James Gang’s sophomore release finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals – this is the sound we love at Better Records
The group’s highest rated record and, as they say on the cover, this album is “Made Loud To Be Played Loud,” especially on a pressing this good
4 1/2 stars: “With their second album Rides Again, the James Gang came into their own. Under the direction of guitarist Joe Walsh, the group — now featuring bassist Dale Peters — began incorporating keyboards into their hard rock, which helped open up their musical horizons.”
This shootout produced little in the way of audiophile quality pressings. Most of what we played was just too noisy to sell. We had a devil of a time finding copies that played as quiet as the grades you see here.
It will be the best sound you have ever heard for the band’s second album, we guarantee it.
The powerfully energetic chorus on Funk #49, the first track on the album and longtime Classic Rock Radio staple, really gets big and loud on this copy. You can be sure that it doesn’t sound that way unless you have one of these very special pressings, the kind with real richness and weight to the sound (depending on the grades of course; not every copy we sell does everything we want it to).
By the way, if you hear some Poco influence pop up of the album, note that Rusty Young guests on Pedal Steel.(more…)
This outstanding pressing of the Eagles’ first Number One Album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl too
On an exceptionally good sounding copy such as this one, the soaring guitar solo of the title track really comes alive – assuming you have it turned up GOOD and LOUD
Lyin’ Eyes and Take It To The Limit sound the way they should – we guarantee you have never heard them sound remotely as good as they do here
4 stars: “…a lyrical stance — knowing and disillusioned, but desperately hopeful — had evolved, and the musical arrangements were tighter and more purposeful. The result was the Eagles’ best-realized and most popular album so far.”
This is one of the toughest Eagles albums to find with good sound, which is why only a small handful has ever made it to the site. This album may never sound quite as good as Hotel California or the self-titled debut, but there are some wonderful songs here and a Hot Stamper like this brings them to life in a way most pressings cannot begin to do.
The best copies are richer and sweeter. When you turn them up, they really come to life. When you play the better sides at Rock Music Volumes they really ROCK. When a copy is cut really clean, as the best ones are, the louder you play them the better they sound. They’re tonally correct at loud levels and a bit dull at what we would call “audiophile” levels. That’s the way it should be.(more…)
An outstanding British SYL copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound for this criminally underrated California Country Rock Classic – exceptionally quiet vinyl for this album, because early UK pressings are almost impossible to find in audiophile playing condition
If you’ve never heard one of these early pressings, you have simply never heard this album sound the way it should
You Never Cry Like A Lover and The Best Of My Love (their first No. 1) offer Glyn Johns magically delicious DEMO DISC quality sound
We’re HUGE fans of the album here at Better Records; it’s some of the most sophisticated, well-crafted, heartfelt music these guys ever made, and that’s saying a lot coming from us – we’ve been big fans for decades
NOTE: *On side one, a mark makes 2 moderately loud pops followed by 1 loud pop and 2 moderatly light ticks at the beginning of Track 2, You Never Cry Like a Lover.
Many of you have probably forgotten how good this album is (assuming you were ever familiar with it in the first place) probably because the typical domestic copy you would have played back in the day is fairly hard on the ears. Most pressings, even the British ones, barely hint at the kind of sound you’ll hear on this vintage UK pressing (the only kind we sell of course).
The LIFE and ENERGY of this pressing are going to knock you right out of your seat. Most copies leave you with a headache, but this one will have you begging to turn up the volume.(more…)
An outstanding copy of Walsh’s first compilation album, with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on side one matched to a Hot Stamper side two
With sound close to our Shootout Winner on side one, Turn To Stone and Rocky Mountain Way are amazing here
We expected to hear dubby, sub-generation tape copy sound, but instead we discovered that these tracks – on the right pressings, natch – sound pretty darn close to the ones on the albums they originally came from
The perfect sampler for a casual Joe Walsh fan, featuring songs from his tenure with the James Gang along with some of his best known solo tracks
Walsh’s sophomore release finally returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
This copy has rich, warm guitars and tight, punchy bass, there’s real weight to the bottom end, and Joe’s vocals sound exactly right to our ears
4 1/2 stars: “The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get features some of the most remembered Joe Walsh tracks, but it’s not just these that make the album a success. Each of the nine tracks is a song to be proud of. This is a superb album by anyone’s standards.”
We grew quite fond of this music once we heard it sound this good. If you’re already a fan of the album, I bet you’ll get a real thrill out of hearing this copy.(more…)
With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a better than Double Plus (A++ to A+++) side one, this copy is practically as good as it gets
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 only way to go
Includes a couple of classic tracks, notably Welcome to the Club and a remake of Turn to Stone
You’ll hear most of the Eagles playing on this one, produced and engineered by the redoubtable Bill Szymczyk
“So What sees Walsh in top form as a guitarist. Most of the nine tracks feature solos of unquestionable quality in his usual rock style.”
We were impressed with how rich and punchy this copy sounded after hearing dozens of dry, thin, lifeless pressings over the years. Once we had heard at least one copy sound good we proceeded to gather up every LP we could get our hands on and make this shootout happen.
Unfortunately, most of what we ended up playing had the kind of mediocre sound we had been suffering through for decades. The best copies had real energy, surprising dynamics, and lots of that ’70s Tubey Magic we love so much and never tire of talking about. (It’s also a sound that you will have a very hard time finding on most Heavy Vinyl pressings being made these days, as you doubtless know.)
The best pressings have (relatively; this is still Joe Walsh album we’re talking about) rich, warm guitars and vocals, supported by tight, punchy bass. Most copies were far less energetic and dynamic than this one. Excellent transparency as well.
All in all, this is pretty much as good as it gets for Joe Walsh in 1974. The very next year he would become an Eagle and help those boys knock it out of the park with Hotel California.(more…)
Triple Plus sound, a rarity for this really fun album! Most copies have a tendency to be gritty, thin, and/or edgy — a quality you may recognize from the typical Eagles pressing — but this one is rich, full and smooth in all the right ways.
Life’s Been Good is the big hit here, and it sounds excellent, but there are plenty of other great songs here. It’s one of the more solid rock albums from 1978 to hit our table in a while. Check out the Allmusic review linked above, they rave about the album (4 1/2 stars) and even compare it to Pet Sounds!(more…)
This solo effort boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
A hard album to find with sound like this AND quiet surfaces, but here one is@
We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness and presence on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true for whatever godawful Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently being foisted on an undiscerning record buying public
4 1/2 stars: “As far as studio albums go, But Seriously Folks is Joe Walsh’s most insightful and melodic… The album’s introspective outlook glides through rejuvenation (‘Tomorrow,’ ‘Over and Over’), recapturing the simple pleasures of the past (‘Indian Summer’), mid-career indecision, and a melancholy instrumental.”
An incredible copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two
Big, present and lively, with good weight to the bottom end, this is clearly the right sound for this music
A copy sure to make you a fan of Joe Walsh’s grungy guitar artistry – turn up Walk Away on this Shootout Winning side one and it will blow your mind
4 Stars: “… Walsh was being hailed as a guitar hero to rank with the best rock had to offer… Thirds quickly earned a respectable chart position and eventually went gold…”
NOTE: On side one, the end of track one is a little noisier than Mint Minus Minus and there is a mark that plays at the start of track two six times at a light to moderate level.
The copies that did well in our shootout managed to keep the grit and grain in the sound under control without smothering the top end or smearing the upper midrange. Clear, breathy vocals that don’t strain when loud were tough to find, but some copies did a whole lot better than others, and those are typically the ones we preferred.
Plenty of tight bass and lively rock energy are every bit as important of course. Nobody wants a leaned-out or boring James Gang record. (more…)