Saturday, July 26, 1975

Willie Nelson Red-Headed Stranger charted

Red-Headed Stranger

Willie Nelson

Released: May 1975

Charted: July 26, 1975

Peak: 28 US, 12 CW, -- UK, 90 CN, 88 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  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 (7/19/75, 21 BB, 1 CW, 12 AC)
  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) (1/3/76, 67 BB, 2 CW)
  14. Hands on the Wheel
  15. Bandera


4.301 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“In the early Seventies, Willie Nelson was a songwriter legend, with such classics as ‘Crazy’ and ‘Hello Walls’ behind him, but wasn't a major-league artist on his own. When his Nashville home burned down, he hightailed it back to Texas and began remaking himself as a country music outlaw, as he and such kindred, independent spirits as Waylon Jennings became known. With Red Headed Stranger, a self-produced (heresy to the Nashville establishment) concept album” TL that “perhaps is the strangest blockbuster country produced,” AMG “Nelson introduced a new sense of ambition and possibility to the genre.” TL

Red Headed Stranger tells the story of a renegade “preacher on the run after murdering his departed wife and her new lover.” AMG The story is “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.” AMG

“It was a phenomenal blockbuster, though;” AMGBlue Eyes Crying in the Rain was a Number One [country] single.” TL The success of the album helped in “establishing Nelson as a superstar recording artist in its own right.” AMG

“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.” AMG

Regardless, the album could well be attributed to launching the outlaw country movement – “when Stranger was followed up with the breakthrough collection Wanted! The Outlaws (with Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser), country music had entered a new era – and Willie Nelson was an international superstar.” TL


The 2000 CD reissue added “Bach Minuet in G,” “Can’t Help It if I’m Still in Love with You,” “A Maiden’s Prayer,” and “Bonaparte’s Retreat.”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/3/2008; last updated 3/21/2024.

No comments:

Post a Comment