Labels We Love – Arista

Grateful Dead – Go to Heaven

xxxxx

  • With Triple Plus (A+++) Shootout Winning sides or close to them, this copy had some of the best sound we have ever heard for Go to Heaven – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Bill Kreutzmann noted, “If you go back and (re)listen to it, you’ll find that time has been very kind to Go to Heaven. It plays better now than it did back then. That’s still no excuse for the cover, though – all six of us, dressed all in white disco suits against a white background.”
  • Classic Rock Review wrote, “While this may be a far cry from the group’s lauded stage improvisation, it made for an enjoyable studio album which holds up decades later…. It still sounds good today and shows that this band had some vast talent away from the stage.”

(more…)

The Outlaws – The Outlaws

xxxxx

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

It’s easy to spot the good ones. They’re big and rich, never thin nor harsh. They open up on the top end and go down deep on the bottom. They’re smooth and full-bodied in the midrange. The guitars ring out. The energy of the performance drives the music the way you want it to.   (more…)

Whitney Houston – Whitney

xxxxx

  • This KILLER Arista pressing has surprisingly natural sound for an ’80s release – it earned Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them on both sides
  • Full-bodied, big, rich and solid, this album has the kind of analog sound we did not expect to find, but were pleasantly surprised, thank goodness
  • Lot of hits here: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”
  • “Whitney Houston became an international star with this album. It sold more than ten million copies around the world, yielded a string of number one hit singles across the board…”

(more…)

Grateful Dead – Shakedown Street

xxxxx

  • This original Arista LP earned Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades – you’ll have a hard time finding a copy that sounds remotely as good as this one does – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Midrange magic that’s no doubt missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • Grateful Dead fans and completists will surely want to add this to their collection – it’s As Good As It Gets
  • “The rough-edged blues of “I Need a Miracle” and the Caribbean-tinged “Fire On the Mountain” would become set list staples, and their Latin-flavored version of The Rascals’ ’60s rock classic “Good Lovin'” is one of the band’s most beloved covers.” Amazon

(more…)

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

xxxxx

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

xxxxx

  • 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…)