Clearly this is one of Linda’s best albums, and I would have to say, based on my fairly extensive experience with her recorded output, that it is in fact THE BEST SOUNDING record she ever made. I love Heart Like a Wheel, but it sure doesn’t sound like this, not even on the Triple Plus copies that win our shootouts.
Kudos once again must go to VAL GARAY, the man behind so many of our favorite recordings: James Taylor’s JT (a Top 100 title), Andrew Gold, Prisoner In Disguise, etc.(more…)
This British original earned excellent sonic grades of Double Plus (A++) on both sides – the band sounds great here
This has long been a favorite album of mine, a Desert Island Disc if you will, with some of the most powerfully produced, intelligently written and passionately performed songs in the entire Squeeze canon
The domestic pressings are obviously made from dubs, and only the best of the Brits have sound even approaching this copy
“”By Your Side,” “I Learnt How to Pray,” and “Last Time Forever” are all darker tunes than just about any Squeeze had done so far but they carry an emotional punch.” Boy, do they
If you’re a fan of Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson and even quite a few other lesser-knowns from this era, Squeeze is the band for you. I put them right up there with Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel in the pantheon of Best British Pop Music of All Time.
There’s plenty of Tubey Magical richness and smoothness on the best British pressings — such as this one — qualities the domestic pressings are sorely lacking. If you want to hear this music right, on vinyl it’s British or nothing, and with one of our Hot Stamper pressings it’s British and everything — everything that’s good about this recording is captured on these sides.(more…)
Clarity and resolution are the key to getting the most out of this album. The subtle harmonics of the gently strummed acoustic guitar at the opening of My God. The air in Anderson’s flute throughout the album. The snap to Dammond’s snare. And how about all the fuzz on Barre’s fuzzed out guitar on the song Aqualung? Sure, there’s guitar fuzz on the typical pressing but there’s SO MUCH MORE on the truly elite copies. When you hear it right, the sound of that guitar makes you really sit up and take notice of how amazing Barre’s solos are. (The guy is criminally underrated as both an innovator and technically accomplished guitarist.) The distortion is perfection and so is the playing.
Highlights from an Interview with Premiere Guitar in 2011
A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
Both sides have that rare combination of silky highs and deep low end that make any record magical
5 stars: “Ranks alongside the most essential Eno material.”
Side one, the rock side, strongly relies on its deep punchy bass to make its material come to life and rock (or should we say art rock?). Eno’s vocals are clear and present with virtually no strain. Phil Collins’ drumming is energetic and transparent and perfectly complemented by Percy Jones’ simultaneously acrobatic and hard-driving bass work.
This album typically suffers from a severe case of rolled-off highs, compounding the problems in the midrange: veiled and smeary vocals. The average copy is thick, muddy and congested, lacking the kind of transparency and clarity that makes it possible for the listener to hear into Eno’s dense mixes and make musical sense of them.
Partly this is Eno’s fault. He overloads his recordings. Played The Joshua Tree lately? It has some of the same sonic shortcomings, (exacerbated by Direct Metal Mastering).(more…)
The first copy to ever hit the site and boy is it KILLER — Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides
“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.” – All Music
It has taken us years to get this shootout going. The reason for the long delay is simple. The domestic pressings we had on hand to play were not exactly thrilling us and even the best of them are no better than acceptable, and not likely to win a shootout.
Even worse, our intuition that the British originals would sound the best also turned out to be incorrect. (In the audiophile record collecting world intuitions have a bad track record, but more than a few audiophiles — many of whom seem to be addicted to sharing their “record knowledge” on audiophile forums — seem to be unaware of this unassailably true fact.) The original UK Orange Label pressings did not sound especially good to us, so we kept looking.(more…)
We haven’t had any copies of this album at all up since 2013, and no White Hot copies since 2008 – it’s that tough to find
Guaranteed to MURDER any Pink Label Island original you have ever heard – these are the Hot Stampers
Melody Maker thoroughly recommended the album in 1968 for being “full of excitement and emotion” and described the band as a blues ensemble “influenced by jazz music” capable of setting “the audience on fire”. Wikipedia
Folks, this is the best copy we are going to have on the site for a very long time. It took years and hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get this shootout going and this killer copy is the result. (more…)
The original Large Tulip early pressings are the best on this record, right?
Nope. It’s just another Record Myth, as explained in the commentary for our recent Hot Stamper 2-pack. That pair of pressings was all the proof we required to back up our contention that either label can be the best on this classic DG recording. Original is better? Again, not so much. Original can be better fits more with our experience.
To pull off this kind of Mind Boggling sound from start to finish we combined an amazing side one on the Large Tulips label with an amazing side two on the Small Tulips label. And what a finish — side two earned a grade of A+++, being a full step above even our hottest other side two, and we played a lot of copies, more than a dozen in fact. (more…)
Speakers Corner remastered this title back in the ’90s and did a decent enough job; I would guess my grade would be about a “C.” We carried it and recommended it at the time. I doubt if I would have very many kind things to say about it now. We’ve played an enormous number of superb classical records in the last ten years or so, raising the bar dramatically higher than it used to be. (more…)
This superb 2 LP set boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides!
Truly one of the greatest live albums of all time, recorded late at night in the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas
This is Basie and Sinatra in their natural habitat and in their prime, putting on the show of a lifetime – quiet vinyl too
“Basie and the orchestra are swinging and dynamic, inspiring a textured, dramatic, and thoroughly enjoyable performance from Sinatra … the definitive portrait of Frank Sinatra in the ’60s.” – AMG
This double album presents Sinatra and Basie at the height of their powers, in a setting especially conducive to both men’s music, the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas. If you missed it — and I’m sure most all of us did — here’s your chance to go back in time and be seated with the beautiful people front row center. This two disc all tube-mastered analog set is practically the only way you’ll ever be able to hear the greatest vocalist of his generation — in his prime no less — fronting one of the swingingest big bands of the time.
You Are There
The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Turn it up and Frank is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime.(more…)