Only the second Shootout Winning copy to ever hit the site and boy is it KILLER! Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides
About as quiet as these British copies come – Mint Minus Minus throughout
“… “tasteful, subtle and refined” – Melody Maker
This original pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot 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.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.(more…)
Yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.
This is one of the rare pop/rock albums that actually has actual, measurable, serious dynamic contrasts in its levels as it moves from the verses to the choruses of many songs . The second track on side two, Demon Lover, is a perfect example. Not only are the choruses noticeably louder than the verses, but later on in the song the choruses get REALLY LOUD, louder than the choruses of 99 out of 100 rock/pop records we audition. It sometimes takes a record like this to open your ears to how compressed practically everything else you own is.(more…)
With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side one and a superb Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy could not be beat
The unprocessed quality found throughout the album has its audiophile credentials fully in order, especially in the area of guitar harmonics, as well as drums that sound like real drums actually sound
The foundation of the music is provided by two legendary guitar heavyweights, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, with Jacqui McShee’s almost unbearably sweet vocals soaring above them
The best material from Pentangle’s amazing first six albums, with sound that’s full of British Analog Tubey Magic
“Pentangling is filled to the brim with some of the finest recordings the British folk movement had to offer…”
This album presents the classic 1969 lineup at its best, with superior sonics to boot.
The unprocessed folky sound found throughout the album has its audiophile credentials fully in order, especially in the area of guitar harmonics, as well as drums that sound like real drums actually sound. (How many of the ’70s rock albums in our Top 100 have that natural drum sound? Not many when you stop to think about it.)
When I was selling audio equipment back in the ’70s this was one of our Demo Discs. The song Pentangling has beautifully recorded drums and string bass. The first track, I’ve Got A Feeling, is lovely as well.
Notice how there is nothing — not one instrument or voice — that has a trace of hi-if-ishness. No grain, no sizzle, no zippy top, no bloated bottom, nothing that reminds you of the phony sound you hear on audiophile records at every turn. Silky sweet and Tubey Magical, this is the sound we love here at Better Records.(more…)
Listen to the chorus on the first track, The Ark. On the best copies it really gets loud without becoming harsh or shrill. So many popular albums have choruses (and guitar solos) that are no louder, and sometimes not even as loud, as the verses, which rob the songs of any real drama or power. This recording has the potential to give you a dramatic, powerful, loud chorus. It’s a thrill when you find a pressing that delivers on that promise.(more…)
What to listen for on this album? That’s easy: The all-too-common ’70s EMI harshness and shrillness. We could never understand why audiophiles revered EMI as a label the way they did back the day. I chalk it up — as I do most of the mistaken judgments audiophiles tend to make about the sound of records, my own included — to the limitations of the equipment, bad rooms and poor record cleaning.
If you had vintage tube equipment back in the ’70s — McIntosh, Marantz, etc. (I myself had an Audio Research SP3-A1 and a D-75a, later a D-76a) — the flaws heard on most copies of this record wouldn’t be nearly as offensive as they are to those of us playing them on the much more revealing systems that are possible today.(more…)
Side one earned a Double Plus (A++) grade and side two was even better, nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++)!
This copy has some of the tubiest, richest, yet clearest Moody Blues sound we’ve heard
Huge and spacious with strong midrange presence – this is the way the band should sound, alive and kickin’!
Includes the big hit Question, one of the all time greats by the band, which sounds fantastic here of course
Note that the sound on side one seems to get better as it goes, a phenomenon we have noticed often in the past.
What to Listen for
Achieving just the right balance of “Moody Blues Sound” and transparency is no mean feat. You have to be using the real master tape for starters. Then you need top end extension, a very rare quality on these imports, and finally, good bass definition to keep the bottom end from blurring and bleeding into the midrange. No domestic copy in our experience has ever had these three qualities, and only the best of the British imports (no Dutch, German or Japanese need apply) manages to get all three on the same LP.(more…)
TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this British Sunray Island pressing. SSTTA is very hard to find nowadays, but we managed to put together a big enough stack to make a shootout possible, and this copy acquited very well indeed — it was miles ahead of the typical pressing. As is usually the case with these originals, the vinyl is a bit noisier than ideal at Mint Minus Minus.
No doubt this is the best album Robert Palmer ever made. With Lowell George’s unmistakable slide guitar and members of the Meters providing backup, as well as the amazing Bernard Purdie on drums, it’s the only Robert Palmer release that consistently works all the way through as an album. The entire first side is excellent from top to bottom, with the title track being our favorite RP song of all time. (more…)
Superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides – this is one of the better sounding copies we played in our recent shootout
With a wonderful combination of Tubey Magical richness and clarity, this pressing will be very hard to beat
Full-bodied and lush, yet not veiled or distant, this is the sound that brings the Moodies magic to life
4 1/2 stars: “The best-realized of their classic albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour was also the last of the group’s albums for almost a decade to be done under reasonably happy and satisfying circumstances — for the last time with this lineup, they went into the studio with a reasonably full song bag and a lot of ambition and brought both as far as time would allow…”
This copy had the BIG, RICH, LUSH British sound that can only be heard on the very best Moody Blues pressings.(more…)
One of the better sounding copies to hit the site in a while – this British original earned Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
Rich, smooth, clear sound throughout – listen to the grungy guitars on Walk Out In The Rain – that’s the way they should sound all right
Clapton comes to life on the traditional blues Early In The Morning – it also has the best sound on the album
“Backless is a seductive record, if you’re attracted to the interplay of Clapton’s dolorous voice and Marcy Levy’s raspy backup vocals, George Terry’s slide guitar and Glyn Johns’ pristine production.” Rolling Stone
The true test for side two was the second track, the old blues song Early In The Morning. It’s by far the best sounding track on the album, with huge space, rich bass, a fat snare and Tubey Magic to die for. This is the kind of sound that only the likes of Glyn Johns can get down on tape, live in the studio no doubt, and it made it easy to do the shootout for side two. The bigger, the richer, the tubier, the more transparent the better. It’s THE track to demo with. (more…)