1983

Huey Lewis & The News – Sports

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  • This superb copy of Sports boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two married with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one – mostly quiet vinyl too
  • The bass is tight, the drum hits are BIG, the guitars are meaty with lots of texture and the energy level is off the charts!
  • We were knocked out at how good this album sounds on a great pressing like this one – one of the more impressive ’80s pop recordings we’ve played in some time
  • 4 1/2 stars: “There’s a reason why well over half of the album… were huge American hit singles — they have instantly memorable hooks, driven home with economical precision by a tight bar band, who are given just enough polish to make them sound like superstars.”

Here’s another great example of an album we had pretty much forgotten about over the years that completely re-earned our respect after hearing it come to life on the good copies. The songs are great, the band is on fire and the sound is wonderful throughout.

Most copies are somewhat flat, dry and grainy, but a pressing like this is an entirely different story. The sound is much more analog — rich, smooth and full — and you get more energy as well as a strong, punchy bottom end. The bass is tight, the drum hits are BIG and the guitars are meaty with lots of texture. (more…)

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood

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More Electric Blues

  • Both sides here are incredibly big, full and natural sounding with tons of energy and presence; exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • “It’s hard to overestimate the impact Stevie Ray Vaughan’s debut, Texas Flood, had upon its release in 1983… Vaughan became a genuine star and, in doing so, sparked a revitalization of the blues…” – All Music
  • If you’re a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan, a killer copy of his debut album from 1983 belongs in your collection.

This copy gets Stevie’s room-filling guitar to sound about as rich and powerful as a recording of it can. When playing this record, first make sure the volume is up good and high. Now close your eyes and picture yourself in a blues club, with the volume ten times louder than your stereo will play. Electric Blues played at loud levels in a small club would sound pretty much like this album does, a bit messy but also real.

If you’re one of those audiophiles who insists on proper soundstaging with layered depth and pinpoint imaging, forget it. That’s not in the cards. The producers and engineers were going for the “live in the studio” sound with this one (and most of his other albums it seems), which means it’s a jumble image-wise.

But that’s the way you would hear it performed live, so where’s the harm? (more…)

Rickie Lee Jones – Girl At Her Volcano

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More Singer Songwriter Albums

  • An outstanding copy of Rickie Lee’s EP, Girl At Her Volcano, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • A superb pressing – rich, warm and full-bodied with excellent presence and exceptionally dynamic vocals
  • The piano sounds tonally correct, with real weight to the keys
  • Under the Boardwalk is killer on this album, one of the best reasons to own it
  • “With such a quirky little voice, awesome dynamic shifts and the way she attacks the piano, moving between powerful and delicate, ranks this record as one of my standard demo recordings.”

We’re big fans of RLJ’s self-titled debut, a longtime member of our Top 100 list. I think this one is probably the next best thing she’s done. It may only be an EP but it’s a consistently good EP in which every track is good and some are amazing.

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Def Leppard – Pyromania

More Rock Classics

Hot Stamper Albums with Huge Choruses

  • Finding a copy of this album that gets big and loud but stays rich and clear doing it is no small feat, but for all you fans of Glam and Metal, here’s one
  • 5 stars: “While Def Leppard had obviously wanted to write big-sounding anthems on their previous records, Pyromania was where the band’s vision coalesced and gelled into something more. Leppard’s quest for huge, transcendent hard rock perfection on Pyromania was surprisingly successful; their reach never exceeded their grasp, which makes the album an enduring (and massively influential) classic.”

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Oscar Peterson – A Tribute To My Friends

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  • An incredible sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Both of these sides are clean, clear and lively with a solid bottom end and lots of space around all of the players
  • “With the assistance of guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew, Peterson sounds inspired on such themes as “Blueberry Hill,” “Stuffy,” “Cottontail” and even “A Tisket, a Tasket.” – All Music, 4 Stars

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Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger

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  • An incredible sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – the UK LPs are the only way to fly for Duran Duran
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout, Mint Minus to Mint Minus to Minus – we had to go through about ten copies to find one this quiet
  • “Duran Duran put three of the album’s singles in the Top Ten, taking it to number one in the U.K… it’s bright, energetic, and effectual. Duran Duran’s new direction eventually gave Seven and the Ragged Tiger double platinum status.”

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The Police – Synchronicity

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More Sting

  • This stunning pressing of the band’s final studio album boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
  • Clearly better than every other pressing we played – when you can hear it sound this good you may just come to appreciate how good the music is
  • Every Breath You Take and Wrapped Around Your Finger are amazingly big, rich and Tubey Magical here
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Few other albums from 1983 merged tasteful pop, sophistication, and expert songwriting as well as Synchronicity did, resulting in yet another all-time classic.”

This music can have real Rock and Roll POWER — if you’re lucky enough to own a pressing with the energy of the master tapes inscribed in its grooves. Some have it and some don’t.

Welcome to the world of analog, where no two copies sound the same and most are nothing special. (No two covers of this album look the same either. Get a pile of them out and see if you can find two that match. It’s not easy.) (more…)

Linda Ronstadt – What’s New

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More Nelson Riddle

  • With STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, this is without a doubt some of the best sound we have ever heard for What’s New
  • So hugely spacious and three-dimensional, yet with a tonally correct and fairly natural sounding Linda, this is the way to hear it
  • What engineer George Massenburg gets right is the sound of an orchestra, augmented with jazz musicians (Ray Brown, Tommy Tedesco, Plas Johnson, Bob Cooper), all performing live in a huge studio
  • “…the best and most serious attempt to rehabilitate an idea of pop that Beatlemania… undid in the mid-60’s.”

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Bill Evans – The Paris Concert, Edition Two

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  • A superb original pressing with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish and fairly quiet vinyl
  • These sides are doing most everything right – as befits a live concert, there’s an overall unprocessed quality to the sound and superb space around all three players
  • 4 1/2 stars: “[T]his could be considered Bill Evans’ final recording and serves as evidence that, rather than declining, he was showing a renewed vitality and enthusiasm in his last year.”

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John Cougar Mellencamp – Uh-Huh

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  • You’ll find STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last on this original pressing of Mellencamp’s 1983 release – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is HUGE – wide, deep, and open, with a solid bottom end and rhythmic energy to spare
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… the first half — with the dynamic rocker ‘Crumblin’ Down,’ his best protest song, ‘Pink Houses,’ the punky ‘Authority Song,’ the melancholy ‘Warmer Place to Sleep,’ and the garage rocker ‘Play Guitar’ — makes the record his first terrific album.”

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