As is sometimes the case, there is one and only one set of stamper numbers that consistently wins our Every Picture Tells A Story shootouts.
We stumbled upon an out-of-this-world copy of the right pressing back in 2016, a copy that took the recording to a level we had no idea was even possible.
Side one was so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade.
Our lengthy commentary entitled Outliers & Out-of-This-World Sound talks about how rare these kinds of pressings are and how to go about finding them.
We no longer give Four Pluses out as a matter of policy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t come across records that deserve them from time to time.
In our breakthrough shootout from 2016 the magic stampers were discovered, and they have won every shootout since then. We would be very surprised to find any stampers that could compete with them, but you never know.
More on the subject of stampers and breakthrough pressings:
- More Stamper and Pressing Information
- More Breakthrough Pressings, some of them, like this one, from 2016
This is a superb recording, and on the best pressings it is true Demo Disc material. Not too many of our Hot Stamper titles are going to ROCK you the way this one does. We put it in a class with Led Zep II, Nevermind, and Back In Black — elite company to say the least.
- Hot Stamper pressings of Hard Rockin’ Records available now
- Reviews and Commentaries for Records in the None Rocks Harder Club
A Quick Check for Tonal Balance
One quick note on how to tell if you have a tonally balanced copy, at least on side two: Maggie May has multi-overdubbed, close-miked mandolins that should have plenty of midrange presence and an extended top end.
As soon as that song ends, a very sweet, smooth guitar opens the next track, Mandolin Wind.
The two songs lean towards opposite ends of the tonal balance spectrum, but on a good copy, both of them sound right.
One’s a little darker, one’s a little brighter, but they’re both right.
And of course the next track, … Losing You, is a great test for energy, whomp and excitement.
Every Picture Tells A Story checks off some prestigious boxes for us here at Better Records:
- It’s a Longtime Personal Favorite
- It’s a Rock and Pop Masterpiece
- It’s Part of the Core Collection of Well Recorded Rock & Pop Albums
- It’s Our Pick for Rod Stewart’s Best Sounding Album
- It’s a Rock Demo Disc on Big Speakers at Loud Levels