The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++
- An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
- Both of these sides are full-bodied and natural, with a nicely extended top end and plenty of space around the instruments and vocals
- We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you've heard, and that's especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
- Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
- "The true highlights are the original 'The Healing Hands of Time," revived from his RCA years and given possibly the definitive treatment here, and especially a vigorous version of Lefty Frizzell's 'If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time.'"
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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 The Sound In Your Mind 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 1976
- 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.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.
When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of "contender." Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers are as accurate as we can make them. The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.
What We're Listening For On The Sound In Your 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.
- That Lucky Old Sun
- If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time
- A Penny For Your Thoughts
- The Healing Hands Of Time
- Thanks Again
- I'd Have To Be Crazy
- Amazing Grace
- The Sound In Your Mind
- Funny How Time Slips Away
- Night Life
Red Headed Stranger propelled Willie Nelson to stardom, finally giving him a smash hit, yet its spare arrangements and hushed intimacy were a bit of an anomaly, both in his prior work and the albums that followed on Columbia. His second LP for the label, 1976's The Sound in Your Mind, opened up the sound of Stranger, retaining some of the low-key vibe, but fleshing out music and even picking up the tempo on occasion.
In addition to that, he started delving deep into standards, not just from country artists, but the American popular songbook, pointing the way toward Stardust a few years down the road. So, in many ways, The Sound in Your Mind sets the template for the next few years of albums by Willie. The Sound in Your Mind has a little bit of everything that would come on Columbia, both for better and worse.
The true highlights are the original "The Healing Hands of Time," revived from his RCA years and given possibly the definitive treatment here, and especially a vigorous version of Lefty Frizzell's "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time," so good that it led to a stellar tribute record just a year later.