Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1975/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1975/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:55 minutes | 637 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Columbia Nashville Legacy

Red Headed Stranger was a blockbuster among both country music and mainstream audiences, going multi-platinum and making Nelson one of the biggest stars in country. The album’s title would become a lasting nickname for Nelson. The album was ranked #184 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was ranked #1 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music in 2006.

Album Chart Position in 1975:
Billboard Top Country Albums – 1
Billboard Top LPs & Tapes – 28

Singles Peak Position:
1975 – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” – Billboard Hot Country Singles – 1
1975 – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” – Billboard Hot 100 – 21
1976 – “Remember Me” – Billboard Hot Country Singles – 2
1976 – “Remember Me” – Billboard Hot 100 – 67

Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger perhaps is the strangest blockbuster country produced, a concept album about a preacher on the run after murdering his departed wife and her new lover, told entirely with brief song-poems and utterly minimal backing. It’s defiantly anticommercial and it demands intense concentration — all reasons why nobody thought it would be a hit, a story related in Chet Flippo’s liner notes to the 2000 reissue. It was a phenomenal blockbuster, though, selling millions of copies, establishing Nelson as a superstar recording artist in its own right. For all its success, it still remains a prickly, difficult album, though, making the interspersed concept of Phases and Stages sound shiny in comparison. It’s difficult because it’s old-fashioned, sounding like a tale told around a cowboy campfire. Now, this all reads well on paper, and there’s much to admire in Nelson’s intimate gamble, but it’s really elusive, as the themes get a little muddled and the tunes themselves are a bit bare. It’s undoubtedly distinctive — and it sounds more distinctive with each passing year — but it’s strictly an intellectual triumph and, after a pair of albums that were musically and intellectually sound, it’s a bit of a letdown, no matter how successful it was.

Tracklist:
01 – Time of the Preacher
02 – I Couldn’t Believe It Was True
03 – Time of the Preacher Theme
04 – Medley: Blue Rock Montana / Red Headed Stranger
05 – Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
06 – Red Headed Stranger
07 – Time of the Preacher Theme
08 – Just as I Am
09 – Denver
10 – O’er the Waves
11 – Down Yonder
12 – Can I Sleep in Your Arms
13 – Remember Me (When the Candle Lights Are Gleaming)
14 – Hands on the Wheel
15 – Bandera

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