The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Three: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Four: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
- An outstanding copy of Honeysuckle Rose with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on all FOUR sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
- This surprisingly well recorded live album has the kind of smooth, rich, tonally correct analog sound we thought they had forgotten how to achieve by 1980, but here it is!
- 4 stars: "The soundtrack to Honeysuckle Rose is... a collection of songs by Willie Nelson and his Family band as well as a host of friends... Nelson's readings of his own tunes like "On the Road Again," and others are solid, inspired, and rollicking. His versions of tunes written by Kris Kristofferson ("Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again"), Rodney Crowell ("Angel Eyes"), and Lee Clayton ("If You Could Touch Her at All") blow away the studio versions."
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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
These vintage Columbia stereo pressings have the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 Willie and the band, these are the records 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 The Best Sides Of Honeysuckle Rose 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 even as late as 1980
- 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 these records are 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 are the only way to find pressings that sound as good as these two do.
Size and Space
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it’s an entirely different listening experience.
What We're Listening For On Honeysuckle Rose
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better 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 pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic that is a key part of the appeal of these wonderful recordings.
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.
- On The Road Again
- Pick Up The Tempo
- Heaven Or Hell
- Fiddlin' Around
- Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
- Working Man Blues
- Jumpin' Cotton Eyed Joe
- Whiskey River
- Bloody Mary Morning
- Loving You Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)
- I Don't Do Windows
- Coming Back To Texas
- If You Want Me To Love You I Will
- It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
- You Show Me Yours (And I'll Show You Mine)
- If You Could Touch Her At All
- Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
- I Guess I've Come To Live Here In Your Eyes
- Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes)
- So You Think You're A Cowboy
- Make The World Go Away
- Two Sides To Every Story
- A Song For You
- Uncloudy Day
AMG 4 Star Review
The soundtrack to Honeysuckle Rose is an anomaly in the genre. It is really a collection of songs by Willie Nelson and his Family band as well as a host of friends like Jody Payne, Johnny Gimble, Amy Irving, Hank Cochran, Jeannie Seely, Kenneth Threadgill, Dyan Cannon, and Emmylou Harris, all of it set in a concert-like atmosphere and performed live in front of an audience.
Now it's true that Nelson is the hero of the movie, but the movie hardly matters when it comes to the soundtrack because it stands so well as a document on its own. Cochran's performances are as inspiring as anything he ever did in his life. Nelson's readings of his own tunes like "Bloody Mary Morning," "On the Road Again," "Pick Up the Tempo," "Heaven or Hell," and others are solid, inspired, and rollicking.
His versions of tunes written by Kris Kristofferson ("Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again"), Rodney Crowell ("Angel Eyes"), and Lee Clayton ("If You Could Touch Her at All") blow away the studio versions. And the duets with Cannon, Harris, and Irving are moving and direct. The sound is much improved on this LP with a real bass presence and far less crowd noise during the performances.