Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- This wonderful pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
- Just drop the needle on Bridge Over Troubled Water to hear Willie and his bandmates doing what they do best
- Fans of Stardust are going to love this one - it's another solid album full of Willie's heartfelt renditions of modern classics
- "...Throughout the late '70s, Nelson's freewheeling, organically eclectic music was not just the biggest thing in country, it was also some of its best, most adventurous music... At the time, it was a huge, huge hit — his biggest ever, actually, spending 22 weeks at the top of the country charts..."
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*NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 1 loud then 1 moderate pop in the middle of Track 3, Permanently Lonely.
This is one of Willie's best-known and best-loved albums, and when you get the right copy the sound can truly be excellent. This copy is guaranteed to be a big step up from any other copy you've heard. With these grades, at these kinds of prices, it had better be!
Fans of Stardust are going to go crazy over this one. It's another solid album full of Willie belting out heartfelt renditions of standards. Once again, he's backed by a top-notch backing band of industry session masters. The arrangements are splendid -- just drop the needle on Bridge Over Troubled Water to hear these guys doing what they do best.
Much like Stardust, a top quality pressing of this record is a real treat for the audiophile, no matter where they may be on the audio scale. The transparency and clarity on the best copies will be nothing less than astonishing. Even if your system isn't at its best, a great copy of this record will still be musical and involving. On the other hand, if you've spent the time and energy to really get your stereo cooking, you're going to be in for some amazingly soulful country-tinged midrange magic!
Winner of the album of the year at the 1982 Country Music Association Awards.
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 even as late as 1982
- 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
What We're Listening For on Always On My Mind
- 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 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.
Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
Always on My Mind
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Let It Be Me
Staring Each Other Down
Bridge over Troubled Water
Old Fords and a Natural Stone
Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning
The Party's Over
...Throughout the late '70s, Nelson's freewheeling, organically eclectic music was not just the biggest thing in country, it was also some of its best, most adventurous music... At the time, it was a huge, huge hit — his biggest ever, actually, spending 22 weeks at the top of the country charts, selling over four million copies, launching a platinum single with the title track (which reached number five on the pop charts), and winning the CMA's Album of the Year award.
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