Essential Willie Nelson CD (2003)

Artist: Willie Nelson

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Fine roadmap to Nelson's career

by redtunictroll@hotmail.com on 4/1/2003

Waylon Jennings may be recognized for having first bucked the Nashville system, but Willie Nelson proved himself the true iconoclast. Both of these venerable outlaws shook off the chains of the country music industry to create brilliant musical legacies, but as this 41-track collection so aptly shows, Nelson’s run was even more idiosyncratic than his compadre’s. Nelson’s music and lifestyle merged into a single entity, with his touring providing the grist of a troubadour’s life. ¶ In celebration of Nelson’s 70th birthday, Columbia has gathered two full CDs from over forty years and nine different labels, and spiced it with a pair of bonus tracks -- a rare B-side recorded with Irish rock band, U2, and a previously unreleased duet with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. The set opens with Nelson’s first single, on the Bellaire label, "Night Life," and closes with his Grammy winning duet with Lee Ann Womack, "Mendocino County Line." In between are samplings from his liaisons with RCA, Atlantic, Island, Lost Highway, and over two dozen tracks from his years at Columbia, including a staggering seventeen #1 singles. ¶ In addition to his solo work, Nelson’s regular collaborators, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson are all represented, as are one-time partners like Leon Russell, Ray Charles and Julio Iglesias. Throughout this collection one can hear Nelson’s distinctive vocal phrasing (e.g, Nelson’s recording of "Georgia on My Mind" is equally as memorable as Ray Charles’ iconic rendition) and unique acoustic guitar, in service of his legendary compositions. ¶ As Nelson broke free of the Nashville orthodoxy, his work focussed more on albums than singles, and his post-RCA albums (e.g., "Phases & Stages," "Red Headed Stranger," etc.), though well represented here, are necessarily shortchanged by the anthology form. Still, this is a nicely picked collection whose chronological sequencing plays surprisingly well, given the range of sources from which the tracks were pulled. As an overview, this provides the listener an invitation to explore Nelson’s album catalog more deeply, aided by reissues forthcoming in the Spring and Summer of 2003. ¶ Some of the space that might have fleshed out Nelson’s important albums is taken up with seemingly inconsequential tracks (e.g., neither bonus track, nor his duet with Lee Ann Womack, could really be labeled "essential"). Nelson’s very first single, ("Lumberjack" b/w "No Place for Me?" recorded as an independent release) would have made a more spectacular bonus. Further, it might have been nice to pay homage to Nelson’s work as a songwriter for others. His renditions of seminal compositions like "Hello Walls," "Funny How Time Slips Away," and "Crazy" (hits for Faron Young, Billy Walker, and Pasty Cline, respectively) would have added a nice dimension. Nits aside, however, this is a very good introduction to one of country music’s most talented and original artists. ¶ 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. Read More

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Product Overview

Specifications

Label Cbs/epic/wtg Records
SKU 60593812
UPC 696998674028
UPC 14 00696998674028
Format CD
Release Date 4/1/2003
Links
Author Willie Nelson
Compilation Appearance Tribute To Music Of Bob Wills
Compilation Appearance Duets
Compilation Appearance Wanted! The Outlaws
Compilation Appearance Singer/Songwriter
Compilation Appearance Duets Ii
Compilation Appearance Bocephus Box Set (Bonus Tracks)
Compilation Appearance Forrest Gump-Special Collector's Edition (Bonus Tracks)
Compilation Appearance King Of The Road-Genius Of...
Compilation Appearance My Life
Compilation Appearance Deuces Wild
Compilation Appearance Ride With Bob
Compilation Appearance Mi Vida Grandes Exitos(spanish)
Compilation Appearance Country Pride
Compilation Appearance Vol. 2-16 Biggest Hits
Compilation Appearance Essential Johnny Cash
Compilation Appearance Two Of A Kind
Compilation Appearance Very Best Of Country Legends
Compilation Appearance Unleashed
Compilation Appearance Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Vol. 3
Compilation Appearance Ultimate Country Super Hits
Compilation Appearance Pure Country Classics Number 1 Hits
Compilation Appearance Def American Songbook Vol.1
Compilation Appearance See If I Care
Compilation Appearance Ultimate Waylon Jennings
Compilation Appearance Essential Kris Kristofferson (Limited Edition)
Compilation Appearance 40 #1 Hits
Compilation Appearance Country's 20 Classic Gospel Songs Of
Compilation Appearance Greatest Hits
Compilation Appearance Love Songs
Compilation Appearance Straight From The Heart
Compilation Appearance Genius Loves Company
Compilation Appearance Real 60's Country / Various
Compilation Appearance Real 80's Country / Various
Compilation Appearance Great Country Hymns / Various
Compilation Appearance Great Country Hymns / Various
Compilation Appearance Selected Shorts
Compilation Appearance Real 70's Country / Various
Compilation Appearance Greatest Songs Ever Sung
Compilation Appearance Collection
Compilation Appearance Top 10 Country / Various
Compilation Appearance Country Love Songs / Various
Compilation Appearance Classic Country: Great Country Gospel / Vario
Compilation Appearance The Legend
Compilation Appearance Solo Lo Nuestro:20 Exitos
Compilation Appearance Road Goes On Forever (w/ Bonus DVD) (Limited Edition)
Compilation Appearance Road Goes On Forever
Compilation Appearance Brokeback Mountain
Compilation Appearance Willie Nelson:Collection
Compilation Appearance Duets & Duets Ii:90th Birthday
Compilation Appearance Monster Music 123755-00 Monster Music® Ray Charles "Genius Loves Company" Music SuperDisc
Compilation Appearance Broken Bridges
Compilation Appearance Last Man Standing
Compilation Appearance Nashville Rebel
Compilation Appearance All Amrcn Cntry Roadt(3cd
Compilation Appearance Pride And Joy 1106
Compilation Appearance Country Super Hits
Compilation Appearance Country Outlaws(2cd)
Compilation Appearance Definitive Collection Merle Haggard
Compilation Appearance Sing It Again
Compilation Appearance Essential Ray Price
Compilation Appearance Anchored In Love:tribute To June Cart
Compilation Appearance 16 Biggest Hits
Compilation Appearance Essential Waylon Jennings
Compilation Appearance Goin Home:tribute To Fats Domingo
Compilation Appearance I'm Not There (Soundtrack)
Compilation Appearance Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Country
Compilation Appearance Love Songs 3
Compilation Appearance Definitive Collection (1985 To 1993)
Compilation Appearance Live At The Philharmonic
Compilation Appearance Outlaw Country
Compilation Appearance City That Care Forgot
Compilation Appearance Country's 20 Classic Songs of the Century
Compilation Appearance Taste Of Texas
Compilation Appearance Evening At Rao's:songs From An Italia
Compilation Appearance Playlist:very Best Of Merle Haggard
Compilation Appearance Essential 3.0(Limited Edition)
Compilation Appearance Rachel Ray:how Cool Is That Christmas
Compilation Appearance Imus Ranch Record
Compilation Appearance Lucky Old Sun
Compilation Appearance Celebration Of Stars:children's Music
Compilation Appearance Family Time
Compilation Appearance Poet:tribute To Townes Van Zandt
Compilation Appearance What Love Can Do
Compilation Appearance Friends Family Of Hawai'i
Compilation Appearance Man I Want To Be
Compilation Appearance Only Classic Country Collection You'l
Compilation Appearance Valentine's Day (Original Soundtrack)
Compilation Appearance Love Peace:greatest Hits For Kids
Compilation Appearance Just Across The River
Compilation Appearance It's A Good Day
Compilation Appearance Rounder Records Story
Compilation Appearance Duets:friends Memories
Compilation Appearance Icon
Compilation Appearance Essential 3.0
Compilation Appearance Take The High Road
Compilation Appearance Anniversary Celebration
Compilation Appearance Easy 80S
Compilation Appearance Country Love Songs
Compilation Appearance Our Idiot Brother (Ost)
Compilation Appearance Country's Got Heart
Compilation Appearance Country Tops Hits Of The 80'S
Compilation Appearance Duets II
Compilation Appearance Working In Tennessee
Compilation Appearance Tuskegee
Compilation Appearance Bridge School Concerts 25Th Ann Ed
Compilation Appearance Country Gospel Favorites
Compilation Appearance Country's Greatest Gospel:platinum Ed
Compilation Appearance Tuskegee
Compilation Appearance Lion The Beast The Beat
Compilation Appearance Greatest:number Ones
Compilation Appearance We Walk the Line-Celebration of Johnny Cash
Compilation Appearance Real Good Time
Compilation Appearance Complete Columbia Collection
Compilation Appearance Country Christmas
Compilation Appearance 1 Greatest Hits
Compilation Appearance 1 Greatest Hits
Compilation Appearance Duets
Compilation Appearance Life On A Rock
Compilation Appearance Country Gospel Favorites Vol 1
Compilation Appearance Trouble
Compilation Appearance Best Of Country
Compilation Appearance Big E:salute To Steel Guitarist Buddy
Compilation Appearance 21St Century Hits:best Of 2000-2012
Compilation Appearance 21St Century Hits:best Of 2000-2012
Compilation Appearance We Are Tonight
Compilation Appearance 5 CLASSIC ALBUMS:SNOOP DOGG(Explicit Version)
Compilation Appearance Christian Country Jubilee
Compilation Appearance Box Set Series:johnny Cash
Compilation Appearance Box Set Series:merle Haggard
Compilation Appearance Only Me
Compilation Appearance 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration
Compilation Appearance Life
Compilation Appearance Blue Smoke
Compilation Appearance Box Set Series:country Hits Of '60s &
Compilation Appearance Playlist:very Best Of George Jones Du
Compilation Appearance Playlist:very Best Of Johnny Cash Due
Compilation Appearance Bridges
Compilation Appearance Country Daze:15 Original Hits
Compilation Appearance Best Of The 80s
Compilation Appearance 1100 Bel Air Place
Compilation Appearance Playlist:very Best Of Ray Charles
Compilation Appearance Country Hits Since The 80s:box Set Se
Compilation Appearance Engelbert Calling
Compilation Appearance Engelbert Calling
Compilation Appearance Art Of Mccartney
Compilation Appearance Puro Tejano
Compilation Appearance Songbird:rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems
Compilation Appearance Now That?s What I Call Acm Awards:50t
Compilation Appearance Juke Box Hits
Compilation Appearance Triple Feature:men Of Country
Compilation Appearance Roots Of Johnny Cash
Compilation Appearance Country Legends
Associated Artist/Work Asleep At The Wheel
Artist Influence Bob Dylan
Artist Influence Bob Wills
Artist Influence Charles Brown
Artist Influence Chet Atkins
Artist Influence Ernest Tubb
Artist Influence Floyd Tillman
Artist Influence Frank Sinatra
Artist Influence Hank Snow
Artist Influence Hank Williams
Artist Influence Irving Berlin
Artist Influence Jimmie Rodgers (Country)
Artist Influence Johnny Bush
Artist Influence Lefty Frizzell
Artist Influence Milton Brown & His Brownies
Artist Influence Phosphorescent
Artist Influence Ray Charles
Artist Influence Ray Price
Artist Influence Roger Miller (Country)
Artist Influence Roy Acuff
Artist Influence Webb Pierce
Artist Contemporary Billy Joe Shaver
Artist Contemporary Bobby Bare
Artist Contemporary Brenda Lee
Artist Contemporary Buck Owens
Artist Contemporary Carl Smith
Artist Contemporary Charley Pride
Artist Contemporary Chet Atkins
Artist Contemporary Conway Twitty
Artist Contemporary David Allan Coe
Artist Contemporary Emmylou Harris
Artist Contemporary Faron Young
Artist Contemporary Floyd Tillman
Artist Contemporary Freddy Fender
Artist Contemporary George Jones
Artist Contemporary Guy Clark
Artist Contemporary Hank Locklin
Artist Contemporary Hank Williams, Jr.
Artist Contemporary Hoyt Axton
Artist Contemporary Jerry Jeff Walker
Artist Contemporary Jessi Colter
Artist Contemporary Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Artist Contemporary Johnny Cash
Artist Contemporary Johnny Paycheck
Artist Contemporary Kris Kristofferson
Artist Contemporary Lee Hazlewood
Artist Contemporary Loretta Lynn
Artist Contemporary Lyle Lovett
Artist Contemporary Merle Haggard
Artist Contemporary Mickey Newbury
Artist Contemporary Neil Young
Artist Contemporary Patsy Cline
Artist Contemporary Ray Price
Artist Contemporary Roger Miller (Country)
Artist Contemporary Rosanne Cash
Artist Contemporary Roy Orbison
Artist Contemporary Tammy Wynette
Artist Contemporary The Bellamy Brothers
Artist Contemporary The Highwaymen (Folk)
Artist Contemporary The Little Willies
Artist Contemporary Tom T. Hall
Artist Contemporary Tompall Glaser
Artist Contemporary Townes Van Zandt
Artist Contemporary Waylon Jennings
Artist Follower Billy Currington
Artist Follower George Strait
Artist Follower James Talley
Artist Follower Jerry Jeff Walker
Artist Follower Jesse Dayton
Artist Follower Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Artist Follower Josh Abbott (Alt Country)
Artist Follower Keith Whitley
Artist Follower Lyle Lovett
Artist Follower Michael Fracasso
Artist Follower Neil Young
Artist Follower Pat Green
Artist Follower Randy Travis (Country)
Artist Follower Steve Earle
Artist Follower Townes Van Zandt
Artist Follower Vince Gill
Technical Info
CatalogID 86740
Lable Name Columbia (USA)
Released 04/01/2003
Original Release 2003
Number of Discs 2
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00696998674028
Musical Guests
Waylon Jennings
Julio Iglesias
Ray Charles
Kris Kristofferson
Ray Price
Johnny Cash
Merle Haggard
Leon Russell
U2
Mickey Raphael
Album Notes and Credits
This CD commemorates Willie Nelson's 70th Birthday (April 30, 2003).
Personnel includes: Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Ray Price, Leann Womack, Julio Iglesias, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Aerosmith.
Producers include: Felton Jarvis, Arif Mardin, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Booker T. Jones.
Compilation producers: Nich Shaffman, Al Quaglieri.
Recorded between 1961 & 2002.
Audio Mixers: Michael Brauer; Steven Berkowitz.
Recording information: ??/1961-12/2001.
The catalog of Willie Nelson is so vast and rich that assembling an "essential" collection of only one or two discs seems nearly impossible. RCA's single-disc 1995 attempt was admirable and worthy, but doomed by space limitations. With a bit more room to move, Legacy's roomier two-disc collection is about close as anyone could hope to come. We get the full view of the great singer/songwriter's artistic journey.
"Hello Walls" and the evergreen "Crazy" hail from the days when Nelson was tooling around Nashville as a songwriter for hire but mystifyingly unable to connect as a solo artist. His transformation into a counterculture icon via the '70s "outlaw country" movement is marked by the likes of "Me and Paul" and "Bloody Mary Morning." His tremendous skill as in interpreter can be heard in such standards as "Blue Skies" and "Georgia on Mind," which helped make him a crossover success in the STARDUST era. Latter-day collaborations with everyone from Aerosmith ("One Time Too Many") to U2 ("Slow Dancing") show Willie's mercurial, eclectic nature. Add it all up and a portrait comes together of a man whose artistic vision has carried him across decades and stylistic shifts aplenty and seen him through in style.
Artist Overview
As both a songwriter and a performer, Willie Nelson has played a vital role in post-rock & roll country music. Although he didn't become a star until the mid-'70s, Nelson spent the '60s writing songs that became hits for stars like Ray Price ("Night Life"), Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), Faron Young ("Hello Walls"), and Billy Walker ("Funny How Time Slips Away") as well as releasing a series of records on Liberty and RCA that earned him a small, but devoted, cult following. During the early '70s, Willie aligned himself with Waylon Jennings and the burgeoning outlaw country movement that made him into a star in 1975. As a touring musican, he has remained a top attraction ever since, and retained his chart popularity into the 2010s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Dirty Linen (8/03, p.64) - "...The double disc, 41-track offering lives up to its marquee billing as the collection to end all Willie collections..."
Disc 1
1 Night Life,My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
2 Hello Walls,Faded Love - (with Ray Price)
3 Crazy,On The Road Again,On The Road Again,On The Road Again,On The Road Again
4 Funny How Times Slips Away,Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
5 I Never Cared For You,Always On My Mind,Always On My Mind
6 Party's Over, The,Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning
7 Good Times,Pancho & Lefty - (with Merle Haggard)
8 Me And Paul,To All The Girls I've Loved Before - (with Julio Iglesias)
9 Shotgun Willie,City Of New Orleans
10 Bloody Mary Morning,Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles),Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles),Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles)
11 Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,Forgiving You Was Easy
12 Good Hearted Woman - (with Waylon Jennings),Highwayman - (with Waylon Jennings/Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson),Highwayman - (with Waylon Jennings/Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson)
13 If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time),Living In The Promiseland
14 Uncloudy Day,Uncloudy Day,Nothing I Can Do About It Now
15 Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys - (with Waylon Jennings),Graceland
16 Georgia On My Mind,Everywhere I Go - (with Emmylou Harris)
17 Blue Skies,Slow Dancing - (featuring Mickey Raphael/U2)
18 All Of Me,Mendocino County Line - (with Lee Ann Womack)
19 Heartbreak Hotel - (with Leon Russell),One Time Too Many - (with Aerosmith)
20 Help Me Make It Through The Night
21 Whiskey River - (live)
22 Stay A Little Longer - (live)
Disc 2
1 Night Life,My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
2 Hello Walls,Faded Love - (with Ray Price)
3 Crazy,On The Road Again,On The Road Again,On The Road Again,On The Road Again
4 Funny How Times Slips Away,Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
5 I Never Cared For You,Always On My Mind,Always On My Mind
6 Party's Over, The,Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning
7 Good Times,Pancho & Lefty - (with Merle Haggard)
8 Me And Paul,To All The Girls I've Loved Before - (with Julio Iglesias)
9 Shotgun Willie,City Of New Orleans
10 Bloody Mary Morning,Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles),Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles),Seven Spanish Angels - (with Ray Charles)
11 Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,Forgiving You Was Easy
12 Good Hearted Woman - (with Waylon Jennings),Highwayman - (with Waylon Jennings/Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson),Highwayman - (with Waylon Jennings/Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson)
13 If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time),Living In The Promiseland
14 Uncloudy Day,Uncloudy Day,Nothing I Can Do About It Now
15 Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys - (with Waylon Jennings),Graceland
16 Georgia On My Mind,Everywhere I Go - (with Emmylou Harris)
17 Blue Skies,Slow Dancing - (featuring Mickey Raphael/U2)
18 All Of Me,Mendocino County Line - (with Lee Ann Womack)
19 Heartbreak Hotel - (with Leon Russell),One Time Too Many - (with Aerosmith)
20 Help Me Make It Through The Night
21 Whiskey River - (live)
22 Stay A Little Longer - (live)

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Fine roadmap to Nelson's career by redtunictroll@hotmail.com on Apr 01, 2003

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