Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Wanted: The Outlaws” (January 12, 1976)

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

On March 30, 1976, the collaborative album “Wanted: The Outlaws”–featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter– is certified gold.

As Willie Nelson’s career gathered momentum and he began getting a national audience, Waylon Jennings and his producer/cohort Tompall Glaser noticed. Waylon was well on the way to success but so far he had experienced nothing approaching the magnitude of Willie’s accomplishments.

Nashville recording executives were quick to realize that Willie had indeed tapped into something big with this new, younger audience he had discovered. RCA vice-president Jerry Bradley was the first to hit upon a concept for an LP that might allow Waylon to penetrate this new market. Why not put together an album that would combine the talents of these “outlaws” — as they had come to be known for thier casual lifestyles and their insistence on working outside the traditional political system of the country music industry.

“Waylon was booking out as the Outlaws, he and Tompall and Jessi and Willie occasionally,” Bradley recalled to Martha Hume, “and Willie had just had a hit [“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”], and Jessi had just had a hit [“I’m not Lisa”], and Waylon had been having all kinds of hits, and none really as big as Willie or Jessi. So I told Waylon I thought we ought to do this Outlaws package and make his picture a little bigger and boost his image a little bit. He said, “Well, I wish you’d use Tompall’, I said, ‘Fine, if we can work things out with MGM [Tompall Glaser’s record label at the time], I’ll be glad to use Tompall.’”

Eight of the eleven tracks on the 1976 Wanted: The Outlaws LP were previously released material. Included on the album were two songs by Waylon, two by Willie, two by Jessi, one duet with Waylon and Jessi (a moving version of “Suspicous Minds”), and two duets with Willie and Waylon.

Most outstanding with the Outlaws LP is the ingenious packaging. The front cover is designed like an old wild west, “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, and painted in sepia. When “Good Hearted Woman” was released as the LP’s first single, it shot to the number one spot, and stayed there for weeks. It sold phenomenally well; within a few months it had passed the million sales mark, became the first platinum country album and the biggest selling album in Nashville’s history.

On the strenth of the Outlaws LP, Waylon and Willie swept the 1976 Country Music Association Awards, winning Best Single (“Good Hearted Woman”), Best Album, and best Vocal Duo (“Good Hearted Woman”). Waylon did not appear to pick up the awards but Willie showed up at the normally stodgy, tuxedoed affair, all smiles, and bounded on to the stage to accept their trophies in his customary sneakers, head band, and flannel shirt.

“I think people in Nashville know less about what country is than anybody,” Jennings told John Rockwell of the New York Times. “They limit themselves… If we fought for anything, it was the right to be ourselves and not to be typecast.”

The full story in words and pictures of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson by Bob Allen

Willie Nelson, Winton Marsalis, Norah Jones, “Here We Go Again”

Thursday, January 9th, 2020
01. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Gospel 2-beat / Boogaloo / 4/4 Swing)
02. Come Rain or Come Shine (Walking Ballad)
03. Unchain My Heart (Bolero with Habanera bass)
04. Cryin’ Time (Country Ballad)
05. Losing Hand (Dirge with Chain-Gang Shuffle)
06. Hit The Road Jack (Gospel 2-beat / 4/4 Swing)
07. I’m Moving On (Boogaloo with Afro-Latin Backbeat / 4/4 Swing)
08. Busted (Gospel 12/8 Shuffle)
09. Here We Go Again (Rhythm & Blues 12/8 Shuffle)
10. Makin’ Whoopie (Hard-Bop 2-beat / 4/4 Swing)
11. I Love You So Much (It Hurts) (Waltz)
12. What’d I Say (Boogaloo)

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

Willie Nelson, “Countryman”

Friday, December 13th, 2019

1.  Do you Mind Too Much If I don’t Understand
2.  How Long is Forever?
3.  I’m a Worried Man” (featuring Toots Hibbert)
4.  The Harder They Come
5. Something to Think About
6. Sitting in Limbo
7. Darkness on the Face of the Earth
8. One in a Row
9. I’ve Just Destroyed the World I’m Living In
10.  You Left Me a Long, Long Time Ago
11.  I Guess I’ve Come to Live Here
12.  Undo the Right

December Day, by Willie and Bobbie Nelson (liner notes by Mickey Raphael)

Friday, December 13th, 2019

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie “December Day”

Liner Notes by Mickey Raphael:

Peering through the control room glass into the studio, a cloud of smoke rises from Sister Bobbie Nelson’s Bosendorfer grand piano. After four hours of non-stop recording with baby brother Willie, perhaps she has ignited the keys during this marathon session???

Listening back to “I Never Cared for You,” the interplay between Bobbie and Will on the instrumental intro “Ou-es tu, mon amour” sets the mood perfectly for the darkness the song portrays.

“Nuages,” a song written by French Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, showcases Willie’s dexterity and guitar genius.  Whenever we are just sitting around the bus, Willie will pick up a guitar and start playing.  Like the horse heading to the barn, he always gets around to “Nuages.”  It’s good mendicine for him.  And on this take, Bobbie’s piano provides the support that makes their performances seem effortless.

In the beautiful hill country near Austin, Texas you’ll find Willie’s Pedernales studio.  Willie and Bobbie are set up in the main room which is L-shaped and doesn’t allow direct eye contact during recording.  Without much discussion of an arrangement, Bobbie started playing and Willie began singing “Mona Lisa.”  That was the beginning of another magical session.

Recording engineer Steve Chadie and Willie’s friend and producer, Buddy Cannon were at the controls as it all happened. It’s kind of like photographing a ghost; you don’t really see it till the picture is fully developed.  Throughout these sessions Bobbie and Willie played continuously and seemed to never run out of song ideas — which is a producer’s dream (or nightmare).  Eventually songs had to be picked for the final selections.  With so many outstanding performances to choose from.  I’m glad I wasn’t a part of that process.

As long as I can remember.  Willie and Bobbie, who ride together on Willie’s bus, spend some of their traveling time jamming on their favorite songs.  Bobbie has a travels size keyboard on the bus and Willie’s guitar, Trigger, is always by his side.  This is where the idea for DECEMBER DAY was born.  “Why not record our favorite songs like we play them for ourselves?”  Bobbie asked.

In 2010 after ending a tour in Austin, Texas, the band, made up of Paul and Billy English, Bee Spears and myself, went in the studio to record with Bobbie and Willie.  The song “What’ll I do” is especially bittersweet because of the passing of Bee Speers.  Bee was Willie’s bass player for more than four decades and this was the last recording session he played with us.  He is missed by us all.

In 2012 while recording songs for the record LET’S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE, we would stray from the song list every once in a while.  Willie might call out a song title or Bobbie might have a suggestion and this was the fun part of recording with these guys.  You didn’t know where the music was going next.  “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” was born from such a diversion.  We are all fans of the Irving Berlin songbook and of the Ray Charles version, so this was a perfect tribute to both.

In 2004, another impromptu visit to the studio resulted in three songs penned by Willie.  “Walkin'” is truly a classic.  Originally heard in the concept album PHASES AND STAGES, this version goes right to the heart.  Willie’s guitar solo hits you like a gunshot at the O.K. Corral.  If through is the question, then Bobbie is the answer as nothing rings more true than her piano.

“Laws of Nature” is an “a-ha” moment.  Willie writes like he’s talking to you face-to-face.  Bobbie provides the soundtrack for that conversation.  It’s easy to make records with these guys.  You just have to listen… and then  react from the heart.  It’s pretty primal.

The song “Amnesia” rounded out those sessions but honestly, I can’t remember anything about it.

Raised by their grandparents in Abbott, a small farming community north of Waco, Texas, Willie and Bobbie began a musical odyssey that has continued for over 70 years.  Daddy Nelson taught Willie how to play guitar when he was seven, and momma Nelson taught sister Bobbie the piano when she was nine.  Sundays were spent playing at the Abbott Methodist church and gave Bobbie and Willie the spiritual foundation that still can be found in their music.

When it comes to a brother-sister collaboration with the longevity of Willie and Bobbie, there is beauty in keeping things simple, “Less is more” is the underlying theme.  We’ve heard these songs before but not like this.  The spontaneity born out of familiarity is what this record, DECEMBER DAY is all about.

It’s not rocket science.  It’s alchemy.

Mickey Raphael
Nashville, TN

bobbiewill

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1)

  1. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin)
  2. Permanently Lonely (Willie Nelson)
  3. What’ll I Do (Irving Berlin)
  4. Summer of Roses / December Day (Willie Nelson)
  5. Nuages (Django Reinhardt)
  6. Mona Lisa (Ray Evans & Jay Livingston)
  7. I Don’t Know Where I Am Today (Willie Nelson)
  8. Amnesia (Willie Nelson)
  9. Who’ll Buy My Memories (Willie Nelson)
  10. The Anniversary Song (Al Jolson & Saul Chaplin)
  11. Laws of Nature (Willie Nelson)
  12. Walkin’ (Willie Nelson)
  13. Always (Irving Berlin)
  14. I Let My Mind Wander (Willie Nelson)
  15. Is the Better Part Over (Willie Nelson)
  16. My Own Peculiar Way (Willie Nelson)
  17. Sad Songs and Waltzes (Willie Nelson)
decday

Willie and Leon: “One for the Road” Re-Release (2017)

Sunday, November 17th, 2019
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www.IrishTimes.com
by:  Joe Breen

In 1979, British inflation was 18 per cent, Margaret Thatcher was elected British prime minister, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Sony launched the Walkman and Willie Nelson and Leon Russell released One for the Road.

Those events are history but this album sounds remarkably fresh on its re-release, production and performance losing nothing in the years. Russell went the way of all flesh last November but Willie soldiers on, his ubiquity making no dent in his status as one of the all-time great stylists.

Here, he shares the honours with Russell’s dusty country gospel voice on a mix of Great American Songbook classics, Nashville standards and “Danny Boy”.

Alan Robinson’s sleeve notes state: “Part party hearty, part tears in the whiskey, it stands as something of a minor gem in both of these stellar artists’ body of work.” Hard to disagree.

Willie Nelson and Family Live Album released November 8, 1978

Friday, November 8th, 2019

September 8, 1997

Willie Nelson’s Willie and Family Live album certified quadruple platinum

This album was recorded live at Harrahs, at Lake Tahoe, in April 1978.  It was remastered, and re-released in honor of Willie’s 70th birthday, and additional tracks were added.

Song List:

Disc One:

  1. Whiskey River
  2. Stay A Little Longer
  3. Funny How Times Slips Away
  4. Crazy
  5. Night Life
  6. If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time
  7. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
  8. I Can Get Off On You
  9. If You Could Touch Her At All
  10. Good Hearted Woman
  11. Red Headed Stranger Medley:
    • Time Of The Preacher
    • I Couldn’t Believe It Was True
    • Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger
    • Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
    • Red Headed Stranger
    • Just As I Am
  12. Under The Double Eagle

Disc Two:

  1. Till I Gain Control Again
  2. Bloody Mary Morning
  3. I’m A Memory
  4. Mr. Record Man
  5. Hello Walls
  6. One Day At A Time
  7. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
  8. Amazing Grace
  9. Take This Job And Shove It (with Johnny Paycheck)
  10. Uncloudy Day
  11. The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line
  12. A Song For You
  13. Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  14. Georgia On My Mind
  15. I Gotta Get Drunk
  16. Whiskey River
  17. The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line

Bonus Tracks:

  • Till I Gain Control Again (Previously unreleased)
  • Georgia On My Mind (Previously unreleased)

New Raelyn Nelson Band album out Nov. 8, “Don’t”

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

This day in Willie Nelson history: “American Classic” album (October 25, 2009)

Friday, October 25th, 2019


On October 25, 2009, Willie Nelson released, “American Classic” album, on Blue Note Records.

Track List:

  • The Nearness of You
  • Fly Me to the Moon
  • Come Rain or Come Shine
  • If I Had You (with Diana Krall)
  • Ain’t Misbehaving
  • I Miss You So
  • Because of You
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Norah Jones)
  • Angel Eyes
  • On the Street Where You Live
  • Since I Fell For You
  • You Were Always on My Mind

Willie Nelson, “Ride Me Back Home” Bundle

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

www.WillieNelson.com

GET YOURS HERE

This bundle, exclusive to the Willie Nelson Official Store, includes a shirt, Ride Me Back Home LP, 11″x17″ art print, and a deck of playing cards.

Willie Nelson returns with another incredible addition to his legendary catalog. Once again working with longtime producer Buddy Cannon, Willie’s Ride Me Back Home sits beside 2017’s God’s Problem Child and 2018’s Last Man Standing as a trilogy of superior song craft exploring ideas of mortality with wisdom, empathy and a winking love of life. Nelson and Cannon co-wrote a handful of songs but go deep into their favorite songsmiths, great writers with great stories to tell: Sonny Throck-Morton, Guy Clark, Mac Davis, Buzz Rabin. The result is a magical collection of tunes with emphasis on the lyric. Backed by an amazing band of Nashville gunslingers, Ride Me Back Home finds Willie Nelson making some of the most inspired work of his career.

Side A

  1. Ride Me Back Home
  2. Come On Time
  3. My Favorite Picture Of You
  4. Seven Year Itch
  5. Immigrant Eyes
  6. Stay Away From Lonely Places

Side B

  1. Just The Way You Are
  2. One More Song To Write
  3. Nobody’s Listening
  4. It’s Hard To Be Humble (with Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson)
  5. Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening

This day in Willie Nelson history “The Highwayman” certified platinum (10/13/2000)

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

1. Highwayman
2. The Last Cowboy Song
3. Jim, I Wore A Tie Today
4. Big River
5. Committed To Parkview
6. Desperados Waiting For A Train
7. Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)
8. Welfare Line
9. Against The Wind
10. The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over

On October 13, 2000, The Highwayman album by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson certified platinum

Enter to Win Willie Nelson Vinyl, in celebration of 45 years of Red Headed Strnger

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

www.consequenceofsound.net
by:

The Opus is still in Texas.

Red Headed Stranger launched an improbable career, created a genre, and changed the world forever. In this installment of The Opus, we get a first-hand look at the massive, culture-shifting changes that came from one pivot, one moment, one record, one man’s faith in his own work.

Host Andy Bothwell, along with legendary Texas historian Joe Nick Patoski, takes you through the most pivotal time in Willie Nelson’s life, and just how close we came to never knowing Willie at all.

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of Willie Nelson’s breakthrough country outlaw album, Red Headed Stranger. To celebrate, you can preview or stream music from Willie Nelson here. Bonus: We’re giving away a 14-LP Willie Nelson vinyl prize pack!

Enter to Win some Willie Nelson vinyl thanks to Sony Legacy

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

www.consequenceofsound.net
by: Dan Kaye

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of Willie Nelson’s 18th studio album, Red Headed Stranger. The classic concept record is not just a landmark of outlaw country, but a signature release in the oeuvre of American music. To honor the legendary LP, we’ll be exploring its legacy on the latest season of The Opus podcast. But to help you celebrate the prolific work of Nelson yourself, we’re also giving away a massive vinyl prize pack.

Courtesy of Sony Legacy, the bundle features 14 albums from across Willie Nelson’s career. Red Headed Stranger is of course part of the package, as are his solo records The Troublemaker (1976), Last Man Standing (2018), God’s Problem Child (2017), Band of Brothers (2014).

Also included are collaborative efforts like 2015’s Django & Jimmie with Merle Haggard, Nelson’s 2013 collection of duets with female singers To All the Girls…, 2013’s standards album Let’s Face the Music and Dance, 2014’s December Day: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1  with his sister Bobbie Nelson, and 2017’s follow-up with sons Luke and Micah Nelson Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2. In addition you’ll get tribute albums like 2016’s For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, 2016’s Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, and 2018’s collection of Frank Sinatra tunes My Way.

Rounding out the massive selection is the 1976 compilation featuring Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser Wanted! The Outlaws.

To win all these incredible records, you simply need to do is fill out the widget below. Note: If you do not see the widget below, click here to enter.

Red Headed Stranger Album turns 45 next year

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

www.consequenceofsound.net
by: Dan Kaye

This fall, The Opus returns for a fourth season from Consequence of Sound and Sony. Past seasons have explored the ever-evolving legacies of three iconic records: Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland, and Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Beginning September 19th, the series will head South as it revisits one of country’s most beloved albums, Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, with new host Andy Bothwell, aka Astronautalis.

Next year sees Nelson’s 18th studio record turn 45, making this the perfect time to revisit the classic LP. Given more creative freedom over his music thanks to a new contract and a new label, Nelson returned to the concept album form with Red Headed Stranger. Weaving covers of old standards in with poetic, stripped down originals, he created an outlaw country tale that transcended its genre into the mainstream consciousness. Over three episodes, The Opus will dig into what the record meant then and how it has impacted music now.

Taking listeners through this tour of the album’s legacy will be Bothwell, The Opus’ new permanent host. “Every great record has an infinite number of stories to tell, not just from when it was recorded, or when it was released, but for all time, as the music continues to reach and impact new people,” says the alternative hip-hop artist. “I am so excited to join forces with Sony Music and Consequence of Sound to dive deep into some of the greatest records of all time, and share their stories with everyone.”

The Opus: Red Headed Stranger premieres September 19th, and you can subscribe now. To prepare for the new season, stream a selection of Willie Nelson’s best tracks via all major streaming services.

Willie Nelson’s, Always on My Mind” Billboard’s #1 country album (1982)

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

In 1982, Willie Nelson was at #1 on the US Country charts with Always On My Mind. 

The album was the Billboard #1 country album of the year for 1982, peaking at the top of the charts for a total of 22 weeks, as well as spending 99 weeks on the chart.