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Red Headed Stranger

Willie Nelson

1975

Red Headed Stranger

Album Summary

Red Headed Stranger is the 18th studio album by American outlaw country singer Willie Nelson, released in 1975. Following the success of his recordings with Atlantic Records, coupled with the negotiating skills of his manager, Neil Reshen, Nelson signed a contract with Columbia Records, the label that gave him total creative control over his works. The concept for the album was inspired by the "Tale of the Red Headed Stranger", a song that Nelson used to play as a disc jockey on his program in Fort Worth, Texas. After signing with Columbia, he decided to record the song, and arranged the details during his return to Austin, Texas, from a trip to Colorado. It was recorded at low cost at Autumn Sound Studios in Garland, Texas. The songs featured sparse arrangements, largely limited to Nelson's guitar, piano, and drums. Nelson presented the finished material to Columbia executives, who were dubious about releasing an album that they at first thought was a demo. However, Nelson had creative control, so no further production was added. A concept album, Red Headed Stranger is about a fugitive on the run from the law after killing his wife and her lover. The content consists of songs with brief poetic lyrics and arrangements of older material such as Fred Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", Wolfe Gilbert's "Down Yonder", and Juventino Rosas' "O'er the Waves". Despite Columbia's doubts and the limited instrumentation, Red Headed Stranger was a blockbuster among country music and mainstream audiences. It was certified multiple-platinum, and made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. The cover of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", released as a single before the album, became Nelson's first number-one hit. The title of the album became a lasting nickname for Nelson. It was ranked number 183 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and number one on CMT's 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music. In 2010, it was inducted to the National Recording Registry. In 1986, Nelson starred as the Red Headed Stranger in a movie of the same name, based on the story of the album. The album has had a strong cultural impact; the song "Time of the Preacher" was used often in the British television miniseries Edge of Darkness, and its lyrics were used in the first issue of the comic Preacher.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.29

Votes

4862

Genres

  • Country
Reviews
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Sun Feb 27 2022
3

Red Head Redemption 💀

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Sun Oct 10 2021
5

Willie Nelson bucked the system and instead of putting out over produced Nashville drivel, made a simple, stripped down country record structured as a concept album. Red Headed Stranger is the story of a preacher who kills his wife and lover and explores themes of loss, guilt, and longing. It’s exactly what needed to be made at the time

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Somehow, I've never heard a single Willie Nelson track, knowingly, up until this point. I love this! Understated playing, great storytelling and a voice that holds lots of appeal for me. He deserves to be known better on these shores than as the old boy who likes smoking big doinks. Superb!

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

What a great album, and what a wonderful voice. (I mean, it's Willie Nelson, is anyone surprised?) This is exactly the type of album that makes me glad I'm doing this project. Because while it's not something I'd seek out, and I don't universally adore every track, it's extremely worth the listen, and I would listen through it again if I'm in the right mood. The album is calming, and oddly a good balm for loneliness but without being whiny. It feels like a chat with an old friend: mellow, reassuring, maybe even a little bit commiserating. And, above all, worth your time. Fave track: Hands on the Wheel

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Mon Aug 16 2021
5

Otra sorpresa. Disco perfecto.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

A perfect concept album. Country western storytelling at its best.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

I didn't think I'd like this, but I really enjoyed it. There's something about this type of 1970s country music, the trad and pseudo trad styles. Everything feels cosy and comforting, like you're sitting in a bar while yung Willie sings away in the corner. This is the kind of album that I would happily listen to again, if the mood took me.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
5

Душа, жизнь, ковбойска житя

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Tue Nov 02 2021
5

Excellent listen

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

GOOD dog walking music. It isn't too intensely Willie Nelson, it is the perfect amount. I like the balance between singing and instruments.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

What on first impression feels unfocused, random, rough and incomplete you will then learn is the result and product of Willie's artistic control. Sparse and demo-like, it is never dwelling on one idea. Instead it is constantly moving onward with its narrative.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Simple and great.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

1st time of listening. Love Willie Nelson, his lyrical aptitude as a writer is clear from his back catalogue but what I like about this is that he has developed, through others songs, a wonderful, simple narrative about the red headed stranger. Love the title track and "Denver" and of course the recurring "Time Of The Preacher" "O'er The Waves" (Which to me is reminiscent of The Harry Lime Theme) and the honky-tonk Piano (Played, I believe by Willie's sister Bobbie) of down yonder. A tale of betrayal redemption and love and stripped down to the instruments with Willie's distinctive voice being the main star! Love it and rightfully in this list in my opinion.

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Sat Feb 12 2022
5

A classic. A must hear for Texans.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Exceptional album, a classic. Tight, minimalist compositions, with strong songwriting from Nelson. Not a bad song on here. Fave Songs: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Red Headed Stranger, Hands on the Wheel, Can I Sleep in Your Arms, Time of the Preacher

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

Good grief this here is one heck of a beautiful album. The piano interlude on Just As I Am and Can I Sleep in Your Arms near blew me out of the dang water. Such a strutty little bass line on Remember Me. Outlaw country with a tender gentle heart.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Beautiful album. Loved every track.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Amazing album. So minimal and clean.

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Mon May 09 2022
5

I'd love to hang out with Willie for a day, get stoned and listen to him tell stories, perhaps a song or two. Shotgun Willie is my go to album but this one has gotten a lot plays as well. Albums like this make you realize not all country music is shit.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

A perfect lazy Sunday album. Every track has a little surprise waiting to be discovered. It's a sign of everything wrong with the music industry that Columbia tried to re-produce this album because they thought it was too stripped down. Best track: Red Headed Stranger

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Tue May 31 2022
5

Me ha gustado bastante.

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Sat Jun 04 2022
5

Big Willie styles.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Generally not my type of music but damn if Willie isn't incredibly talented. The closing track on this album was beautiful, just the piano and harmonica. The piano was really a standout the whole way through. The album tells a great story, and Willie is a master at his craft. Probably the only 5 star country album I'll have this list, but if any deserves it this is the one.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Great album, added it a few playlists

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

I love you, Willie. Thank you for keeping it 100% authentic throughout your career. Also, a little bump for a sweet song about Denver!

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

I always love tight, story-driven concept albums. Add Willie’s impeccable delivery, and you’ve got an instant classic for me.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

I'm surprised Nashville hasn't built a Mount Rushmore of Country Music. Seems like something they'd be all freaking over. We'll do the easy work for them here in terms of selecting the 4 figures on Mount Country Music. Johnny Cash and Hank Williams are slam-dunk no-brainers. And I believe the third obvious choice is one Willie Hugh Nelson. They'd probably complain about having to put a bandana on his head, and they'll be jokes about how Willie should also be displayed smoking a joint, but no Mount Rushmore is complete with him. The argument could begin and end with the fact that Willie Nelson wrote "Crazy". Mic drop. And if that's not enough, allow me to present to you a concept album he recorded entitled "Red Headed Stranger". Great simple storytelling music that showcases what made Willie Nelson a legend, including the quintessential version of "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain" where Ol' Willie even one-ups Hank Williams. As for that 4th person on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music...the internet would absolutely explode if it isn't Dolly Parton. Fuck that. I'd take Loretta Lynn or Emmylou Harris over Dolly. Also acceptable: George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, and an argument could be made for Patsy Cline. It'd be fitting to have her next to the pot smoking, bandana wearing hillbilly/hippie who wrote her signature song.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

I grew up hearing this album in the background, but its spartan production and mature themes went over my head and I didn't appreciate it. I haven't heard it since my pre-teen years. Returning to it now is like discovering an entirely new album. The music is arresting and beautiful, the album filled with suspense, tragedy and heartache, and I loved it. While murder ballad albums tend to turn me off, this had a very different feel and focused on a range of emotions other than anger and revenge. It is surprisingly wistful. How fortunate are we that Willie Nelson had negotiated a contract that allowed him to release this album. It is easy to see how record producers would demand that more production be added to this album. I imagine that would have greatly diminished the power of this album. Red Headed Stranger is an affecting work I will listen to again and again.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

As with the album Stardust, I am again struck by the deliberateness of Willie Nelson's music. Every note, every tempo, the order of the songs...all show a clear intent and purpose, nothing ad libbed or left to chance. Despite the murderous themes in the lyrics, I feel safe with Willie at the helm. This is music that makes me feel good.

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

Sad harmonica.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Stunning

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Brilliant, a country concept album with a coherent story and great tunes. One of the reviews said it was "the Sgt pepper's of country", which sounds about right!

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

I feel like he's got a way better voice than you ever really realize

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Sat Sep 03 2022
5

Solid willie—didnt know he was this good!

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

With a mixture of short tales and epic tomes, Red Headed Stranger is a exploration of infidelity, murder and desertion in a manner made sparsely and simply that can only benefit Shotgun Willie; any minute longer and it would have been sabotage. It is not surprising to know how this became a beloved album in Willie's canon and an enduring hallmark in country. The complex feelings of the outlaw, encapsulated by the songs that expresses his feelings that flowed through his heart; a tale as old and well told as time.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

Murderers with pretty singing voices should be allowed to get away with it

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Checks every box possible for a country album. It’s a concept album, underrated and beautiful guitar, good production, nostalgic, influential, album length fits the style of music, tells a story, there’s a flow to song order, great album cover, beautiful ending.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Even if you're not a country fan (and I'm most definitely not), it's hard to deny Willie his due. The man is a great songwriter and a legendary performer. This super stripped down album really showcases the emotional range of his voice and I couldn't be more here for it. Which is REALLY surprising given my aforementioned dislike for the genre. Great album.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

Oh my GOD I am so taken with this album!! I already love Willie Nelson but due to my old way of listening to music excluding entire albums, I never listened to this album. I LOVE a concept album, and I love some good country story-telling. I don't always love it coming from a man but in this case it's golden. I am really excited by this story and I will definitely watch the film soon. I even love the instrumental tracks like Down Yonder coming right after Denver where he sings of a chance meeting in a tavern and then the dancing and with this music I can picture a saloon and a pair dancing to this music it's magic! I love thinking about the old un-finished songs which inspired Willie to write this whole concept album and tell this whole story, it's super inspiring. Also loving the simplicity of guitar piano and drums and his beaut voice.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

labai grazu. Patiko paklausyt toki stiliu. 'Time of the Preacher' keliavo i playlistĄĄĄ

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

This is a very special album to me. It reminds me of my father more than any other album. I have a somewhat complex relationship with my father so having this as a positive association with him is a rare and bittersweet treasure. I remember listening to this and "Willie and Family Live" on many road trips with him as a kid. I would go so far as to say that this is the best narrative driven concept album of all time. The fact that it is also a country album makes it all that much more spectacular an achievement. Country has always been more of a singles driven market, but Willie bravely constructed an amazing outlier of an album that had more in common with the AOR of its time, weaving an enchanting tale of betrayal and tragedy. It has recurring musical themes that tie it all together and many instrumental pieces to allow it to breath. In fact, I think it is those instrumental pieces that are the reason this album is so effective. It forces the listener to have to emotionally engage with the music itself, rather than through being fed more narrative in the lyrics. The listener has to connect the dots in their mind. Willie doesn't overdo it or spoonfeed you. He gives you just the right amount of story to set the scene and no more. I feel that this is not only a stroke of genius, but it shows that Willie has faith in, and respect for, his audience. Listening to this as a kid in the passenger seat while my dad drive through the night, I found this absolutely spellbinding. Still do.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

Tolle Entdeckung!

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

Nice and light. Really enjoyable

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

Lovely, subtle. Country albums tend to grow on me, but this one starts pretty well-liked. The entrances of new instruments are absolutely delicious. Very, very cool project. The shape of the narrative needs to be teased out a bit by me; Maybe I wasn't listening closely enough. Anyway, it earns its instrumentals while remaining relatively short, and I love that at the very least.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

Неплохой альбом!

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Was pleasantly pleased by this whole experience. Wouldn’t want to listen to it on repeat or anything, but I could see putting it on again from time to time. Made for some nice rainy day early morning tunage without being soul crushingly depressing. Although I do like soul crushingly depressing music.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

un bon album country dans une belle journée de pluie. Cela a très bien fitté et j'ai adoré. 3.95

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Well, I'm a sucker for a concept album, so the stage was already set for a favorable reception. The understated composition of every song belies the relentless and tragic story that unfolds across the entire album. I was honetly startled when the second voice came in for harmony on 'Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain', because it was almost like someone snuck in the room and interrupted while Willie was confiding a dark secret to me. And so it went through the entire album, until 'Remember Me'. It's an enjoyable song on its own, but it was jarring in it's place and in it's contrast with the mood of the album. All told though, it was a riveting bit of story-telling folded into musical form, which further enhanced the emotions of the tale and of the telling.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Pretty good

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Tue Oct 12 2021
4

I haven't given Willie enough listens. I really dug the sparse instrumentation and lyricism here. The closing track in particular was simply gorgeous sounding.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

Good ol outlaw country at its finest. Can't give it a perfect score because, well, country. But gotta love Willie.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Just... Good ol' country, boy

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Honestly a bop, really fun listen

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

Good country

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

Oh Willie Nelson was great this whole time and I never listened to him?? Incredible

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

A sparse delight. That VOICE.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

For as long as I remember, from when I first started reading music magazines, the man/myth/legend of Willie Nelson, the pro-weed stance, the legal issues, his politics, has been written about more than the actual music. One of those people whose public persona overwhelms everything else, even the thing that made them famous in the first place. Have I heard a Willie Nelson song before? I think so, probably, in passing. Have I ever sat and listened to one of his albums from start to finish and then repeated the process a few more times because what I'm hearing is so good? Not until this very point in time. I like my C&W sparse, downbeat, and full of misery. Just like this.

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Sat Nov 27 2021
4

Disc de country crepuscular, honest i emotiu on Nelson aboca tots els seus sentiments en una música força evocadora. El disc clau de l'outlaw country, i un dels millors del génere

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Tue Dec 07 2021
4

Not familiar with Willie Nelson so excited for this album - interesting that it only has a run time of around 30 mins with so many listed tracks, song don't tend to be this short anymore. Time of the Preacher - Super pretty song Red Headed Stranger - Like this one a lot, got a good beat to it and makes you want to sway along. O'er the Waves - I can only describe this as Country Hawaiian and it nice. Down Yonder - Great track, very upbeat and makes you want to move. Can I Sleep in Your Arms - Another song that despite it's depressing lyrics, has a beautiful, hopeful sound. I quite enjoyed this album, very chill and pretty sad in both the sound and lyrics but has enough upbeat tunes scattered throughout. Not usually my style of music so hard to compare it but I'd happily listen to this through again - low 4 stars I think.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
4

Country hippie-yaaa! Bellone!

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

Classic as suggested

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

Can't go wrong with Willie!

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Sat Jan 22 2022
4

I have never listened to Wille Nelson but I appreciate this county style very much.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
4

Concise storytelling. Sparse instrumentals and Willie's voice bring a wordly tone to this brilliant album.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Gorgeous songs, beautiful voice and sympathetic accompaniment. An album that could make me like country music. If I already were a country music guy it would be an easy 5 stars I imagine, but I'm a neophyte just learning the ropes; 4.25 🌟

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Raw, powerful, and emotional

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Sat Feb 12 2022
4

Don't normally like country - but this is very good

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Sat Feb 19 2022
4

Dásamleg plata. Þarf að eignast.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
4

I do like Willie. And Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain is a classic. It's a simple album, with simple messages in each song. It's easy to get lost that there's a story here.

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

Hello, I'm playing Red Dead Redemption, stop interrupting me! Obožavam ovakve (outlaw) country albume, tipa gdje bi mogo slušat ovo da se nalazim na nekom pustom zapadu - lagan album, lagana gitarica, mirno, melankolično, tužno u neku ruku, ali samo po instrumentalu ja bi dao dobru ocjenu. Jednostavno mi paše. Outlaw Country is the best genre, my best friend today! PROTECT WILLIE AT ALL COSTS! DON'T LET HIM LEAVE THIS PLANET!

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash i Willie Nelson su sveto trojstvo country glazbe.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
4

Really enjoyed this album. Now a willie nelson fan

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson (1975) A man called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Montana (“Time of the Preacher”) loses the affection of his wife (“I Couldn’t Believe It Was True”) and commits the ‘justifiable’ homicide of both his wife and her lover (“Blue Rock Mountain/Red Headed Stranger”). Grief stricken, he departs, only to arrive in another town, where he again commits ‘justifiable’ homicide, this time of a yellow haired lady who, through greed and trickery, tried to take the beloved horse that had belonged to his late wife (“Red Headed Stranger”). He finally proceeds to Denver (“Denver”), where he finds solace with a woman (“Can I Sleep in Your Arms”) and apparently becomes her husband and (much later) a grandfather, who reflects on his misery and his hopes for the future in the company of his grandson (“Hands on the Wheel”), finding resolution and redemption in his dotage. This is the basic synopsis of the country western near-opera “The Red Headed Stranger”. Many of the details can only be surmised by listening through the spare lines of narrative, and imagining the drama as the tale unfolds over 15 tracks in 34 minutes. Your take might be different. But there are intertextual weavings and recapitulations that hold the poetry together throughout the album. Some of these are really fine; check out the last two lines of “Denver”. I won’t spoil it for you. What is most refreshing about this musical tale is the fact that it exists in the first place. The country western scene in 1975 was transitioning away from the loopy sequins and buckskin fringes (Think Ernest Tubb, Buck Owens, Porter Wagoner, etc.) toward the more mature ‘outlaw country’ of Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and our hero, Willie Nelson. Albums of the earlier period were mostly mere collections of songs. But this album is different. More than a ‘concept’ album, it tells a story, chiefly by cobbling together songs written by others and held together by original lyrical material from the heart and soul of Willie Nelson himself. The narrative sort of falls apart toward the end (most of the action is on side one), but it still retains interest, progressing from tragedy to loss to grief to wisdom. The music is starkly simple, with limited instrumentation, well performed with the sort of authenticity one has come to expect from the inimitable voice of Willie Nelson. This very good album is what happens when a great artist persuades the suits to allow full creative control. The executives at Columbia Records reportedly didn’t like this record. I did. (It went multi-platinum, so apparently others did too). 4/5

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Apparently I like Willie Nelson.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
4

Good.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

I don't know much about Wilie's catalog or album history, but he's just good, old-fashioned, singer-songwriter awesomeness. Maybe I'm sentimental because I recently toured the Moody Theater (where they film Austin City Limits), but I really, really like this album.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Willie Nelson's music is so peaceful. I love his voice and the tone of his amplified nylon string acoustic guitar. I like that this record is stripped down to just him, his voice, a piano, drums, bass, and that's about it. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" has always been one of my favorite Willie hits. Though, "Crazy" is his crowning achievement as a songwriter, IMO. It was my grandpa Yuncker's favorite song and we would play it on the jukebox at Weaver's Tavern in Weidman Michigan, when we would go there for hot dogs and Busch Light. For me, Willie's music is honestly less about the songs for me than the laid-back and unassuming vibe. Loved this record and the loose concept happening. I've always just randomly picked a Willie record when I wanted to hear him. Now that I've heard Red Headed Stranger, I'll return to this one when I need a Willie fix. Wow, I made it through that review without mentioning weed!

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

Granddad here trees with the best of them 💨. A very pleasant album with one of the nicest voices around

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Tue Apr 12 2022
4

Short and sweet, Willie Nelson on top form.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

I like the thematic album here

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

Great album but not his best. The subtlety transports you to a ranch in the spring

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Tue Apr 19 2022
4

I’ve now listened to 2/97 of Willie’s studio albums. This is my favorite.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Country que envolve.

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Mon May 02 2022
4

Classic. The album is full of great songs.

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Thu May 05 2022
4

This was just what I needed, some gentle country harmonies as I cooked dinner. Thanks, Willie.

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Mon May 09 2022
4

Its good. Not as good as Shotgun Willie.

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Mon May 09 2022
4

I didn’t appreciate Willie Nelson when I was younger, but have grown to like a lot of his music. This album included.

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Mon May 09 2022
4

Red Headed Stranger is Country and Western at its best. Music that sways and pulls more than shows off. Lyrics that weave together complex stories that are built around simple emotions. A dance and a tap that is slow but hopeful. This isn't the best collection of Willie but it is a masterful showing of someone that is sharing the closest thing to universal truth.

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Very melancholy, very nice

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Wed May 18 2022
4

Good collection of country songs definitely worth listening too

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Liked it more than I thought i would, it's a well executed concept album.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Now THIS is my speed. I only really knew Willie as a personality and not so much his music, but damn, he has a killer voice and knows how to fill a track with hooks. I do think it peaks in the first side, but I can definitely see myself add this to my collection. B

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Sat Jun 04 2022
4

That’s a beautiful Willie

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Mon Jun 13 2022
4

Willie Nelson is great. This is a beautiful and simple album which shows how powerful stripped down country music can be without the flash. I’ve always loved willie Nelson’s guitar playing (Can I Sleep in Your Arms was a highlight for me) and wish there was a bit more of it on this album.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

This album was able to be truly beautiful while being so simple. Even if you’re not an older country fan you have to appreciate the messages of Willie’s lyrics and his ability to keep his instrumentation and vocals concise and clean. Loved listening to this.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

Love Willie's voice and the album was so pleasing as just one song effortlessly transitioned into another! Good length too

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

Understated is the best word to describe this. I need to listen to this again more carefully and not as background music, because I only just realized halfway through that there's a story to the lyrics. I was expecting typical country nonsense, but I was pleasantly surprised. So far not my favorite Nelson album, but it's still very good.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

Sometimes timing is everything. I put this album on a few hours before dawn on a quiet Saturday morning and was taken on a journey through the backroads of America by Nelson’s voice and music. The first side tells the story of a man who murdered his wife after discovering that she was cheating on him. Side two has him finding love again along with redemption. This might be the first country concept album. Nelson’s voice has a sense of longing to it and carries the story so well that you feel for the character throughout even knowing that he murdered his wife. All in all, this was an enjoyable way to spend the wee early hours of a Saturday morning.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

I liked this album quite a bit. Stripped down and simple, solid display of Willie and his backing band's skills on guitar and piano (and drums). Really nice work on guitar and his voice fits the environment perfectly. Good storytelling too, interesting how he weaved other artists' songs into his own theme, including I Couldn't Believe it Was True, the title track and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Those are key parts to the initial story and you wouldn't even know they weren't conceived by Willie.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

Simple country. No steel guitars needed. There's something... pure about it. It's quite refreshing, actually. Nice to hear very little overproduction. No pitch correction, no artificiality to it. Simple and to the point. Really dug it.

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Sat Jun 25 2022
4

I've heard many individual tracks from Willie Nelson, but I'm not sure if I've heard a whole album. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" was the only song that I'm sure I've heard before. This album seems like a good representation of Nelson's talent. Red Headed Stranger is country music, including some country swing, but not pop country music. The album has an interesting format with many shorter tracks that flow together. I enjoyed the instrumental tracks in particular, but I was content to listen to Nelson's iconic voice as well. I saved "Just As I Am" for a re-listen. I also liked the last three tracks ("I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)", "A Maiden's Prayer", "Bonaparte's Retreat") in particular. I'd come back for a second listen to the whole album.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
4

sonzao do tio willie

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Mon Jul 04 2022
4

4 so nice

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

I like this early Willie Nelson as it is more like Hank Williams sounding country western folk. Willie has never been one of my favorite singers in this style but his influence is unquestionable. This album specifically is probably one of the more enjoyable ones of his for me to go through. Weird that there's the track "Time of the Preacher Theme" which is 1:13 long, and then a few tracks later there is a short little reprise that's the same exact title and is a 0:26 second intro sort of piece to the following track, "Just as I am". "Can I Sleep In Your Arms" is really an incredibly underrated track. Per Spotify it is the 7th most played track out of 15 on the record and I found myself really enjoying it.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

Willie Nelson is a wonderful singer and songwriter. There’s a great mix of melancholy songs and upbeat tunes (including a little bluegrass and ragtime here and there). And the production has a warmth that complements his expressive vocals.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

Cry yourself to sleep at night album. Emotional stories about his dang woman leaving him. Enjoyed this album.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

What a breath of fresh air this was. Maybe because I just had to get through Agaetis Byrjun by Sigur Ros! This concept album with organized, thoughtful, thoughts all tidily articulated in 35 minutes over 15 tracks is exactly what the doctor ordered. I never knew Nelson wrote something so structured and cohesive. Some of the songs are overly "twangy" for my liking, but I loved the story and how it unfurls. I also love the minimalism - just a guy, a guitar, a harmonica, a piano and that voice.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

Classic groundbreaking country. Want to do a second listen for the narrative but despite not being super into country it’s a fun listen

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

What county music should be, but isn't anymore

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Fri Jul 22 2022
4

This makes me want to go to the county fair

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Yep, Willie vind ik altijd goed. Ik heb een zwak voor blue eyes crying in the rain...

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

"Red Headed Stranger" is the 15th album from outlaw country artist Willie Nelson. And outlaw is right as this is a western concept album about a guy who sees his wife cheating on him, comes home to find her gone, hunts both his wife and her lover down, kills them and, for the remainder of the album, tries to find redemption. Sounds interesting and this was, very much exceeding my expectations. This is a very sparse recording with really the only main instruments being guitar, piano, harmonica, bass and drums. Willie had recently signed with Columbia and had been given complete control which allowed this album to be released it was as opposed to the more popular Nashville Sound which had a lot of orchestration. The album concept was inspired by "The Tale of the Red Headed Stranger," a song Willie used to play as DJ in Fort Worth. Given the sparse instrumental arrangement, the strength of the album is Willie's storytelling and voice. The slower pace is also necessary and perfect. The album is really divided into two sides. The first side pretty much tells the whole story concept with the second side being his redemption and finding love again. There are also a few cover songs loosely fitting within concept. "Time of the Preacher" starts things off with the narrator finding his wife cheating on him. Probably the climax of the story is the fourth song "Blue Rock Mountain/Red Headed Stranger" where the narrator finds his wife and her lover in a bar and shoots them. One of the song highlights is "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" which is a cover song by Fred Rose/ Hank Williams. It loosely fits in the concept I guess and is just a great country song. Another great cover song on the second side is "Can I Sleep in Your Arms." It's a more traditional country song with guitar, piano and harmonica solos. I am admittedly not the biggest of country music fans with really the majority of which i like being the traditional storytelling songs of the 50's, 60's and 70's. This album fits that and has to be one of the better ones.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

Country Blues the way it's supposed to be played

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Wed Aug 03 2022
4

Red headed stranger bitch

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

This that good kinda country

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Sat Aug 06 2022
4

At least I am finding that Willie Nelson does have a place in my listening library. My attention span for this one was limited, however. On first listen, I found the music enjoyable, although the theme of the story not so exciting. When I repeated the album, I thought that I would like it more, but actually got bored. I think it was the story more than the music, but a little bored nonetheless.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
4

Listening to this felt like watching a movie made in black and white to keep it spare and a bit lonesome-feeling. Kind of lovely in the right setting and mood, but also the sort of thing that would kill a party.

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Sat Aug 13 2022
4

Blue eyes crying in the rain

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Thu Aug 18 2022
4

Ohhhh yes Willie! Bringing some mad big dick energy to my life. You fuckin' legend. I want to eat your ass.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
4

A good country album. Simple stuff, but it works

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Even in his youth, Wille Nelson’s vibe seems to have been avuncular pot smoking Uncle. Gently singing songs about red headed strangers and such, this is a brilliant example of outlaw country and an enjoyable concept album. Nelson’s voice is a delight and the guitar playing superb.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
4

Beautiful collection of songs, some being mega classics covered in country and folk. Very soothing and emotional, they don’t have musicians with soul like this anymore.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
4

Enjoyed

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

You’ve just got to admire the balls on Willie Nelson to release this album, without a single fuck given as to the record company’s dismissal of its low-fi production. Punk as fuck. And it has some great tracks on it as well. Solid country record.

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Mon Sep 12 2022
4

yep he country

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Should go back and listen to the lyrics more, but fun even when not paying attention

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Sat Sep 24 2022
4

A lovely simple country album by willie Nelson. Country music like this is some of the best. The lovely Melodies and stories built into the songs are significantly better than the poppy Nashville sound. This is a good record and could listen to it many times over. 8.1/10

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

Sparse, understated. Showcases his expert songwriting and sensitive singing. He manages to say so much, with so few words, about what people need and what they’ll do if they can’t get it. Above was my reaction without knowing that many of these songs are covers. It’s amazing that his interpretations and the material he added joined these pieces together so well.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Lot of good stuff here, will have to listen closer next time around to see more of the connection of the concept album. I was picking up some connections here and there but didn’t realize it was a full concept album which gets me going and bumps this from a 3 to a 4

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Extremely relaxing country music and makes me feel like a breeze of freedom hits my face , a little slow sometimes but has a relaxing feeling to the overall album

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Great induction the man Willie

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Willie makes it sound so easy, like anyone could do it. I think it's his sincerity.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Almost ambient in its restraint with background instrumentals, giving it a beautiful and soft tone, despite the multiple murders going on. Short and sweet, proof that country doesn't have to suck. Most of the tracks were written by other people, but picking and choosing songs to fit the story is actually pretty impressive. Nearly a 5 tbh

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

Beautiful record, I never expected to love it so much

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Tue Oct 11 2022
4

p352. 1975. 4 stars Country/Americana with most of the saccharine extracted. Most of the tracks are short, so it doesn't outstay its welcome. Yeehaw, but in a good way.

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Sat Oct 15 2022
4

I have never been very interested in Willie Nelson, nothing against him, just not attracted. This album was a pleasant listen, though the subject matter is heavy. I especially enjoyed hearing some familiar folk and classical melodies. The lyrics are good.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
4

I loved it. Thoroughly. 4 1/2

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Mon Oct 17 2022
4

Nice, short songs full of lush storytelling and solid instrumentation. Can see how this put Willie Nelson on the map.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

4.75

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Tue Oct 25 2022
4

Willie Nelson songs all sound pretty much the same. And they are all great. Love you Willie!

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Blissful and beautiful with just the right amount of rough edges. Note to self: Listen to more Outlaw Country

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

Good old country, can't miss

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

I thought this was wonderfully tuneful, thoughtful and calming. really nice storytelling too! Heartfelt and interesting. And I'm not a big country fan

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

Love love love Willie Nelson. The old outlaw county has a special place in my heart. Simple and somber. Great storytelling

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Sat Nov 19 2022
4

GOATED COUNTRY

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Actually pulled out an 8-track tape for that period-appropriate listen on this one (not my original copy or anything, I’m old but not that old, my player was a gift from a dead-media-aficionado friend and he tape was a thrift find). And what can you say, this thing is an artifact, a singularity of outlaw country. Have to pull a point back for the “she was unfaithful so I just had to murder them both” trope.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
4

Прослушано! Отличное кантри, спокойное и мелодичное. Обязательно переслушать.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
4

Willie Nelson's big break and one of the finest outlaw country albums. Aside from the occasional accompaniment, this is all him. I saw someone describe it as "a cowboy and his guitar singing campfire stories", and I'd reckon that makes for a damn fine album. It's a comforting feeling that gives you solace knowing you're in good company with Willie Nelson and his songs I think there's beauty in simplicity, but that doesn't make it easy. To be both simple and engaging takes a certain kind of skill. Nelson has it in spades. It's in his guitar's warm tone, his voice's slight twang, and his wonderful stories. Willie Nelson will be cherished for a long time, long after he's gone, and this is just one great reason why.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
3

Me hizo sentir muy triste a ratos. Lo sentí como una película gringa sobre el campo, algún redneck o esa vida campirana idealizada, pero pues a cada quien le debe decir distintas cosas. Es como que me sentí sumergido en ese mood y ahí me quedé, todo melancólico. Aunque la voz me gustó, creo que "Down Yonder" y ese cierre, "Bandera" fueron las que más disfruté. 7.5/10

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Tue Aug 17 2021
3

Cool voice. This album gets a bit repetitive, but each song is pretty cool on its own.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
3

Wow tracks country tracks are pretty short. It was a pleasant album but hasn't blown me away.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
3

Love his voice and style.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

Il disco è stato un piacevole sottofondo per circa mezz'ora, giusta dose poiché oltre sarebbe stato pesante. La voce di Willie mi è piaciuta e il semplice arrangiamento country l'ho trovato gradevole. Il disco mi da quella rilassatezza che si prova quando si ascolta una vecchia storia.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

Il country old school ha sempre il suo fascino e questo ne è un esempio di qualità. Soffre dei problemi classici del genere: testi un po' sdolcinati, pezzi un po' ripetitivi ma Willie Nelson c'ha una voce che trovo molto musicale e aggiunge profondità anche ai testi un po' banalotti. Diciamo che è stato un ascolto molto picevole che magari ripeterei quando mi voglio sentire un mandriano del west.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

È bello il country americano.. Fino al momento in cui devi ascoltare un album per intero, allora diventa un po' dura. Tutto sommato Willie si è rivelato un bravo cantastorie e per trenta minuti ho vissuto quell'atmosfera da casa nella prateria. A pelle è un 2.50 ma anche in questo caso mi sento di dare un 3 honoris causa, in fin dei conti questi 30 minuti sono volati senza causare nessun dispiacere.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
3

Stabiler traditioneller country

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Sat Sep 11 2021
3

classic country

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Wed Sep 22 2021
3

not too bad

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Thu Sep 23 2021
3

I’ve never heard this before. Country isn’t usually my thing but this was very enjoyable. Glad my horizons were expanded a little.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
3

Real tears-in-my-beer stuff. I feel it. Willie knows how to sell it, with his plain-spoken singing. For a short album, it drags on a little long. Favorite tracks: "Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain", "Remember Me"

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Tue Nov 09 2021
3

Pleasant

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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

Country lentillo. Ni fu ni fa.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
3

Short and sweet songs. But they are a bit sad/slow for my taste. They have their spot, but I won't listen to them often

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Mon Nov 22 2021
3

Had not listened to much Willie Nelson, or much classic Country music. Really liked it. Would listen to more of the Red Head Stranger in the future.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
3

6/10

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Tue Dec 07 2021
3

Generally, I know him as the old dude that likes weed. Now I know him a bit better as a musician. This was an okay album.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
3

Just OK country music, not such good tunes.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
3

Avoided Willie albums cause I was afraid I’d hate the cool weed guy’s music. Happy to report it’s more folk vibes than country and I liked this album

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Thu Dec 23 2021
3

A very relaxing album. I feel like I could lay in the sun for hours on end listening to this. Not really much more to say; it's just more Willie Nelson. Favorite track: Down Yonder

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Tue Dec 28 2021
3

Hi- Down Yonder, Can I Sleep in Your Arms, Hands on the Wheel Minimalistic, soothing, but never downtrodden; This is an easy to listen to album

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Thu Dec 30 2021
3

Not a go to but not bad

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Tue Jan 11 2022
3

Pretty good, pretty fun! Never listened to Willie before so this was a treat.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
3

Altijd wel oké. Als je er van houdt…

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Tue Jan 25 2022
3

A country concept album about an outlaw who murdered his wife and her lover. Nice. I am not a big fan of minimal instrumentals and stripped down productions. But this isn't bad. The sound is perfect for the sentimental nature of the album. And I love the instrumentals and the vocals, as well as the way they are so balanced. Definitely coming back to this. Maybe I'll like it even more.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
3

meh willie, I guess you aight

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Mon Jan 31 2022
3

I liked this more than I thought I would. The structure of the album with the short Time of the Preacher theme was interesting, felt all tied in nicely. I liked that most songs were short and sweet. Favourite songs: I couldn't believe it was true, down yonder

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Mon Jan 31 2022
3

A very relaxed listen. I liked the bluesy acoustic ballads and the story telling throughout. Bandera was a great way to close out the album. Probably closer to a 3.5 than a 3, I definitely enjoyed it.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
3

Bit too slow for me

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Mon Feb 07 2022
3

Questões de estilo me impedem de avaliar essa obra

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

The darndest

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Fri Feb 18 2022
3

Not taken by the narrative, front half perhaps too sparse/minimalist to help, but of course is voice and delivery is still very good Much more into second half with more lush instrumentation, particularly piano. Think missing the cultural context of dominant country stylings in the 70s that this record sat against takes something away, not to mention country being my least familiar genre, but I did like this record overall

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

A pretty interesting old storyteller approach with a pretty barebones arrangement. It's decent, and the story aspect of it is the strongest piece. Musically, it's all fine exception Down Yonder. ugh. Still worth a listen.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
3

Simple but engaging storytelling.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

Each song makes sense as a stand-alone song, but together, they tell a story. I think that's kind of neat.

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Sun Feb 27 2022
3

My grandma lived Willie. There was to be complete silence when he came in the radio lol. Good times.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
3

Country. No mal del todo

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

I am glad and somehow relieved that the two country albums I got so far came out on a Sunday. Sundays are ok for country, or should I say country is ok for Sundays? One way or another, this is a really pleasant listening, but I am not sure if I will throw it on again in the future.  Nice try, though! 

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Wed Mar 23 2022
3

3, short and sweet songs

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Tue Mar 29 2022
3

Genuinely not sure what to say about this. Again, it's one of those cases where I understand the intention and admire the artistry behind it, I appreciate that it's Willie doing exactly what he wanted in the face of record company opposition (not to mention the country music mainstream at large), but I'm not sure how much I like it as such. But it's one I'm sure I will come back to.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
3

Its a pretty tight album. But also there is nothing stand out

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Thu May 05 2022
3

Alright for country. Didn't listen too closely to the lyrics but apparently it's all murder and revenge so that's exciting. Top tracks: I couldn't believe it was true

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Thu May 05 2022
3

We want chilli Willi. There is something about the nasal twang that makes me feel like a kid.

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Mon May 09 2022
3

Not bad. Not really my thing.

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Tue May 10 2022
3

Loved "couldn't believe it was true" good background music but not blown away

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Tue May 10 2022
3

Willie tells the tale of a murderous preacher who gets revenge in a cheating woman and her lover. Delicately arranged with few instruments and Willie’s signature yodel-esque vocal tone. It’s very solid.

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Wed May 11 2022
3

Lo siento. Un poco rollo. Venga, un 3, porque es Willie Nelson

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Wed May 11 2022
3

Country lentillo. Ni fu ni fa.

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Wed May 11 2022
3

willie 420

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Wed May 11 2022
3

There are flashes of this tightly made and bare bones album being like a pulp western novel set to music. Barren landscapes and barren relationships. Best Tracks: Time of the Preacher; Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain; Remember Me (When The Candle Lights Are Burning)

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Sun May 15 2022
3

Best country album so far, but still a 3/5 since I'm not a fan of this genre at all. Willie Nelson seems like a great guy though. He's almost 90 and still kicking ass apparently. 5 albums in the last 3 years, damn.

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