Tuesday, November 15, 2011

257. Stardust- Show us your Willie

Album: Stardust
Artist: Willie Nelson
Year: 1978
Genre: Standards


  1. Stardust
  2. Georgia on My Mind
  3. Blue Skies
  4. All of Me
  5. Unchained Melody
  6. September Song
  7. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  8. Moonlight in Vermont
  9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  10. Someone to Watch Over Me

Critics of this list (and there are many) usually vent their anger at the fact that Rock and Roll is well represented while many other genres receive only a few token albums. Heavy Metal fans are upset that it doesn't contain much "Real Metal," Jazz fans feel seminal and timeless jazz offerings are ignored in favour of disposable pop and Australians complain that their country doesn't appear to exist at all. Fans of country music feel that not only is their genre largely ignored but the albums that make the cut aren't representative of the best the artform has to offer. Stardust is put forward as possible proof.

Willie Nelson is definitely country. He's as country as country comes. He's got a country accent, a country beard, he plays a country guitar (which he's named after a horse) and he's a hero to country artists everywhere. But Stardust isn't really a country album. It's Willie's album of standards- songs so popular they're a standard in a lot of people's repertoires. It's a "Do it yourself" album, you could pick it up and sing it yourself from reading the back cover. Most of the songs are still popular now and were even more popular back then.

Willie doesn't countryfy the tunes in anyway. It's not an album of country versions of standard songs. He sings the songs like he's a fan trying to do them justice. And there's no doubt he does. Under the watchfull eye of Booker T (who had a Rap name before Rap was invented), Willie lends his low-key vocal stylings to a selection of great tunes. He doesn't belt them out because Willie don't belt. His has a limited range but he knows it and stays within the boundaries.

Have a read through the track listing. It's a fair chance you know the songs and you know what Willie's voice sounds like. If you want to hear that voice sing that song then Stardust is worth checking out. If you want a country album, this isn't it.

Influenced by: Broadway
Influenced: The expansion of a country artists repertoire.

Highlight: All of me
Lowlight: On the Sunny Side of the Streth

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Every song is presently well, the fidelity is just great."

-Every song is presently well... does that mean that there might be a time when it won't be well?

So is this an album by a true star or just old and dusty? Let me know below

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