

Sleepwalker

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  • A superb copy of the Kinks triumphant return to the charts, with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one
  • It’s the first copy to hit the site in a year, and it plays on relatively quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout 
  • The sound is full-bodied, lively and smooth – RL’s mastering contributes the big bottom end you want for this music
  • Juke Box Music represents Ray Davies’ fun and engaging pop sensibilities at their best
  • Rolling Stone raved that “The Kinks’ playing on Sleepwalker is easily their most powerful since ‘Lola.'”

We really enjoy the music of The Kinks here at Better Records, but most of the time the sound of their records is too mediocre (or worse) for serious audiophile listening. I love You Really Got Me as much as the next guy, but it’s insanely tough to find killer copies of old records like that. (Every now and then we manage, but regular visitors to the site know how infrequent that is.) (more…)