Top Artists – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2016

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

This is a 2-pack of two Mono pressings, each with a killer Triple Plus (A+++) side. The White Hot sides are amazingly spacious, full-bodied, natural and clear with great presence. We greatly prefer the best Mono pressings to the best stereo copies, but they are very hard to come by.

This is our favorite of the early Dylan albums for both music and sound! We’re picking up both mono and stereo copies when we see them clean (which is rare) but the best mono copies truly take this music to a whole new level. (more…)

Bob Dylan – Street-Legal

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

This copy has an insanely good Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two. 

Which breaks the rules a bit because most side twos earned a sonic grade that was about a half plus higher than the average copy’s grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album. (more…)

Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming

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

We packaged together our very best A+++ side one with a different copy that boasted our best side two with the same top grade to give you this QUIET White Hot Stamper 2-pack! I doubt this is anyone’s very favorite Dylan album, but it’s sure a lot more enjoyable when you have sound like this. And if you want to hear what’s missing on the typical pressing, flip either copy over to the non-WHS side to see what we’re talking about. 

The big hit here is Gotta Serve Somebody, and Mark Knopler of Dire Straits is featured throughout the album. (more…)

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (Reviewed in 2008)

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

STUNNING MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE, BACKED WITH A TOP SHELF SIDE TWO! It ain’t easy to find Hot Stamper copies of this album, but when you play one like this it is worth all the trouble. When Johnny Cash starts singing, it is positively chilling. That’s the Man In Black, folks, and the immediacy of this copy puts him right there in the room with you! 

The presence and clarity of the vocals on this copy are BEYOND ANY REASONABLE EXPECTATION! Folks, believe me when I tell you that for Nashville Skyline, this copy is As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) on side one and darn close on side two.

Not only that, but the vinyl is unusally quiet — mostly Mint Minus for both sides with much less inner groove distortion than we’re used to hearing. It’s one of the QUIETEST Hot Stamper copies of this album we’ve ever put up! (more…)

Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home

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

TWO INCREDIBLE SIDES on UNUSUALLY QUIET VINYL! This may very well be the HOTTEST copy of Bringing It All Back Home to EVER hit the site, rating A++ on side one and earning top A+++ honors on side two. We pulled together enough clean pressings recently for a big shootout and this copy was the overall winner. The sound is lively, transparent and rich on both sides with excellent immediacy throughout. You will have an incredibly hard time finding another copy of this album that sounds so good and plays this quietly!  

It’s hard to find copies of this album that give you all the tubey richness and warmth that this music needs to sound its best. We’ve done this shootout a number of times over the years, but I can count the number of Hot Stamper copies that have hit the site on one hand. A lot of copies seem to be EQ’d to put the vocals way up front, an approach that makes the voice hard and edgy. Copies like that sound impressive at first blush (“Wow, he’s really IN THE ROOM!”) but get fatiguing after a few minutes. When you get a copy like this one that’s smooth, relaxed and natural, the music sounds so good that you may never want it to stop. (more…)

Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding

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

SUPERB SOUND and UNUSUALLY QUIET VINYL on both sides — I don’t think we’ve ever had a copy this amazing! Both sides earned our Top Grade of A+++. This copy has the bass, fullness & vocal presence that are hard to come by for this album. The title track, Dear Landlord, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, All Along the Watchtower and I Pity The Poor Immigrant are just some of the most memorable songs here.

It’s incredibly difficult to find copies that sound as good as this one does and play as quietly on even one side, let alone both.

It’s not a perfect record or a Demo Disc by any stretch of the imagination. But you’ll have a very hard time finding a copy that presents the music as well as this one does. (more…)

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

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

This 360 Label Original Columbia Mono LP, complete with the rare lyric sheet, has two LOVELY sounding sides that rate A++ or better. I was actually a big fan of the Sundazed Mono, but this has more of that Tubey Magic, richness, and overall naturalness that you find on old records, qualities that seem to be sorely lacking on even the best 180 gram remasterings. MoFi also did this record and ruined it in the process (shocker!).  (more…)

Bob Dylan – New Morning

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

Side one of this Columbia pressing is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! That’s where the great song If Not For You is found, and on this copy it is SMOKIN’. There’s tons of energy, real texture to the vocals, and more presence than we heard elsewhere. Check out that BIG bottom end! This side earned our top A+++ grade.  (more…)

Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks – What To Listen For

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

Many copies have no bass, while other copies are bright, a combination which ruins the sound of the acoustic guitars that dominate the album. On the better Hot Stamper pressings the bass will be deep and well-defined and the tonal balance will be correct.

The copies that fared the best in our shootouts were rich, warm, tubey and full-bodied — in other words, analog sounding. 

What To Listen For

It’s nice when the copy in hand has all the transparency, space, layered depth and three-dimensionality that makes listening to records such a fundamentally different experience than listening to digitally-sourced material, but it’s not nearly as important as having that rich, relaxed tonal balance. A little smear and a lack of resolution is not the end of the world on this album. Brightness, along with too much grain and grit, can be. 

What To Listen For — Side Two

The harmonica on the second track is devilishly difficult to get right. If there is any aggressiveness or grit in the sound of your copy, you will have no trouble recognizing it when that harmonica starts to play. (more…)

Letter of the Week – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

I just got my Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Super Hot Stamper. This may be the best record I have bought from you. Magical. I almost cried when I heard Girl From North Country. How you could give Side 1 only an A+ is shocking and a real testament to how hard you judge, but I think it was a Double Plus for sure. Side two blew me away. You guys are the best, I love this record.

I have to say I have totally changed my record collecting since I discovered your site.
It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Otherwise it might as well be streamed.

I think you’re the only people that really understand.

Jamie

 

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