WILLIE NELSON - The Essential Willie Nelson (2003)
This is the one to have. Let's face it, all compilations have their weaknesses, but the 2 disc "The Essential Willie Nelson" (2003) is the first to cover all the labels Willie has recorded for and all the big hits in one set! Disc one kicks off with 7 early 60s recordings including "Night life", "Hello Walls", and "Crazy" (which Willie wrote & Patsy Cline made famous). Track 8, "Me and Paul" starts Willie's 70s recordings including "Blue eyes crying in the rain" and of course his classic duets with Waylon: "Good Hearted Woman" & "Mama's don't let your babies...". 3 songs are included from the 1978 album "Stardust": "Blue Skies", "Georgia on my mind", & "All of Me" and disc one closes with two live tracks: "Whiskey River" & "Stay a little longer" both from the '78 album "Willie & Family Live." Disc 2 continues with late 70s and early 80s hits like "My Heroes have always been Cowboys", "Always on my mind", and of course "On the road again". More classic duets follow with "Pancho & Lefty" (a personal favorite) with Merle Haggard, "To all the girls..." with Julio Iglesias, and "Seven Spanish Angels" with Ray Charles. The 1984 gem "Highwayman" featuring Kristofferson, Waylon, and Cash is also here. The second disc is wrapped up with more duets: "Slow Dancing" with U2 (which surprisingly works because Bono is either MIA or extremely toned down), "Mendocino County Line" with Lee Ann Womack, and "One Time too Many" with Aerosmith. One review stated that these last three songs left a "sour taste" considering that they are part of an "essential" collection. I have to agree, but only greatly in terms of the Aerosmith song. It starts off well enough with acoustic guitar and Willie and Steven Tyler trading verses, but when the rest of Aerosmith kicks in and Tyler does his thing, Willie is drowned out and that's not cool on a Willie Nelson compilation. If one wants to hear Aerosmith, there are many ways to do so. So with the minor exception of the final track of the set, this compilation is indispensable. A great way to get Willie's biggest hits on one reasonably priced set!
The Essential Willie Nelson is a two-disc compilation of Willie Nelson songs. This digitally-remastered compilation covers five decades of Nelson's recording career, and is part of Sony's Essential series of compilation albums. HERE
DISC 1: 01. Night Life 02. Hello Walls 03. Crazy 04. Funny How Time Slips Away 05. I Never Cared For You 06. The Party's Over 07. Good Times 08. Me And Paul 09. Shotgun Willie 10. Bloody Mary Morning 11. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain 12. Good Hearted Woman 13. If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time 14. Uncloudy Day 15. Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (with Waylon Jennings) 16. Georgia On My Mind 17. Blue Skies 18. All Of Me 19. Heartbreak Hotel (with Leon Russell) 20. Help Me Make It Through The Night 21. Whiskey River (Live) 22. Stay A Little Longer (Live)
DISC 2: 01. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys 02. Faded Love 03. On The Road Again Willie Nelson 04. Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground 05. Always On My Mind 06. Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning 07. Pancho And Lefty 08. To All The Girls I've Loved Before (with Julio Iglesias) 09. City Of New Orleans 10. Seven Spanish Angels (with Ray Charles) 11. Forgiving You Was Easy 12. Highwayman (with Johnny Cash) 13. Living In The Promiseland 14. Nothing I Can Do About It Now 15. Graceland 16. Everywhere I Go (with Emmylou Harris) 17. Slow Dancing (U2 featuring Willie Nelson) 18. Mendocino County Line (with Lee Ann Womack) 19. One Time Too Many (with Steven Tyler and Aerosmith)
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