Impex- IMP6003 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
2,000 Copies Limited Edition
Mastering by George Marino - Pressed at RTI
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Cut from the Original Analog Master Tapes by George Marino at Sterling Sound:
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the September Issue of Stereophile Best-Sounding Version You'll Hear
Impex’s 180-gram vinyl reissue sounds terrific. The main attraction, of course, is Nelson’s vocal performance. It’s surely one of his finest; I’ve never heard him convey greater or more pure expression. His singing is understated, poetic, powerfully affecting. The recording, with its focus on his voice, seems to isolate him within but apart from the minimal accompaniment, which is little more than piano, guitar, bass, and a tapped snare rim. The balance is superb, the record itself something of a must-have. TAS The Absolute Sound Review
This is real country music, Nelson's first album for Columbia, and the LP that brought him wider public notice. Captured at the now-defunct Autumn Sound Studios in Garland, Texas, by engineer Phil York, the album's sound is immediate, and the instruments have body and some sense of room ambience. This new reissue from Impex Records (the same folks who made Cisco Records so special) easily trumps the original issue with much fuller sound. I could listen to this record just for the luscious guitar work, but that combined with wonderful writing and singing makes it essential on a number of levels." - Dennis Davis, www.theaudiobeat.com, 5/5 Music, 4/5 Sound!!!
1975 Conceptual Outlaw Country Record Made Nelson a Mainstream Star and Folk Hero Nelson's Columbia Records Debut Ranks #184 on Rolling Stone List of 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time In 1975, Willie Nelson just signed to Columbia Records and was granted an artistic freedom he'd never before enjoyed in his career. Feeling empowered, Nelson began writing, and soon developed what would become the storyline for his breakthrough record, Red Headed Stranger.
A story of murder and infidelity, spun amidst stripped-down arrangements that highly contrasted with the slick, puffed-up music being churned out on Nashville's increasingly plastic assembly line, the LP helped launch the outlaw country music and Nelson's mainstream star, crossing over country boundaries into popular tastes. There's no wonder why it ranks as one of Nelson's most successful efforts and is named by Rolling Stone as the 184th Greatest Album of All-Time. Sure, dark images are nothing new in country music, but concept albums were extremely uncommon until Willie Nelson made them seem natural.
Following his brilliant Phases And Stages and extremely popular Stardust, The Red Headed Stranger, remains a startlingly original concept album. Although the title tune had already been recorded by Eddy Arnold and released on the RCA LP There Hangs A Tale, it was Nelson who would take the song to a much higher level by recording an entire album of songs around the tragic story of the Red Headed Stranger. The album is a stunning mix of original and classic songs. Highlights include heartfelt interpretations of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “Time Of The Preacher,” and Hank Cochran’s “Can I Sleep In Your Arms.” Musically,
The Red Headed Stranger also features Nelson's band, Family, featuring his sister Bobbie on piano, Jody Payne on guitar and mandolin, the impeccable harmonica of Mickey Raphael, and the ever-flawless Billy English on drums. Cut from the original analog master tapes by George Marino at Sterling Sound, the sound of the new Impex 180g LP is the new reference for clarity, realism, and above all, the sound of Willie Nelson’s incredible voice. You've got to get this one. The music, the sound, the presentation: It's all here.
The sound of the Impex reissue literally destroyed my original, a Columbia travesty. It’s the same story with so many pop masterpieces issued by Columbia in the ‘70s: good music, horribly mastered and pressed. Had it not been for the advent of the compact disc, we might have given up on Columbia completely. Thankfully, the studio sound here is excellent, if dry and occasionally acerbic. The vinyl is very quiet, and was mastered at Sterling. There’s a liquidity that comes out, especially during piano passages, that I didn’t know existed. It’s a successful reissue and easily recommended. I also recommend the other albums recorded in this important period, Shotgun Willie, Phases and Stages, The Sound In Your Mind and The Troublemaker. What’s interesting about all these releases is how they have a distinct personality. If you’ve only heard Stardust, then you haven’t really heard Willie Nelson. Dagogo Review
Red Headed Stranger also features Willie's Family, his band, featuring his sister Bobbie (piano), Jody Payne (guitar, mandolin), the impeccable harmonica of Mickey Raphael and the ever-flawless Billy English on drums. The sound of the new Impex 180-gram LP, cut from the original analog master tapes by George Marino at Sterling Mastering, will become the new reference for clarity, realism and, above all, duplicating the inimitable sound of Willie's incredible singing voice.
Willie Nelson, vocals, guitar
Paul English, drums
Jody Payne, guitar, mandolin
Bee Spears, bass
Bobbie Nelson, piano
Mickey Raphael, harmonica
Bucky Meadows, guitar
Billy English, drums
1. Time Of The Preacher
2. I Couldn't Believe It Was True
3. Time Of The Preacher Theme
4. Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger
5. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
6. Red Headed Stranger
7. Time Of The Preacher Theme
8. Just As I Am
10. O'er The Waves
11. Down Yonder
12. Can I Sleep in Your Arms
13. Remember Me (When the Candle Lights Are Gleaming)
14. Hands On The Wheel
Impex Records is the exciting audiophile label from the team that brought you Cisco Music. With more than 20 years experience and 150 titles released, Cisco Music developed many of the techniques used by other labels to make higher quality 180-gram LPs, SACDs and Gold and aluminum CDs.
We brought definitive editions Jennifer Warnes' The Well, The Hunter and Famous Blue Raincoat in multiple formats, including a 45 rpm box set that Absolute Sound magazine declared "defines the state-of-the--art in vinyl playback." Other classic reissues we nurtured to fantastic rebirths include the jazz-rock perfection of Steely Dan's Aja, Joan Baez' Farewell Angelina, NathanMilstein's poetic interpretation of Dvorak's Violin Concerto and four exquisite 45-rpm Three Blind Mice LPs.
Even in our humbler origins we were trusted with the distribution and production of The Super Analogue Disc, the original audiophile 180-gram LPs. King Records recognized, from the very beginning, that Cisco Music brought unflinching passion to the music and unflailing dedication to the process of bringing that music to the most discerning listeners in the world.
Now as Impex Records some of the original Cisco staff (Abey Fonn, Robert Pincus and Robert Sliger), along with Robert Donnelly, will follow and expand our own high standards for a new generation of audiophile products. Analog products will always be cut using analog tapes and analog mastering at the finest mastering facilities like Sterling, Cohearent and Bernie Grundman--just as it should be. Gold CD's will always be cut with high-definition digital or analog tape transfers from original sources. We will introduce America to Sony's revolutionary Blu-Spec CD, which redefines production excellence in 16-bit digital playback.
With a singular vision for making the best records anywhere, Impex Records is poised to expand Cisco Music's peerless legacy well into the 21st century. It's going to be quite a journey and we look forward to your joining us. We have committed ourselves, with every new release, to your complete satisfaction.