Top Artists – Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson – The Sound In Your Mind

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  • The Sound In Your Mind finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • This Columbia Lone Star pressing is full-bodied and natural, with a nicely extended top end, plenty of space around the instruments and vocals, and few of the problems that plagued many pressings we played
  • “. . . an underrated gem! Great songs…his voice is in top form.”

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Willie Nelson – Stardust

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  • With Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides of this exceptionally well-recorded album, this copy surely qualifies as an Audiophile Demo Disc, the best copy to hit the site in years!
  • From the first few moments of the title track you’ll be blown away by the in-the-room immediacy of The Man himself
  • This copy is hi-res without sacrificing the Analog warmth that makes the recording so exceptional, especially for one from 1978
  • 5 stars: “Stardust showcases Nelson’s skills as a musician and his entire aesthetic — where there is nothing separating classic American musical forms, it can all be played together — perhaps better than any other album…”

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Willie Nelson and Ray Price – San Antonio Rose

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  • San Antonio Rose finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • If you don’t know Ray Price — and not many of you do I bet — this album will serve as an excellent introduction to one of the All Time greats of country music
  • The sound here is richer, with much less transistory grain, and more of the All Important Tubey Magic than most other copies we played
  • 4 stars: “Comparing the vocalists as they trade verses is one of the best aspects of this Nelson duet series and, in this case, the styles of the singers are perfectly matched.”

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Willie Nelson – Without A Song

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  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout 
  • As he did so brilliantly on Stardust, here Willie brings his inimitable singing style to classics of love and loss taken from The Great American Songbook
  • Top quality arrangements – drop the needle on Autumn Leaves or A Dreamer’s Holiday to hear Booker T and his bandmates at their best
  • Top tracks include Autumn Leaves, As Time Goes By, Harbor Lights and of course, Without a Song
  • The critics may not have been impressed, but music lovers sure were – Amazon buyers award the album more than 4 1/2 stars

Once again Willie is backed by a top-notch backing band fronted by the one and only Booker T. Jones. Drop the needle on Once In A While and dig the uncanny presence of the vocal and astonishing clarity of the ensemble.

Much like Stardust, a Hot Stamper pressing of this record is a real treat for us audiophiles. This is some amazingly soulful music with midrange magic to spare.

There’s lots of air up top, giving the instruments plenty of room to breathe. The vocals are breathy and full-bodied — if Willie’s voice doesn’t sound a bit gravelly, you’re probably playing an overly smooth or lo-rez copy, and we take away a lot of points for both.

This copy gives you everything you could ask for from this music — tight bass, clearly audible guitar transients, generous amounts of warmth and sweetness, vocal immediacy and studio ambience like no other. (more…)

Willie Nelson / To Lefty From Willie

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  • Willie’s superb 1977 tribute album finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • You get clean, clear, full-bodied, lively and musical ANALOG sound from first note to last
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they’re making – the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this very special vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
  • 4 1/2 stars: “To Lefty From Willie is an affectionate and thoroughly enjoyable salute to Lefty Frizzell, featuring stellar versions of a number of Lefty’s best-known songs. . . Nelson is respectful without being overly reverential, giving his own spin to each song without abandoning their honky tonk roots.”

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Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson…. – Wanted! The Outlaws

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  • An outstanding pressing of this superb compilation album with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • When we first dropped the needle on a random copy of the album we were SHOCKED at how good it sounded – this recording is a real sleeper
  • The talents of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser come together under a unifying theme that “gave the album a cohesion and freshness it might have otherwise lacked”
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… [the album] marked the industry’s recognition of the changing times, and as the center point of a campaign to publicize Nashville’s new ‘progressive’ breed, it worked like a charm. It quickly became the first country album to sell more than a million copies, and it boosted the careers of all involved.”

Our first Waylon Jennings album! Most of his albums from the ’60s are hard and honky in the extreme, but this one from the ’70s is a whole nother animal. It’s rich, with exceptionally natural reproduction of these varied artists’ voices. As we noted above, we were very, very impressed.

It has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back. (more…)

Willie Nelson – Tougher Than Leather

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

The presence and immediacy here are outstanding. Turn it up and Willie is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. He’s clearly one of our favorite male vocalists, and this superb copy will show you why.  

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 others big time.

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.

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. (more…)

Willie Nelson – Phases And Stages

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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 outstanding. Turn it up and Willie is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. He’s clearly one of our favorite male vocalists, and this superb copy will show you why.  (more…)

Willie Nelson – Yesterday’s Wine

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  • A KILLER sounding copy with both sides earning nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Incredibly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a big bottom end and wonderfully present vocals
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus 
  • “Yesterday’s Wine should also take its rightful place among his best-loved works… “Family Bible,” “Me and Paul,” and the title track are all particularly fine examples of Nelson’s songcraft. As a whole, Yesterday’s Wine provides further insight into the development of his art during this prolific period.” – All Music

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Willie Nelson & Family – Honeysuckle Rose

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  • Honeysuckle Rose finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on all FOUR sides
  • This surprisingly well recorded live album has the kind of smooth, rich, tonally correct analog sound we thought they had forgotten how to achieve by 1980, but here it is!
  • 4 stars: “The soundtrack to Honeysuckle Rose is… a collection of songs by Willie Nelson and his Family band as well as a host of friends… Nelson’s readings of his own tunes like “On the Road Again,” and others are solid, inspired, and rollicking. His versions of tunes written by Kris Kristofferson (“Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again”), Rodney Crowell (“Angel Eyes”), and Lee Clayton (“If You Could Touch Her at All”) blow away the studio versions.”

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