Dienstag, 12. Januar 2021

Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger - Happy 90th Birthday, Bobby Nelson!

Willie Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" perhaps is the strangest blockbuster country produced, a concept album about a preacher on the run after murdering his departed wife and her new lover, told entirely with brief song-poems and utterly minimal backing. It's defiantly anticommercial and it demands intense concentration - all reasons why nobody thought it would be a hit, a story related in Chet Flippo's liner notes to the 2000 reissue. 

It was a phenomenal blockbuster, though, selling millions of copies, establishing Nelson as a superstar recording artist in its own right. For all its success, it still remains a prickly, difficult album, though, making the interspersed concept of "Phases and Stages" sound shiny in comparison. It's difficult because it's old-fashioned, sounding like a tale told around a cowboy campfire. Now, this all reads well on paper, and there's much to admire in Nelson's intimate gamble, but it's really elusive, as the themes get a little muddled and the tunes themselves are a bit bare. It's undoubtedly distinctive - and it sounds more distinctive with each passing year - but it's strictly an intellectual triumph and, after a pair of albums that were musically and intellectually sound, it's a bit of a letdown, no matter how successful it was.

Bobbie Lee Nelson (born January 1, 1931) is an American pianist and singer, the older sister of Willie Nelson and a member of his band, Willie Nelson and Family. She played piano on "Red Headed Stranger" - happy 90th birthday!


Time Of The Preacher 2:24
I Couldn't Believe It Was True 1:32
Time Of The Preacher Theme 1:12
Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger 1:32
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain 2:17
Red Headed Stranger 3:57
Time Of The Preacher Theme 0:25
Just As I Am 1:45
Denver 0:55
O'er The Waves 0:48
Down Yonder 1:53
Can I Sleep In Your Arms 5:22
Remember Me 2:50
Hands On The Wheel 4:20
Bandera 2:18

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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