1970

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Out of This World Sound at Loud Levels

More Emerson, Lake and Palmer

More Prog Rock

  • Boasting excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout, this UK Island Pink Rim pressing makes the case that ELP’s debut is clearly one of the most POWERFUL rock records ever made
  • Spacious, rich and dynamic, with big bass and tremendous energy – these are just some of the things we love about Eddie Offord‘s engineering work on this band’s albums
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest – you’ll never play a CD (or any other digital sourced material) that sounds as good as this record as long as you live
  • “Lucky Man” and “Take A Pebble” on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won’t believe
  • If you are looking for a shootout winning copy, let us know – with such good music and sound, we hope to get another shootout going again soon
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album… [which] showcased the group at its least pretentious and most musicianly …there isn’t much excess, and there is a lot of impressive musicianship here.”

If you’ve got the system to play this one loud enough, with the low end weight and energy it requires, you are in for a treat. The organ that opens side two will rattle the foundation of your house if you’re not careful. This music really needs that kind of megawatt reproduction to make sense. This is bombastic prog that wants desperately to rock your world. At moderate levels it just sounds overblown and silly. At loud levels, it actually will rock your world.

This UK Island pink rim import pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely 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…)

Miles Davis / Bitches Brew

More Miles Davis

More Jazz Rock Fusion

  • An excellent copy of this 2 LP set with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all FOUR sides
  • These sides are clean, clear, lively and present with tons of space around all of the players
  • You can hear right into the soundfield, and you can be sure that there’s a whole lot more going on in there than you can bring out, but that’s what makes audio fun
  • Improving your playback can reveal more and more of what’s always been in the grooves of your records
  • This is not an easy album to find in clean condition, let alone a copy that sounds like this and plays reasonably well throughout
  • If jazz-fusion is your bag, the Double Plus (A++) side three of this copy will take you on a trip like few other records can
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
  • 5 stars: “Thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion (for better or worse) and being the jazz album to most influence rock and funk musicians, Bitches Brew is, by its very nature, mercurial.”

The incredible musicianship and Teo Macero’s innovative production each help take these jazz-fusion soundscapes to places most folks had never imagined before. And a copy like this one takes the entire production to a whole new level. I can’t begin to tell you how many crappy copies have hit our table over the years, but after finding this one I’m really glad we never gave up on this album.

I remember buying this record when I was in college and I had a hell of a time trying to make any sense of it. I also bought the first two Weather Report albums and had a hell of a time with those. But then when Sweetnighter came out, which was angular but still accessible, this kind of music started to make sense to me. This is music for those who want to be challenged. It’s as true today as it was 53 years ago when this record came out.

Our favorite track on this album, “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down,” is found on the Double Plus (A++) side four, which means the sound for it is OUTSTANDING.

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Kris Kristofferson – Kristofferson

More Kris Kristofferson

More Singer-Songwriter Albums

  • Boasting KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides, this vintage Monument pressing was giving us the sound we were looking for on Kristofferson’s debut LP
  • You won’t believe how rich, Tubey Magical, big, undistorted and present this copy is (until you play it anyway)
  • Both of these sides are full-bodied, natural and clear, with Kristofferson front and center, exactly where he should be
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
  • 5 stars:: “[Kristofferson] brought a conviction to his vocals and a complete understanding of the nuances of the lyrics. The songs were so personal that they seemed to demand a personal interpretation, and established the persona of a poor songwriter struggling against despair.”

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Genesis – Trespass

Hot Stamper Pressings of Genesis Available Now

More Prog Rock

  • This early Charisma import pressing was doing practically everything right, with both sides earning incredible Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • The sound here is rich and Tubey Magical, two qualities the CD made from these tapes surely lacks and two qualities which are crucial if this music is to sound the way the band intended
  • Forget the later reissues on the Blue Label – we have yet to hear one that can compete with these good originals
  • Probably for the more serious fan, but Melody Maker found it “…tasteful, subtle and refined.”
  • Marks in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these classic rock records – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you

Take it from us, the guys who play every kind of pressing we can get our hands on, the UK pressings are the only way to go on Trespass. (more…)

Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs And Englishmen

More Joe Cocker

  • This vintage copy boasts KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side four and seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound on the other THREE sides, and plays about as quietly as any early pressing ever will
  • The sound is rich and tubey, with driving energy and the top end and clarity that was simply missing from far too many of the copies we had to work through in order to find this one
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Unlike a lot of other ‘coffee table’-type rock releases of the era, such as Woodstock and The Concert for Bangladesh, people actually listened to Mad Dogs & Englishmen – most of its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique.”

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Elton John / Tumbleweed Connection


  • This early DJM import pressing of Elton John’s 1970 Masterpiece boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades from first note to last
  • The sound here is richer, with much less transistory grain, and more of the All Important Tubey Magic than most other copies we played
  • An incredible recording and longtime member of our Top 100 — our pick for Elton’s very best music and sound
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
  • 5 stars: “….[Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s] most ambitious record to date… A loose concept album about the American West… draws from country and blues in equal measures…”
  • If you’re an Elton John fan, this is a classic from 1970 that belongs in your collection
  • We consider this Elton John album a Masterpiece. It’s a recording that should be part of any serious popular Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.

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Ry Cooder – Self-Titled

More Ry Cooder

More Debut Albums of Interest

  • A vintage Reprise pressing of Ry Cooder’s 1970 debut with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • If you want to hear the brilliant Lee Herschberg‘s All Analog Recording skills brought to bear on so many different instruments serving an assortment of sonic textures, this is the copy that will let you do it
  • 4 stars: “Cooder’s debut creates an intriguing fusion of blues, folk, rock & roll, and pop, filtered through his own intricate, syncopated guitar; Van Dyke Parks and Lenny Waronker’s idiosyncratic production… Cooder puts this unique blend across with a combination of terrific songs, virtuosic playing, and quirky, yet imaginative, arrangements.”
  • This is clearly George Harrison’s best sounding album. Roughly 100 other listings for the Best Sounding Album by an Artist or Group (sounds like a Grammy Awards category, doesn’t it?) can be found here.
  • This is a Must Own Title from 1970, a great year for Rock and Pop music, perhaps the best ever
  • The complete list of titles from 1970 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

The music reminds me a lot of early Little Feat, which is a good thing. The sound is somewhat similar as well, which is to say that it is natural and musical, nothing like the hyped-up hi-fi sound of his TAS-listed album Jazz — and that’s a good thing as well.

There are some great songs here, including My Old Kentucky Home, One Meat Ball and How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live. It may even be his best album. (more…)

The Who – Live At Leeds

More of The Who

Records We Only Sell on Import Vinyl

  • A hard-rockin’ copy – this British Track pressing boasts INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) DEMO DISC sound or close to it on both sides
  • The recording is huge and lively with startling dynamics and in-the-room-presence like nothing you’ve heard
  • This is Demo Disc quality sound by any measure, especially on Big Speakers at Loud Levels
  • The vinyl is fairly quiet, but that is rarely a concern when an album has music this loud and powerful
  • Drums so solid, punchy and present they put to shame 99% of the rock records on the planet
  • The sound of the best pressings is raw, real and exceptionally unprocessed
  • Cited as the best live rock recording of all time by The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the BBC Q magazine, and Rolling Stone. In 2003, it was ranked number 170 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
  • We should have all the papers that come with the album, but please be sure to double check with us, if having all the papers is important to you

Get ready to rock out, as this is one of the BEST SOUNDING live albums ever recorded. “Young Man Blues” on a copy such as this has drums that are so solid, punchy and present they positively put to shame the drum sound on 99 out of 100 rock records! Keith Moon lives on!

The bass is AMAZING on this record. Present vocals and clear guitars in both channels are also key to the best copies.

Most pressings do not get the guitars to jump out of the speakers the way the best can.

Few copies get the highest highs and the lowest lows but this one had it going on from top to bottom.

The seven minute long “Magic Bus” that finishes out the side is The Who at their best. Rock fans will have a hard time finding a better sounding Who pressing than this one, on either side.

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Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay

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  • Red Clay is Hubbard’s Soul Jazz Masterpiece, and it’s a record that belongs in every audiophile’s jazz collection
  • Lenny White drums up a storm on this album – on this copy he is playing right in the room with you
  • 5 stars: “This may be Freddie Hubbard’s finest moment as a leader, in that it embodies and utilizes all of his strengths as a composer, soloist, and frontman. [It] places the trumpeter in the company of giants such as saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Lenny White… This is a classic, hands down.”
  • We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” but with less of an accent on morbidity and more on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. Red Clay is a good example of a record most audiophiles may not know well but should.
  • If you’re a Hubbard fan, or perhaps a fan of early-’70s Soul Jazz, this title from 1970 is surely a Must Own.
  • The complete list of titles from 1970 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

Hubbard was a master of funky jazz, and the song “Red Clay” is arguably the funkiest jazz track he ever committed to tape. At 12 minutes in length it is a transcendentally powerful experience — and the bigger your speakers and the louder you turn them up the more moving that experience is going to be!

The intro to “Red Clay” begins with a stylized free-form jam, sounding like a bop-jazz band of old, then takes form and solidifies into a groove of monstrous proportions. Ron Carter’s bass playing is stellar! It’s big and lively with tons of presence and energy.

Like many of our funky favorites, this one was eventually sampled for a popular hip-hop song. That may not mean much to you, but it definitely means that nice copies of this album get swiped up quickly by young DJs and producers.

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Randy Newman – 12 Songs

More Randy Newman

  • 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: “While much of Randy Newman [his first album] was heavily orchestrated, 12 Songs was cut with a small combo (Ry Cooder and Clarence White take turns on guitar), leaving a lot more room for Newman’s Fats Domino-gone-cynical piano and the bluesier side of his vocal style, and Randy sounds far more confident and comfortable in this context.”

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