Top Artists – Peter Gabriel

Genesis – Foxtrot – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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

After struggling with this album for YEARS, Foxtrot Hot Stamper are back! It is INSANELY difficult to find good sound for this album. We’ve laid out hundreds of bucks on clear Brit originals over the years hoping to find that magical pressing, but could not manage to get the kind of sound we were hoping for. We the started bringing in every variety of pressing we could find and finally found a few copies that actually delivered. Here’s the best of them all — a White Hot Stamper with an A+++ side one, and A++ to A+++ side two and quiet vinyl. Genesis fans, the long wait is over — it’s time to hear this album sound right.  

This pressing has the best sound we’ve heard for this album, bar none. Having said that, this is probably not going to be the first record you reach for when friends ask you to put something on so they can hear how good your system is sounding. This recording is all over the place — parts of it sound amazing but other parts are always a bit murky. In that respect it has much in common with all the Genesis recordings from the era. Finding one with presence and clarity in the midrange is no mean feat. Here’s one that we think fans of the band should have no trouble recognizing as superior to whatever they may have heard. Demo disc sound? Not exactly. Better than other pressings? Without a doubt. (more…)

Genesis – Nursery Cryme – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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

This QUIET Super Hot Stamper is actually on the Charisma Blue label, not the original, but it gave our best Pink label copies a run for their money, with superb bass, real rock energy and lovely midrange transparency. For fans of the Classic Lineup involving Phil Collins and Steve Hackett — this being the first album with them on board — side one of this copy will show you a Nursery Cryme the likes of which you have never heard. (If you own the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressing you are really in for a shock. That pressing is a smeary lifeless mess next to this LP.)  (more…)

Genesis – Live – Reviewed in 2010

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Superb sounding but somewhat noisy British Original (or what appears to be) pressing on the Charisma label. This album sounds RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I don’t think you can find a better sounding version than this one.

“A well-recorded showcase of the early group’s concert sound, much of what is here actually works better than the studio versions of the same songs…” AMG 

Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (1st Album) on Classic Records Heavy Vinyl

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Sonic Grade: D

Another addition to our Hall of Shame from one of our favorite whipping boys here at Better Records, the late but hardly lamented Classic Records.

Bernie Grundman’s mastering approach for the first PG album is a disaster — brighter and cleaner, which turns out to be precisely the wrong sound for the music.

Letter of the Week – Dynavector 17D3, The B-52’s and Peter Gabriel

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

Hey Tom, 

Hey guys, before I talk about my very first Hot Stamper let me say this. I have been going to your site for well over two years and was very reluctant to spend the kind of money that you charge for a used record. Come on! Are you kidding?? But I was very intrigued by the description of your system. I had felt that the weakest part of my system may be the cartridge. So I sprung for the 17d3.

WOW! A first class improvement. So I thought “Well if these guys are right about the cartridge, maybe there is something about these used records. After all I can always send it back, right?” So I ordered the B-52’s first album (125.00) and played it. And played it. No No No, get up off your knees and stop begging. You can’t have it back. It’s MINE. Although I do not have this album in any format, it is now a reference or demo if you wish, that lets me know how good my system really is. It has also revealed to me that I have records that sound pretty darned good. It has also given me a lesson on critical listening.

I have been listening to music for over 55 years, and you are never to old to learn. Last week I received my new VPI with Disc Doctor package, and it seems to have been a wise addition. I have found a few treasures that have been lurking in my collection. And I ordered a Peter Gabriel today. I am a happy camper. (more…)

Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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

This Charisma double LP was the uncontested winner of our shootout, earning a whopping 12 PLUSES across all four sides! In fact, this is BY FAR the best we’ve ever heard this album sound. After our last shootout — in which no side earned a top grade — we had almost given up hope of finding a true White Hot Stamper copy. Well, folks, our perseverance has finally paid off and this copy is the proof! When you find a killer pressing this complex, theatrical music really WORKS. 

No other copy in our shootout came close to this one. The bass, which can lack weight on the typical copies, is big and solid throughout, and the vocals are present and rich with great ambience. Bigger and more present, richer and fuller, with more space and transparency, this copy is absolutely As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) for this album!

This recording is always going to have a few issues. Certain tracks — particular the more rocking, guitar-heavy material — are ALWAYS going to get a little hard in the midrange, but on a good copy the issue is much less apparent and doesn’t get in the way of the music. And the more open, spacious keyboard and acoustic -driven songs which comprise the bulk of the album can sound really wonderful! (more…)

Peter Gabriel – So – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

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

TWO A+++ SIDES give you AMAZINGLY ANALOG SOUND for this digital recording! I don’t think you could find another copy of this album that sounds this good no matter what you do! We recently finished another big shootout for So, and we can tell you that the majority of copies — even the ones with the right stamper numbers — tend to be fairly harsh, edgy, and altogether unpleasant. When you find a copy like this, though, it’s worth all the trouble.    

With grades of A Triple Plus for both sides, this copy is SUPERB — punchy down low, sweet up top, full-bodied, lively, and above all, not too bright, spitty, or grainy. The vocals are present and clear and the bottom end is less opaque, blurry and bloated than on any copy you are ever likely to play. (more…)

Genesis – Selling England By The Pound – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this Charisma Import pressing! This is only the second Hot Stamper copy of Selling England By The Pound to EVER hit our site, and with both sides rating at least A++, it’s a monster! It’s beyond difficult to find good sounding copies of the early Genesis albums, but we managed to pull together enough clean copies to get this shootout going and eventually found a few copies that got the job done. The overall sound is big, open, transparent and tubey.   

Anyone who has tried to find good sounding copies of this album knows what a tough task it is. We’ve tried to do this shootout numerous times in the past five years and until this week had only come up with one great copy to show for it. Most of them that we’ve played are just too thin and/or lifeless to let this big production prog work its magic. The domestic copies we’ve heard have been uniformly hopeless, but most Import copies we’ve played haven’t been worth getting excited about either. (more…)

Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (Security) – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

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

Our first Hot Stamper shootout for Security is finally here, and man does this album sound better than I remember it from back in the ’70s when I first played a copy. Stereos have come a long way since then, along with a host of other things that help records sound better, such as cleaning fluids, room treatments and all the rest. 

Now you can really hear INTO the soundfield in a way that simply was never possible before, picking out all the drummers and counting all the layers of PG’s multi-tracked choruses.

For all you PG fans it’s been a long time coming. We’ve wanted to do this album for years but kept running into a roadblock we could not find our way around: the fact that most copies are thick, opaque, turgid, veiled — pick your favorite adjective for mud, most copies fit the profile. Nice clean copies would come in, sound murky and get filed away, as if aging them would bring out the transparency we were hoping to find but never could. Until now. Now we can clean them and play them better, and like we always say, if you clean and play enough copies, something good will come of it. (more…)

Peter Gabriel – Shaking the Tree – Recommended UK Press

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

New British import pressings with EXCELLENT SOUND. 

There is not a track here that wouldn’t KILL the sound of that track found on any of the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressings in a head to head shootout. And if you don’t agree we are more than happy to take this copy back and refund your money. (more…)