Willie Nelson / Stardust – Resolution and Warmth Are Key to the Best Pressings

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Reviews and Commentaries for Stardust

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This copy is hi-res without sacrificing the Analog warmth that makes the recording so exceptional, especially for one from 1978

Warmth and Resolution

Georgia On My Mind is a DEMO QUALITY track on this album. You aren’t going to believe all the ambience. The top end is gorgeous — sweet, delicate, and silky with loads of extension. The sound is extremely hi-res without sacrificing any of the warmth that makes this music so special.

Just listen to the rimshots and the bell in Georgia On My Mind — we guarantee you have NEVER heard those instruments sound so present, clear, and immediate. 

Willie’s voice is natural and tonally correct, with all the breathy texture you could ever hope to hear. The acoustic guitars and Booker T.’s organ are perfection.

Awareness

Many copies of this album suffer from an phony hi-fi-ish quality (which is probably the reason why Stardust made the TAS List in the first place). You’ve got to play a big stack of copies to come up with a pressing that offers this kind of relaxed, natural sound. That’s our job here at Better Records — playing bad records so you don’t have to.

On the better copies we became aware of aspects of the music as well as the recording that we hadn’t paid attention to during the previous hours of Stardust play. All the elements were there, but not THERE, right in front of us, laid out clearly for all to hear.

The music may not have changed, but our appreciation of it sure did. Here was the real Willie Nelson backed by Booker T. and the boys. Now we could hear just how much love these guys have for this music.

That’s what the best copies do — they show you just how magical these very special performances must have been, laid down onto analog tape forty plus years ago. Clearly both the music and the sound of this record are timeless.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Stardust
Georgia On My Mind

This track has some lovely subtleties that demand a copy with the kind of superb transparency and clarity offered by this pressing. The rimshots that keep the beat here should have lots of ambience and room around them, and the bell only sounds right if there’s enough extension on the top end.

Blue Skies
All Of Me
Unchained Melody

Side Two

September Song
On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Without superb bass definition, the bottom end becomes blurred and the whole track kind of falls apart. Willie’s voice is completely unique and hard to get right, but on a stellar copy like this, he’ll sound silky sweet with no spit or grain.

Moonlight In Vermont
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Someone To Watch Over Me

We Get Letters

Here’s what the customer who bought a White Hot Stamper copy of Stardust had to say about it:

I played the record for [two of my friends] last night and they were dumbfounded and speechless. They loved it. It was as if they had never before heard the recording. So natural, so rich.

So true. It’s not that they hadn’t heard the recording; they’d just never heard it sound so good. That’s what our Hot Stampers are all about.

A Must Own Vocal Album

This Demo Disc Quality recording should be part of any serious Vocal Collection.

Others that belong in that category can be found here.