Willie Nelson – The Great Divide

The Taranna Was Hot Series: Part 19/25 (Sonic Boom $2.99)

Willie’s records should feel like coming home, his voice the welcoming warmth putting everything at ease. But this record, not unlike Santana’s duets stuff, has too many challenges: duets with Rob Thomas, Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow and Brian McKnight push too far into CMT territory. Bonnie Raitt’s better.

Wonky covers of Just Dropped In and Time After Time are curveballs. But when Willie settles down and just lets himself be Willie, things improve greatly. I want that.

Posted on 2016-08-30, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I often find duets on solo albums a bit distracting. I remember one on Jay Z’s the blueprint with Eminem, I like early 2000s jay z, I like early 2000s Eminem, but it was distracting to hear one guest on another’s album!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you about the duets, though Santana set out to do that specifically. And rappers have guests often, it’s expected. I bought this Willie record without knowing those duets were on there. Shame they weren’t better. But the tunes that are just Willie, no guests, are way better.


    • Meant to add: I can understand one duet on a solo record, sure. But six? No.


  2. Time After Time sounds interesting. I usually don’t go for those duet records…but it’s Willie!!!


  3. I’m a big fan of Mr Nelson, but this is probably one of the worst albums I ever owned. I just didn’t like it and the great moments just weren’t enough to warrant keeping hold of it. I actually think Just Dropped In … is the highlight, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is exactly the sort of oldie-with-guests LP that I can’t hack – you don’t need all that scaffolding, old dudes!


    • Exactly! Even worse, the packaging didn’t indicate there were all these duets on here, just listed the song titles. Total ambush!

      That said, the just-Willie tracks are pretty damn good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve always got to be careful on LPs like this in case Sting turns up.


        • Haha Sting. Does he even do anything except burn huge candles and be all tantric anymore?

          Liked by 1 person

          • It keeps him from bothering innocent listeners I guess.


            • I looked him up (which will now require a cleansing of my browser history), and learned he is still quite active!

              (from Wiki):

              On 19 January 2016, Sting announced a new (19-date) joint concert (summer) tour of North America titled Rock Paper Scissors North American Tour, this time with Peter Gabriel.

              On 28 January 2016, it was announced that Sting would headline the NBA All Star 2016 halftime show on 14 February 2016 in Toronto, Ontario.

              2016–present: 57th & 9th

              On 18 July 2016, Sting’s first rock album in many years was announced. 57th & 9th is due to be released on 11 November 2016. The title is a reference to the New York intersection he crossed every day to get to the studio where much of the album was recorded. It has contributions by long-time band members Vinnie Colaiuta and Dominic Miller, and Jerry Fuentes and Diego Navaira of the Last Bandoleros. The album was produced by Sting’s manager, Martin Kierszenbaum.

              And there’s more than you ever cared to know!

              Liked by 1 person

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