Stunning sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it
Both of these sides are SUPERB in all respects; there’s plenty of Tubey Magic, and that’s one quality that’s hard to come by on this album
Rich, sweet, and lively — Woman’s Gotta Have It sounds fantastic here
An underappreciated album that we’re big fans of here at Better Records!
The quality of the songwriting is what makes this album such a moving listening experience. These songs are superb, individually and collectively, and can hold their own up against those found on Gorilla, an album with which In the Pocket has much in common.
Just as they did on Gorilla, Taylor and his multi-talented, multi-tracking production team polish these songs into three and four minute gems of popcraft, and they do so without ever compromising the emotional heart of the material. I’ve searched and I honestly cannot find a bad song on the album. Better than that, not even a weak one.
Both of these sides are SUPERB in all respects. There’s plenty of Tubey Magic, and that’s one quality that’s hard to come by on this album. They’re super rich, smooth, yet transparent and high-rez. The vocals are breathy, and again, that is not something we heard nearly enough of in our shootout.
And no hardness. This is key. And the best tonal balance, which is also key.(more…)
Many, many years ago we reviewed a copy of this album, reproduced here:
East Wind Japanese Direct to Disc LP.
Number 1 in rarity and demand! The sound is stunning! You won’t find many records as transparent as this one, if you can find even one!
The band really comes alive on side two.
That’s where the real jazz is. The star of this record is Shelly Manne, who really plays up a storm. Bud shank is also fairly lively. Some of the LA 4 records can really put you to sleep. Side one of this album has a little bit of that quality, but side two shows how good this band can be.
This copy plays m-. It’s lightly ticky, but that’s not unusual for this record. For whatever reason, the Japanese vinyl on these East Wind direct discs is always a little ticky. Copies quieter than this one are very hard to come by.
A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
Sinatra is both natural and present – he actually sounds like he is standing on the same stage as Ellington’s band
“Recorded on Sinatra’s birthday in 1967, this collaboration between America’s most popular singing icon and pre-eminent jazz composer still endures as one of Sinatra’s most enjoyable Reprise-era albums.” – Amazon
Recorded one year after the remarkable Sinatra-Jobim record that we treasure here at Better Records, Sinatra takes the opportunity to work with one of the greatest bandleaders in the history of jazz, the Duke himself. We had good luck with the stereo originals on the lovely Blue and Green Reprise labels — they can be as big, rich and warm as Sinatra’s legendary Capitol recordings when you find the right pressing, and that’s really saying something.
You Are There
The presence and immediacy here are really something. Turn it up and Frank is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime.
The sound is big, open, rich and full. The highs are extended and silky sweet. The bass is tight and punchy. And this copy gives you more life and energy than most by a long shot. Very few Sinatra records offer the kind of realistic, lifelike sound you get from this pressing.
He’s no longer a recording — he’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. His voice is so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.(more…)
Two insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides for one of James Taylor’s best softer rock albums
Soulful JT at his best, an underappreciated album by our man and one that belongs in your collection
Mexico, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Was A Fool To Care are standouts – there are no weak tracks here
Rolling Stone notes, “With Gorilla, Taylor is well on his way to staking out new ground. What he’s hit upon is the unlikely mating of his familiar low-keyed, acoustic guitar-dominated style with L.A. harmony rock and the sweet, sexy school of rhythm and blues.”
*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 12 light ticks at the beginning of Track 1, Mexico.
This is soft rock at its best, made up primarily of love songs, and helped immensely by the harmonically-gifted backing vocals of Graham Nash and David Crosby.
Rolling Stone notes that “With Gorilla, Taylor is well on his way to staking out new ground. What he’s hit upon is the unlikely mating of his familiar low-keyed, acoustic guitar-dominated style with L.A. harmony rock and the sweet, sexy school of rhythm and blues.”
To be honest, the recording of Gorilla itself cannot compete with the likes of Sweet Baby James or JT, both of which are Top 100 Titles. It can be a good sounding record, not a great one, certainly not in the same league as those two.(more…)
With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy of what some consider Randy Newman’s strongest album is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner – relatively quiet vinyl too
An excellent pressing, with a very strong bottom end, lovely richness and warmth, real space and separation between the instruments and wonderful immediacy throughout
The clarity of the piano and guitar perfectly support and complement Randy’s heartfelt vocals
5 stars” “Superb material brilliantly executed, 12 Songs was Randy Newman’s first great album, and is still one of his finest moments on record.”
A superb pressing with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from top to bottom – just shy of our Shootout Winner
Forget the cardboardy reissues and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl pressing they’re making now – if you want to hear all the Tubey Magic and energy of these recordings, you need a vintage Hot Stamper pressing like this one
Black Water was the big hit on their breakthrough fourth album, and it sounds wonderful here – Eyes of Silver and Another Park, Another Sunday are killer too
“The Doobies team up with the Memphis Horns for an even more Southern-flavored album than usual…”
TheseNearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that’s often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers (“relative” meaning relative considering the kinds of prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don’t agree, please feel free to return the record for a fullrefund, no questions asked.
These songs sound every bit as good now as they did thirty-plus years ago when they came out. Better, because we can clean these old records and play them so much better than we could back then. I’ll be the first to admit that back in the day I was a bit of a snob when it came to bands like this. Too mainstream. Too radio-friendly.
Now I realize that the best of this kind of pop rock has stood the test of time very well. One listen and we think you’ll agree: this is good music that belongs in your collection.(more…)
This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness and presence on this copy than anything you have ever heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever godawful Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
Our favorite Newman album for both music and sound (12 Songs being the main competition)
5 stars: “Whether he’s writing for three pieces or 30, Newman makes superb use of the sounds available to him, and his vocals are the model of making the most of a limited instrument. Overall, Sail Away is one of Newman’s finest works, musically adventurous and displaying a lyrical subtlety that would begin to fade in his subsequent works.”
Some of Newman’s best songs can be found on Sail Away, including Political Science, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Last Night I Had a Dream and of course the wonderful title track. AMG goes nuts about Sail Away, giving it the full 5 stars and calling it “musically adventurous” and “one of Newman’s finest works.”
If you only have room for one Randy Newman record in your collection, this would be our pick.(more…)
With excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides, this Sinatra title surprised us with its DEMO DISC sound
Clearly one of the better sounding Reprise-era Sinatra pressings we have ever played
Credit must given to the extraordinarily inventive arrangements of Nelson Riddle and the All Tube engineering of Lee Herschberg
“Sinatra’s singing is relaxed, confident, and surprisingly jazzy, as he plays with the melody of “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and delivers a knockout punch with the assured, breathtaking “Summer Wind.”
We cannot recommend this pressing highly enough. If you want to know what the best sounding Sinatra records sound like, this is your chance. Folks, in my opinion it simply does not get any better than a killer White Hot Stamper of Strangers In The Night.
These originals are the only way to go for ’60s Sinatra, but finding them in good shape on quiet vinyl is no picnic and only a few of them actually sound the way we want them to. It’s a real treat to be in the presence of the Chairman Of The Board, in his prime, working his magic — but only an exceptional copy like this one has the power to put him right in the room with you.(more…)
You’ll feel like you are right in the studio with Ry and his top-notch crew as they kick out the jams, the sound is so present, rich, full-bodied and transparent
I can’t think of another Ry Cooder album with such consistently good material, or better sound
4 1/2 stars: “Like his three previous records, Paradise and Lunch is filled with treasures which become part of a world where eras and styles converge without ever sounding forced or contrived… Eclectic, intelligent, and thoroughly entertaining, Paradise and Lunch remains Ry Cooder’s masterpiece.”
Ry and his pals have plenty of interesting and unusual ideas to bring to the consistently good material found on the album, so there’s a lot here for audiophiles to appreciate.
Take for example the version of Burt Bacharach’s song Mexican Divorce. You’ve got timbales in the left channel, a conga in the right channel, a marimba somewhere in the background, and for good measure, a wonderful sounding mandolin takes center stage!
But the variety of instruments alone are not what makes it so enjoyable. It’s that Cooder has a knack for knowing exactly what elements will work musically in a song. Anyone can find a few exotic elements and throw them together, but our man Ry has the good sense to use only the ideas and instruments that sound just right. It’s why Jazz, Chicken Skin Music, and even Buena Vista Social Club are all such successful albums. Plenty of people could do these things, but only Ry could do them this well.(more…)