Top Artists – Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant

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  • These rare, original Tri-Color Reprise pressings are practically impossible to find with surfaces this quiet, but we found this one, don’t ask me how
  • The 18 minute plus title song sounds wonderful here – natural, Tubey Magical, and tonally correct, as befits any top quality vintage pressing, especially one with Lee Herschberg handling the engineering duties
  • 4 stars: “… provide[s] an insight into his uniformly outstanding — yet astoundingly overlooked — early sides on Warner Bros.”

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Various Artists / Woodstock

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  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • “As potent a musical time capsule as ever existed, it captures the three-day, 1969 concert event that united close to half a million members of what came to be known as the ‘Woodstock Generation’. It topped the Billboard Charts for four weeks and sold two million copies.”

You will have a very hard time finding a quieter copy!

Folks, it was a struggle, let me tell you! Not as much of a struggle as putting on the concert itself to be sure, but a struggle for those of us charged with finding good sound on this famously badly recorded album.

First off there are six sides to play for every copy.

Secondly the sound is problematical at best; figuring out what the best copies do well that the run-of-the-mill copies don’t takes quite a bit of concentration, and one has to stay focused for a long time (most of the day in fact). After a while it can really start to wear on your nerves. (more…)

Various Artists – A Tribute To Steve Goodman (2 LPs)

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Reviews and Commentaries for Bonnie Raitt’s Albums

This is a famous record here at Better Records. I’ve been raving about this album for close to 15 years. There was a time when albums like this could be found sealed in my catalog for $15 or $20. Those were the days.  

This All-Star tribute to Steve Goodman has some wonderful music on it. The high point for me is the duet between Bonnie Rait and John Prine on Angel From Montgomery. It’s one of my favorite Bonnie Rait songs, and hearing it live with John Prine singing takes it to another level. It’s followed by John Prine singing My Old Man, which is also a classic. (more…)

Arlo Guthrie / Alice’s Restaurant – Watch Out for Too Forward Vocals

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It’s hard to find a copy of this album that sounds right. Many of the copies we played suffer from a “forward” quality to the vocals, which make them positively unpleasant to listen to. Others had a complete lack of presence, which left them easy on the ears but ultimately boring. There were a few copies that got the vocals right but just didn’t have all the tubey magic you want for this kind of simple, folky music.

I’m not going to go out on a limb and say this is an album everyone needs in their collection, but it’s certainly enjoyable. For those of you who get a kick out of this slice of ’60s life, you’re going to have a very hard time finding a copy that sounds as good as this one!

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