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Stardust Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, October 19, 1999
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Stardust + Red Headed Stranger + Django and Jimmie
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What's an country outlaw doing, singing a bunch of old pop standards? Creating a masterpiece, of course, with this 1978 album that's become a true classic.

Amazon.com

Willie Nelson has never been one to do the safe or expected, and this Booker T. Jones-produced album of pop standards from the '30s and '40s certainly fits the profile. It's also one of the better albums of Nelson's career, allowing Willie to dip his fragile, quivering tenor all around the beat in songs like "All of Me" and "Unchained Melody." Jones's organ, piano, and string arrangements are low-key and swinging (except on the almost wooden "On the Sunny Side of the Street"), and Nelson's vocals on "Georgia on My Mind" and "Moonlight in Vermont" are filled with a dignified and slightly jazzy country soul. The 1999 reissue adds a pair of bonus cuts to the mix, including the lullaby-like "Scarlet Ribbons" and the somewhat out-of-place "I Can See Clearly Now." --David Cantwell


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Stardust 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Georgia on My Mind 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Blue Skies 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. All of Me 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Unchained Melody 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. September Song 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. On the Sunny Side of the Street 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Moonlight in Vermont 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Someone to Watch Over Me 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Scarlet Ribbons 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. I Can See Clearly Now 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000296J3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (360 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Bill Matheny on February 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Over the last few years we've been bombarded with one unnecessary CD that remakes American standards after another. Ughh! I can only think of two artists who honor these songs while still making contemporary albums: Steve Tyrell's A NEW STANDARD and, best of all, Willie Nelson's STARDUST. Re-discovering this album, complete with two new tracks, is a joy. Of the many great albums that Willie Nelson has recorded, this one is my favorite. It sounds just as good today as it did twenty years ago, and I suspect it will sound the same in another twenty years. I am living proof that you don't have to listen to standards on a regular basis - if ever - to love this album. STARDUST is an absolute gem that gets better every time you play it. Bravo, Willie!
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on July 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Country artists taking on pop standards wasn't a new idea when Willie Nelson released the ten tracks of 1978's Stardust LP. Ferlin Husky had released an entire album's worth on 1957's Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and other country stars regularly drew from the Great American Songbook. Nelson himself had recorded "That Lucky Old Sun" two years earlier for his The Sound in Your Mind LP. What made Stardust so audacious was the confluence of Nelson's iconoclastic career and the times in which the album was released. Where his outlaw compadre Waylon Jennings had directly confronted Nashville, Nelson vented his subversion by retreating to Texas, and waxing concept albums like Phases and Stages and The Red Headed Stranger.

Nelson's previous release, the 1977 tribute to Lefty Frizzell, To Lefty From Willie, didn't straightforwardly set the stage for an album of standards, but the depth of his song selections, the respect he showed the material, and his idiosyncratic phrasing revealed an interpretive stylist whose talent stretched well beyond his own words. With the outlaw country movement in full swing, Nelson's choice to drop an album of classic American pop was perhaps the most revolutionary move of his career. Recorded with his band and produced by Booker T.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on May 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
On this record, Willie proved that his favorite items from "The Great American Songbook" were good enough to survive his distinctive phrasing and country/blues accompaniment organized by his buddy, Booker T., the producer. Mostly mellow, this album gives you 45 minutes of quiet pleasure. The songs were designed for pop, jazz or Broadway treatments, but Willie proved he could do them justice in his own sweet way. I had a boss who purchased this one when it came out in 1978 or so, and played it for me one day. I was barely conscious of Willie back then, but I knew the material from more traditional renditions. While I did not rush out to buy this at the time, it was because it was a tight budget year, not because I didn't like it. Now I've just acquired it, 25 years on, yet both Willie and the songs survive. If you like Nelson, this CD is one of the essentials. If you like "The Great American Songbook" this version of some of the best from that body of work is also essential. Here, Willie invented a style that melds jazz, pop, country, folk, blues and Broadway. Play "Red-Headed Stranger" and follow it with this one, and you have all the evidence one needs that Mr. Nelson is an immortal in the roster of great American music-makers.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Seim on July 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is an album of covers of traditional pop songs, but the primary impression it leaves is neither country nor traditional pop. Instead, the key is the tasteful production by Booker T. Jones - swinging but understated percussion, warm bass, and bluesy keyboards. Willie's weary outlaw vocals and sublime guitar picking fit it like a glove. The result is, simply, classic American music, more Muscle Shoals than Nashville. It's just a shame that Willie and Booker T. didn't make another album. This is truly a diamond in the rough.
Surprisingly, the two outtakes on this version are a welcome addition. "Scarlet Ribbons" fits well with the rest of the album, and "I Can See Clearly Now" ends with an extended blues jam that makes for a perfect conclusion.
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Format: Audio CD
I originally got this album when it first came out and liked it immediately, but as sometimes happens, I lost contact with it for whatever reason. I recently became reacquainted with it when I wanted to hear a recording of Kurt Weill's "September Song," and this was one of the two versions I possess. I just let the disc keep playing when I was finished with the Weill, which led to several relistenings. What a delightful album! In a way, it reminds me somewhat of Ray Charles's MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC, in that an artist in one musical genre takes up standards in another. What is remarkable here is how unstrained these performances are; nowhere does Willie seem to be forcing the songs into a mode of performance that they resist (in contrast, say, to a god-awful big band cover I recently heard by Paul Anka of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-yeah, it was a horrible as it sounds like it has to be). Part of the reason Willie Nelson's covers work so well is that he has never been a typical country western singer. Virtually all other country singers tend to sing all their songs precisely on the beat, even such magnificent singers as Lefty Frizzell and George Jones. But Willie habitually sings every so slightly behind the beat and has always done so. His voice therefore has a flexibility to adapt to these songs that many other singers would lack. That he is able to do so is remarkable in itself. While he has a unique voice, it isn't a great voice. He possesses neither much power nor great range, and yet he is able to do justice to nearly every cut.

Not every cut is a thundering success. "Blue Skies" sounds a bit bland and unexciting, but he is perfectly suited to sing the aforementioned "September Song.
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