Top Artists – Bob Marley

Bob Marley – Live!

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Records We Only Sell on Import Vinyl

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  • This Killer Island British import copy of Live! boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • As you can imagine, any Reggae Island UK import is very hard to come by – not to mention expensive – with audiophile playing surfaces, but here’s one
  • You won’t believe how big and rich this music can sound (especially if all you know is domestic or modern pressings)
  • Recorded in 1975 and released between Natty Dread (1974) and Rastaman Vibration (1976), Marley was at the peak of his powers at the time
  • A real contender to make the next update of our Top 100 list – it’s that impressive
  • 4 1/2 stars: “One of the most memorable concert recordings of the pop music era.”

This copy gives you EXCELLENT LIVE SOUND, not to mention KILLER PERFORMANCES of many of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ reggae classics. We were absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the sound of the better copies. The Hot Stamper pressings we found were so darn good that this title almost made our Rock and Pop Top 100 list.

Audiophiles don’t seem to be much into reggae, but we had a blast doing shootouts for some of the classic Marley albums. The music is wonderful (check out the All Music Guide review, where they call this “one of the most memorable concert recordings of the pop music era”) and the sound on the best pressings can be truly spectacular.

None of us here had any idea what an amazing live recording this album was until we threw a copy on the table just for kicks and heard an extremely well-recorded live reggae concert jumping out of the speakers.

The domestic pressings are not bad, but they are clearly made from copy tapes and can’t hold a candle to the better imports from across the pond. (more…)

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Burnin’

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    • Burnin’ returns to the site after more than 6 years, with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
    • Bigger and bolder, with more bass, more energy, and more of that “you-are-there-immediacy” of VINTAGE ANALOG that set the best pressings apart from reissues, CDs, and whatever else you care to name
    • Features some of the band’s most legendary releases, including Get Up, Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff
    • 5 stars: “… [these] songs illuminated the desperation of poor Jamaican life, but they also looked forward to religious salvation, their themes accentuated by the compelling rhythms and the alternating vocals of the three singers.”

Two killer sides for this Island pressing. We’ve been auditioning quite a few Bob Marley records lately and this is one of the better sounding recordings he ever made.

This is widely regarded as one of the most essential reggae albums ever recorded. There are two big hits here — Get Up, Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff — but there’s plenty of other great songs as well.

We’re always searching for more copies, but it takes time to acquire enough for a good shootout. Bob Marley vinyl tends to get snatched up pretty quickly no matter where you are, probably because he’s one of those artists who seems to endear himself to each new generation of music lovers. You can see teenagers wearing Bob Marley shirts in just about every part of the world to this day, so it’s no wonder that his records don’t sit in the bins for long. (more…)

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Exodus

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Records We Only Sell on Import Vinyl

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  • Exodus makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound of our early Island UK press is dramatically richer, smoother and sweeter, than practically any other copy we played
  • There is practically no edge on Marley’s vocals, and a great deal more Tubey Magic than on any copy you are likely to have heard
  • 4 1/2 stars: “His gifts as a vocalist were near their peak on these sessions, bringing a broad range of emotional color to his performances, and this lineup of the Wailers — anchored by bassist Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, drummer Carlton Barrett, and guitarist Julian ‘Junior’ Murvin — is superb, effortlessly in the pocket throughout. . . this is one of the finest albums in his stellar catalog.”

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Bob Marley – Catch a Fire

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AN AMAZING A++ TO A+++ SIDE ONE backed with a very good side two! This is one of the best Bob Marley and the Wailers albums, and you’re going to have a hard time finding better sound for it than what you get on this Super Hot Stamper side one. Clean and clear, open and transparent, with tight, solid bass and plenty of richness and fullness, this is just the kind of sound this music demands!

We recently undertook a big shootout for this album and were quite pleased with the sound of this copy, especially in relation to all the mediocre copies that hit our table that day.

We don’t find killer Bob Marley pressings very often, so you shouldn’t let this one get by you if you want to hear the King of Reggae sound amazing! (more…)

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration

Dear Reader,

We have just recently moved our record business to our new Shopify store. None of the links to the old site will work anymore. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to be able to rectify the situation soon. For now please check out Better Records, Mach II, home of the ultimate vinyl pressing, the White Hot Stamper.

Tom Port – Better Records

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  • Strong Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides, excellent from start to finish
  • Big and rich, with the kind of full-bodied sound that this music needs to work its magic
  • Big bass is of course key to the best copies – this one has the deep punchy bass we love on Marley’s music
  • 4 Stars in Allmusic and Marley’s first Top Ten Album

When a record like this sounds right it’s not hard to what “right” is — the music just works. Up against the other copies we had on hand this one was pretty much doing it all.

What are the criteria by which the album should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, presence, frequency extension, transparency, Tubey Magic, texture (also known as freedom from smear), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and on and on down through the list. (more…)

Bob Marley – Natty Dread

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TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on quiet vinyl, including an AMAZING A++ TO A+++ SIDE ONE! This is one of the very best Bob Marley and the Wailers albums, and you’re going to have a hard time finding better sound for it than what you get on this SUPERB pressing. Both sides are incredibly rich, full and open with the kind of massive bottom end you’ve just gotta have for reggae music.

We recently undertook a big shootout for this album and were quite pleased with the sound of this copy, especially in relation to all the mediocre copies that hit our table that day. Side one features nothing but hits (Lively Up Yourself, No Woman No Cry, Them Belly Full and Rebel Music — what a lineup) and all four tracks sound wonderful here.

We don’t find killer Bob Marley pressings very often, so you shouldn’t let this one get by you if you want to hear the King of Reggae sound amazing! (more…)