Top Artists – Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins – The Other Chet Atkins

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Chet Atkins

  • Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — it’s all here
  • Need a refresher course in tubey magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? This record is overflowing with it
  • It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Everything the guy touches is GOLD!

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this recording is very special indeed.

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Chet Atkins – The Most Popular Guitar

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  • An original RCA pressing with superb Living Stereo sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • If you have ever heard one of our luscious Living Stereo Chet Atkins records, you know what to expect – off the charts Tubey Magic unlike anything made in the last fifty years, or more!
  • This record will have you asking why so few Living Stereo pressings actually do what this one does. The more critical listeners among you will recognize that this is a very special copy indeed. Everyone else will just enjoy the hell out of it.
  • “Chet Atkins hit the jackpot with his 12th 12″ LP release, Chet Atkins’ Workshop, which soared into the pop Top Ten, and RCA Victor Records hopefully released his 13th one with the title The Most Popular Guitar and adorned it with a cover picture of a comely girl in a negligee.”
  • If you’re a fan of Chet’s Guitar Pickiing, this Top Title from 1961 belongs in your collection.
  • The complete list of titles from 1961 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

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Chet Atkins / Chet Atkins in Hollywood on Classic Records

Hot Stamper Pressings of Living Stereo Titles Available Now

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Sonic Grade: D

It’s been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, but I remember it as nothing special. Like a lot of the records put out by this label, it’s tonally fine but low-rez and lacking space, warmth and, above all, Tubey Magic.

I don’t think I’ve ever played an original that didn’t sound better, and that means that the best grade we could possibly give Classic’s pressing is a D for below average.

My guess is that the Living Stereo CD sounds better than this so-called Heavy Vinyl Audiophile Pressing. It did on this Classic Record, and for ten dollars, why not see for yourself?

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Chet Atkins – Chet Atkins in Hollywood (1959)

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More Recordings in Living Stereo

  • An original RCA pressing of the original mix from 1959 with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Living Stereo sound or close to it from first note to last
  • It’s also fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus, with no marks that play or issues with the inner grooves
  • This TAS List recording will have you asking why so few Living Stereo pressings actually do what this one does. The more critical listeners among you will recognize that this is a very special copy indeed. Everyone else will just enjoy the hell out of it.
  • You won’t believe how natural, rich, tonally correct and Tubey Magical this copy is – until you play it, of course
  • The bass is exceptionally well recorded on this album – it’s so clear, deep and note-like, you may just want to use it as Bass Test Disc for your own system
  • 4 1/2 stars: “If the cover of At Home evokes the 1950s, the music on In Hollywood IS the 1950s: a warm, cozy, sophisticated album of mood music in the best sense.”
  • More Reviews and Commentaries for recordings engineered by Bill Porter

DEMO DISC SOUND! Fairly quiet and unusually clean for a record of its age. TAS List of course, and full of Living Stereo Magic. You can feel the cool air of the studio the minute the needle hits the groove.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this copy is very special indeed.

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Chet Atkins – Chet Atkins in Hollywood (1961)

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More Recordings in Living Stereo

  • A vintage RCA pressing with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Living Stereo sound or very close to it on both sides
  • It’s also fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus, with no marks that play or issues with the inner grooves
  • This is the superior sounding re-recording from 1961, produced this time by Dick Peirce
  • Chet took the orchestra tapes back to his home studio in 1961 and re-recorded his parts over them, and he managed to do a much better job the second time around
  • This TAS List recording will have you asking why so few Living Stereo pressings actually do what this one does. The more critical listeners among you will recognize that this is a very special copy indeed. Everyone else will just enjoy the hell out of it.
  • Some of our notes about this very copy: “Awesome detail and space,” “So rich and full bodied,” “Guitar 3-D and rich,” “Big bottom / weight here,” and on and on we went…
  • 4 1/2 stars: “If the cover of At Home evokes the 1950s, the music on In Hollywood IS the 1950s: a warm, cozy, sophisticated album of mood music in the best sense.”

DEMO DISC SOUND! Fairly quiet and unusually clean for a record of its age. TAS List of course, and full of Living Stereo Magic. You can feel the cool air of the studio the minute the needle hits the groove!

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this copy is very special indeed.

But I would bet a very large amount of money that the pressing that Harry liked and recommended on his list is the inferior original recording, the one with the guitar superimposed over the cityscape.

Leave it to us, the guys who actually play lots of records and listen to them critically, to recognize how much better the 1961 version is compared to the original from 1959.

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Chet Atkins – Caribbean Guitar

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More Recordings in Living Stereo

  • This famous TAS Super Disc RCA Living Stereo LP boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last and plays about as quietly as any RCA pressing from the early ’60s ever will
  • If you have ever heard one of our luscious Living Stereo Chet Atkins records, you know what to expect – off the charts Tubey Magic unlike anything made in the last fifty years, or more!
  • This album is a little more lively than some of his other recordings, which can be criticized for being a little too laid back. For example, try side 2, cut 2 where Chet actually jams.
  • Engineer Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording – everything the guy touches is GOLD!

This is one of Chet Atkins’ best albums. Sonically, it’s right up there with The Other Chet Atkins and the Hollywood album. It seems like Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. He knocked this out of the park.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album can tell after a minute or two that it’s in that very special class of great recordings.

The last track on side 2 where Chet is joined by a trumpet player is my favorite on the album. That guitar-trumpet combination is pretty magical on that song. And you’ve got to love the kind of sound Bill Porter gets from a trumpet. That’s the kind of sound we audiophiles drool over. I do anyway.

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Chet Atkins / More Of That Guitar Country – Superb Dynagroove Sound from Nashville in 1965

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Chet Atkins

  • One of Chet’s biggest albums from the ’60s, More Of That Guitar Country, is back in all its guitar-pickin’ glory
  • With two Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy had the sound we were looking for
  • Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — it’s all here
  • Need a refresher course in tubey magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? This record is overflowing with it
  • 4 stars: “The follow-up album to Guitar Country, More of That Guitar Country spawned a bigger hit than anything on its predecessor — or anything in Chet Atkins’ long career for that matter. …[O]ne of Atkins’ least-cluttered, mostly reined-in, and most musical albums of the mid-’60s, searching for good material wherever he can find it, even outside the cloistered world of Nashville.”

We owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS Super Disc List what great recordings Chet Atkins was making back in the ’50s and ’60s, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing those albums would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that a great many of them are very special indeed.

But were audiophiles playing these kinds of records before Harry Pearson came along? Unlikely. In the ’70s he practically single-handedly legitimized vintage pressings of all kinds for audiophiles to search out and enjoy.

This vintage RCA pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for —this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

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Chet Atkins – Our Man In Nashville

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Chet Atkins

  • You’ll find superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl on both sides of this Chet Atkins title from 1963 – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • We’ve known this was a great sounding record for a very long time, and now we have the copy to prove it
  • Bill Porter working in his custom Nashville studio sure knew a Tubey Magical Living Stereo recording should sound like
  • “Chester remains his usual unclassifiable self, dealing out the country picking, smooth easy listening guitar, jazz, and even some very mild rock & roll on this session, with some overdubbed strings discreetly decorating a few tracks.”

These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that’s often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers (“relative” being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don’t agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.

The soundstage width, depth and height of this spacious recording are huge and three-dimensional. (more…)

Chet Atkins – Class Guitar

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Chet Atkins

This RCA original pressing from Nashville, circa 1967, has DEMO DISC quality sound from start to finish, first note to last. Class Guitar is more or less a solo session from 1967, concentrating mostly on classical guitar pieces, with a few pop and jazz hits of the day thrown in for the sake of variety. Chet’s good buddy and main man Jerry Reed joins him on rhythm guitar on some tracks.

Both sides have plenty to offer the discriminating audiophile, with the spaciousness, clarity, tonality and freedom from artificiality that are the hallmark of the best Living Stereo recordings.

Truth be told, technically this is not a real Living Stereo record. It’s an RCA Stereo record. It has the Bill Porter Tubey Magic of the Chet Atkins albums we all know and love, the bulk of which we’re familiar with through our critical listening shootouts. (We’d love to do more but where are the clean stereo copies?)

In fact, not only is this record not a Living Stereo, it’s — gasp — a Dynagroove pressing. And it’s not even Bill Porter at the board, it’s his successor, Jim Malloy.

No matter. Bill may have left in 1964, but he left behind an amazing studio that he practically single-handedly turned into one of the best sounding recording venues in the world. This record may say Dynagroove, but it sure doesn’t sound Dynagroove.

And Bill Porter may have left, but his signature sound is all over this record. As we noted in a previous listing: (more…)

Chet Atkins – Mister Guitar

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Chet Atkins

This RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL as it gets. It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn’t know how to not make a Living Stereo record with shockingly good sound. Practically anything the guy touches is GOLD!

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These records are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us through his TAS Super Disc List some of the other amazing sounding Chet Atkins records, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this recording, especially on this copy, is very special indeed. I would rank it right at the top with the best Bill Porter / Chet Atkins records we have ever heard.

The All Music Guide gives Mister Guitar 4 1/2 Stars! They rate no Chet Atkins record higher by the way. (The User Rating is even better, Five Stars.)

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Note how the record has that Bill Porter extra dB or two of bottom end — his signature sound.

There is a misprint on the cover. The last track on side two is listed as Concerto In C Minor (Rachmaninoff) but the song on the record is actually Piano Concerto In B Flat Minor (Tchaikovsky).