Labels We Love – Capitol

Peggy Lee – Sugar ‘N’ Spice

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More Pop and Jazz Vocal Albums

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  • Sugar ‘N’ Spice makes its Hot Stamper debut here with STUNNING sound on both Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides
  • So hugely spacious and three-dimensional, yet with a tonally correct and natural sounding Peggy, this is the way to hear it
  • “Peggy is in fine voice and brings her sweet feminine tones to her ballads and her salty, seductive sounds to the more uptempo material. The backings are by Benny Carter and feature a compact orchestra with an emphasis on brass.”

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Glen Campbell – Gentle On My Mind

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  • Campbell’s wonderful 1967 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • This vintage Capitol pressing is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience – here is the Tubey Magical Stereoscopic presentation these kinds of recordings are known for
  • 4 1/2 stars: “The best of Campbell’s early albums, and also his first real commercial success. . . Campbell’s cover of ‘Catch the Wind’ is one of the finest covers of a Donovan song ever done, stripping away any hint of the composer’s sub-Dylan pretensions and bringing out the song’s genuine beauty — it’s folk-pop, in the same manner that Peter, Paul and Mary’s cover of Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ was, but excellent folk-pop.”

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Frank Sinatra – Swing Easy! And Songs For Young Lovers

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More Nelson Riddle

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  • This superb compilation of Sinatra’s two 1954 releases makes its Hot Stamper debut here with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one mated with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on side two, and the vinyl is about as quiet as we can find it
  • Drop the needle at the start of side one and you will soon find a living, breathing Frank Sinatra standing between your speakers
  • Exceptionally lovely All Tube sound from 1954, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by the legendary Nelson Riddle
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Sinatra plays around with the melodies without leaving them behind, delivering each line with precision. It ranks as one of his most jazzy performances, as well as one of his most fun and carefree records.”

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Laurindo Almeida and The Bossa Nova All Stars – It’s A Bossa Nova World

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More Bossa Nova Recordings

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  • This superb bossa-nova classic finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last on this original Capitol stereo pressing
  • Here is the Tubey Magical richness, size and space that only the best vintage pressings are capable of conveying to the critical listener
  • The brilliance of this All Tube Chain recording from Capitol in their heyday makes all the hard work you’ve put into your system pay off

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Rachmaninoff and Liszt / Favorite Classics for Piano / Pennario on Capitol

More of the music of Franz Liszt (1811-1880)

More Classical ‘Sleeper” Records We’ve Discovered

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White Hot Stamper sound on side two of this solo piano recording. It’s big, rich and above all REAL sounding, with natural studio space. The legendary soloist Leonard Pennario is presented here at the height of his powers. Superb choice of material, from Clair De Lune to Liebestraum to the Hungarian Rhapsody No . 2.

On the rare Stereo pressing of course — we want to hear all that studio space reproduced, just as your two ears would have heard it (more or less).

Side One

Graded Super Hot for the huge, solid-sounding piano, played with such verve and skill. The musical power on this side is stupendous. 

Side Two

Even better! No smear, with incredible clarity, and no sacrifice in weight or richness. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – A Swingin’ Affair!

More Frank Sinatra

More Nelson Riddle

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  • A Swingin’ Affair finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish – and the vinyl is as quiet as any we’ve heard on a late-50s Sinatra album
  • This superb pressing will put Frank Sinatra directly between your speakers, with his voice sounding as tonally correct and natural as we heard all day
  • Nelson Riddle and his orchestra back Frank with wonderful arrangements, and a copy like this lets you appreciate everyone’s hard work
  • This record plays Mint Minus Minus – about as quiet as any early Capitol pressing you’re likely to ever hear
  • 5 stars: “[A Swingin’ Affair!] exudes a self-assured, confident aura. It is a hard, jazzy album.”

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Frank Sinatra – Moonlight Sinatra

More Frank Sinatra

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  • You’ll find nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from first note to last on this elusive favorite from Ol’ Blue Eyes – exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • We’ve been working on this shootout for years – this is one of the few copies to ever hit the site
  • Master engineer Lowell Frank correctly captured the sound of every instrument here: the guitars, piano, strings, drums, percussion instruments — everything has the natural timbre of the real thing
  • “Driven by a set of lush, sparkling Nelson Riddle arrangements, Moonlight Sinatra is a low-key, charming collection. An enjoyable, romantic listen.”

These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that’s often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers (“relative” being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don’t agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.

The presence and immediacy here are wonderful. Turn it up and Frank is between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. On the best, hard-to-find copies, the sound is big, open, rich and full. The highs are extended and silky sweet. The bass is tight and punchy.

This Blue Green Label LP also has the midrange magic that’s missing from the later reissues. As good as some of them can be, this one is more real sounding. It gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is right in front of you.

He’s no longer a recording — he’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and the best pressings have it in spades. His voice is so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music because there’s no “sound” to distract you. (more…)

Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band – Live Bullet

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  • An outstanding copy of Bob Seger’s superb live album from 1976 with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all FOUR sides – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is surprisingly energetic, full-bodied and even Tubey Magical, in contrast to many of the early Bob Seger titles we’ve auditioned over the years
  • If you’re an audiophile who wants to catch up on all the Classic Rock Seger was making before Night Moves, this is surely the best way to start
  • 5 stars: “Live Bullet introduced Bob Seger to a wide audience, revealing a rocker of unbridled passion and a songwriter of considerable talent… It’s a rare occasion when a double live album captures an artist at an absolute peak, while summarizing his talents, and that’s exactly what Live Bullet does.”

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Nat King Cole – This Is Nat “King” Cole

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  • This vintage ’50s Capitol pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • These sides are insanely good — BIG, rich and Tubey Magical, yet clear and not the least bit thick or opaque
  • Turn down the lights, gently drop the needle at the start of side one and you will soon find a living breathing Nat King Cole standing between your speakers
  • “Cole as usual gives warm, confident readings of all this material, and fans welcomed the packaging of some songs previously available only on singles…”

A wonderful copy of Nat’s classic 1957 release. It’s taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make the shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble.

The presence and immediacy of Nat King Cole’s vocals here are ’50s Capitol Recording Magic at its best. Set the volume right and Nat is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. The selection of material and the contributions of all involved (Nelson Riddle among them) are hard to fault.

The sound is big, open, rich and full, with loads of Tubey Magic. The highs are extended and silky sweet.

What the best sides of This is Nat King Cole have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1957
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – Sinatra Sings… of Love and Things

More Frank Sinatra

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  • Two outstanding sides each earning Double Plus (A++) grades, and playing about as quietly as any early Rainbow Label Capitol stereo pressing can
  • This Capitol LP has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the later reissues, which, to our way of thinking, are not worth buying at any price. It gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is standing right in front of you, and that’s exactly the way we like to hear him
  • Somehow the man managed to record and release six studio albums in 1962, with this compilation making a total of seven for the year. Even more remarkable, all seven of them made the Top Ten of the pop charts
  • The music is excellent, as one can see from the track listing. It’s hard to go wrong with these later Capitol Sinatra records. They’re almost always a fun listen

This album comprises the last group of singles Capitol released of Sinatra’s music. Reprise had started in 1960 and the rest of Sinatra’s music would come out on his own label. (more…)