The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An outstanding copy of San Antonio Rose with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
- If you don't know Ray Price - and I bet not many of you do - this album will serve as an excellent introduction to one of the All Time Greats of Country Music
- The sound here is richer, with much less transistory grain, and much more of the All Important Tubey Magic than most other copies we played
- 4 stars: "Comparing the vocalists as they trade verses is one of the best aspects of this Nelson duet series and, in this case, the styles of the singers are perfectly matched."
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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 San Antonio 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 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.
Recently we did one of our regular shootouts for San Antonio Rose, 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 San Antonio Rose
- 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.
- San Antonio Rose
- I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)
- I Fall To Pieces
- Crazy Arms
- Release Me
- Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)
- This Cold War With You
- Funny How Time Slips Away
- Night Life
- Deep Water
- Faded Love
AMG 4 Star Review
One of the first in a series of duet albums with country legends that Willie Nelson undertook during a period of seemingly uncontrolled output at Columbia, this remains one of the best. Ray Price may be regarded as something of a laid-back smoothie by listeners whose ears are stuffed with wax, but the reality is that Price is one of country's most expressive vocalists as well as a man interested in kicking country tempos as well as ballads.
In fact, a certain type of swing boogie beat favored in Texas is known by musicians as "the Ray Price shuffle." Nelson and Price have a relationship typical of this bearded, bandana-wearing outlaw's collaborations with many country stars of Price's era. When Nelson was struggling to survive in Nashville, he penned or co-wrote some hits for Price, including the wonderful "Night Life," which has become something of a standard not only in country music but in jazz and blues as well. The crossover between these music forms is bound to come up in the discussion of this album. It is performances such as these that interested the jazz great Miles Davis in Nelson, and it is easy to see why when one hears the relaxed phrasing and inventive approach to many of these songs.
Of course it is the swinging numbers such as the album's title track that really take off, but even "Release Me" sounds fresh here. That's quite an accomplishment considering that this song was so played to death at one point that jukebox customers began to wish that the song's title had been "Don't Release Me" and that someone at the record label had followed instructions accordingly. "This Cold War With You," a haunting Floyd Tillman tune, gets a superior reading and, on the version of "Funny How Time Slips Away," there is singing that rivals in inspiration any such performance released, although the duet version Nelson recorded with Faron Young for this series comes darn close. Comparing the vocalists as they trade verses is one of the best aspects of this Nelson duet series and, in this case, the styles of the singers are perfectly matched.