Top Producers – Nick Lowe

Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True – Another Bad Porky/Pecko Cutting

Hot Stamper Pressings of Elvis’s Albums Available Now

Letters and Commentaries for My Aim Is True

My notes for the one and only UK pressing I’ve played in many years, the one with Porky is the dead wax, say:

  • Really loud and full
  • Too loud and hot vocal
  • Strains a lot

You know what the sound of this record reminds me of?

An old 45.

It’s not unusual for 45 RPM singles from back in the day to be very loud, very compressed, often with hot vocals that jump right into your lap.

Mono mixes sometimes have some of that same lowest-common-denominator sound. This mix is stereo but it sounds like it’s coming right out of a jukebox.

No doubt Mr. Peckham was told to make the record sound that way, and he did his job very well.

But audiophiles looking for good sound should heed my warning and avoid the UK LPs of the album. It’s a joke next to the domestic pressings with the right stampers. (more…)

This Year’s Model Is Rockin’ Like No Other (1978)

More Elvis Costello

More This Year’s Model

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  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a superb Double Plus (A++) side one, this copy will be very hard to beat – quiet vinyl too
  • This Green Label Radar Records UK pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce
  • The bass is right – the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs are clear and the band swings the way it’s supposed to
  • 5 stars: “The most remarkable thing about the album is the sound — Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again.”

As we noted above, this original British pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True – British Guy, British Pressing… Right?

Hot Stampers of My Aim Is True

Letters and Commentaries for My Aim Is True

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

The British pressings are simply not competitive with the best domestics. No import, from any country, can touch a good Columbia pressing from the states. The most common stampers for the Columbia pressings have never sounded very good to these ears, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some killer copies with different stampers sitting in the bins wearing the generic ’70s Red Columbia label. We’ve heard them. Wish we could find more of them but they are rare and only getting rarer.
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Elvis Costello Arrayed His Armed Forces and Produced His Single Best Sounding Album

Hot Stamper Pressings of Armed Forces Available Now

Reviews and Commentaries for Armed Forces

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 We consider Armed Forces to be one of the best sounding rock records ever made, and a copy like this White Hot Shootout Winner is proof enough to back up our claim. The best copies are extremely transparent and silky sounding, but with unbelievably punchy, rock-solid bass and drums.

The sound of the rhythm section ranks with the best we’ve ever heard. Beyond that, the musical chops of this band at this time rank with the best in the history of rock. Steve, Bruce and Pete rarely get the credit they deserve for being one of the tightest, liveliest backing bands ever to walk into a studio or on to a stage.

The song Oliver’s Army on the first side is a perfect example of what we’re talking about. Rock music doesn’t get much livelier than that. Skip on down to Green Shirt for another track that’s as punchy as they come.

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