Top Artists – John Lennon

John Lennon – Walls and Bridges

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  • This Shootout Winning copy was doing everything right — stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Both of these sides are full-bodied, rich and Tubey Magical with lots of extension on both ends
  • These early British pressings are the only way to go – the domestic pressings are clearly made from dubs
  • “…the best moments come when Lennon is more open with his emotions, like on “Going Down on Love,” “Steel and Glass,” and the beautiful, soaring ‘No. 9 Dream.'”

Walls and Bridges may not be the high point of Lennon’s solo career but there are some wonderful songs on this album and it was quite a treat to finally hear them sound right. It’s tough to find Hot Stamper John Lennon albums so if you’re a fan I think you’ll be very pleased at what a serious step up in quality this copy represents over any other you might have heard.

Going Down On Love and Old Dirt Road (co-written with Harry Nilsson!) are especially lovely.

Some classic tracks that everybody knows are here as well: #9 Dream, Whatever Gets You Thru The Night and Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out). (more…)

John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band


  • Incredible sound for this early UK pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades, an excellent way to hear these amazing songs
  • Working Man’s Hero, Love, Mother — these are immortal Lennon tracks, all with stunning sound on these White Hot sides
  • 5 stars: “It’s an unflinching document of bare-bones despair and pain, but for all its nihilism, it is ultimately life-affirming; it is unique not only in Lennon’s catalog, but in all of popular music. Few albums are ever as harrowing, difficult, and rewarding as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.”

Incredible sound for this John Lennon classic! I would be hard pressed to tell you whether this or Imagine is his best sounding recording, because on the very best copies they can both be killer. Our first White Hot copy only made it to the site in 2016 — it took us a long time to find the right pressings of this album, and then years more to get enough in stock to do a major shootout. As you can imagine, clean early UK pressings of Lennon’s albums are hard to come by and pricey when you find them. (more…)

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Milk and Honey


  • A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish and the first copy to ever hit the site! 
  • Both sides here are doing everything right — big, full-bodied and wonderfully present with a huge bottom end and lots of space around all of the instruments
  • Milk and Honey is certainly not the greatest album John (and Yoko) recorded… but it is vital if only for completing the musical story of John Lennon… [it] finds Lennon in a happy state of mind, which is not a bad way to end a story at all.” – Pop Matters


John Lennon – Rock ‘N’ Roll


  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These sides are doing practically everything right — rich, full-bodied, present and spacious with plenty of extension on both ends
  • “Rock ‘n’ Roll, in fact, stands as a peak in his post-Imagine catalog: an album that catches him with nothing to prove and no need to try… Today, Rock ‘n’ Roll sounds fresher than the rock & roll that inspired it in the first place. Imagine that.” – All Music, 4 Stars


John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy


  • A KILLER sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second
  • This vintage pressing has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s surely missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 40+ year old tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from those tapes)
  • “John returned in the last days of 1980 with Yoko Ono at his side and a deeper understanding of life and all its complexities… The music of Double Fantasy is a testament to a man who’d conquered his demons and had the love of a good woman to carry him through, and some of it is beyond words and cannot be explained.” – All Music


John Lennon – Mind Games


  • An excellent sounding UK copy which solid Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – the UK LPs are the only way to fly on Mind Games
  • “… the best numbers are among Lennon’s finest…” – All Music

This vintage UK 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. (more…)

John Lennon – Imagine


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

This is the highest rated copy of Imagine to ever hit the site! As crazy as that sounds, it’s true — these are next to impossible to find, they tend to cost big bucks when you do track them down, they’re almost always noisy, and they very rarely sound very good. If it wasn’t ridiculously difficult to find Hot Stamper pressings of Imagine, it certainly would not have taken us until 2015 to offer one.

This is the highest rated copy of Imagine to ever hit the site! As crazy as that sounds, it’s true — these are next to impossible to find, they tend to cost big bucks when you do track them down, they’re almost always noisy, and they very rarely sound very good. If it wasn’t ridiculously difficult to find Hot Stamper pressings of Imagine, it certainly would not have taken us until 2015 to offer one.

Both sides here are excellent. capturing the essence of what Lennon and Phil Spector (and let’s not forget Yoko, who also gets a producer credit here) were going for. The sound is big, lively and very open — most copies aren’t nearly this transparent. It’s also very rich and full-bodied (especially on side one) with excellent presence. The bottom end is solid and punchy and Lennon’s vocals sound natural and clear throughout. (more…)

Harry Nilsson – Pussy Cats

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  • A superb sounding copy with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish; exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides are incredibly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical yet still clean, clear, open and spacious
  • Produced by John Lennon, Nilsson’s partner in crime, it’s a really fun album, with an appealingly ragged and spontaneous vibe
  • “It may not be as wild as the lost weekend itself, but it couldn’t have been recorded at any other time and remains a fascinating aural snapshot of the early days of 1974.” – All Music

The soundstage is huge and open, there’s some real richness and body to the vocals and, perhaps most importantly, you get all the energy and presence required to bring this wild album to life.

John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were notorious partiers during Lennon’s “lost weekend” away from Yoko, and the album basically plays like all that excess playing out in the studio. The vibe is loose and spontaneous, and Nilsson’s voice is at its most ragged. That looseness and raggedness results in some startlingly emotional peaks — Many Rivers To Cross and Don’t Forget Me are positively spine-tingling — and some good-natured romps through classic covers like Subterranean Homesick Blues and Rock Around The Clock. It’s a whole lot of fun — especially when you have a copy that sounds like this! (more…)

John Lennon Imagine on MoFi (Reviewed in the ’90s)

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Sonic Grade: B

One of the better MoFi pressings from the 2000’s

We haven’t played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, so let’s call it a “B” with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. At the time we said:

I played this when it came out, and I have to hand it to the new MOFI, they did a great job with this one. It sounds better than I’ve ever heard it, and KILLS the old MoFi vinyl, which is the version we did the shootout with.

It was a short comparison, as in, no comparison. The earlier half speed (a different master tape, but still…) has that classic midrange suckout, so that Lennon and his piano on the first track sound like they are coming from another room. And people to this day still defend the sound of records on that label?! Oy vey. (more…)