Album Details

Country, Traditional Country, Progressive Country, Outlaw Country

Album Review

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.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Time of the Preacher
  2. I Couldn't Believe It Was True
  3. Time of the Preacher (Theme)
  4. Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger
  5. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
  6. Red Headed Stranger
  7. Time of the Preacher (Theme)
  8. Just as I Am
  9. Denver
  10. O'er the Waves
  11. Down Yonder
  12. Can I Sleep in Your Arms?
  13. Remember Me (When the Candlelights Are Gleaming)
  14. Hands on the Wheel
  15. Bandera
  16. Bach Minuet in G [#][*]
  17. Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You) [#][*]
  18. A Maiden's Prayer [#][*]
  19. Bonaparte's Retreat [#][*]
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