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Album Review

This self-titled album signifies the real beginning of Waylon Jennings' discontent with his career. He is making efforts in the studio here to stretch its boundaries and include material very foreign to Nashville. First off, the album opens with Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," a rollicking jump off the country and T-Bone Walker Texas blues flagship. Jennings' own version may not be as rollicking as Berry's, but it swings hard and moves inside a groove that twists and turns on its own axis. One can also feel the conflict between producer Danny Davis trying to tame his singer and Jennings trying to split the seam of the track. In addition to beginning the album with so much tension, Jennings even gives a more traditional number like Sammi Smith's "Yellow Haired Woman" a spacier sound, where the Nashville sound becomes something akin to a bunch of studio guys in Nash Vegas trying to emulate Brian Wilson. Ray Buzzeo's "I May Never Pass This Way Again" has honky tonk ballad written all over it, but those marching, shuffling guitars add a new spin. But it's with Mickey Newbury's "33rd of August" that the pokiness of Waylon's mission becomes apparent. In the slow dirge, complete with gorgeous layers and textures of strings, aberrant percussion, and backing vocals that whisper rather than chorus, Jennings offers another dimension to not only this sad story, but the direction of his musical muse, somewhere in the groove but outside the confines of the studio. Waylon is an overlooked gem in the transition period of Jennings' career.

Customer Reviews


Finally, the release of ole Waylon!

Great songs of a younger Waylon struggling in the "Nashville Sound Era".

These are really great songs. Enjoy them.


This is classic country. Even if Waylon was starting to pull away from Nashville, he sang these songs with feeling and conviction.


Born: June 15, 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...
Full Bio