100 Songs, 5 Hours, 5 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Summing up the 54-year career of Willie Nelson can’t even be accomplished with 100 tracks. But it’s a certainly a strong start. Released to coincide with Nelson’s 75th birthday, One Hell of a Ride features all the essential Nelson touchstones, compiling tracks from a multitude of labels and offering a chronological look at the evolution of one of country music’s definitive legends. While his relaxed, swinging croon has become as identifiable and commonplace as his signature tunes (“The Party’s Over,” “Always On My Mind,” “On the Road Again”), Nelson made his career as an “outlaw” country musician, from his unconventional appearance to his free-floating approach to all musical genres. Nelson’s approach was if he sang it, it became a country song. So while his pen gave others hits with “Crazy,” “Hello Walls” and “Funny How Time Slips Away,” his voice lent authority to other songwriters as well, from Fred Rose’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” to Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” to Bob Dylan’s “What Was It You Wanted.” This retrospective is an in-depth look at a multi-faceted career. That there is even more to explore in Willie’s extensive catalog is testament to his prodigious output and talent.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Summing up the 54-year career of Willie Nelson can’t even be accomplished with 100 tracks. But it’s a certainly a strong start. Released to coincide with Nelson’s 75th birthday, One Hell of a Ride features all the essential Nelson touchstones, compiling tracks from a multitude of labels and offering a chronological look at the evolution of one of country music’s definitive legends. While his relaxed, swinging croon has become as identifiable and commonplace as his signature tunes (“The Party’s Over,” “Always On My Mind,” “On the Road Again”), Nelson made his career as an “outlaw” country musician, from his unconventional appearance to his free-floating approach to all musical genres. Nelson’s approach was if he sang it, it became a country song. So while his pen gave others hits with “Crazy,” “Hello Walls” and “Funny How Time Slips Away,” his voice lent authority to other songwriters as well, from Fred Rose’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” to Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” to Bob Dylan’s “What Was It You Wanted.” This retrospective is an in-depth look at a multi-faceted career. That there is even more to explore in Willie’s extensive catalog is testament to his prodigious output and talent.

TITLE TIME
1 1:28
2 1:18
3 2:05
4 2:30
5 2:23
6 3:01
7 2:51
8 2:24
2:11
2:32
2:25
1:59
2:26
3:12
3:17
2:30
3:22
3:16
2:36
2:13
2:36
3:26
2:45
2:23
3:10
2:05
3:12
3:48
2:46
2:55
2:39
2:29
2:39
2:43
2:32
3:01
2:21
2:00
2:42
2:11
2:43
13 2:40
14 3:06
1:50
4:39
17 2:48
18 4:16
2:18
3:24
2:03
2:24
2:29
2:34
3:50
4:18
2:42
3:32
5:51
3:26
3:00
2:33
3:59
2:50
3:03
2:41
2:32
4:27
2:30
2:58
3:32
3:05
4:46
3:31
2:06
3:09
4:49
3:31
3:12
2:37
3:18
3:10
2:43
3:49
3:02
3:20
2:14
3:44
4:44
3:36
5:23
3:30
13 2:41
14 3:50
15 3:37
16 3:39
17 4:30
18 4:31
19 3:37
20 2:49
21 3:27

About Willie Nelson

Even before he became the Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson was already a Nashville songwriting legend, providing Patsy Cline with her 1961 signature tune, “Crazy.” But as a fledgling performer in his own right, the clean-cut honky-tonker’s humble approach and conversational croon was increasingly at odds with mainstream country music’s tilt toward variety-show glitz. Upon joining the post-hippie roots-music radicals taking over the Austin scene (and swearing off barbers forevermore), the Texas-born Nelson became an icon of the ’70s outlaw-country movement, favoring a stripped-down style that could both evoke desert-highway vistas (“On the Road Again”) and initiate the most intimate of conversations (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”). But Nelson’s brand of down-home simplicity shouldn’t be confused with dogmatic purism (he’s also no stranger to adult-contemporary crossovers, like his duet with Julio Iglesias, “To All the Girls I've Loved Before”). Rather, he’s always searching for the most direct route to the soul of a song, whether he’s elevating the country standard “Always on My Mind” to the realm of modern hymn, or bringing a wistful, lived-in wisdom to Great American Songbook perennials like “Georgia on My Mind.” In the 21st century, Nelson’s outlaw ethos has continued to manifest itself in all sorts of surprising ways: He’s become America’s most visible pro-marijuana activist and Snoop Dogg’s unlikeliest duet partner.

HOMETOWN
Abbott, TX
GENRE
Country
BORN
April 29, 1933

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