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Highwaymen

4.5 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Highwayman
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1985

Amazon.com

The myth of the American West--lawless lands, resolute heroes--takes on a grave, elegiac quality on this first, and best, collaboration from Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. There's little bravado here, just a sense of ticking time, of frontiers lost, cowboys singing their last songs. In the end, Highwayman works because it fuses mythic, serious material with the artists' own legendary personas and well-aged voices. Lesser lights would be lucky to muddle through Jimmy Webb's epic title track; these four cagey desperados make every fantastic image believable. If Chips Moman surrounds them with less than subtle layers of guitars, keyboards, and drums, he does update vintage progressive country in a suitably cosmic but rugged fashion. Romantic legends and production values notwithstanding, it's the tough, wise singing here that's the real draw. --Roy Kasten
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000264I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is my one and only country music CD, and it is not "feel good" music. The Highwaymen sing, in their four distinctive voices, of a vanishing, sad West - where the cowboys are gone, the migrants are deported, and good friends die. The most upbeat song, if you can call it that, is the first - Highwayman - a tale of living for eternity. But who says music must be a happy narcotic? These tales of gloom and doom perfectly capture the howling emptiness of the Western U.S. It is best listened to when you are in a contemplative mood, when you are driving across those empty, blast-furnace spaces of the desert Southwest.
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Format: Audio CD
I should have heeded the warnings here. I don't mind so much that this is NOT really the highwaymen together, although I'm not sure that Waylon is singing all the songs attributed to him. But the recording is really poor...it sounds like they recorded it in an echo chamber. I openned the package, played one song and didn't want this anymore. Note that they don't allow you to sample the music online (that should've been a clue for me) and you can't return CD's. Henceforth, if I am not certain of the album quality and can't listen to a preview, I ain't buying it. Period.
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Format: Audio CD
I generally try not to dis other reviewers, but sometimes (like now), there must be an exception. Let me just so so far as to say that I agree with those other normal folks who have reviewed this album (not the so-called critic).
He must have had a BAD day in order to hear only "precious little entertainment" from these guys. No purpose? I guess bringing together a couple of legends of the genre is not enough for him. Too damned bad.
These guys were great together in concert. The album works well, too. They obviously share much in common (maybe too much of it as wee might infer from the whimsical "Committed to Parkview"). The title cut, "Against the Wind", and "Desperados Waiting" are such good stuff. The intermingling of three very distinctive voices (sorry, but to my mind, Kris just is not quite in the same tax bracket) works very well throughout this album.
Good guys having a good time, making good music. Just what the Dcotor ordered, but not the critic. His loss.
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By n.g. hamelink on September 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Please be warned, as this CD isn't about the Highwaymen singing together! They've just put some songs that they sing on their own together on one cd!
With the music is nothing wrong, but this isn't the Highwaymen we're talking about!
There are a few songs on this CD that they claim are being sung by Waylon, but I suspect they aren't, really! I'm not the best Waylon-knower, but I know how he sounds like a bit, and it doesn't even come close!
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Format: Audio CD
Like most of the reviewers below me,I can't believe what our "esteemed" critic had to say. The reason the four voices don't gel easily is because they as among the four most distinctive voices in the history of country music. HIGHWAYMAN are four country legends getting together to jam on cover songs(DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN,AGAINST THE WIND,THE LAST COWBOY SONG) some of their own (BIG RIVER and COMMITTED TO PARKVIEW{where our lovable critic probably resides}).This album has meaning;makes you laugh,,cry,feel mad.The title song could give Shirely Maclaine a run for her money in the past lives department.I don't have many country CD's in my collection,but THE HIGWAYMAN is at the head of the pack.It is often copied,but will never be bettered.
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Format: Audio CD
Waylon Jennings had already recorded one duet album with Johnny Cash and two with Willie Nelson, quite apart from various duets on other albums, so the teaming up of all three for this album was not a surprise, nor was the addition of Kris Kristofferson, since the other three had each recorded several of his songs. On this album (and the other two they later did), they mostly take turns at singing. If you're looking for harmony singing, you won't find much here.

As the title might suggest, the songs generally reflect on independent, free spirited people. They are mostly covers, drawn from a diverse selection of songwriters including Bob Seger (Against the wind), Woody Guthrie (Deportee), Steve Goodman and John Prine (The twentieth century is almost over), Paul Kennerley (Welfare line), Guy Clark (Desperadoes waiting for a train), Jimmy Webb (Highwaymen), Ed Bruce (Last cowboy song) and Cindy Walker (Jim I wore a tie today). There are also a couple of Johnny Cash oldies - Big river and Committed to Parkview.

Fans of any of the four singers need no prompting from me to buy this brilliant album, although UK buyers should note that it has been re-issued in Britain as part of a twofer with Highwaymen 2 titled Highwaymen collection, using the cover design of the American compilation, Super hits.
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Format: Audio CD
I have always liked the Highwaymen. I remember buying the 45 single of the title track when I was 10! What a great song...and it's the best one on this CD. All of the tracks make you think of the Wild West, and the first track is especially adept at doing that. Waylon, Willie, Kris, and Johnny have four unique and distinctive voices that shine well when put together as a supergroup. The Highwaymen were a great creation, and it is good to see that their albums are continuing to transcend the test of time. This is old-school country at its wildest and its best!
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