The sound is rich and clear, with tremendous space, critical to reproducing the recording’s spacey (and pretty cool) effects
The title track and Take The Money and Run both sound amazing (but so does pretty much everything else)
4 1/2 stars: “The key is focus, even on an album as stylishly, self-consciously trippy as this, since the focus brings about his strongest set of songs (both originals and covers), plus a detailed atmospheric production where everything fits.”
If you’re a Steve Miller fan, or perhaps a fan of mid-’70s Classic Rock, this title from 1976 is surely a Must Own.
The complete list of titles from 1976 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here
On this copy, you get richness and warmth, front and center immediacy, extension up top and down low, and loads of energy. The synths have texture, the guitars are full-bodied and the bottom end is nice and meaty.
The soundfield is especially open and transparent, with three-dimensional space that brings out the trippy effects the band threw in all over the place. When they sound this good, they really work some Seventies Analog Magic.(more…)
SUPER HOT STAMPERS DISCOVERED AT LAST for this crazy SMB album engineered by the man himself, Glyn Johns! We just finished a big shootout for this trippy, bluesy LP and were pleased to find that the best copies really do give you that analog magic we’ve come to expect from Mr. Johns’ recordings.
We have paired up two Capitol Rainbow Label pressings here to give you excellent sound for both sides. This will allow you to do your own shootout at home to see just how special the good sides really are. If you don’t want to bother with the inferior sides and leave the tedious work of playing bad sounding records to us, we’ll understand!
This album is a far cry from Miller’s poppier later work a la Fly Like An Eagle and Book Of Dreams. The music is psychedelic, bluesy and downright strange if you ask me. As we listened to these songs over and over I couldn’t believe how unique this album is. It’s a real pastiche of tripped-out ’60s styles, but it doesn’t sound all that similar to any of their contemporaries since it goes in so many directions. The open, spacious and tubey magical sound that Glyn Johns got here lets you make sense of all the crazy elements. You don’t need to know the lyrics to Space Cowboy to get the idea that these guys were probably pretty serious “midnight tokers.”(more…)
The top end of this album is a problem on most pressings — dry and somewhat brittle — but on the best pressings the highs are extended, sweet and fairly natural. The soundfield is open and transparent with three-dimensional space that brings out the “trippy” sound the band threw in all over this album.
The MOFI has a bit more going on up top than most domestic pressings (forget the dubby imports) but the combination of blurry bass and compressed, lifeless sound fail to make this album sound the way you remember it in your head from back in the day.
Finding a good sounding copy of this record is not easy. Most of them sound like they’re playing underwater.
Steve Miller’s foray into Smooth Jazz Pop got him nowhere in the marketplace, but did result in my becoming a fan back in the late ’80s. Let’s be clear — this is not a record for everyone. If you don’t like at least some Smooth Jazz, you probably won’t like this album. It’s Steve Miller crossing over into that territory, and doing it better than anyone else I know (although that’s not saying much. I’m no expert by any stretch and don’t claim to be.)
What it is is Steve Miller doing a batch of cool, classic songs in a hip, fun way. AMG has it right, “…his taste in material is quite nice…”
This is certainly nothing like Fly Like An Eagle. He already made that record; we don’t need him to make it again. (He actually made it twice as Book of Dreams is from the same sessions!)(more…)
A tough record to find good sound for! The ’80s have not been so good for us audiophiles. This copy with a Super Hot side two is doing a helluva lot better than most of what we played. Quiet vinyl too.(more…)
It took two separate pressings — on two different Capitol labels no less — to bring you White Hot Stamper sound from first note to last on this, Steve Miller’s breakthrough album. The Joker may have topped the charts in January of 1974, but the average pressing has that song sounding worse than it does on the radio! Most copies of this record just plain suck (to use the vernacular appropriate to the band). Dry, thin, flat, opaque, smeary, small, midrangy — we’ve all heard ’70s Capitol pressings with this sound, and most copies of this album have some, even most, of these shortcomings.
Which is why it takes two different records from two different eras in order to get you good sound for both sides.(more…)
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
As you know, I only play vinyl on my system and have purchased hundreds of hot stampers over the years. I was going though my non-hot stamper part of my collection and listened for about three days exclusively to non-hot stampers. I was pleasantly surprised by some and was saying to myself that’s not too bad or that’s okay.
Then, Steve Miller – Brave New World (2.5/3) arrived. As it played, I was stuck by the difference between what I was “accepting” in my non hot stampers and the sonics of a great hot stamper. I went back to my non hot stampers and ejected 40 albums which are back to cd’s in my car. My non-hot stampers are now less than 10% of the collection.
Life is too short to listen to “acceptable” vinyl. Hot stampers especially WHS or good vinyl is why we have spent a lifetime pursuing great audio systems; to sit in our listening rooms and be transported by the emotion of the music.
This Capitol Records Limited Edition 180 gram LP from the series that Robert Ludwig mastered is the worst sounding version of the album I have ever heard, bar none. It was cut with the azimuth off, which makes all the high frequency transients sound smeared. How anybody could put up with that crappy sounding LP is beyond me, but I have never heard a single person complain about the bad sound.
The MoFi has a bit more going on up top but the blurry bass and compressed lifeless sound fail to bring the music to life the way a Hot Stamper does.