Willie Nelson – Without A Song – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

More Willie Nelson

Without A Song

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND and QUIET VINYL on BOTH SIDES! We just finished a big shootout for this wonderful album, and this Columbia pressing was second to none.

Fans of Stardust are going to go crazy over this one. It’s another solid album full of Wille belting out heartfelt renditions of standards. Once again, he’s backed by a top-notch backing band fronted by the one and only Booker T. Jones. The arrangements are splendid — just drop the needle on Autumn Leaves or A Dreamer’s Holiday to hear these guys doing what they do best.

Side one of this copy has RIDICULOUSLY GOOD SOUND! Drop the needle on Once In A While and dig the uncanny presence and astonishing clarity. There’s lots of air up top and the instruments have plenty of room to breathe. The vocals are breathy and full-bodied with all of that Willie Nelson texture — if his voice doesn’t sound a bit gravelly, you can be sure you’ve been playing an overly smooth copy. There’s loads of detail in the midrange that you’d never hear on a lesser pressing. The overall sound is rich, relaxed and musical. I don’t think you could make this music sound better no matter what you did!

It’s a stunning side one that gives you everything you could ask for from this music — tight bass, clearly audible guitar transients, generous amounts of warmth and sweetness, big-time immediacy and tons of ambience. This is exactly what we call Master Tape Sound and we rate it accordingly — A+++ all the way!

Side two is every bit as amazing — BIG, full-bodied, room-filling sound positively LEAPS forth out of the speakers.Check out the deep, punchy bass! The piano sounds excellent and the acoustic guitar sounds just right. The vocals have a quality of intimacy that really brings this music to new heights. We rate side two A+++ as well. The sound is more dynamic and lively than we heard anywhere else.

Much like Stardust, a Hot Stamper 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. It’s what we like to call a “Great Demo Disc / Bad Test Disc” — 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!  

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Without A Song
Once In A While
Autumn Leaves
I Can’t Begin To Tell
Harbor Lights

Side Two

Golden Earrings
You’ll Never Know
To Each His Own
As Time Goes By
A Dreamer’s Holiday