The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- A killer copy of Dylan's 1973 soundtrack album with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides - just shy of our Shootout Winner
- This one is doing practically everything right – it’s bigger, bolder, richer and more clean, clear and open than almost anything else we played
- Includes the hit "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which charted on the Top 20 and would be famously covered in later years by the likes of Eric Clapton and Guns N' Roses
- "This record also proved that Dylan could shoehorn his music within the requirements of a movie score without compromising its content or quality, something that only the Beatles, unique among rock artists, had really managed to do up to that time..." - All Music
100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers
FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $150
These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" meaning relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
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
This vintage Columbia 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 The Best Sides Of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid 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 1973
- 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.
Learning the Record
For our shootout for Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, we had at our disposal a variety of pressings that had the potential for Hot Stamper sound. We cleaned them carefully, then unplugged everything in the house we could, warmed up the system, Talisman'd it, found the right VTA for our Triplanar arm (by ear of course) and proceeded to spend the next hour or so playing copy after copy on side one, after which we repeated the process for side two.
If you have five or more copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what's right and what's wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the other pressings do not do as well, using a few carefully chosen passages of music, it quickly becomes obvious how well a given copy can reproduce those passages. You'll hear what's better and worse -- right and wrong would be another way of putting it -- about the sound.
This approach is simplicity itself. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find a critically important passage in the music, one which most copies struggle -- or fail -- to reproduce as well as the best. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.
It may be a lot of work but it sure ain't rocket science, and we've never pretended otherwise. Just the opposite: from day one we've explained step by step precisely how to go about finding the Hot Stampers in your own collection. Not the good sounding pressings you happen to own -- those may or may not have Hot Stampers -- but the records you actually cleaned, shot out, and declared victorious.
What We're Listening For On Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- 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 so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also 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 instruments.
- 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 other 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 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.
- Main Title Theme (Billy) (Instrumental)
- Cantina Theme (Workin' For The Law) (Instrumental)
- Billy 1
- Bunkhouse Theme (Instrumental)
- River Theme
- Turkey Chase (Instrumental)
- Knockin' On Heaven's Door
- Final Theme (Instrumental)
- Billy 4
- Billy 7
Wikipedia on Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (album)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is the twelfth studio album and first soundtrack album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 13, 1973, by Columbia Records for the Sam Peckinpah film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan himself appeared in the film as the character "Alias". The soundtrack consists mainly of instrumental music and was inspired by the movie itself. The album includes "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", which became a trans-Atlantic Top 20 hit.
Certified gold by RIAA, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid reached No. 16 in the US and No. 29 in the UK.
Filming of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid scriptwriter Rudy Wurlitzer was a previous acquaintance of Dylan's, and asked him to provide a couple of songs for the movie. Dylan performed "Billy" for director Peckinpah, who found the performance very moving and offered Dylan an acting part on the spot. The role he ended up getting was a character named Alias. In November 1972, Dylan and his family moved to Durango, Mexico, where filming took place. Filming lasted from late 1972 to early 1973.
Dylan's first session for the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack was on January 20, 1973 at CBS Discos Studios in Mexico City. The only song from that day that was included on the album was "Billy 7"; also recorded were multiple other takes of "Billy", and the outtakes "Under Turkey", "Billy Surrenders", "And He's Killed Me Too", "Goodbye Holly" and "Pecos Blues". The following month, Dylan recorded two days at Burbank Studios in Burbank, California. The rest of the album's songs were recorded, as well as the outtakes "Sweet Amarillo" and "Rock Me Mama".
The Mexico City session produced three notable outtakes: "Peco's Blues", an instrumental based on the traditional "What Does The Deep Sea Say?", the song "Goodbye Holly" and "Billy Surrenders". All three tracks were rejected but eventually bootlegged and unofficially released as Peco's Blues Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Outtakes in 1994. Of the 24 tracks written and performed by Bob Dylan on the bootleg album, only 10 were released on the final studio album. The remaining 14 songs have not been officially released.
In February 1973, during the second of the Burbank sessions, Bob Dylan recorded 19 songs for the album. Among them were "Sweet Amarillo" and "Rock Me Mama," recorded twice as "Rock Me Mama (1)" and "Rock Me Mama (2)". According to Ketch Secor of the Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show, Bob Dylan attributed the lyrics of "Rock Me Mama" to Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup who in turn attributed them to Big Bill Broonzy.
Both "Rock Me Mama" and "Sweet Amarillo" were eventually completed and recorded by the Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show, who credited Bob Dylan as co-writer. "Wagon Wheel" was released in 2004 (and subsequently covered by many other artists, including Darius Rucker) and "Sweet Amarillo" was released in 2014.
Most critics at the time responded unfavorably. Robert Christgau graded it a "C" in Creem, described the album as "two middling Dylan songs, four good original Bobby voices, and a lot of Schmylan music". Jon Landau wrote in Rolling Stone that "it is every bit as inept, amateurish and embarrassing as Self Portrait. And it has all the earmarks of a deliberate courting of commercial disaster, a flirtation that is apparently part of an attempt to free himself from previously imposed obligations derived from his audience."
The album spawned a significant hit in "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", which would be covered by acts such as Eric Clapton and Guns N' Roses. Years later, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" endured as a popular favorite among critics and fans as well as a concert staple, with its inspirational tone and lyrics regarding impending death.
Some retrospective reviews see it as a spare, beautiful departure from form and a worthy effort as a whole fully in line with the thrust of the film.
After Peckinpah completed his own cut of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, MGM re-cut the film without his input, removing several significant scenes and re-shuffling most of Dylan's music in the process. Peckinpah's film was released to mixed reviews. Years later, critical re-evaluation of Peckinpah's film would lead many to regard it as one of his major works, a revisionist view aided by the restoration of Peckinpah's original cut in 1984.
After witnessing firsthand Peckinpah's battles with MGM, Dylan had his own problems with Columbia Records. After years of minimal activity, Dylan had lost Columbia's patience, and when negotiations for a renewed contract began in 1972, the label (except for Clive Davis) had little interest in being generous. "Early in 1973 I finally did conclude negotiations for a new contract with Bob," wrote Clive Davis in his autobiography. Davis had been a longtime supporter of Dylan's, but he had been the victim of a corporate coup. While finalizing the details of Dylan's contract, Davis was fired by CBS president Arthur Taylor on May 29. Dylan testified on Davis's behalf in a well-publicized civil trial held in July 1975. In the meantime, the incident soured Dylan's relationship with CBS, convincing him to sign with David Geffen's fledgling Los Angeles-based label Asylum Records.