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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Stardust

Willie Nelson

1978

Stardust
Album Summary

Stardust is the 22nd studio album by Willie Nelson, released in April 1978. Its ten songs consist entirely of pop standards that Nelson picked from among his favorites. Nelson asked Booker T. Jones, who was his neighbor in Malibu at the time, to arrange a version of "Moonlight in Vermont". Impressed with Jones's work, Nelson asked him to produce the entire album. Nelson's decision to record such well-known tracks was controversial among Columbia executives because he had distinguished himself in the outlaw country genre. Recording of the album took only ten days. Stardust was met with high sales and near-universal positive reviews. It peaked at number 1 in Billboard's Top Country Albums and number 30 in the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, it charted at number 1 in Canadian RPM's Country Albums and number 28 in RPM's Top Albums. The singles "Blue Skies" and "All of Me" peaked respectively at numbers 1 and 3 in Billboard's Hot Country Singles. In 1979, Nelson won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for the song "Georgia on My Mind". Stardust was on the Billboard's Country Album charts for ten years—from its release until 1988. The album also reached number 1 in New Zealand and number 5 in Australia in 1980. In 2012, the album was ranked number 260 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was originally certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 1978. In 1984, when it was certified triple platinum, Nelson was the highest-grossing concert act in the United States. By 1988, the album was certified quintuple platinum, and it was later inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame class of 2015.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.39

Votes

12097
Genres
Country
Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

I'm a sucker for a good cover album and this is a very good cover album. I also love the story behind this. Record label was like, "You can't cover these songs! You're the king of outlaw country!" And then Willie is like, "Screw you, I'm Willie Nelson. Here's a bunch of covers. Deal." Album goes quintuple platinum. Moral of the story? Willie does what Willie wants.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
4

Big music done charmingly small, which suits Nelson's down-to-earth vocals. It's just as easy to not hear the delicate strings, bells, harmonica and various other percussion. Not because they're not strong or good enough, but because like most natural things you take them for granted first before becoming fully conscious of their beauty and complexity.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
2

didnt care for his take version of most of these songs. probably not terrible to fall asleep to.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

Ron Swansons favourite artist, automatic 5 stars. Seriously though, couple songs in and really liking the vibe. Could imagine listening to this on a long late night drive and just chilling. How relaxing is this album man. Not too long either, a nice in and out experience. I can really see myself listening again to fit a calm mood.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Georgia on my Mind and Unchained Melody are especially good!

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Willie Nelson is great and I've never appreciated him enough

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Very chilled and covers of old songs. Perfect for a rainy or snowy evening.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

When Willie covers a song, he makes it his. Best track: Moonlight in Vermont

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

All the great ‘ol standards from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. A country singer doing all these great jazz & pop covers is so impressive and he put his special spin on each song. Gotta love this man. There is no other voice like Willie.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
3

Ça fait plaisir de voir Willy Denzey un peu lâcher le Rnb pour sortir des albums de reprises pop country comme ça.

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Fri Sep 11 2020
5

great! and I usually don't listen to country

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Love this. Perfect Album, sitting in the yard in the summer evening, sunset music. Blue Skies <3

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Really liked this album, such a good representation of Willie Nelson. Didn't know he covered a bunch of the songs on it, which was cool to hear his rendition. Got me listening more to him and other country artists! Highlights: -Stardust -Georgia on my Mind -Blue Skies -Moonlight in Vermont

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

wow im surprised wasnt expecting it to be so beautiful pleasant melodies and harmonies nice chill solos nice length

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

Outlaw Country and American Pop Standards would seem to be opposite ends of the musical universe. An unlikely musical wormhole, STARDUST masterfully unites these genres resulting in a truly beautiful and transformative album. I have heard all of the songs on this album before. But my experience of them has largely been as musical artifacts. I don’t think I ever felt particular connection to most of them nor would I have sought them out. Yet on STARDUST these songs resonated with me in an emotional way that they never have before. The album opens plaintively with a quiet guitar and Willie’s voice on “Stardust”. A quiet organ and drum instantly made me stop what I was doing and just sit back and enjoy. This is my favorite version of this song. The one song that I did feel previously emotionally connected to was “Georgia On My Mind.” Ray Charles’ version is perfect, definitive and always gives me chills. It’s one of those songs that I would have thought no one else should record. Willie’s incredible vocals over a beautifully subtle arrangement proves that wrong. The country harmonica solo feels like it should always have been there and the finale provides an exciting, perfect conclusion. When was the last time I ever considered “Moonlight In Vermont?” Yet this version is so beautiful that now I cannot get it off my mind. It could be that only an outlaw would have the audacity to record such an album at the height of his career. Willie has created a truly unique American classic. STARDUST is one of the most pleasurable albums I have ever experienced.

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

Lovely chill album. Wilma the dog sat, listened intently, and swayed with Willie. This will bring more Willie into our lives.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Nelson's style matched Booker T. Jones' production perfectly and the result is a fairly simple album, but one that is beautiful from its cover until the last track. Can't really say I love all the songs, but Nelson personal choice of covers makes sense and made his vocal performances more passionate. "Georgia on My Mind" is the obvious classic here - creating another definitive version of a song that already had a definitive version with Ray Charles - but "Stardust" and "Moonlight in Vermont" are also worth noting.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
2

I know he’s a legend, but I’m not a fan of his voice

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Tue Feb 16 2021
2

Willie sings a few pop standards. His distinct vocals and guitar playing, created his take on some songs. Unfortunately, this isn't very original.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
2

I've never really felt that I understood Willie Nelson or his appeal all that much. This album feels like background music to me. The parts I like the most ("Georgia On My Mind"; "On the Sunny Side of the Street") sound like riffs on artists I prefer (Sunny Side sounds like a Randy Newman composition, but with none of Neman's charisma). All in all, the album just feels a bit dull to me, although I'm sure there is something in it that I am just not connecting with.

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Mon May 24 2021
2

I'm honestly not sure of the significance of this album for it to be included in this list, all of the songs are covers of much older songs written mostly pre-1950, which I guess is why the album feels much older than 1978. I don't know much about Willie Nelson (although I have heard of him) so maybe he is the reason it's on this list more than the album itself? I do find that this kind of music can be quite a comfort to me though. There's something about the predictability of the chord progressions in these older songs that makes me feel safe, and it's nice to just have on in the background. It's nice enough but I don't think it's essential listening.

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Tue Sep 05 2023
2

Cover albums do very little for me unless there is something particularly interesting about either the voice or the arrangements. I was rather bored by this.

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Tue Nov 21 2023
2

I'm not old enough/gainfully employed managing a wine bar enough to appreciate albums of American standards. Nice voice Willie, save it for your own material. Having lived in Atlanta, the last thing I want on my mind is Georgia (tied with a brain tumor)

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Mon Jan 11 2021
5

aaaaaa walang tapon na song huhuhuhu ang gandaaa <3 altho i know some songs are covers (not sure if lahat! :O hahaha) but still they're good covers

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Tue Dec 29 2020
5

Willie is a crooner. Georgia on my Mind cover is fantastic. This was an easy great listen.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Super enjoyed—a lot of covers of songs I already liked, but with a Willie vibe.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Kind of slow and lovely, and definitely not what I expected from Willie Nelson. He did a great job with the pop standards though. Beautiful!

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Great album of covers. Several of these are almost as enjoyable as the originals: Georgia On My Mind, All of Me, and Blue Skies.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Not sure why I never really listened to Willie Nelson. I like his voice, and I like older country. So far, I’m enjoying this one.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Música maravilhosa de se ouvir! Preciso terminar e ouvir com mais atenção às faixas

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

i like how understated it is, the vocal performance is really emotive without ever getting cheesy or too sentimental. his voice is rough in some spots but it doesn't really detract. pretty nice production too. moonlight in vermont🥺🥺. giving it a 5, i don't think I'd change anything about it.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

אם לבילי ג׳ואל ולסרטי פיקסאר היה ילד אה הוא היה שונא יהודים

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Wow, what a fantastic album. This is up there with American IV for me as one of the greatest cover albums of all time. Willie really brings a unique take on these classic songs. Incredible.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Gorgeous album, super chilled out

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

sounds very pretty, beautiful and calming

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Sun Apr 18 2021
5

you don’t understand, i’m obsessed. the title track is phenomenal and i hate that i’m only discovering it now

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Really nice album - did make me feel very single though. Feel like it is the kind of music you sway around the kitchen with your childhood sweetheart too. I just washed up on my own :')

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Thu May 27 2021
5

A wonderful selection of songs that are carried far by Nelson's voice. Beautifully peaceful, a great listen.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Man I love it Calming soothing and honest

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Excellent album. Short and sweet. Crosses genres with jazz/blues/country. Album starts strong and carries throughout. 8.9/10

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

Fantastic! What a surprise - all classics, beautifully done.

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

Listened to this one while visiting my mom.. she approves. You have great taste, mom, love you.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

The 22nd Willie Nelson's album (1978) consisting of great cover versions of famous songs in traditional pop style. Enjoyed it a lot!

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

Infinitely soothing. Willie means every word he sings and every note he plays. Beautiful stuff

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

Willie does the standards! I loved this so SO so So so much. Funny story, when I first discovered this website, I made an account and this was the FIRST album that came up. I didn't end up listening to it by the end of the day, and I was so new to the site that I couldn't figure out how to go back. So I started a whole new account, and I've been waiting about a year for it to come back up. Georgia on My Mind, Unchained Melody, and Don't Get Around Much Anymore are tops.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

Soothing and calm, but a tad short.

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

Thank you, 1001 Robot, for giving me this album today. It was a balm for my soul at the end of a sad week. There is a delicacy, a clarity, a precision to every note of this album. Tempos are steady, slow, and deliberate, giving a sense of being suspended in some warm, gooey, sweet syrup. These are some of my favorite standards delivered by musicians of the highest order. Perfection.

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

I am familiar with Willie Nelson. I have never listened to a Willie Nelson album, and I have never even heard of this one. What a surprise I had in store...I love this album. When I saw Willie Nelson pop up on the list, I wasn't excited. For most of my young life I found Willie's music very off-putting...not just the style of music, but his actual voice. I have matured to a point where I can listen to Willie Nelson, but I can't think of a time where I have ever sought to listen any of his music...but I just couldn't get enough of this album. The musical arrangements were extraordinary and Willie's delivery very special. It felt so gentle and heartwarming...just plain comforting. I am still stunned at how much I enjoyed listening to the album and I don't know why I ever would have, if not for this listening project! I want more!!

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

Oh, I love these songs so much. And Willie Nelson did, too, and he sang them on this album, and they're perfect. I will listen to this many times again. Hooray for a celebration of the most beautiful songs by a unique, lovely voice.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

When I was a kid, I HATED country music. Country music was my parents' music. You know what happens when you play country music backwards? Your wife comes back to you, your dog comes back to life and your truck miraculously gets fixed. My parents listened to country music of the time, in particular the group Alabama. But I remember hearing Willie Nelson on the radio, in particular "You Were Always On My Mind." I got back into Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash recently. Particularly with Cash being revitalized with producer Rick Rubin. Willie Nelson's cover of "The Scientist" is what made me want to look into his work. So the point is I had listened to this album before. It's a great album for Nelson, it complements his voice very well. Definitely well-done and great production.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

I discovered Moonlight in Vermont a month ago and thought it was a recent Willie Nelson song. Here now I find this album and realise what a jackass I am.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

Beautiful, just beautiful. 5****

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Fantastic. Haven’t listened to him before but classic songs done very well.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

This was a sweet treat. Soft and melodic.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

Que album espetaclar!! musicas prediletas: -Stardust -Georgia on my mind -Blue Skies -Unchained Melody

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

do i love a good covers album, especially when it's all old, classic songs. even though these aren't willie nelson's original songs, his emotions are so palpable. i feel so connected with these songs, some new to me, even after one listen. every song is a hit. a beautiful album that includes genre hopping! oh what can’t willie nelson do?

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

21st February 2022 Listened on the train on the way to the airport in Stockholm while the snow came down outside. Beautiful from start to finish. Simple, true songwriting.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

A trip in the past to hear some wonderful songs by one of the best storytellers.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

Willie continues to blow me away - an incredible voice with so much depth. Guitar playing doesn't even need to be talked about its that good.

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Sat Apr 30 2022
5

A perfect album - end to end - and it’s Willie Nelson’s 22nd I found out. Wow.

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

I didn't have to relisten to this to know I was giving it five stars but I did anyway. I love genius songwriter Willie and outlaw country Willie but I think Great American Songbook crooning Willie is my favorite Willie.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

Wonderful album, he's got a great voice as always and the band is incredible.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

10/10 really, really beautiful I’ve enjoyed Willie Nelson since I was a little kid, listening to K-Rose on GTA SA this whole album is just so goshdarn lovely

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

very subtle and chill, it was perfect for a short ride from work🥰 was just thinking of him this week you psychis u😂

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Sun Oct 02 2022
5

grande presença, muito agradável

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Stardust showcases perfectly why Willie Nelson is one of the best country artists out there. The minimal instrumentals let his voice guide the album effortlessly from one song to the next, and you've gone through all 10 songs before you know it.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

Good god this is beautiful. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much but the production is so clean and warm, and the arrangements are just beautiful. I know this is a record of pop standards, but Nelson really really fucking nails them. Beautiful altogether.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Подслушано! Очень душевный и классный альбом. Отличное кантри.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

I love these covers, but I keep singing along like it was the originals, and it kinda throws me off. They're still so good though. 5

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Fri Oct 28 2022
5

Willy at his best. Singing those sweet tunes that just make you happy.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

Willie! Timeless. Classic. Genius.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Super album avec potentiel de reecoute incroyable. J’ai adore les reprises. 5

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

Insanely beautiful vocals. Such calming delivery.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Amazing writer with a very distinctive style.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

Perfect way to start the day gently. I enjoyed every song and every bit of Willie Nelson’s voice.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Great album. The openings of both Midnight in Vermont and Stardust seem to be playing a bit of the Maggie May opening riff.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Love this record. It s not the Willie you think of, but it’s the Willie you need.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Utterly delightful. Willie is a treasure, and so are his takes on these songs

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Wed Jan 04 2023
5

Listened to this three times yesterday. Willie's voice transports me back via some sort of mental process that I don't fully understand. It's so beautiful and invokes a nostalgia for something that ... maybe I didn't really experience?

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