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Nelson, Willie and Leon Russell - One for the Road - Super Hot Stamper

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

Super Hot Stamper

Willie Nelson and Leon Russell
One for the Road

Regular price
$199.99
Regular price
Sale price
$199.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Side Three:

Side Four:

Vinyl Grade

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)

  • With INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side four and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the other three, this vintage copy (only the second to ever hit the site) will be very hard to beat - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is big and rich, the vocals breathy and immediate, and you will not believe all the space and ambience
  • This is an exceptionally good (studio) recording, and this pressing really nails the smooth, rich analog sound of what must be an awesome master tape
  • Our notes for sides one and two on our shootout winning copy read: big/rich/no smear/not bright/breathy vox/big bass/3D/huge vox -- that's our kind of sound!
  • 4 stars: "...it's a small, priceless gem for any serious fan of either singer."

More Willie Nelson / More Country and Country Rock

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These vintage Columbia pressings have 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, 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 One for the Road 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 1979
  • 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 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 pressings that sound as good as these two do.

Learning the Record

For our shootout for One for the Road, 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 One for the Road

  • 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

  • Detour
  • I Saw The Light
  • Heartbreak Hotel
  • Let The Rest Of The World Go By
  • Trouble In Mind

Side Two

  • Don't Fence Me In
  • The Wild Side Of Life
  • Ridin' Down The Canyon
  • Sioux City Sue
  • You Are My Sunshine

Side Three

  • Danny Boy
  • Always
  • Summertime
  • Because Of You
  • Am I Blue

Side Four

  • Tenderly
  • Far Away Places
  • That Lucky Old Sun
  • Stormy Weather
  • One For My Baby And "One More For The Road"

AMG 4 Star Review

One for the Road, Willie Nelson's duet record with fellow American music maverick Leon Russell, followed months after his freewheeling, jam-heavy double album Willie and Family Live. This record wasn't recorded live and the songs run a little shorter, but it shares the same sort of loose spirit and easy-rolling eclecticism as the two, essentially backed by the Family, run through a mess of country and pop standards.

The latter makes up for the second half and its appropriately a little more subdued feel, but it's earthier than Stardust and it makes a good companion for the irresistible first half, which is often cheerfully rowdy (particularly on the dynamite opening triptych of "Detour," "I Saw the Light," and "Heartbreak Hotel") and convincingly bluesy on the ballads and mid-tempo groovers like the excellent "Trouble in Mind."

Both Nelson and Russell are known as sharp interpreters of other people's material, and teamed together, they might not reinvent these songs (though they come close on "Heartbreak Hotel"), but they infuse a lot of sound and spirit into these songs. It's a little bit too laid-back and easy to qualify as a no-holds-barred classic (particularly on the second half), but that mellow charm is precisely why it's a small, priceless gem for any serious fan of either singer.