As Good As It Gets Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish for Collins’ second studio album – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
This is the last of the albums Phil recorded in analog, and of course the sound is big and rich – you will not believe all the space and ambience on this copy
Includes Phil’s killer version of the Supremes’ classic, “You Can’t Hurry Love”
4 stars: “… the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.
Fortunately, the recording quality of this album is still analog and can be excellent, thanks to hugely talented engineer and producer Hugh Padgham (Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.).(more…)
Phil Collins KILLER solo debut finally returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both of this vintage import’s sides
The recording quality of this album is still analog and can be excellent, thanks to hugely talented engineer and producer Hugh Padgham (Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.)
We’ve tried some of his other albums but nothing we’ve played has struck us as being remotely as well recorded as his debut album from 1981
5 stars: “. . . Collins’ most honest, most compelling work. He went on to become a huge star, with loads more hits, but Face Value stands as his masterpiece and one of the finest moments of the ’80s musical landscape.”
Song after song, Collins’ songwriting and musicianship shine with this breakout record, the first and clearly the best of all his solo albums. The sound on the best copies is VIBRANT, with SUPERB extension on the top, PUNCHY BASS, and excellent texture on the drums and percussion, as well as spacious strings and vocals.
There may be some hope for Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982), but Phil’s third album, 1985’s No Jacket Required, is digital and ridiculously processed sounding. I suppose not many albums from 1985 weren’t, but it’s still an unfortunate development for us audiophile types who might’ve wanted to enjoy these albums but are just not able to get past the bad sound.(more…)
You’ll find superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on three sides and outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on the fourth, giving you very impressive live Genesis sound
This is an excellent set of songs and a surprisingly good recording
After suffering through so much bad Genesis sound over the years — their pressings are all over the map — it was a real treat to hear the better copies of this one let these classic songs really come to life
“Indeed, part of the beauty of this album is the sheer flexibility of the band during this period — in addition to superb vocals by Collins throughout, the drumming by Chester Thompson is at least a match for Collins’ best playing.”
This live album from 1977 has some of the best Genesis sound we’ve heard. Their studio recordings are often a bit flat and dull, so it’s really a treat to hear those songs with this kind of big, open, dynamic sound! Phil Collins handles the lead vocals here, but he does a great job even on the Peter Gabriel material.
This vintage British Charisma 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…)
Excellent sound throughout with both sides of this vintage UK pressing earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or better
Forget the thin sounding domestic pressings – these British sides are rich, full-bodied and spacious with real bottom end weight
4 1/2 stars: “Abacab was where this new incarnation of the band came into its own. Working with producer Hugh Padgham, the group escalated the innovations of Duke, increasing the pop hooks, working them seamlessly into the artiest rock here… as bright, bold, and jagged as the modernist artwork on the cover.”
know of. Tons of bass too. We also quite like the big drums and meaty guitars he was able to bring to XTC’s English Settlement (a record we just never see anymore; wonder where they all went?).(more…)
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I want to thank you once again.
Quite a few years ago now I contacted you and talked about this concept called “Hot Stampers”. It ended up both saving me a lot of misdirection and foolishly trying to rebuild my vinyl collection with new vinyl re-releases often called “audiophile” and “half-speed” issues.
After a few confirmations of what you said I quickly sold all those copies and began building a real world class collection of vinyl “original” Hot Stamper level records. A good number came from your business and I also made a hobby of trying to do what you do in finding “Hot Stampers”. Fortunately Philadelphia has a reasonable number of used record stores but unfortunately, as you well know, this is a rigorous and costly endeavor, but it can be rewarding at times and at other times requires that I rely on you.
So today I’m snowed in here and I fired up the rig and decided to do some small scale shoot outs and find the true great copies from my already culled collection. Put on several Hall and Oates and focused on “She’s Gone”. One was just clearly dynamic, clear and present. Then I put on several Dire Straits “Love Over Gold” and ended up with 3 killer copies (such a good lp). I then put on about 5 copies of Phil Collins “Face Value” with “If Leaving Me is Hard”. What a great love song, and narrowed it to 2.(more…)
Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.
Until we heard some of the better copies, we were simply not able to appreciate just how important good bass definition and serious weight down low are to the sound of this record. When the bass is wooly or thin, as it is on so many copies — not clear, not deep, not full enough — it throws the rest of the mix off. When the bass is huge and powerful the music itself becomes huge and powerful.
The copies with the big bottom end are the only ones that really make you sit up and take notice of just how good these songs are.(more…)
Great sound throughout with both sides of this original UK pressing rating a solid Double Plus (A++) and playing quietly
Hugh Padgham discovered an amazing drum sound on Peter Gabriel’s 3rd album, and he really went to town with it on this one, Collins’ debut (and Masterpiece)
His most consistent songwriting and many of his biggest hits – In The Air Tonight sounds amazing, but practically everything here does
4 1/2 stars: “Collins proves himself a passionate singer with a gift for both deeply felt ballads and snarling rockers.”
Collins’ songwriting and musicianship shine on this breakout debut, the first and clearly the best of all his solo albums. We’ve tried to do some of his other albums but nothing we’ve played seems remotely as well recorded as this album from 1981.
There may be some hope for Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982), but Phil’s third album, 1985’s No Jacket Required, sounds digital and ridiculously processed. I suppose not many albums from 1985 weren’t, but it’s still an unfortunate development for us audiophile types who might’ve wanted to enjoy these albums but are just not able to get past the bad sound.(more…)