Top Artists – Heart

Dog and Butterfly – Listen for the Fat Snare on Straight On

More Heart

More Dog and Butterfly

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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.

Take five copies of the album, clean them well and then cue up Straight On. Now listen for how fat and solid the snare sounds. At least three will have a snare that doesn’t have the heft of the real thing. At most one will show you what it should really sound like.

Of course the copy with the right snare sound may have other problems, most assuredly does have other problems, which is why you need about ten to fifteen copies to really do a proper shootout.

Side Two

The vocals were breathy and clear on this side two, and the overall sound was punchy and energetic. The main areas we took points off for were a lack of warmth and a bit of smear on the acoustic guitars. Most copies have trouble getting all the transient information to resolve properly. The acoustic guitars are the place where this is most easily heard.

Side one earned the full Three Pluses for sound, with some of the breathiest background vocals we heard on any copy. That is a key sign of transparency — the background vocals are clear and breathy behind the lead singers. Most of the time they will be audible but the texture of the voices will be compromised.

Rich full sound is of course key to any rock record; it’s a quality that we rarely find on Heavy Vinyl reissues these days. (Granted we play very few but the ones we do play don’t sound very good so why bother?)

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Cook With Fire 
High Time 
Hijinx 
Straight On

Side Two

Dog & Butterfly 
Lighter Touch 
Nada One 
Mistral Wind

AMG Review

Like their Magazine album, Dog & Butterfly peaked at number 17 on the charts, but the material from it is much stronger from every standpoint, with Anne and Nancy Wilson involving themselves to a greater extent. The light, afternoon feel of the title track peaked at number 34, while the more resounding punch of Straight On went all the way to number 15 as the album’s first single. With keyboard player Howard Leese making his presence felt, and the vocals and guitar work sounding fuller and more focused, the band seems to be rather comfortable once again.

Whomp Factor on Little Queen – Testing with Love Alive – Parts One and Two

Little Queen
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Heart’s Little Queen has long been a favorite Test Disc. It works especially well as a test for something we here at Better Records like to call Whomp — the energy found at the low end of the frequency spectrum. Some call it slam, we prefer whomp.

The commentary is here to help guide you as you make changes to your system, insuring that you end up with more whomp without sacrificing equally important qualities found in the midrange and top end of your system.
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Heart – Dreamboat Annie – Our White Hot Shootout Winner


Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2017

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  • An amazing copy of this Heart classic, Double Plus (A++) on the first side and Triple Plus (A+++) on the second
  • Punchy and present, open and transparent, with real weight and power to the low end, nothing else in our shootout could compare to this one on side two
  • There is so much more LIFE to this recording than I ever thought possible, and only the best pressings let that energy come through.
  • A Better Records Top 100 album, 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: “Aggressive yet melodic rockers like “Sing Child,” “White Lightning & Wine,” and the rock radio staples “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You” led to the tag “the female Led Zeppelin.”

See all of our Heart albums in stock

Not many records have this kind of big, rockin’ sound, that’s for sure! If you’re an audiophile who loves classic rock, you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard this album on a White Hot Stamper pressing. There is so much more LIFE to this recording than I ever thought possible, and only the best pressings let that energy come through. In a nutshell those are the ones that earn our top Hot Stamper grades.

We’re pretty fond of these ladies here at Better Records. Their second album, Little Queen, has been a favorite test disc around here for years. When Heart is at their best, the music is wonderful. If you’re lucky enough to own the right pressing — this one will do nicely — this band can ROCK with the best of them. (more…)