Top Artists – Kris Kristofferson

Willie Nelson – Sings Kristofferson

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  • A stunning copy of Willie Nelson’s wonderful 1979 release with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two mated with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one on this original Columbia pressing – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is yet another amazing recording of one of the most recognizable and enjoyable voices in the history of popular song
  • A superb collection of Kris Kristofferson favorites, including Me and Bobby McGee and For The Good Times
  • 4 stars: “A return to country-rock after the smash success of Stardust the year before, this is one of Willie Nelson’s best albums. . . As he demonstrated from the beginning, Nelson had one of the best interpretive gifts of any singer, and this album only strengthened that reputation.”

We’ve heard great copies of this one in the past, but after throwing one on just for fun last year and hearing pretty mediocre sound, we decided that we’d collect a bunch of them to find out just how good the best pressings could sound — and how mind-numbingly average the typical copy can be. It’s not easy to find a copy that gets EVERYTHING right, but this one does it all.

This is one of the better Willie Nelson records, not quite in the same league as Stardust (musically or sonically, I’m afraid), but certainly one of his strongest efforts from the period. Some songs are recorded better than others (when ain’t that the case?) but just about everything sounds great and the best stuff is out of this world.

What do the best pressings give you on a record like this? More space around all the instruments, more strength to the bottom end, wonderful immediacy and breath to the vocals (though at times Willie’s vocals are a bit low in the mix — an odd choice), weight to the piano, superb clarity, and lovely analog warmth. (more…)

Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge – Full Moon

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  • A KILLER pressing of Full Moon with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This stunning copy gives you amazing immediacy, loads of richness and warmth, and wonderful transparency
  • The vocals are wonderfully breathy and sweet, the bass is killer and everything is natural and musical – so good!
  • 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.”


Kris Kristofferson – Me and Bobby McGee

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  • Two strong sides each earning a Plus or better
  • The sound is big, rich and open with excellent presence
  • Unusually quiet Mint Minus vinyl throughout
  • A 5 Star album on Allmusic with great songs including Help Me Make It Through The Night and the title track

Two great sides on quiet vinyl, giving you a wonderful copy of Kristofferson’s classic debut. This album is an absolute tour de force — every last song on here is a winner. Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through The Night, Sunday Morning Coming Down, For The Good Times… it just goes on and on.

Thankfully, the sound is excellent too — at least on a copy like this. We had a stack of originals and early reissues and this was one of a very small group of copies to really deliver. The best originals can be out of this world but good luck finding one that actually sounds great and plays with reasonable surfaces. Most of the reissues are dull and subgen sounding but we got our hands on a winner here. (more…)

Kris Kristofferson – Me and Bobby McGee

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  • An outstanding pressing of this Kristofferson Classic: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two
  • Both sides are big and spacious with a huge three-dimensional soundfield and correct tonality in the midrange
  • We were struck by how much these songs have in common with those by writers such as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan
  • 5 stars: “Kristofferson retained his gift for intimate love songs, and the album’s most memorable selections turned out to be “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” (which became a semi-standard) and “When I Loved Her.”

We’ve been really digging the early Kristofferson albums around these parts lately. The first album is an absolute classic, not a bad song on there, and this one (his second) ranks right up there with it. Obviously the man became a huge country star, but going back and listening to his earliest material now we were struck by how much it shares in common with guys like Leonard Cohen and even Bob Dylan.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

This copy has the kind of sound we look for in a ’70s Singer Songwriter album. A few qualities to listen for:

Immediacy in the vocals (so many copies are veiled and distant);

Natural tonal balance (most copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; ones with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);

Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);

Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);

And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this simple but sophisticated recording. (more…)

Kris Kristofferson – Jesus Was a Capricorn

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More Singer-Songwriter Albums


  • An outstanding copy of Kristofferson’s 4th album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • It’s richer, fuller, more musical and more natural – Kristofferson’s breathy voice is reproduced with a solidity and immediacy that’s not easy to find
  • The vocals sound particularly nice on this copy – rich, warm and full, just as they should
  • “Both album and single went gold, giving Kristofferson his greatest success as a recording artist.”

We played a bunch of these recently and this was one of the better copies we heard.

We’ve been really digging the early Kristofferson albums around these parts lately. The first album is an absolute classic, not a bad song on there, and this one is solid as well. (more…)