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Red Headed Stranger

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Editors’ Notes

Bucking the rhinestone-studded trends of mid-‘70s Nashville, Nelson’s sparsely arranged conceptual masterpiece—the tale of preacher on the run for murdering his adulterous wife and her lover—was a multi-platinum blockbuster that cemented his status as an outlaw icon. Accompanied by little more than guitar, harmonica, and saloon piano, Nelson’s reedy, remorseful howl gives fiery intensity to the mysterious, murderous stranger “with eyes like thunder." Recurrent motifs hold the loose narrative together, while the hypnotic ballads stand alone among Nelson’s most enduring songs (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Red Headed Stranger,” and “Can I Sleep In Your Arms”).

Customer Reviews

Truly a classic.

I agree with the earlier reviewer who said this isn't just great country, it is a great work of art. This age of the "iTunes single download" is the final nail in the concept album's coffin so something like "The Red Headed Stranger" is not going to ever be made again (unless you count Sigur Ros).


This is a classic musical piece. Sit down next to a campfire and enjoy your experience with Willie. Storytelling at its best. This isn't country music, its just a great musical piece of art.

My First Musical Memory

Red Headed Stranger can go down in history for being the greatest "country" album ever. Willie is great at writing concept albums. It's easily the Dark Side Of The Moon of country music. It is also the first music I ever remember hearing. My parents had it on eight track. Thank you Willie.


Born: April 30, 1933 in Fort Worth, 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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