- With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
- Big, rich and smooth — this is vintage analog after all ** this is just the right sound for this music
- Includes Withers’ signature hit, “Lovely Day” as well as “Lovely Night For Dancing”
- 4 1/2 stars: “Where his Sussex material was slyly eclectic, touching on a number of different styles, this album is more cohesive, a smooth album that points the way toward quiet storm while retaining a warm soulfulness, largely due to Withers’ wonderful voice.”
- Boasting two solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER sides, this original Great American Gramophone Company pressing will be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Great energy, but the sound is relaxed and Tubey sweet at the same time, never squawky, with plenty of extension on both ends – that’s analog for ya!
- Both sides here fulfill the promise of the Direct to Disc recording technology in a way that few – very, very few – Direct to Disc pressings can
- Try “Tickle Toe” and “Gonna Fly Now” on side two to hear the best combination of excellent sonics and superb musicianship
- Stunning sound for Foreigner’s debut LP, with both sides earning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades – just shy of our Shootout Winner
- A truly superb recording with huge, powerful, dynamic sound – the Tubey Magical richness of these sides will have your jaw on the floor
- Includes two of the biggest FM hits from 1977 – “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice” – and we guarantee you’ve never heard them with as much rock and roll energy as they have on this copy
- 4 stars: “As pure rock craftsmanship goes, Foreigner was as good as it got in the late ’70s.”
These Nearly 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 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 full refund, no questions asked.
Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
What’s key to the sound of Foreigner’s records?
Obviously, the big one would have to be ENERGY, a subject we discuss at length on our blog. Next would be punchy ROCK BASS, followed by clear, present vocals.
Those are the big ones, and we are happy to report that this copy had the best Foreigner sound in all three areas.
- A vintage East Wind 33 RPM Japanese import pressing with outstanding grades 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
- 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
- With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) or BETTER sides, this copy of Steely Dan’s magnificent Jazzy Pop breakthrough album will be very hard to beat
- Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music
- A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on a pressing that sounds as good as this one does
- If I were to make a list of my Favorite Rock and Pop Albums from 1977, this album would definitely be right at the top
- Considering how dismal the releases by Cisco Music and Mobile Fidelity turned out to be, it seems that no one outside of Bernie Grundman back in 1977 managed to get Aja sounding right on vinyl. Will his upcoming UHQR be any good? We might just have to buy one and find out.
Folks, there’s not much I can tell you about this copy of Aja that’s going to make you want this record, other than to say this: If you’re in the market for a superb pressing of what’s gotta be the most beloved Steely Dan record they made, look no further. It’s right here. (more…)
- With KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them throughout, this copy of CS&N’s “comeback” album is doing practically everything right
- The sound is big and relatively rich, the vocals breathy and immediate, and you will not believe all the space and ambience – which of course are all qualities that Heavy Vinyl records have far too little of, and the main reason we have lost all respect for the bulk of them
- Includes CS&N classics “Dark Star,” “Just A Song Before I Go,” and “Fair Game”
- 4 stars: “It has held up remarkably well, both as a memento of its time, and as a thoroughly enjoyable musical work.”
- This early British pressing of Rafferty’s Must-Own Classic boasts an INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one mated to a superb Double Plus (A++) side two
- City To City is a Must Own Album – no right-thinking audiophile can fail to be impressed by the songwriting and production of Rafferty’s Masterpiece of British Folk Pop
- You won’t believe how rich, Tubey Magical, big, undistorted and present this copy is (until you play it anyway)
- If all you know are audiophile or domestic pressings, you should be prepared for a mind-blowing experience with this UK pressing
- 4 1/2 stars: “Rafferty’s turns of phrase and tight composition skills create a fresh sound and perspective all his own… resulting in a classic platter buoyed by many moments of sheer genius.”
Here you will find the kind of rich, sweet, classically British Tubey Magical sound that we cannot get enough of here at Better Records. (more…)
- This STUNNING copy of Taylor’s breakthrough album from 1977 boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
- It’s a superb recording – a member of our Top 100, in fact – but it takes a pressing like this to show you just how BIG and LIVELY it can sound
- The big hits “Your Smiling Face” and “Handy Man” both sound great here – thanks Val Garay!
- This and Sweet Baby James are the man’s best recordings, and his best albums too, but he has so many great albums that it almost seems unfair to him to point that out
- 4 stars: “JT was James Taylor’s best album since Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon because it acknowledged the darkness of his earlier work while explaining the deliberate lightness of his current viewpoint, and because it was his most consistent collection in years.”
The good copies REALLY ROCK on songs like Honey Don’t Leave L.A. or I Was Only Telling A Lie, yet have lovely, delicate vocals on ballads such as Another Grey Morning or There We Are (two of our favorite songs on the album).
Just turn up the volume and play the opening to Honey Don’t Leave L.A. — this is James Taylor and his super tight studio band at the peak of their powers. Russ Kunkel hits the drum twice, then clicks his sticks together so quickly you can hardly notice it, then goes back to the drums for the rest of the intro. On the best copies, the subtleties of his performance are clearly on display. Until copies like this one came along, we had never even noticed that stick trick. Now it’s the high point of the whole intro!
- With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound throughout, this copy of Deceptive Bends will be hard to beat
- These sides are bigger, with even greater immediacy in the vocals, as well as more bass and dynamics, all qualities that are much less audible when playing the average copy
- A longstanding member of our Top 100, this is one of the most dynamic, energetic, well recorded pop albums we know of, right up there with the band’s Masterpiece, The Original Soundtrack.
- 4 stars: “Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman kept the group alive and turned in a surprisingly solid album with 1977’s Deceptive Bends. It may lack the devil-may-care wackiness that popped up on previous 10cc albums, but it makes up for it by crafting a series of lush, catchy pop songs that are witty in their own right. All in all, Deceptive Bends is the finest achievement of 10cc’s post-Godley and Creme lineup…”
- Deceptive Bends is a Demo Disc for Bass, a Demo Disc for Dynamics, and a Demo Disc for Energy all rolled into one.
This is an AMAZINGLY WELL RECORDED album, a record I would have no problem ranking in the Top Rock Recordings of All Time. We’re tough graders on this album because we know how good it can sound, which is SHOCKINGLY GOOD. (more…)