Willie Nelson – The Troublemaker

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

The first Hot Stamper copy of this great album to ever hit the site and it’s one for the ages! It’s taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make this shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble!

The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Turn it up and Willie is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. One of our very favorite male vocalists, this copy will show you why — both the sound and the music are superb in all respects.

The sound is big, open, rich and full. The highs are extended and silky sweet. The bass is tight and punchy. And this copy gives you more life and energy than most, by a long shot. Very few records out there give you the kind of realistic, lifelike sound you get from this pressing.

This original Columbia LP also has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from The Typical Modern 180 Gram Reissue. This record is dramatically more REAL SOUNDING than anything that’s been remastered for the audiophile market in years.

Fresh Tapes – You Just Can’t Beat ‘Em

When this record was made the tapes were fresh. Now they’re 40 years old. On audiophile equipment you will have no trouble appreciating the difference. Unless I miss my guess the difference in sound should be night and day.

On this pressing Willie is no longer a recording — he’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. His voice is so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.

Verve pressings are all over the map. When you find a good one, you can be pretty sure it’s the exception, not the rule.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Uncloudy Day 
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder 
Whispering Hope 
There Is A Fountain 
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
The Troublemaker

Side Two

In The Garden 
Where The Soul Never Dies 
Sweet Bye & Bye 
Shall We Gather 
Precious Momories

AMG Review

Released in late 1976, at the height of Willie mania, The Troublemaker is Willie Nelson’s first all-gospel album, but country gospel in his hands doesn’t sound like traditional country gospel — it’s a Willie album, through and through, performed with the freewheeling Family as support.

Consequently, it’s every bit as wonderfully idiosyncratic as any of his other mid-’70s work and, in some ways, even more so, because inspirational songs and religious material are usually not given arrangements as imaginative and free-spirited as this… the sublime subtlety of the performances on The Troublemaker make it sound of a piece with The Red Headed Stranger and Stardust.

It may not be nearly as popular as either, but musically, it’s just as satisfying and is one of the quiet highlights in Willie’s vast catalog.