Dirty Linen - 8/03, p.64
"...The double disc, 41-track offering lives up to its marquee billing as the collection to end all Willie collections..."
This CD commemorates Willie Nelson's 70th Birthday (April 30, 2003).
Personnel includes: Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Ray Price, Leann Womack, Julio Iglesias, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Aerosmith.
Producers include: Felton Jarvis, Arif Mardin, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Booker T. Jones.
Compilation producers: Nich Shaffman, Al Quaglieri.
Recorded between 1961 & 2002.
Audio Mixers: Michael Brauer; Steven Berkowitz.
Recording information: ??/1961-12/2001.
The catalog of Willie Nelson is so vast and rich that assembling an "essential" collection of only one or two discs seems nearly impossible. RCA's single-disc 1995 attempt was admirable and worthy, but doomed by space limitations. With a bit more room to move, Legacy's roomier two-disc collection is about close as anyone could hope to come. We get the full view of the great singer/songwriter's artistic journey.
"Hello Walls" and the evergreen "Crazy" hail from the days when Nelson was tooling around Nashville as a songwriter for hire but mystifyingly unable to connect as a solo artist. His transformation into a counterculture icon via the '70s "outlaw country" movement is marked by the likes of "Me and Paul" and "Bloody Mary Morning." His tremendous skill as in interpreter can be heard in such standards as "Blue Skies" and "Georgia on Mind," which helped make him a crossover success in the STARDUST era. Latter-day collaborations with everyone from Aerosmith ("One Time Too Many") to U2 ("Slow Dancing") show Willie's mercurial, eclectic nature. Add it all up and a portrait comes together of a man whose artistic vision has carried him across decades and stylistic shifts aplenty and seen him through in style.