B.B. King’s superb 1975 release finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
Unusually rich, full-bodied, lively and present sound which brings out the best in this music
“I’m always impressed by how crafted the music sounds on this album while still managing to feel spontaneous and natural. This is exactly what this sort of jazz/blues music should sound like. The percussion, the horns, the guitar solos, the vocals. Everything just sounds so right in a low-key but effective way. All the parts fit together perfectly. …Energy, passion and emotion flow through this album; B. B. King and company make it all sound effortless.”
An incredible sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
Both sides here are stunning – big, full-bodied and Tubey Magical yet still pretty clear, spacious and open
“The combination of King and the well-oiled Philly rhythm section that powered hits by the O’Jays, Spinners, and Stylistics proved a surprisingly adroit one. Two huge hits came from this album, the Stevie Wonder/Syreeta Wright-penend title track and “I Like to Live the Love,” both of them intriguing updates of King’s tried-and-true style.” – All Music
A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
An A++ side one backed with an A+ side two! We had the chance to sit and play a big stack of these recently and only a few copies sounded any good. This was one of the better overall copies, especially on side one which is full of tubey magic. Check out how cool the tuba sounds anchoring the bottom end on the opening track! Both sides were more open and transparent than most of what we played.
Side one is open and transparent with lots of tubey magic. The overall sound is clean, clear and natural. Side two isn’t quite as rich but it’s still very lively, musical and natural.(more…)
An outstanding copy of Midnight Believer with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish
Rich and full-bodied, clean, and clear, while the bass is big and punchy, and the energy level is off the charts
B.B. is backed by members of The Crusaders here, and on a copy like this one you can really get a sense of just how much they contribute to this music
“Another collaboration that worked a lot better than one might have expected. King and the Crusaders blended in a marginally funky, contemporary style for the buoyant ‘Never Make Your Move Too Soon’ and an uplifting ‘When It All Comes Down.'”
B.B. is backed by members of The Crusaders here, and on a copy like this one you can really get a sense of just how much they contribute to this music. The best sides have the kind of rich, full tonality and extended low end we just don’t hear often enough!
You can be sure this will beat the pants off the Direct Disc Labs Half-Speed Mastered pressing, or your money back. It’s no wonder they wanted to do an audiophile pressing of the album — it’s a superb recording. But mastering it at half-speed is not the answer. Finding one like this that has the LIFE of that master tape pressed into its grooves is the only way to be sure you will get real audiophile sound, not that pseudo kind we bash all over the site. (Sorry, we just can’t help it.)(more…)
Lucille (the album, not the guitar) finally comes to the site with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it throughout
An exceptionally hard album to find with good sound, but here it is – clean, clear and spacious with a solid bottom end – qualities that bring out the best in B.B.’s Blues
It has taken us years to find clean copies with the right stampers for Lucille, but finally our efforts have paid off with this Hot Stamper copy
“Lucille is an album alive and pulsing with a beautifully thick blues soul that is showcased everywhere, from Mr. King’s roaring vocals to the blazing brass in the background.”
Lucille is by far the toughest ’60s B.B. King record to find nowadays in audiophile playing condition. Most copies are just beat, and the ones that aren’t tend to be rare and pricey. The reason for all of the above is simple enough: it’s one of the man’s most consistently enjoyable, best sounding albums. Who can blame people for playing it to death when the music is so good?
Mobile Fidelity remastered the record in the ’90 for their for their consistently awful Anadisq series on Heavy Vinyl, and we used to sell it, albeit somewhat reluctantly. It’s not nearly as bad as most of their catalog from the period, but I would it goes without saying that our Hot Stamper pressing will show you a Lucille that a Heavy Vinyl pressing or Half-Speed can only hint at.(more…)
You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last on this 1968 pressing, BB King’s fourteenth studio album
This is the album he made right before Lucille, so the man was definitely on a roll and doing some great work in the late ’60s
4 1/2 stars: “Featuring brassy arrangements by Johnny Pate, it presents King’s sound at its fullest without sacrificing any of his grit or sophisticated swing … the material is very strong throughout.”
Watch for more B. B. King albums coming to the site soon. Some of the Bluesway pressings we’ve auditioned recently have had exceptionally big, rich, lively sound, and that’s the way we like to hear our music. There are plenty of dogs in the King canon, especially in the ’70s, so you have to be a bit careful with the man’s recordings, but good titles in the ’60s with excellent sound can still be found if you’re willing to do the work (or you’re willing to let us do it for you).(more…)
A superb sounding copy of Friends with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
One of the better sounding B.B. King records we’ve heard – it’s a treat to hear B.B. singing, playing guitar and backed by a horn section without the mediocre sonics that take all the fun out of listening to most copies
“… a gritty, soulful real stage performance where BB earns his living and forged his unique style… His voice was at its peak and this [recording] has captured his essence. It’s that good.”
The best copy to hit the site in over a year with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
Dramatically better than practically every other pressing we played – super lively, full-bodied and clear with real extension up top and down low
Check out how cool the tuba sounds anchoring the bottom end on the opening track
“The King is at his sly peak on ‘I Got Some Help I Don’t Need,’ uproariously humorous and hurt at the same time, with crazy wah-wah filigrees laced within, and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Talking to You” is also tight and right.’
We had the chance to sit and play a big stack of these recently and only a few copies sounded very good. This one was our shootout winner! Check out how cool the tuba sounds anchoring the bottom end on the opening track! Both sides here were bigger, fuller, more open and more transparent than any other.(more…)
You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides of this wonderful double album collection from 1973
This copy is surprisingly spacious, full-bodied and natural, with a nice extended top end, plenty of space around the instruments and few of the problems that plagued most of the pressings we played
Features B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Mama Thornton, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and more
Recorded live at Newport in New York, this is an OUTSTANDING blues album
This is an excellent sounding Buddah Brown & Pink Label Double LP. Listen to ’Big Mama’ Thorton’s voice on this record — it sounds like somebody forgot to put a limiter on her mic. It is without a doubt one of the most dynamic vocals I have ever heard on any record in my entire life. You feel like you are sitting front row center.
This record sounds JUST RIGHT to me. It doesn’t sound like there’s anything you could do to it to make it sound better. It’s tonally correct from top to bottom and very transparent. If you want a great introduction to the blues, I can’t think of a better one than this.(more…)