- Supertramp’s self-titled debut finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
- It’s even more Tubey Magical than an album like ’Crime Of The Century,’ which is more about slam and presence than a record like this, which has amazingly sweet, natural sounding acoustic guitars
- Condition was the problem with these original British pressings – none of the best sounding copies did not have issues, hence the exceptionally low price for our Shootout Winner here
- “Harmonious in themes but varied in tones, alternating short and lengthy pieces with a sophisticated sound and classy arrangement, it features all the distinctive elements of prog rock. And as with any prog album, it only makes full sense when listened to in its entirety.”
- A Killer Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on side one, and Double Plus (A++) on the rest
- This British original pressing may have been mastered in America but it sure sounded better than most of the domestic vinyl we played
- Key elements in the sound of the best pressings were size, richness, Tubey Magic and energy, and these sides have a sizable helping of all four
- Amazon reviewers love the album – 86% of them as of this writing have given it Five Stars
Listen to side two of this copy to hear exactly what the best sounding copies can do! (more…)
[This commentary is from more than fifteen years ago, so please take it with an oversized grain of salt. The best domestic pressings kill this audiophile record. That said, the better half-speed copies are actually surprisingly good.]
This Hot Stamper A&M Half Speed of Supertramp – Crisis? What Crisis? today joins a VERY ELITE GROUP: Half-Speeds that hold their own in a head to head shootout against some of the BEST Hot Stamper Non-Audiophile pressings we can find. There are presently a total of three titles that fit the description: Dark Side of the Moon on MoFi, Crime of the Century on MoFi, and this title on A&M.
Most half-speed mastered records we throw on our table have us scratching our heads and asking, What the hell were they thinking? They SUCK! Tubby bass, recessed mids, phony highs, compression — the list of bad qualities they almost all have in common is a long one. Playing these kinds of records on a properly set-up modern system is positively painful.
(You have to wonder how bad a stereo system has to be to disguise the shortcomings of records that sound as wrong as these. Then again, is Heavy Vinyl any better?) (more…)
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I am sitting by the door in anticipation as I type this. It’s my birthday to boot, so it will make an awesome present, once the dang Fed Ex guy gets here. Right before I hit send, the doorbell rang. I had been playing records all day in anticipation, warming up my system for this album. Everything was sounding great, and my stereo was begging for some Supertramp.
I was going to listen to my old copy first to compare it. Ah, NO F***ING NEED. Holy hell. This copy you just sent me blew the windows out of my house, and didn’t rip my head off while doing so. Everything is so clear. I can hear every word clear as day, the bass is tight and clear, every instrument in its place and sounding magnificent.
This is truly an incredible pressing and it is night and day [better] even though my old copy was still a $250 Hot Stamper. Thank you. Your services are greatly appreciated. (Not by my neighbors however). Looking forward to my next one already.
This is a British Original pressing with the best sound I have ever heard for this album. It’s sweeter, smoother, more delicate and more tonally correct overall than any American copy I have ever heard.
After doing the shootout with some other domestic copies, I put this record in the pile to be cleaned, and today I played it. Like many British pressings of British Rock albums, there is a whole layer of grunge and distortion that has been removed. A veil has been lifted, and you hear into the music in a way that was never before possible. There is no question this record is made from the master tape and the domestic pressings are made from dubs.
This is only the 2nd British copy I have ever seen (in clean condition anyway). My experience with British mastering is that it is all over the map, just like American mastering. Other British copies probably do not sound like this one, but I have no way of being sure.
I thought my last Hot Stamper copy was better sounding than this one, but that was only true for the track Potter, which on this Brit copy sounds a bit tame. Everything else is better here. It’s easy to make a mistake like that when you’re only comparing one song. (more…)
- With outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides, this copy is guaranteed to have the best sound you have ever heard for Breakfast in America
- A truly superb recording with huge, spacious, dynamic, lively sound – Tubey Magical richness is a big plus too
- A Top 100 title and True Demo Disc – turn it up and this recording gets LOUD like nothing you have ever experienced
- 4 1/2 stars: “The majority of the album consisted of tightly written, catchy, well-constructed pop songs, like the hits ‘The Logical Song,’ ‘Take the Long Way Home,’ and ‘Goodbye Stranger.'”
We just conducted another shootout for Breakfast, the band’s biggest charting success, and once again we were blown away by just how good the best copies can sound – huge, spacious, punchy sound we can never get enough of around here. If you have big speakers a great copy will blow your mind, and it will probably blow your mind even if you don’t.
We are not the least bit ashamed to say that we LOVE this album here at Better Records, and a copy like this will certainly help to show you why. Drop the needle on Gone Hollywood, The Logical Song or Take The Long Way Home to hear how powerful this music can sound when you have a great pressing.
Most copies of this record are grainy, thin, shrill and aggressive. When you get a Hot Stamper like this one the highs are sweet and silky. This recording has plenty of top end, so if the highs aren’t correct it pretty much ruins the sound of the record. (more…)
After discovering killer Hot Stampers for this Forgotten Classic we feel the album can hold its own with any of Supertramp’s classic ’70s releases, from Crime of the Century all the way through to Breakfast in America.
Our White Hot stamper pressings showed us some of the best Supertramp sound we have ever heard on any of their albums, which is saying a lot. Supertramp is one of the most well-recorded bands in the history of pop music. GEOFF EMERICK took over most of the recording duties after the band decided to work with a different engineer for this, their 1977 album.
KEN SCOTT recorded the two albums that came before this one, Crime and Crisis, and as has been well documented on this very site, he knocked the two of them out of the park.
As I’m sure you know, both famously engineered The Beatles.
What we didn’t know, not until 2015 anyway, was how amazingly well recorded this album was.
In 2005 we noted that we had basically given up on ever finding a good sounding copy of the Even in the Quietest Moments. It’s now ten years later. Having gone gone through more copies than we care to remember we think we’ve got EITQM’s ticket. We think we know which stampers have the potential to sound good as well as the ones to avoid. Finding the right stampers (which are not the original ones for those of you who know the earliest stampers for A&M records) has been a positive boon.
Once we discovered the right stampers we were in a much better position to hear just how well recorded the album is. Now we know beyond all doubt that this recording — the first without Ken Scott producing and engineering for this iteration of the band — is of the highest quality, in league with the best.
Until recently we would never have made such a bold statement. Now it’s nothing less than obvious.
Some Remarkable High Points
Lover Boy is a Demo Quality Track on the best copies. It can be huge, spacious and lively. Getting the strings to sound harmonically rich without sliding into shrillness may not be easy but some copies manage to do it. On the biggest, richest copies the breakdown at about 2:20 is a lot of fun.
On side two the recording quality of the solo piano at the start of the second track From Now On is nothing short of breathtaking. No piano on any Supertramp album sounds as good, and only the White Hot Stamper pressing reproduced it perfectly.
Credit must go to the engineers assisting Geoff Emerick, Peter Henderson and Russel Pope.
This is an older listing that illustrates how We Was Wrong when we thought the best domestic copies were not competitive with the A&M Half-Speed or better British pressings.
We touch on other much-loved themes in this commentary, such as the myth that the original pressing is going to be better than a reissue or later stamper. On this album that is definitely not the case.
TWO AMAZING SIDES, including an A+++ SIDE ONE! It’s not the A&M Half Speed, and it’s not a British pressing either. It’s domestic folks, your standard plain-as-day A&M pressing, and we’re as shocked as you are. Hearing this copy (as well as an amazing Brit; they can be every bit as good, in their own way of course) was a THRILL, a thrill that’s a step up in “thrillingness” over our previous favorite pressing, the Half Speed.
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I’ve bought several LPs from you guys and have been exceptionally impressed. The eponymous Dire Straits plus Breakfast in America arrived yesterday, and are excellent.
The best one from you guys that I’ve bought is easily Wish You Were Here. That is an album meant to be played at full volume from start to finish, loving every minute. Listening with Vinnie Rossi LIO, Acoustic Signature WOW xxl and Hana Shibata MC cart into Joseph Audio Perspectives.
Keep up the good work!
Anyway, thanks from a very satisfied customer.
A killer pressing! So much clearer, cleaner and more transparent than we remember from last time around, with more Tubey Magic too.
The bottom end is big and punchy, the top is smooth and sweet, and the vocals are present and breathy. On a transparent copy such as this the drums really punch through the dense mixes clearly, giving the music more life and energy. The piano sounds correct, the sax is full and breathy — you’d be very hard-pressed to find better sound for this album than this. Very hard pressed indeed.
Big bass, great vocal energy and presence, huge space — this side blew every other side two out of the water.
Scroll down for comments about the piano intro on the second track. The sound is off the charts, practically faultless.
Superb in its own right. Rich and tubey but not thick or opaque. Great energy and space. Right up there with the best of the side ones we played, and right up there with the best Supertramp we’ve ever heard.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
The piano on Give a Little Bit can get buried in the dense mix. Side ones that are rich and tubey and smooth with a clear piano did very well in our shootout.
Lover Boy is a Demo Quality Track on the best copies. It can be huge, spacious and lively. Getting the strings to sound harmonically rich without sliding into shrillness may not be easy but some copies manage it. On the biggest, richest copies the breakdown at about 2:20 is a lot of fun.
On side two the recording quality of the solo piano at the start of the second track is nothing short of breathtaking. No piano on any Supertramp album sounds as good, and only the White Hot Stamper pressing reproduced it perfectly. (more…)