Top Artists – The Allman Brothers

Letter of the Week / … At Fillmore East “Nice to hear this music that I am so familiar with sound so good!”

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One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently: 

Hey Tom,  

Just played The Hot Stamper copy of The Allman Bros. Live at the Fillmore East. It was really nice to hear this music that I am so familiar with sound so good! The midrange is smooth with lots of air around the instruments. The bass is much better than it is on my copy and the drums sound great as well. It is truly great to listen to well recorded music on vinyl that easily beats any CD out there now or ever.

Thanks,
James S.

Letter of the Week / … At Fillmore East “I am in awe. I have NEVER heard this album sound so good…”

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One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently: 

Hey Tom,  

Oh. My. God.

Apologies for sounding like a 13-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, but … screw it, that’s the way I feel. I’ve just finished sides one and four of the Allman’s “Live at Fillmore East,” and I am in awe. I have never never NEVER heard this album sound so good, and I’ve been listening to it for almost 40 years, in every format one can.

It’s not just the drums (and cymbals!), it’s the whole thing. It’s energetic, the bass is powerful yet refined, the soundstage is HUGE, and it’s got more air than any live rock recording I’ve ever heard. 

You’ve outdone yourselves on this one, gentlemen. Well worth my $500, and probably a steal at twice the price … but don’t get any ideas!

Keep it up, and thanks,

Bill

Gregg Allman – Laid Back

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  • An astounding “Triple Triple” (A+++) copy that blew away every other pressing in our recent shootout
  • We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allman Brothers album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals – this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • 4 1/2 Stars: “Recorded in the same year as the Brothers and Sisters album, this solo debut release is a beautiful amalgam of R&B, folk, and gospel sounds, with the best singing on any of Gregg Allman’s solo releases.”

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Allman Brothers / Eat a Peach – Transparency, Energy, and Whomp

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What do high grades give you for this album? Unbelievably Tubey Magical guitars, huge whomp factor on the bottom end, incredible dynamics and life, shocking transparency and clarity, and the kind of immediacy that puts these crazy southern rockers right in your very own living room. The overall sound is impressively BIG, BOLD, and POWERFUL!

This and Live At Fillmore East are the two monumental albums these guys ever put out, and they have a lot in common. You know what you’re gonna get with the Allmans: dueling electric guitars, sweet acoustic guitars, energetic drumming, and full-bodied vocals throughout. There’s obviously a lot of exploration — two complete sides are dedicated to the song Mountain Jam — but the heartfelt radio-friendly songs such as Melissa and Little Martha keep up the energy and provide maximum enjoyment factor.

The Three Keys: Transparency, Energy, and WHOMP

A great copy like this one really lets everything that’s great about this music come through. You can easily pick out each of the musicians and follow their contributions over the course of the songs. The huge WHOMP factor throughout kicks up the excitement factor and sets the foundation for the extended guitar jams to work their Southern bluesy magic. The top end extends beautifully to bring out all the ambience and spaciousness of the Fillmore. (more…)

The Gregg Allman Band – Playin’ Up A Storm

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  • This stunning sounding 2-pack of the band’s sophomore release boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • A surprisingly well-recorded album – the sound is exceptionally rich, smooth and natural in the best tradition of Seventies Analog
  • “Playin’ Up a Storm is a well-made, expertly performed set of blues-rock, soul-pop, and straight-ahead rock & roll …the thing that makes it one of Allman’s best solo efforts is the terrific performances. Not only is he in fine voice, delivering each song with conviction, but his supporting band – featuring such luminaries as Dr. John and Bill Payne – is sterling.”

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The Allman Brothers – Brothers and Sisters

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  • Off the charts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides of this classic Allman Brothers album – nothing could touch the superior sonics of this copy on either side
  • Of course it won our shootout – you won’t believe how lively, full-bodied, clear and HUGE it is compared to anything you’ve heard; super quiet vinyl too!
  • 4 stars on Allmusic and the band’s commercial peak
  • “The Allman Brothers Band’s first new studio album in two years shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, ‘Ramblin’ Man’ and ‘Jessica,’ helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales.”

*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 4 very light dull ticks at the end of track 2, Ramblin’ Man.

One of the keys to the Allman’s sound is obviously the guitars and the way they blend with one another. Most pressings are dry, congested, and grainy, which hurts the effect of the multiple harmonizing leads. When you get a copy with smoother, more Tubey Magical, more open sound, you really understand what sound the band was after. It’s wonderful when it works, and no one ever did it better than these guys. (more…)

The Allman Brothers – Idlewild South

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  • A STUNNING ‘Triple Triple’ (A+++) copy with the kind of energy, body and punch this music needs
  • Easily the group’s best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this
  • Cue up Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear the Allman Brothers magic in these grooves
  • 5 stars “The best studio album in the group’s history, electric blues with an acoustic texture, virtuoso lead, slide, and organ playing, and a killer selection of songs, including “Midnight Rider,” “Revival,” “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’,” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”…”

Drop the needle on Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear what this copy can do. You get lots of extension both up top and down low that make the overall sound far more engaging and musical than what you’d hear on most copies. (more…)

The Allman Brothers – The Allman Brothers

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  • An excellent copy of the band’s debut, with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides and reasonably quiet vinyl, especially on side one
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful album, a vintage pressing like this one is the way to go
  • 4 1/2 stars: “This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. There isn’t a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating.”

This album has some of the ABB’s very best music and on a copy like this, sonics, but man is it tough to find a good one. We’ve been picking these up for years and the fact that it took us until 2016 to get any copy at all on the site should tell you something.

Here’s a perfect example of an album that’s so mediocre on the average pressing that we had practically given up hope of hearing the record sound good. But we’re not ones to run away from a challenge, so we kept picking up copies, figuring out a few things in the process. Eventually, we made real progress and today we can proudly post a copy that’s beyond worthy of Hot Stamper status. (more…)

The Allman Brothers – Eat a Peach

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  • One of the best copies of Eat a Peach to ever hit the site – Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on ALL FOUR SIDES!
  • These superb sides have the immediacy that will put these wild and crazy southern rockers right in your living room
  • Includes phenomenal hits Melissa, One Way Out, Blue Sky, Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More and more
  • 5 stars: “The record showcases the Allmans at their peak .. proof of Duane Allman’s immense talents and contribution to the band.”

What do such high grades give you for this album? Unbelievably Tubey Magical guitars, huge whomp factor on the bottom end, incredible dynamics and life, shocking transparency and clarity, and the kind of immediacy that puts these crazy southern rockers right in your very own living room. The overall sound is impressively BIG, BOLD, and POWERFUL! (more…)

The Allman Brothers – Brothers and Sisters

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Brothers and Sisters

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

A+++ sound on side one! It’s bigger, punchier and livelier with more texture to the instruments than any other copy we played. Finding great sound for this album is no mean feat. This one is definitely not a Demo Disc — no copy will truly be — but it’s a BIG step up from most of the copies we played. I don’t think you could find better sound for the first side no matter what you did!

One important note: it’s pretty clear that Ramblin’ Man and Jessica were not cut from the real master tapes. We’ve talked about this issue before; there are many instances where the master tapes were used to cut the singles and then dubs were used for those tracks on the albums. (It’s why the versions of the songs on The Best Of Traffic sound so much better than they do on the regular albums, for example.)

Those Harmonizing Guitars

One of the keys to the Allman’s sound is obviously the guitars and the way they blend with one another. The typical copies tend to be dry, congested, and grainy, which hurts the effect of two soaring, harmonizing leads. When you get a copy with smoother, more tubey magical, more open sound, you really understand what the band was going for. It’s a great sound, and no one ever did it better than these guys. (more…)