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Super Hot Stamper - Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Super Hot Stamper

Sinead O'Connor
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • A superb copy of Sinead O'Connor's best-selling sophomore release with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This early UK pressing is big and rich with superb clarity and three-dimensional space that most pressings barely hint at
  • You won't believe how good Nothing Compares 2 U sounds here - it's surely one of the best torch songs ever written, and her performance of it (as well as the arrangement) is perfection
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the album plays like a tour de force in its demonstration of everything O'Connor can do... it's evidence that, when on top of her game, O'Connor was a singular talent."
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I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, a brilliant and unique piece of work, is widely considered one of the best albums of the '90s. I positively love the album. The emotion is every bit as naked and compelling as that found on Joni's Blue, and I do not say that lightly. I know the power of Blue, and this album has that kind of power. This is some heavy heavy stuff. Hearing it sound right is a thrill you won't soon forget.

This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What outstanding sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1990
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We're Listening For on I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Here are some of the things we specifically listened for on this record.

Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than any of the other copies we played in our shootout.

  • Immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
  • Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
  • Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
  • Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
  • Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
  • And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of later import or domestic pressings, or -- even worse -- the Heavy Vinyl reissue, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.

Track Commentary

The Track Listing tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For (WTLF) advice.


Side One

Feel So Different
I Am Stretched on Your Grave

This track has some of the wildest instrumentation I've ever heard! The rhythm is provided by a looped sample of the beat from James Brown's "Funky Drummer", with Sinead's reverb-laden vocals carrying the droning melody. At the apex of the track, some crazy-ass violins come in, making for a haunting celtic/hip-hop hybrid. I think there's even some Persian in there. This one just knocks me out every time I hear it.

The average bad sounding pressing of side one just plain ruins this track. The sound will lack extension on the top and reek of blubbery bass. The hot copies have solid low end, lots of air around the vocals, and texture on the violins. The good copies let the song work its magic; the bad ones don't.

Three Babies

This cut showcases some of the real emotional depth and weight that can be found on this album. Her naked vocal demands the ultimate in transparency. Without it you have nothing. Veiled copies are positively unlistenable, and there are plenty of those out there.

The Emperor's New Clothes
Black Boys on Mopeds

Side Two

Nothing Compares 2 U

The undeniable hit single of Sinead's career, written by Prince don't you know. Her vocal performance here is truly awe-inspiring. Our hot copies allow you to appreciate how dynamically she sings. Watch out: the average version becomes hard and biting when she starts pushing her vocal. It totally crushes the emotion in her voice and breaks the spell.

Jump in the River
You Cause as Much Sorrow
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

The album plays like a tour de force in its demonstration of everything O'Connor can do: dramatic orchestral ballads, intimate confessionals, catchy pop/rock, driving guitar rock, and protest folk, not to mention the nearly six-minute a cappella title track.

What's consistent throughout is the frighteningly strong emotion O'Connor brings to bear on the material, while remaining sensitive to each piece's individual demands. Aside from being a brilliant album in its own right, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got foreshadowed the rise of deeply introspective female singer/songwriters like Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan, who were more traditionally feminine and connected with a wider audience. Which takes nothing away from anyone; if anything, it's evidence that, when on top of her game, O'Connor was a singular talent.