- Oscar Peterson Trio + One debuts on the site with INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them from first note to last
- Rich, solid bass; you-are-there immediacy; energy and drive; instruments that are positively jumping out of the speakers – add it all up and you can see that this copy had the sound we were looking for
- 5 stars: “Some guest soloists get overshadowed by Oscar Peterson’s technical prowess, while others meet him halfway with fireworks of their own; trumpeter Clark Terry lands in the latter camp on this fine 1964 session. With drummer Ed Thigpen and bassist Ray Brown providing solid support, the two soloists come off as intimate friends over the course of the album’s ten ballad and blues numbers.”
What could be better?
The opening track on side one has drums that put to shame 99% of the rock drum kits ever recorded. The same is true of I Know I’m Losing You on side two. It just doesn’t get any better for rock drumming, musically or sonically. Micky Waller is brilliant throughout. Kenney Jones, who only plays on the showstopping “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” is clearly out of his mind.
Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here too — punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. If you have the system for it you are going to have a great time playing this one for your friends, audiophiles and otherwise.
Kenney Jones: Quintessential British Drumming Royalty by Adam Budofsky
We used to do some of Rod’s songs live with the Faces, and “I Know I’m Losing You” was one of them. I’ll never forget when we recorded the studio version of that. I was watching a film at home and Rod called up and said, “We’re in the studio, can you come and do ‘Losing You’ for me?” Luckily it was only five minutes away. So I drove to the studio, got on the drumkit, did the track with the drum break in it, and finished. Then I went back to my house and watched the end of the film. That’s how quickly we did that one.
The song was never meant to have a drum solo, just a drum break that Rod would chant over. But in time the drum break got longer and longer, eventually turning into a bit of a solo. I never view it as a drum solo, though. If I were to choose to do a solo, it wouldn’t be that kind of rhythm, and it wouldn’t be that tempo, although I’ve gotten used to doing it by now. There’s lots of press rolls and triplets with the bass drum. Oddly enough, while I was doing it I kept thinking about “Let There Be Drums.”
Every Picture Tells A Story checks off some important boxes for us here at Better Records:
- Boasting two incredible Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this vintage import copy of the band’s Pop Masterpiece is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- We guarantee the sound is dramatically bigger, richer, fuller, and livelier than any pressing you have ever heard, and on this record that is saying a LOT
- A tough record to find in audiophile playing condition – copies with vinyl this quiet and with no audible marks were neither easy nor cheap to source from overseas
- The band’s Magnum Opus, a Colossal Production to rival the greatest Prog, Psych and Art Rock recordings of all time (Whew!)
- 4 stars: “Thanks to the duo’s uncompromising stubbornness, expansive creative vision, and Dave Bascombe’s final production, The Seeds of Love has dated better than either of its predecessors and is inarguably Tears for Fears’ masterpiece.”
- A vintage Mercury pressing with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Guaranteed to be a huge improvement over anything you’ve heard, this copy is big, punchy, and full-bodied with excellent presence
- It’s the rare copy that’s this lively, solid and rich… drop the needle on any track and you’ll see what we mean
- 5 stars: “…Moving Pictures is widely regarded as Rush’s best album and lauded as one of the greatest prog/hard rock outings ever. The trio honed the new wave-meets-hard rock approach from 1980’s Permanent Waves to perfection.”
- This early British pressing of TFF’s debut album is close to the BEST we have ever heard, with both sides earning killer Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades – just shy of our Shootout Winner
- Classic tracks like “Mad World,” “Pale Shelter,” and “Change” have stood the test of time – they’re played in TFF’s concerts to this day (we saw them not that long ago)
- Forget the dubby domestic pressings – with top quality Hot Stamper sound, this copy is sure to trounce anything you’ve ever heard
- Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
- 4 1/2 stars: “…powerful pieces of music, beautifully executed in an almost minimalist style…an exquisite sonic painting sweeping the listener up in layers of pulsing synthesizers, acoustic guitar arpeggios, and sheets of electronic sound…”
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” meaning 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.
Folks, take it from us, it is not every pressing that can manage to get rid of the digital harshness and congestion that so many copies suffer from, and then go on to open up its soundstage to be as wide, deep and tall as the enormous soundstage that you will hear on this very copy. When you have at your disposal a pressing like this one — notably richer, smoother and sweeter than many — the minor shortcomings of the recording will no longer interfere with your enjoyment of this groundbreaking music.
- This original UK import pressing of Sheet Music boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Rich, full-bodied, with sound that just jumps out of the speakers, this is a Truly Amazing Demo Disc on the order of Crime of the Century or Dark Side of the Moon
- If you don’t know 10cc’s music well, this is probably the best place to start – you just might find yourself beas big a fan as we are here at Better Records
- Bassist Graham Gouldman calls it “the definitive 10cc album” and he’s probably right about that (although we love The Original Soundtrack that came out a year later)
- “Three hit singles spun off the record, and most of the other tracks could have followed suit; it says much for Sheet Music’s staying power that, no matter how many times the album is reissued, it has never lost its power to delight, excite, and set alight a lousy day.”
- We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” with an accent on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. Sheet Music is a good example of a record many audiophiles may not know well but would be well advised to get to know better.
Sheet Music is, in our opinion, the most consistently well-written and produced 10cc album, with every track performed with heart and recorded with exquisite attention to detail. Each song flows into the next and there is simply not a dull moment to be found. Sheet Music is arguably the best record they ever made, although I’m such a fan, I think they’re all great. (The first five albums anyway.)
- You’ll find solid sound on both sides of this outstanding early UK pressing of 10cc’s fourth album, How Dare You!
- This wonderful LP will show you that 10cc’s commitment to Audiophile Recording Quality was – at the time – beyond reproach
- Forget the dubby domestic stuff and the no-doubt-awful Heavy Vinyl, this early British pressing is huge, spacious and rich, with prodigious amounts of bass, like no other copy you’ve heard
- 4 stars: “…a well-crafted album that shows off 10cc’s eccentric humor and pop smarts in equal measure… it remains a solid album of witty pop songs that will satisfy anyone with a yen for 10cc.”
- If like us you’re a fan of Arty Rock from the ’70s, this is a killer album from 1976 that belongs in your collection.
- The complete list of titles from 1976 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
With this superb British pressing, some of you who might consider yourselves more devoted fans of the band will finally be able to hear what a good recording this is. The typical domestic copy is a disaster as are some of the British originals and reissues; we should know, we cleaned them, played them and heard them for ourselves.
If you know anything about this band, you know their recordings are often amazing Demo Discs. We’ve done shootouts for all their most important titles and the sound on the best copies is OUT OF THIS WORLD.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, this is definitely one to check out. I don’t know of any other album like it.
Best sound on side one: “Lazy Ways.”
Best track on the album: “Rock ‘N Roll Lullaby.”
A Fan Favorite
How Dare You! has always been one of my favorite 10cc albums; I actually have the CD in my car so I can listen to it as often as I like.
That said, I would note that, although most of the album is made up of melodic pop of the highest quality, it does contain some offbeat material that will find its strongest appeal among real 10cc fans.
Sheet Music (1974) and The Original Soundtrack (1975) are more accessible for those of you who are looking to hear the best music the original lineup of the band has to offer. After that, I would point you to the reformed band doing Deceptive Bends from 1977, which is pretty much the last good album the band made.
All three are Must Owns in my book.
- This vintage pressing was giving us the sound we were looking for on Stewart’s 1971 Rock Masterpiece, with both sides earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them
- If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS in a BIG ROOM, with jump-out-of-the-speakers sound, this is the album for you
- The drum solo in “(I Know) I’m Losing You” is one of the best reasons any red-blooded audiophile should have big dynamic speakers, a big room, and enough power to drive them to very loud levels
- A Top 100 album, and Rod’s best music and his best recording by far – nothing can touch it
- 5 stars: “It’s a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music — few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.”
- On big speakers at loud levels, this is a Demo Disc of the Highest Order
This is a superb recording, and on a pressing like this, it is a Demo Disc with little competition (if you have the kind of system designed to play these sorts of records).
Not too many of our Hot Stamper titles are going to ROCK the way this one can. We put it in a class with Zep II, Sticky Fingers, Nevermind, and Back In Black — elite company to say the least. In other words, None Rocks Harder.
The opening track on side one has drums that put to shame 99% of the rock drum kits ever recorded. The same is true of I Know I’m Losing You on side two. It just doesn’t get any better for rock drumming, musically or sonically. Micky Waller is brilliant throughout. Kenney Jones, who only plays on the show-stopping “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, is clearly out of his mind.
Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here too — punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. If you have the system for it you are going to have a great time playing this one for your friends, audiophiles or otherwise. (more…)
- A killer copy of the band’s 1976 release boasting Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them from start to finish
- We’ve collected a bunch of these over the years – it took ages to find a few incredible pressings that delivered the kind of sound we were looking for, and here is a knockout one
- Most Rush records sound godawful, but this one actually has the potential to be amazing – as long as you’ve got the right copy
- 4 1/2 stars: “ proved to be their much sought-after commercial breakthrough and remains one of their most popular albums.”
- A killer copy of the band’s smash-hit album, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever mediocre pressing is currently on the market
- “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “Wanted Dead Or Alive” – they’re all here with the HUGE Rock Sound missing from the average copy
- 4 1/2 stars: “Slippery When Wet wasn’t just a breakthrough album for Bon Jovi; it was a breakthrough for hair metal in general, marking the point where the genre officially entered the mainstream… the best-selling album of 1987, beating out contenders like Appetite for Destruction, The Joshua Tree, and Michael Jackson’s Bad.”