- With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
- Tie Your Mother Down and Somebody to Love are both wonderful sounding on this EARLY British pressing
- It’s incredibly difficult to find big, bold, lively sound like this for Queen – it takes us years to do the shootout
- “Its sleek, streamlined finish is the biggest indication that Queen has entered a new phase, where they’re globe-conquering titans instead of underdogs on the make.”
Sonic Grade: F
Murky, opaque and compressed: yes, we can agree it has never been an especially good sounding record on anything but the most difficult to find UK pressings, but does it deserve this kind of mastering disrespect? Isn’t the idea to try and FIX what is wrong, rather than to make it worse? At collector prices no less. Don’t waste your money.
Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.
- A killer copy that earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides – this copy was big and bold, just the way we like our Journey to sound
- Double Plus means you get strong vocal presence, serious dynamics, good weight down low and big choruses that come really alive
- A #1 album jam packed with hits: Don’t Stop Believin’, Stone in Love, Who’s Crying Now and Open Arms
- 4 1/2 stars:”Outside of the singles, there is a certain electricity that circulates through the rest of the album. The songs are timeless, and as a whole, they have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from heartfelt songwriting and sturdy musicianship.”
We’ve been trying (and failing) to find good sound on Journey records for close to a decade, and finally we have something to show for all that work — killer sound on their only Number One album, with monster jams like Don’t Stop Believin’, Stone in Love, Who’s Crying Now — the first three tracks on side one! — and the big closer for side two, Open Arms.
Most greatest-hits albums don’t even have that many good songs. Not sure how we’ll fare with the rest of their catalog, but this one is a good place to start if you’re a fan of the band.
The overall sound is so big and lively, open and clear, with an extended top end yet weighty down low and even — yes! — Tubey Magical. (more…)
- An outstanding copy of America’s second album, boasting Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
- This is a simply wonderful Green Label original pressing – big and rich with excellent transparency and breathy vocals
- Some of the most tubey, warm acoustic guitar reproduction you could ever ask for – this is the sound of real analog!
- Ventura Highway sounds amazing here, as does everything else; it’s a Demo Disc for acoustic guitars and vocals
The guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction quality. Most of the pressings of this record do not get the guitars to sound right. And when the guitars are perfection, the voices and all the other instruments are right as well. Let’s face it: they just don’t know how to make acoustic guitars sound like this anymore. You have to go back to 40+ year old records like this one to find that sound.
Warner Brothers Green Labels
Green label Warner Brothers originals are sonically all over the map. The biggest problem these pressings suffer from is a lack of extreme top end to provide harmonics for the guitars. The guitars on this copy sound just right, really sweet and open. On the average copy, they sound veiled and dull. (more…)
- A stunning sounding copy — Triple Plus (A+++) on side two and Double Plus (A++) on side one
- Powerful sound throughout: incredibly huge and present with amazing clarity and lots of detail
- Some of the best Queen sound you’ll ever hear — We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions sound great here
- “…it’s massive, earth-shaking rock & roll, the sound of a band beginning to revel in its superstardom.” — Allmusic customers give it 4 1/2 Stars and that rating sounds about right to us
It is ridiculously tough to find decent sound for Queen. We’ve suffered through a lot of fruitless shootouts, but this album is clearly a cut above most of their recordings. On a copy like this, it’s absolutely stunning!
Side one starts out with Queen’s back-to-back anthemic classics, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. Does it get any better for a Queen fan? Hell no. (more…)
- Amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on the second
- The sound is HUGE with WHOMP like nothing you have ever heard on this album – finally, the code has been cracked
- Bohemian Rhapsody is killer on this side one (if you’ve got the system to play it)
- 5 stars: “But the appeal of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It’s prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics, and Queen never bettered their approach anywhere else.”
We noted on the site last time around:
As we are fond of pointing out (although we wish it were not the case), for some reason it’s incredibly tough to find good-sounding Queen albums, which is why you almost never see them on the site. (News of the World and The Game are much easier to find with good sound.)
Most of the copies of this album we played weren’t even worth putting a grade on. We wouldn’t bother trying to sell a record that sounded as bad as those dogs. This copy gets it mostly right and that alone makes it exceptional. For Queen, mostly right is hard to come by.
All that is still true, but here’s the copy that has all of the Queen Magic you could hear in your head — and only in your head — while Bohemian Rhapsody was playing on the radio.
Here’s the pressing that finally can let you hear that BIG, BOLD sound in your very own listening room. You can even play it for your audiophile friends now. (more…)