- Boasting two superb Double Plus (A++) sides, we guarantee you’ve never heard Hotter Than July sound this good
- Forget 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 this wonderful album, a vintage pressing like this one is the way to go
- 4 1/2 stars: “Wonder naysayed the trends and continues to do what he did best. Solid songwriting, musicianship, and production are evident in the majority of Hotter Than July… It is the portrait of an artist who still had the Midas touch…”
Most copies lack the presence, energy and bottom end weight to let these funky songs work their magic, but a copy like this will let you appreciate the music without the mediocre sonics of the average pressing getting in the way.
This album was recorded right at the beginning of the digital era (1980) and most pressings won’t let you forget that. So many copies we played were just too sterile to get into — clean and clear bit lacking richness and fullness. We’re huge Stevie Wonder fans around here and we’ve fallen in love with Innervisions and Songs In The Key Of Life over and over again because of their lush, analog sound on the best pressings. It took a ton of work (and a whole lot of copies) to find a Hotter Than July that we could get excited about. I don’t think there’s a copy out there that can compete with his earlier recordings sonically but at least the Hot Stamper pressings present the music in a way that audiophiles can enjoy.
Bottom line? Digital recordings are tough, but after playing a ton of copies of this album we’ve managed to find a few that were musical and enjoyable instead of fatiguing. If you haven’t played this album in years I can understand why — the typical pressings are just too clean and too dry to demand any time on your table. At least that was our experience until the top copies such as this one had us nodding our heads and rockin’ out with these great tunes. Check out a Hot Stamper pressing to remember just what a musical magician Stevie is — you’ll be jammin’ too!