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Phases & Stages CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Phases And Stages
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Audio CD, CD, April 29, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Willie's brilliant 1974 concept album that looked at the break-up of a marriage from both sides. Features the classic hit "Bloody Mary Morning."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B001690X10
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,140 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Now, i know Willie is a damned troubadour, and has more great songs than most people have hairs on their head, but for me, this is THE ONE. I first picked it up on vinyl, which helped with the distinction of the two points of view of a relationship breaking up: Side One(tracks 1-5):from the ladies point of view, Side Two (tracks 6-11) from the man's. Interesting concept. And you'll hear a lot about how this is a great concept album. And it is. But hell, it's really just some GREAT recordings of GREAT songs by a GREAT artist. You get the first (IMO) glimpse of a record that shows the greatness of the man, and doesn't water down the music with lame strings, or crappy arrangements, or too much backing from other musicians.
Plus, this record, like all greats, will grow on you big time. I don't think it even matters if you like country or not. Obviously, if you hate Willie's voice or something silly like that, see you later, but otherwise, you're about to have a life changing new favorite in your collection.
Alright, let's get to the songs. The Phases and Stages theme comes back and forth a few times and ties things together nicely. THe first proper song that you get is "Walkin" which is a pure classic. Underrated then and now. "Pretend I Never Happened" is another gem. Beautiful recording too, thanks to stellar production from Jerry Wexler (think the quality of Aretha Franklin's early recordings, but done Willie style). He was the first to figure out that you just set Willie down with Trigger in front of the mic, and you've got your perfect cut of the tune (of course, some have band and added instruments - even the string arrangements on this record are not sappy or silly).
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1 Comment 51 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Although I reviewed this back in August, 2003, I want to again go in here, January 2009, and point out what a fabulous, fantastic, phenomenal album this is.

If you want your hair to stand on end, if you want to feel your lowest low, if you want to feel that there's hope at the end of every bad thing that happens to you, dial in and crank this one up.

I've been listening to this one since 1980 or so, and it is STILL by far and away my favorite country album. If they had 25 stars to give this one, I'd be wanting to give it 26.

I say it's Willie's finest work - and that's saying a LOT.

*******************************************

This IS Willie's best album ever, period.

It's everything a concept album should be, and it really and truly shows you what a lyrical genius Willie is.

Phases and Stages is an album that I've listened to for over twenty years now, and it is the album that consistently evokes the strongest emotions in me. From tears to joy, aching loneliness to hope for a better tomorrow, this album never fails to move me.

I love Red Headed Stranger, Shotgun Willie, San Antonio Rose, but man oh man oh man, Phases and Stages is his best - and BY FAR.

Get it, listen with your eyes closed, and prepare to be moved. It's simply THAT good.
2 Comments 30 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Back in the summer of '73 some very strange things started happening in central Texas. All the hippies started wearing cowboy hats, and the cowboys started letting their hair grow. Strange things were afoot, and right at the heart of it was Willie Nelson. It was the summer of his first 4th of July Picnic, and the beginning of the cosmic cowboy movement. It was also the same period of time that this recording was released. In my opinion, it's Willie at his finest. "Walkin'" has one of the finest sets of lyrics I've ever heard in any type of music including country, pop, blues,etc.......Give it a listen, you'll see and agree I'm sure.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
"I Still Can't Believe That You're Gone" from this album is a killer and you should own this album just for that one song alone. Apart from the lyrics, which are brief and believable (a Willie trademark), there's the music which never fails to blow me away. I've seem many TABs for this song on the Web, but none captures what Willie does musically after the chorus, to get back to the verse. Willie spent many years as a sideman for some of the greats (and listening to jazz), and it all comes together in those fabulous passing tones he uses at that point. (If you like slow sad songs beautifully arranged, see also Mickey Newbury.)
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By A Customer on February 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Many feel that Willie wrote the definitive country theme album in Red Headed Stranger. While it is as near a perfect gunslinger saga, ala Marty Robbins, still, Phases & Stages is a seamless story of love and breakup. Willie weaves his tale and juxtaposes the narrative through both partners in the relationship. In addition to being one of the most flawlessly crafted theme album, P&S brings together the deft session man of Muscle Soals famed "FAME STUDIOS" along with long time favorite Johnny Gimble on Fiddle.
True, Willie's tenure at Atlantic Records was somewhat uneven, however P&S stands tall alongside his best works. Remember this was at a crucial stage in Willie's career. He would soon put aside the industry tag of great song writer / good singer and hit the charts with Bloody Mary Morning and Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, etc. I do long for Willie to revist the Muscle Soals Swampers. I would imagine they'd have a whole lot to say together. I'll be seeing Willie in a few short weeks at the Beacon Theatre in New York (May 17th). Maybe I'll ask him about it then.
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