Product: Willie Nelson- "Stardust"
Record Company: Classic Records No. JC 35305
Suggested Retail Price: $30 USD
Reviewer: Nels Ferré
This album was originally released by Columbia Records in 1978. Recorded in Emmylou Harris' home, it represents a big departure from Willie Nelson's usual musical genre. To me, that is what makes this album so special.
What we have here is a collection of Willie Nelson's interpretations of American classics from the 1940's and ‘50's. Included in the set are such songs as "Stardust", "Georgia on My Mind", "All of Me", and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", among others. When one thinks of these songs, arrangements by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and even Paul McCartney may come to mind. ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore" appeared on McCartney's 1988 Soviet release "Choba CCCP") I doubt, however, that teaming Willie Nelson's vocal style over a small backing combo performing old standards would seem viable. Actually, it works quite well, indeed.
The recording itself is outstanding. It is very open and natural, with an excellent sense of the room where it was recorded. Emmylou Harris must have a huge home! The spatial cues of the original performance come through in spades.
Additionally, the sound of the acoustic guitars are stunning: the sound waves resonating inside the guitar are clearly audible, instead of only the sound waves escaping the guitar through the sound hole.
Far too many recordings with violins, in my opinion. get the sound of the violins all wrong. A violin is not supposed to sound like the screaming of a tortured cat. They never sound "bright". Those of you who have been to the symphony will understand.
On a few numbers, Nelson is accompanied by a harmonica. Again, the sound is natural; never harsh or grating. The engineers got it right on all counts on this one. This recording is as smooth as a baby's bottom.
There is something else I really enjoy about this album. It is clearly audible that Nelson was relaxed and completely enjoying himself during the recording sessions. The ease of presentation makes the album that much more special.
The quality of Classic Record's offering here, it is more of the same: absolutely first rate. Surface noise is entirely absent throughout both sides. In fact, if I were going to shop for a new piece of Hi Fi at a shop that carried analog rigs ready for demonstration, I would take this LP along. It sounds that good.
Copyright © 2000 Nels Ferré - http://www.tnt-audio.com