1977

Bee Gees et al. – Saturday Night Fever

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More 5 Star Albums

  • An OUTSTANDING copy of this ’70s classic with top quality sound on all FOUR sides
  • There’s real Bee Gees vocal magic here – “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “More Than a Woman,” “Jive Talkin’,” and more!
  • One of the most underrated tracks that holds up surprisingly well after all these years is “A Fifth of Beethoven,” and it sounds great here
  • 5 stars: “Saturday Night Fever is virtually indispensable as a Bee Gees album, not just for the presence of an array of songs that were hits in their own right but because it offered the Gibb brothers as composers as well as artists…”
  • If you’re a Bee Gees fan, this title from 1977 is surely a Must Own
  • The complete list of titles from 1977 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

This copy of the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack has truly killer sound throughout, and that ain’t no jive talkin’! We collected a bunch of these and put them through the shootout process and were delighted to find out that some of the material on here can sound wonderful on the best pressings.

Like any compilation, some songs are going to sound better than others. The good news here is that most of the tracks you’d hope to be impressive actually are: “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love” and “Disco Inferno” are among the better-sounding songs here.

Find your favorite song on here, drop the needle, and see if the dramatically improved sound doesn’t bring back some special memories, and maybe even inspire you to bust a move!

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Elvis Presley – Moody Blue

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More Rock and Pop

  • An original RCA pressing with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • It also plays fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus considering the blue vinyl
  • Presley’s final studio album, released just a month before his death – not his best but there are a number of songs worth hearing here
  • Marks 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
  • “For all of its slapped-together feel, however, Moody Blue held up. The title song, authored by Mark James (who’d previously written ‘Suspicious Minds’), was just about as good a single as Elvis released in the 1970s, topping the country charts earlier in 1977; additionally, he did a superb reinterpretation of the George Jones hit ‘She Thinks I Still Care.'”

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Jimmy Buffett – Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

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  • Boasting two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides, we guarantee you’ve never heard Buffet’s 1977 Pop Masterpiece sound this good – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • 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 way to go
  • 4 stars: “…one reason Changes… is his best record yet is simply the sound… The main reason it’s Buffett’s best is the songs, most of which he wrote. Buffett has always been a good songwriter when he had the time to apply himself, and he’s been developing a persona that reaches its culmination here.”

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David Bowie – Heroes

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More Art Rock

  • An excellent vintage UK pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This copy has real depth to the soundfield, full-bodied, present vocals, plenty of bottom end weight, and lovely analog warmth
  • This reissue is the only way to fly – if you have an original, or any other pressing, you don’t know what you are missing!
  • These are the stampers that always win our shootouts, and when you hear them you will know why – the sound is big, rich and clear like no other
  • We’ve discovered a number of titles in which one stamper always wins, and here are some of the others
  • 5 stars: “Repeating the formula of Low’s half-vocal/half-instrumental structure, Heroes develops and strengthens the sonic innovations David Bowie and Brian Eno explored on their first collaboration. The vocal songs are fuller, boasting harder rhythms and deeper layers of sound.”

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Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors

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More Southern Rock

  • A vintage pressing with the rare “flames” cover boasting excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget whatever dead-on-arrival Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and Southern Rock Energy of this surprisingly well recorded album from 1977, this is only the way to go
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… it’s a hell of an album. The band springs back to life with the addition of guitarist Steve Gaines, and Van Zant used the time off the road to write a strong set of songs… If the original band was fated to leave after this record, at least they left with a record that serves as a testament to Skynyrd’s unique greatness.”
  • If you’re a Southern Rock fan, this undeniable classic from 1977 is surely a Must Own
  • The complete list of titles from 1977 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

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Chuck Mangione / Feels So Good

  • An outstanding copy of Mangione’s 1977 release with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • The best pressings of this record get what is inarguably his most famous song to come alive like nothing you’ve heard – who knew it could sound this good?
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, instrumental presence and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve played, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • 4 stars: “… this set from flügelhornist Chuck Mangione (which helped give guitarist Grant Geissman some fame) is actually stronger from the jazz standpoint than Mangione’s subsequent dates. The leader has some good solos, as does Geissman and saxophonist Chris Vadala, and the quintet’s ensembles are generally both sparse and attractive.”
  • If you’re a Mangione fan, this undeniable classic from 1977 is surely a Must Own

It’s shocking just how lifeless and pointless Feels So Good can sound on some copies; after only a few minutes the band seems to be having a hard time staying awake. But the same performance is captured on every pressing, so how can the band sound so inspired here and so uninspired elsewhere?

It’s one of the mysteries of recorded media, one which still takes us by surprise on a regular basis, week in and week out as a matter of fact.

The copies that are present, clear, open, transparent and energetic, with a solid rhythmic bass line driving the music, are a hundred times more enjoyable than many that can be found practically unplayed (gee, I wonder why?) sitting in most record lover’s collections.

This idea that most pressings do a poor job of communicating the music still has not seeped into the consciousness of most audiophiles, but we’re working on changing that, one Hot Stamper at a time.

By the way, if you know Feels So Good only through the radio, you may be surprised to find that it’s close to ten minutes long, not the three minutes you’re familiar with. The band stretches out quite a bit and the solos are fairly inventive, as AMG noted.

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Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True

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Letters and Commentaries for My Aim Is True

  • An outstanding pressing of Costello’s debut LP with Double Plus (A++) grades throughout – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is lively, punchy, and powerful – with all due respect, it should MURDER whatever copies you may have
  • A massive step up sonically from most domestic pressings, early or otherwise, and guaranteed to handily beat the imports as well
  • 5 stars: “A phenomenal debut, capturing a songwriter and musician whose words were as rich and clever as his music.”
  • Our favorite “unprocessed-sounding” rock recording – with virtually none of the glossy artificiality you might hear on most of the rock records we sell
  • There’s nothing wrong with that sound, mind you, but this recording captures much more of what the real instruments sound like in the studio

Yes, it’s lively and has that driving punk rock bass, but what sets this copy apart from the average pressing is the top end — it’s extended, silky and correct. As a consequence, the vocals end up being much more present and natural, with almost none of the grit and spit common to most of the copies anyone is ever likely to come across.

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Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane – Rough Mix

More of The Who

More Rock and Pop

  • Pete Townshend’s 1977 collaboration with Ronnie Lane finally returns to the site on this vintage copy with a KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two mated to an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this UK Polydor import pressing is big and rich, yet still wonderfully clean, clear and open with fantastic energy – you will not believe all the space and ambiance here
  • 4 stars: “Rough Mix… combines the loose, rollicking folk-rock of Lane’s former band, Slim Chance, with touches of country, folk, and New Orleans rock & roll, along with Townshend’s own trademark style… Rough Mix stands as a minor masterpiece and an overlooked gem in both artists’ vast bodies of work.”
  • If you’re a fan of either of these two guys, this classic collaboration from 1977 is surely a Must Own

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The L.A. 4 / Going Home

  • A vintage East Wind 33 RPM Japanese import pressing with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them from start to finish
  • A top album in both rarity and demand – you’d be hard pressed to find another copy with this kind of transparency, clarity, presence, and sound (assuming you could find one)
  • This is one of the best sounding copies with all 7 tracks we have ever played
  • Lee Herschberg recorded these sessions direct to disc – he’s the guy behind the most amazing piano trio recording I have ever heard, a little album called The Three
  • The star of this record is Shelly Manne, who really plays up a storm
  • This 33 RPM version features all seven of the original tracks – “Greensleeves” and “Django” were omitted from the shorter 45 RPM pressing

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Willie Nelson / To Lefty From Willie

More Willie Nelson

More Country and Country Rock

  • Willie’s superb 1977 tribute album finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • You get clean, clear, full-bodied, lively and musical ANALOG sound from first note to last
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they’re making – the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this very special vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
  • 4 1/2 stars: “To Lefty From Willie is an affectionate and thoroughly enjoyable salute to Lefty Frizzell, featuring stellar versions of a number of Lefty’s best-known songs. . . Nelson is respectful without being overly reverential, giving his own spin to each song without abandoning their honky tonk roots.”

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