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Jennings, Waylon - I've Always Been Crazy - Super Hot Stamper

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Waylon Jennings
I've Always Been Crazy

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • This original RCA pressing boasts seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • You won't believe how natural, rich, tonally correct and Tubey Magical this copy is - until you play it, of course
  • Waylon Jennings' albums were not made for audiophiles, and many of them in our experience don't sound very good, so it came as a welcome surprise that this recording from 1978 had just the kind of vintage analog sound we look for
  • 4 stars: "... a solid recording, still possessing the piss and vinegar of Jennings' best work... necessary for any fan of outlaw country in general and Jennings in particular."

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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

This vintage RCA 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 I've Always Been Crazy 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 1978
  • 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.

Best Practices

Recently we did one of our regular shootouts for I've Always Been Crazy, using pressings we know from experience to have the potential for Hot Stamper sound. We cleaned them as carefully as we always do. Then we unplugged everything in the house we could get away with, carefully 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 couple of hours playing copy after copy on side one, after which we repeated the process for side two.

If you have five or ten 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 others do not do as well, using a few specific passages of music, it will quickly become obvious how well any given pressing reproduces those passages.

The process could not be more simple. The first step is to go deep into the sound. There you find something special, something you can't find on most copies. 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.

What We're Listening For On I've Always Been Crazy

  • 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.

Vinyl Condition

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.

Side One

  • I've Always Been Crazy
  • Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand
  • Billy
  • A Long Time Ago
  • As The 'Billy World Turns

Side Two

  • Medley Of Buddy Holly Hits:
  • Well All Right
    It's So Easy
    Maybe Baby
    Peggy Sue
  • I Walk The Line
  • Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
  • Girl I Can Tell (You're Trying To Work It Out)
  • Whistlers And Jugglers

AMG 4 Star Review

By 1978 Waylon Jennings had been through the wringer with his position as one of the most visible "outlaw" country stars: he'd been busted for drugs and was addicted to both cocaine and alcohol and was tired of the hype surrounding Nashville's co-opting what he, Willie Nelson, and a handful of others started in the name of greater artistic control.

I've Always Been Crazy is his first "political" statement about his feelings. And while it may not be as great an album as Ol' Waylon or Dreaming My Dreams, it's still a fine one. With a cast of players that includes the great Tony Joe White, Ralph Mooney, Carter Robertson, Reggie Young, and Bee Spears, the band assembled here smokes. In addition to the title track, this set also features the classic "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Outta Hand."

But even though these two cuts would have been worth the purchase of the album, the rest is nothing to dismiss. There are fine covers of a medley of Buddy Holly hits, a poignant, barely disguised ode to old friend and rambling mate Billy Joe Shaver, the glorious "A Long Time Ago," and the outlaw shuffle "As the 'Billy World Turns." There are also fine, heartfelt covers of Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line." The set closes with a pair of ballads, which is uncharacteristic of Jennings during this period; there's "Girl I Can Tell (You're Trying to Work It Out)," with its folk song melody and country music bridge. And finally, the four-and-a-half-minute "Whistlers and Jugglers," a broken love song by Shel Silverstein that talks of surrender and loss so poignant and sharp, it numbers among Jennings' finer performances of the late '70s.

In all, I've Always Been Crazy is a solid recording, still possessing the piss and vinegar of Jennings' best work with a deeper lyrical edge on most tracks. In fact, despite its obvious origins, the Holly medley is the only thing that keeps the album from being as stellar as the aforementioned ones. Nonetheless, this is necessary for any fan of outlaw country in general and Jennings in particular.