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Spirit CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, June 4, 1996
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As with Willie Nelson's '70s Atlantic breakthroughs, the self-written and self-produced collection is something of a concept album, though its not driven by as strong a narrative as Phases & Stages and Red-Headed Stranger. This is simple declarative account of a man abandoned by the great love of his life. He reflects upon his loss, expresses his fears and desires, and searches the heavens for solace. He finds some and gives thanks. The band (Nelson backed by fiddle, piano, and second guitar) plays a wistful waltz and life goes on, though the end is in sight. The Willie of Red-Headed Stranger was wild and dangerous when he was hurt; the Willie of Spirit is reflective and contrite. Still, Spirit ranks with Red-Headed Stranger, one of the landmarks in modern country music history. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: June 4, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001E9L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Carley on February 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There aren't many songs on this album that stand out individually (at least in comparison to some of his other 90's albums like Across the Borderline and Teatro), but Willie's latest concept album is strong anyway because of the way that the collection of music creates a mood for the listener. No one does the job that Willie does establishing a mood with such simple arrangements. Strange as it sounds, this album is morose and uplifting at the same time. You'll have to listen to understand
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Format: Audio CD
If you are reading this you probably already know that Willie is one of the most creative, powerful, and diverse performers of all time. In this review, I'm not going to rate the albums, just offer some insights into the CD's and DVD's that I have purchased - and I'm glad I've purchased them all.

"The Essential Willie Nelson" is essential. Be that as it may, Willie's individual CD's are so strong and the songs are so interrelated, often in a story or a tight thematic format, that they almost make the "essential" Willie Nelson unessential - but it is such a great collection of songs, that you can't get as easily any other way. Definitely worth the buy.

"The Red Headed Stranger" is one of the greatest albums of all time. It is pure genius. If you get the 70th birthday edition, you get a remastered track and extra songs. There are no less than six "A" level songs on this CD, nothing short of amazing. Plus, you get fourteen minutes of great story telling. As a story teller, Willie is only rivaled by Native American artist Robert Mirabal ("Indians Indians", "Taos Tales", "Music From A Painted Cave", "Mirabal", etc.).

"Willie and Family Live", done around 1975, is a great live album. It has lots of energy. A highlight for me was Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, and Johnny Paycheck singing "Amazing Grace" together. It also contains the fourteen minute story of the Red Headed Stranger, including "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain". This live performance of Willie's first #1 hit is the best I have heard on any album. There is a little extra "oomph" on every song in the CD. Again, make sure you get the 70th birthday edition, it has extra goodies.
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Format: Audio CD
Just so you know where I'm coming from, the previous CD I was playing in my car was "By The Way" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the only other time I'd ever purchased any country music was a Garth Brooks cassette back around 1991 or so. I came across this CD entirely by accident while searching for Daniel Lanois-produced music (I came up with Teatro, which will be my next & probably last country CD), and happened to see this 4.5 star-rated CD on allmusic.com. This is such a powerful and moving CD with such an appealing instrumentation, that as long as you recognize good music, you don't need to be a country fan to enjoy this. You just need an open mind.
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By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Not for the sheltered or immature. This is a break from the more rowdy, the sensual, or the standards that Willie is so good at. This comes from deep within the man, and will touch those of us who have lived life with "real" hills AND "real" valleys. It is aptly named "Spirit" for it is the most intimate perspective I have seen of Willie Nelson in thirty years of enjoyment. It was a lifetime in the making...Willie's lifetime.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a must for any true Willie Nelson fan. The laid back but powerful "attitude" that is vintage Willie is made even more inspiring by the incorporation of true south-of-the-border flavor.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very sparse album by Willie Nelson. It is all acoustic, with some of the tracks featuring just Willie on guitar and his sister on piano. Other tracks also feature a second guitar plus a fiddle. The songs loosely tell the story of a man who lost the love of his life and looks to God for help. This seems to be a very personal album to Willie, and I recommend it to all his fans.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my all-time favourite country album, period. I can never get tired of hearing it. Willie Nelson is a true musical genius as this album proves. This whole album sounds like it has been pulled out from deep within his soul. It begins and ends with "Matador", an instrumental with a flamenco touch. And in between are wonderfully heart touching songs (and a couple of instrumentals). The songs can make you cry, even if you're not sad, because they really do touch deep within your soul, to those places that can only be touched by beauty such as this album. In fact, Willie is one of the few artists that can make me feel that way. Everybody should own this album, everybody. And I have never said that about any album, ever, up until now.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I along with most of the other reviewers, are fans of Willie Nelson, some more so than others. After all, Willie is an integral part of American Music History. I recently saw him & his band perform in Monroe, Louisiana, on his 2011 Tour. He and his band performed an outstanding concert. It was completely different from this album. However, the official Tee Shirt for his 2011 Tour, has a photo of Willie, with the title Wille Nelson "spirit" on the front, and Willie Nelson 2011 Tour/with Tour dates listed on the back of the shirt. The front photo is identical to the photo & title of this album. At first I thought this must be a new Nelson album, however, after some research I found out it was released around 1996.

Anyway, back to this album, "spirit", it is mild & gentle, basically with the theme of lost love, with songs like: "She is Gone", "You're Memory Won't Die in My Grave", "I'm Not Trying to Forget You Anymore", "I'm Waiting Forever", & "I Guess I've Come to Live Here in Your Eyes". It also has a great mild & gentle instrumental "Spirit of E9", & also a couple of somewhat gospel songs, "Too Sick to Pray", & "I thought About You, Lord". This is great music, when you're in the mood, for this kind of music.

One of the many things that sets this album apart from Willie's other albums is that it was not performed/recorded by all of his regular band. Instead you get the musicians: Willie on lead vocals & guitar, Bobbie Nelson (Willie's sister & regular band member) on piano, Johnny Gimble on fiddle, & Jody Payne on rhythm guitar & harmony vocals.

Overall, I think this is a good album to have, in any solid "American Music" collection. Thanks!!!!
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