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Always On My Mind

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iTunes Review

In 1982 Willie Nelson opened a new chapter in his career as a master interpreter with Always On My Mind. With understated, almost-invisible production by Chips Moman, the album focuses on pop and soul ballads from the post-rock ‘n’ roll era. Witness Nelson’s unique approach to the show-stopping R&B ballads “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” While these songs typically require a male singer to belt it out, Willie uses a voice that is both sly and restrained — a perfect example of the softer blow making a greater impact. “Always On My Mind” had been a smash just three years earlier for John Wesley Ryles, and before that, for Elvis Presley in 1972. Nonetheless, Nelson repossessed it and made the song completely his. His wistfulness and regretful, heartfelt delivery complemented the song’s dramatic arrangement, and it spent 21 weeks on the charts. It's one of Willie’s career performances, but don’t allow it to overshadow the outstanding “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning,” which is hidden at the end of the album.


Born: April 29, 1933 in Abbott, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a songwriter and a performer, Willie Nelson played a vital role in post-rock & roll country music. Although he didn't become a star until the mid-'70s, Nelson spent the '60s writing songs that became hits for stars like Ray Price ("Night Life"), Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), Faron Young ("Hello Walls"), and Billy Walker ("Funny How Time Slips Away") as well as releasing a series of records on Liberty and RCA that earned him a small but devoted cult following. During the early '70s, Willie aligned himself...
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