Red Headed Stranger Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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"The bright lights of Denver, are shinin' like diamonds, Like ten thousand jewels in the sky, and it's nobodies business, where you're goin' or where you come from, and you're judged by the look in your eye."
If you are a music fan who has pre-judged Willie based on "On The Road Again" or "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", buy this album. I assure you that it won't be the last Willie album that you buy. Also, if you've never seen Willie live, don't miss him the next time he's anywhere near you.
The title song always pains me to hear, especially the moment that the rest of the song foreshadows so well. And when "they dance with smiles on their faces" in "Denver," I want to burst with happiness for our hero. "Hands on the Wheel" is one of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard.
This story of betrayal, murder, and redemption through re-found love is full of nuance and little touches that are perfect. Nelson uses his voice as another instrument, never taking center stage but always blending in with the minimal guitar and backing, finally letting the piano express its pure joy on "Down Yonder."
These songs, almost all of which were written by different people, come together in an amazingly cohesive package. These choices show an inherent knowledge of storytelling--with its peaks and valleys--that carries throughout the arrangement of the album.
This is one of the great concept albums, and one of the great albums in general, of all time. It belongs in any music fan's library. I am not a country music fan, but I love what has been done with this album. It is a tight, well-told story, told in an inimitable fashion.
This is classic, classic music. Willie is an Artist First Class and this is nothing short of genius. Sparse, stripped down, powerful, hauntingly beautiful, these are just a few ways to describe it.
Willie is still putting out relevant music (see 2003's "Run That By Me One More Time" with Ray Price), but Red Headed Stranger is still as good today as it was all those years ago.
One more thought - if you want to see a Concert you'll never forget, go see Willie. Saw him twice in the 1980's, and he still ranks in First Place. Willie Live is Willie at his best!
Red Headed Stranger is a concept album which contains some of the most simple and beautifully written and arranged songs I believe you will ever hear from this near perfect singer. Don't be deceived by their simplicity, though. Allow yourself to fall into this album and make some time for it; don't put it on as backgound noise, but give it attention and have it as foreground MUSIC.
Willie's familiar and homely singing and percussive guitar sound are yet again at the very core of the music here but listen also for Bobbie Nelson's gospel piano at the foundation of most of these songs as well as the beautiful piano accordion which weaves itself in and out some songs here with stunning delicacy.
This remastered version of the album also SOUNDS brilliant. I don't know how the original version sounded or how it was mixed but the clarity of the mix here is superb.
The album also comes with a number of beautiful black and white photographs of Willie and band in the studio recording the album accompanied by an essay by Chet Flippo.
I have only owned this album for a few hours but the music it contains will be important to me for the rest of my life. It is that good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this album. It tells a story of a man that is broken.Published 11 days ago by Barbara girlinghouse
The record skips during one song. Sorry I paid so much and got damaged goods. Won't be ordering anymore vinyl .Published 1 month ago by Diane Odiorne
One for the ages. Listening to it now, it sounds like a folk album, complete with 19th century dance music. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tim Nyborg
Another Willie Nelson blockbuster! He just never ceases to blow me away with his choices and arrangements. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Book & Music Lover Kate