1991

Crowded House – Woodface

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Reviews and Commentaries for Crowded House

  • An outstanding European import pressing of Crowded House’s 1991 Pop Masterpiece boasting Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • The care and effort that went into every aspect of the recording and production of Woodface more than justifies the effort we put into finding this excellent copy – one of the better sounding copies we have played
  • It is our opinion that this is some of the most original, melodic, hook-laden, sophisticated popular music recorded in the last thirty years, the kind that should find favor with any audiophile who likes the popular music, starting with The Beatles and ending who knows when
  • 4 1/2 stars: “The songs are easily their finest to date, combining flawless melodies and the outstanding harmonies of the brothers’ perfectly matched voices.”

This excellent copy of Woodface fulfills the promise of this extraordinarily well-recorded album beyond all expectations. The effect so totally immerses you in the musical experience that you forget you’re listening to a record at all. In your mind, you have the sense that you’re hearing the music exactly the way the musicians, producers, and engineers intended it to sound. The sound is everything you want it to be as you experience every element of the music without limitation. (more…)

Bonnie Raitt – Luck of the Draw

  • This UK import pressing will blow the doors off any other Luck Of The Draw you’ve heard with superb sound from start to finish
  • Amazingly open and transparent, with tons of energy and real immediacy to Bonnie’s wonderfully present, breathy vocals
  • This copy had more ANALOG qualities than most others in our recent shootout, which tended to have that digital / sterile sound that kills so many albums from the era
  • 4 1/2 stars: “…Luck of the Draw is an unqualified success, filled with strong songs — including the hits ‘Something to Talk About’ and ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me,’ plus the Delbert McClinton duet ‘Good Man, Good Woman’ — appealing productions, and just enough dirt to make old-school fans feel at home.”

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Enya – Shepherd Moons

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  • A tough record to find in audiophile playing condition these days – the import vinyl was never all that quiet even back in 1991 when I was selling these as brand new
  • The sound here is airy, open, spacious, and transparent – this may not be our favorite music in the world, but it’s hard to argue with sonics like this
  • Tonally correct, clear and present – here’s a copy that can put a living, breathing Enya right between your speakers
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Shepherd Moons does have one key factor that’s also carried over from Watermark — it’s quite good listening…Enya shows herself to still have it, to grand effect.”

The vinyl on these pressings from the ’90s often had problems like these. I was selling them as brand new imports at the time and they often came with noise issues of one kind or another. (more…)

Rickie Lee Jones – Pop Pop

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  • This import pressing is rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality, and wonderfully breathy vocals – everything that we listen for in a great record is here
  • If you like the sound of her first album, you are going to love Pop Pop
  • This album was only available on import vinyl in 1991, and only for a short time, which is why they are so hard to find (and expensive when you do find them)
  • I was importing these back in the day, and they never played any quieter than Mint Minus Minus – the vinyl of the day was just not that quiet, and they often showed up here in the states with scratches from grit inside the inner sleeve if you can believe that!
  • “Rickie Lee Jones cradles each of these songs with her pleading, gentle voice, backing them with subtle orchestration courtesy of notable performers including Robben Ford, Joe Henderson, and Charlie Haden.”

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Paul McCartney – Unplugged

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  • A true Demo Disc and superb sounding import pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • A strikingly intimate document of a live show, fronted by one of the greatest performers in history, Sir Paul McCartney
  • You get more extension up top, more weight down low, and more transparency in the midrange
  • 4 stars: “… it remains one of the most enjoyable records in McCartney’s catalog. McCartney is carefree and charming, making songs like “Be-Bop-a-Lula” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” sound fresh.”

Superb sound for this amazing recording! It’s a strikingly intimate document of a live show, one which just happens to be fronted by one of the greatest performers in the history of popular music, Sir Paul McCartney.

On the best copies, the sound is warmer, richer, and sweeter, or in a word, more ANALOG sounding. You get more extension up top, more weight down low, and more transparency in the midrange. It’s surprising how veiled and two-dimensional so many copies can be, considering that this is a live recording (by the legendary Geoff Emerick himself) with not a lot of “messing around” after the fact. (more…)

Stevie Ray Vaughan – The Sky Is Crying

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Albums with Especially Dynamic Guitar Solos

  • This STUNNING pressing boasts insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second, which means the nearly seven minutes of Little Wing on this side one is guaranteed to present you with some of the most amazing sound you’ve ever heard
  • Some of the most blistering performances of electric blues we have ever had the pleasure of rocking out to
  • Hands down the best sounding SRV recording — Little Wing is an absolute monster on this side one and a Demo track to beat them all
  • 4 stars: “Doing away with vocals, Vaughan augments Hendrix’s concise two-and-a-half minute original, turning the track into a nearly seven-minute-long electric tour de force. The cover would earn Vaughan his sixth Grammy, for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, in 1992.”

This is one of the most blistering recordings of electric blues we’ve ever played. Few other records recorded in the ’80s have this kind of BIG, BOLD sound. Maybe none. The sheer impact and wallop of this music is a real treat, but only if you have the right pressing (and the right kind of stereo to play it on, of course).

Stevie’s take on Jimi’s Little Wing is the surest proof that SRV was one of the greatest Electric Blues Guitarists of All Time. I know of no other guitar showcase to compete with it.

Turn it up good and loud and you will be amazed at how dynamic the guitar solos are.

Sonically it’s a knockout, with one of the tallest, widest, and deepest soundstages I have ever heard on record. It brings to mind Gilmore’s multiple solos on Money from the hottest Dark Side of the Moon pressings, high praise indeed.

Little Wing deservedly won SRV the Grammy in ’92 for Best Rock Instrumental.

And, if you want to hear Stevie channel Wes Montgomery instead of Jimi Hendrix, take a listen to Chitlins Con Carne. (more…)

Nirvana – Nevermind

Reviews and Commentaries for Nirvana

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

An incredible sounding record, especially on a White Hot Stamper such as this (which is why this copy sold for $849!). I might even go so far as to say it’s better than practically anything recorded during the entire decade of the ’90s. Man, when you’ve heard this record at its best, there is NOTHING like it. For the true Rock and Roll Audiophile Connoisseur, the man who will settle for nothing but the very best, we humbly offer this Nevermind Verified Hot Stamper, the ultimate head-banging experience. (more…)

Elvis Costello – Mighty Like A Rose – Reviewed in 1991

Warner Brothers German Import LP. This is the only vinyl version of this album from 1991. As I recall the sound is pretty good.

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Bonnie Raitt / Luck of the Draw – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

Here’s the first (Super) Hot Stamper copy of Luck Of The Draw to ever hit the site! What took us so long? It’s simple, most copies out there just plain don’t deliver, and for a long time we weren’t sure we’d ever have a copy that would be a clear enough winner over the DCC pressing to merit Hot Stamper status.

Well folks, it may have taken YEARS but we’ve finally found a Hot Copy — this one rates A++ on side one and A+ to A++ on side two. We think you’ll have a very hard time finding a better sounding pressing of this album no matter what you do, and of course we guarantee it will handily beat the pants off the DCC or your money back. (more…)

Jellyfish – Bellybutton

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Jellyfish

One of the very best copies we’ve ever heard! Both sides earned top honors in our shootout, with side one even surpassing our reference copy to earn a FOUR plus A++++ grade. It goes far beyond anything we’ve heard before.

Out of the thousands of Hot Stampers we’ve listed over the years, less than twenty have earned Four Pluses. That alone makes this a very special copy indeed. (more…)