Records that Sound Best on the Original

Gerry Mulligan – Jeru

More Gerry Mulligan

More Jeru

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Black Print 360 original stereo pressing from 1962 put every other copy we played to shame – it’s White Hot on both sides. Tubier, more transparent, more dynamic, with that “jumpin’ out of the speakers’ quality that only The Real Thing (an old record) ever has. Hard to imagine any reissue, vintage or otherwise, can beat the sound of this amazing LP – we sure couldn’t find one.  (more…)

Traffic – Last Exit – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

More Traffic

Last Exit

xxxxx

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

This QUIET British Import Island Sunray (Pink Rim) pressing has THE BEST SIDE TWO WE’VE EVER HEARD, which is where the two extended live cuts are found. We played a bunch of these recently (nothing but Brits, the only way to go for this album) and no side two could keep up with this one. It’s got more extension up top, more weight down low, and more energy than we heard anywhere else.  (more…)

Andre Previn & His Pals – Pal Joey

More Andre Previn

More Pal Joey

xxxxx

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides – this copy is truly a knockout Piano Trio record 
  • Our best Hot Stamper copies will show you just how good Fifties All Tube Analog can sound
  • Yet another Demo Disc for Contemporary, the brilliant work of the engineering team of Dunann and Holzer
  • One of Andre Previn’s better jazz performances on record – his pals Manne and Mitchell are no slouches either

The piano sounds uncannily lifelike right from the start, a beautiful instrument in a natural space, tonally correct from top to bottom. I can’t think of many records off the top of my head that get a better piano sound than this one. Dunann and Holzer in 1957 are hard to beat. (more…)

Spooky Tooth – The Last Puff

More Spooky Tooth

The Last Puff

xxxxx

  • An outstanding Island Pink Label pressing of the band’s 1970 release, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The reason this is a Must Own Spooky Tooth album is their sludge-metal cover of I Am the Walrus, guaranteed to blow your mind – it sure blows ours
  • Includes “Something to Say,” co-written by Joe Cocker and later featured on his 1972 album
  • 4 1/2 stars: “It’s a good, solid effort that includes a burning cover of the Beatles’ ‘I Am the Walrus.'”

This vintage Island Pink Label pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Duke Ellington – Ellington Indigos

More Duke Ellington

More Ellington Indigos

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This 6-Eye Stereo pressing blew us away with its superbly well recorded romantic big band jazz, of which Ellington was a master. Both sides of this pressing are huge, rich, tubey and clear. This is absolutely the right sound for this music. A near-perfect demonstration of just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be – no modern record can hold a candle to a pressing as good as this one. If you like your jazz ballads performed with deep feeling, by a road-tested group of virtuoso players, this record is for you.

If you like the sound of relaxed, tube-mastered jazz, you can’t do much better than Ellington Indigos. Many of the other Six Eye copies we played suffered from blubbery bass and transient smearing, but the clarity and bass definition here are surprisingly good. The warmth and immediacy of the sound here may just blow your mind. (more…)

The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock N’ Roll

More Rolling Stones

It’s Only Rock N’ Roll

xxxxx

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

It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll is no slouch if you get hold of a good one. It can be a bit gritty and grainy at times, but you gotta believe that’s the sound the Stones heard in the booth and were totally cool with. Andy Johns engineered and he’s made as many super-tubey, super-rich and super-smooth recordings as anybody this side of Bill Porter. 

The Stones didn’t want that sound this time around. The Stones wanted this sound.

This album may have some of The Rolling Stones best music on it, but those looking for the best sounding Stones album should look in the direction of Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers or Let It Bleed. They’re simply better recordings. (more…)

Fleetwood Mac – The Pious Bird Of Good Omen

More Fleetwood Mac

More the Pious Bird Of Good Omen

xxxxx
xxxxx

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

If you’re a fan of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac — and who in his right mind wouldn’t be — then you can’t go wrong with this record. Need Your Love So Bad, Albratross and Black Magic Woman are all featured here.

Speaking of Black Magic Woman, the best copies of Pious Bird reproduce the bass-heavy drumming on that track much better than the Greatest Hits album we also recommend. It’s very unlikely that you can find better sound for that classic than right here on this very copy.

Side One

White Hot shootout winning sound. Big and rich, with correct tonality, this is the way early Fleetwood Mac is supposed to sound. No smear at all, which is rare on these pressings.

Side Two

Nearly as good, with rich vocals and plenty of punchy energy to drive the music. Good space too. (more…)

Chico Hamilton – The Further Adventures of El Chico

More Chico Hamilton

The Further Adventures of El Chico

xxxxx

  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish and the first copy to ever hit the site! 
  • These sides, recorded brilliantly by one of our favorite engineers, Bob Simpson, are big, full-bodied and present, with plenty of Tubey Magic and set on a a huge, three-dimensional soundstage
  • The record features the amazing Gabor Szabo along with other top players like Clark Terry and Ron Carter
  • Great pop jazz with excellent sound; if you’re a fan of Gabor Szabo, this music will be right up your alley

(more…)

Fleetwood Mac – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

More Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

xxxxx

  • Dramatically more impressive than any other copy we played – Triple Plus (A+++) throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The size, clarity, presence and energy are off the charts – and talk about Tubey Magic, this pressing is overflowing with it
  • The Mac’s debut is an extraordinary collection of Guitar-Based British Blues and an album that’s rarely on the site with sound this good and surfaces this clean
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Fleetwood Mac’s debut LP was a highlight of the late-’60s British blues boom. Green’s always inspired playing, the capable (if erratic) songwriting, and the general panache of the band as a whole placed them leagues above the overcrowded field…”

This is the band back in the day when they were playing their unique brand of Blues Rock, with Peter Green leading the band, about as far from Rumours as you can get. If you like British Blues Rock, I don’t think any other band can hold a candle to the Mac back then. Clapton may have been considered a god but I think Green is the better guitar player. 

The pluck of the guitar transients aren’t smeary and dull for once. There’s real extension up top, a big help to the cymbals, and the vocals sound tonally correct with just the right presence, placing Green front and center but still keeping the band in the mix. Like a good vintage Brit record, the sound is smooth, rich and full.

This is ANALOG, baby. They don’t make ’em like this anymore because they don’t know how. (more…)

Dire Straits – Alchemy: Dire Straits Live – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

More Dire Straits

More Alchemy: Dire Straits Live

xxxxx

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

Two of the sides of this original Vertigo British pressing are two of the best we played in our recent shootout, with transparency and spaciousness only hinted at by most of the copies we auditioned. 

Of course, this being a live rock album, clarity and detail are not at the top of the list of qualities were looking for. We’re after ROCK AND ROLL ENERGY more than anything else, and that means vocal presence, a solid bass foundation and plenty of dynamics. We want this music to come alive in your listening room and this is the copy that can do it! (more…)