More Kris Kristofferson
More Rita Coolidge
- You’ll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout this early A&M pressing
- The vocals are wonderfully breathy and sweet, the bass is killer and everything is natural and musical
- 4 stars: “Despite Kristofferson’s greater celebrity, the LP was made with Coolidge’s strengths in mind. . . The songs were set in her key, with Kristofferson crooning along in an unusually high register. The tempos were mostly slow, emphasizing the dreamy quality of Coolidge’s voice.”
We’ve been digging through some of the early Kristofferson albums here recently looking for Hot Stamper sound (keep an eye out for great copies of his first two albums) and were delighted when a copy of his first duet album with Rita Coolidge hit our table and blew us away with its lovely analog magic. We started picking them up in bulk, but of course, most of them sounded pretty mediocre. Many copies we played lacked the kind of presence and richness that brought out the best in these heartfelt songs. Others lacked transparency and never really opened up. We went through a big stack of copies and only a handful gave us the kind of sound that really got us involved in the music.
This vintage A&M 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 Full Moon 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 1973
- 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.
What We’re Listening For on Full Moon
- 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.
Hard to Be Friends
It’s All Over (All Over Again)
I Never Had It So Good
From the Bottle to the Bottom
Take Time to Love
Part of Your Life
I’m Down (But I Keep Falling)
I Heard the Bluebird Sing
After the Fact
A Song I’d Like to Sing
AMG 4 Star Review
Kris Kristofferson was at his commercial peak as a recording artist at the time that Full Moon, his first duo album with Rita Coolidge, was released in September 1973. His single “Why Me” had topped the country charts two months earlier, and his album Jesus Was a Capricorn was about to do the same thing. And, only weeks before Full Moon’s release, the couple had gotten married. All of that made for a terrific send-off for the record, which benefited the careers of both participants.
Not surprisingly, it was an album of love songs. Despite Kristofferson’s greater celebrity, the LP was made with Coolidge’s strengths in mind. David Anderle, its producer, was her producer, and it was released on her record label, A&M. The songs were set in her key, with Kristofferson crooning along in an unusually high register. The tempos were mostly slow, emphasizing the dreamy quality of Coolidge’s voice. And the songs were mostly covers, though there were two joint compositions by the couple, one old Kristofferson song (“From the Bottle to the Bottom,” a Top 20 country hit for Billy Walker in 1969), and one new Kristofferson tune, the Caribbean-flavored “A Song I’d Like to Sing,” which was released as the first single and became a Top 40 pop hit while also reaching the country and easy listening charts. With that, the album became a number one country hit.
“From the Bottle to the Bottom” won the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. The album’s second single, a cover of Tom Jans’ “Loving Arms,” also made the pop, country, and easy listening charts, and because it was released in the 1974 eligibility period for the Grammy Awards, it earned the couple a second nomination in the same category the following year.