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A sequel to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings’ smash album from 1978, WWII is a similarly potent display of the duo’s chemistry and the range of their talent. The major difference is that while Waylon & Willie had an organic '70s production style, WWII is entrenched in the '80s. Chips Moman brings the songs a more processed sound, but he compensates with beautifully spare arrangements. “Last Cowboy Song,” “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died” and “Lady In the Harbor” have the intimate, low velvety sound that became Waylon’s trademark in the '70s. Although Jennings dominates the album with six solo tracks, Nelson complements him with inimitable sweetness on “Write Your Own Songs,” “Heroes” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” “Mr. Shuck and Jive” is a curious experiment that shows Waylon and Willie seemingly attempting to imitate a theme for a cop show. The album didn’t have a breakout song and some fans felt it was too heavy-handed, but there are gems here if you know where to look.


Born: 15 June 1937 in Littlefield, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

If any one performer personified the outlaw country movement of the '70s, it was Waylon Jennings. Though he had been a professional musician since the late '50s, it wasn't until the '70s that Waylon, with his imposing baritone and stripped-down, updated honky tonk, became a superstar. Jennings rejected the conventions of Nashville, refusing to record with the industry's legions of studio musicians and insisting that his music never resemble the string-laden, pop-inflected sounds that were coming...
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