Top Artists – Elton John

Elton John – Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player

More Elton John

More Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player

xxxxx

xxxxx

xxxxx

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

The tonality here is rich, tubey and warm. It doesn’t get thick or murky as many copies have a tendency to do.

The amazing engineer KEN SCOTT (Ziggy Stardust, Magical Mystery Tour, Honky Chateau, Crime of the Century, Truth, Birds of Fire) is the man responsible for the sound here.

The kind of Tubey Magical richness, smoothness and fullness he achieved at Trident in the early ’70s as well as here at a certain French country estate have never been equaled elsewhere in our opinion. (more…)

Elton John – Madman Across The Water

More Elton John

More Madman Across The Water

xxxxx

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

Shockingly good sound, the best sound for any copy that has ever made it to the site. This Madman is guaranteed to blow your mind. It certainly blew ours. 

A ridiculously tough album to find with the right sound and reasonably quiet surfaces — which is why we never have them on the site. (more…)

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

More Elton John

More Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

xxxxx

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

With three White Hot shootout winning sides and one Super Hot side, the four sides of these 2 LPs will show you a GYBR you never imagined could exist. We certainly never expected to hear it sound like this, I can tell you that. I’ve never begun to hear these songs have the energy, presence and rock and roll POWER that they do here.

The most obvious problems with the sound of this album are those common to most rock records of the era: lack of presence and top end, too much compression / congestion, smear, lack of weight from the lower mids on down — we hear tons of Classic Rock records with this litany of shortcomings. (more…)

Elton John – Empty Sky – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

More Elton John

Empty Sky

xxxxx

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

The undiscovered gem in the Elton John catalog! This original British Import demonstrates just how good a recording this is. The sound is excellent and the music is surprisingly good — and weird in a fun way! It certainly bears little relation to the middle-of-the-road pop songs Elton’s been making since the ’80s. These guys were young and figuring out their sound here, and this album takes Elton to some pretty interesting places. A fun debut album that is certainly worth a listen if you’re a fan of the classic albums that were to follow.

We’ve had dozens of these on our shelves for years but struggled to get this shootout done until recently. The main thing holding us back was how noisy most copies are, even the minty looking ones. Anyone who’s played DJM Brit pressings knows those guys had a very hard time pressing quiet vinyl. (more…)

Elton John – Elton John – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More Elton John

Elton John – Elton John

xxxxx

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

This original DJM British pressing has a SUPERB Demo Disc Quality side two and a wonderful A++ side one! You could easily play a hundred records from the ’70s and not hear one that sounds this good. The richness and sweetness of this side have to be heard to be believed. We would be very surprised if this copy didn’t become your favorite Elton John record — it’s an absolute knockout.

As is usually the case for this album and specifically these Brit DJM pressings, the vinyl is a bit noisy — Mint Minus Minus with constant moderate surface noise under the music.

Folks, if you’re looking for Classic Rock that still appeals to sophisticated adults forty plus years after it came out, this is the album for you. It’s one of the four Classic Elton John records (five if you count GYBR) that belong in every right-thinking audiophile’s collection.* (more…)

Elton John – Great job on finding what for me is a new reference disk

More Elton John

More GYBR

xxxxx.

“This hot stamper shows off the difference between a recording and a performance. Great job on finding what for me is a new reference disk.”  

The entire letter can be found below, along with our general notes about the recording.

Hi, Tom:

Got a chance to try your Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road hot stamper, and wow! EJ has never been one of my favorite artists, my liking his earlier output to some degree, but in my opinion GYBR is his magnum opus and his high water mark, down from which he slid rapidly into mediocrity.

I have tried a number of pressings of this record and always found it to be a good, but not great, recording, which is a shame considering it is one of the few double LP’s extant without anything approaching filler material. So I tried my Direct Disk Labs version, which was OK, but sounded veiled compared to the MFSL version, actually not bad for one of their efforts. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Another Passenger and Honky Chateau

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

Hey Tom,  

I want to say a big THANK YOU for the Hot Stampers you sent to me. Wish You Were Here is maybe the best sounding record I’ve ever heard (as you know I have a lot of Hot Stampers). I’m so amazed and lucky – I can’t describe it. The copy sounds out of this world with soooo well-defined bass, stunning clarity, warmth and richness, immediacy, astonishing transparency… It murders my old copy. Another Passenger and Honky Chateau are also Demo Discs of the highest order. 

Erik S.

Another Passenger

Honky Chateau

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – The Earliest Stampers Sound the Best, Right?

More Elton John

More Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

xxxxx
xxxxx
xxxxx

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

We had a White Hot stamper listing a while back with these comments featured prominently in the description: 

This is BY FAR the best sounding Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to ever hit the site, and BY FAR the best sounding copy we have ever played here at Better Records. And for those of you who think that the early stampers must be the best, note that this killer copy had no side with a stamper under three. How about them apples? As we like to say, screw all that Platonic thinking; we find the empirical approach of playing the records works a whole lot better, thank you very much.

We certainly never expected to hear it sound like this, I can tell you that. I’ve never begun to hear these songs have the energy, presence and rock and roll POWER that they do here. (more…)

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

More Elton John

More Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

xxxxx
xxxxx

  • An outstanding early British pressing with big, bold Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last 
  • There’s real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals, in-your-listening-room midrange presence and no shortage of rock and roll energy
  • Overflowing with great songs, way too many to list – Candle In The Wind, Bennie And The Jets, and GYBR all sound killer here
  • A Top 100 Title: “…its individual moments are spectacular and the glitzy, crowd-pleasing showmanship that fuels the album pretty much defines what made Elton John a superstar in the early ’70s.”

NOTE: The two discs in this set have slightly different labels. We have learned from our research that this is actually the way some sets were produced, so even though the labels are mismatched, this is in fact an authentic early British release.

GYBR has the best rocker Elton and Bernie ever wrote: Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Of course, it’s one of the tracks on side four we used to test with — if you’re going to listen to GYBR all day, why not play the songs that are the most fun to play? On the good pressings, the song just KILLS. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Elton John and John Coltrane

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

Hey Tom, 

You got me again. After hearing the Elton John record I was thoroughly pleased. It realized what I was imagining when I read your description on the website. I can only imagine what the Super Hot Stamper LP would sound like as a White Hot Stamper. Can’t wait to hear the Coltrane Hot Stamper.   (more…)