Four Vintage Willie Nelson Albums For Vinyl Reissue Ahead Of Hall Of Fame Induction
The releases focus on albums of Nelson’s from the 1990s and 2000s and begin on June 23 with his 2002 collaborative album ‘The Great Divide.’
Four classic albums by Willie Nelson are to be released on vinyl, some for the first time, as celebrations of the country hero’s recent 90th birthday continue.
The releases focus on albums of Nelson’s from the 1990s and 2000s and begin on June 23 with his 2002 collaborative album The Great Divide, first issued by Lost Highway. This is followed on August 4 by a 25th anniversary reissue of 1998’s acclaimed and cinematic Teatro, produced by Daniel Lanois. Nelson’s 2000 ode to the blues, Milk Cow Blues, will return on September 15 as a double LP, before 1996’s stripped-back, emotionally raw Spirit completes the set on October 20, just before his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on November 3.
The Great Divide and Milk Cow Blues have never been available on vinyl before, while Teatro and Spirit return to the format due to popular demand, having been available in limited volume, but now long out-of-print.
All four discs, which are now available for pre-order, will be available on 180 gram black vinyl and in a limited edition color variant on 140 gram vinyl, exclusively available at uDiscover Music and WillieNelson.com. The Great Divide and Spirit will be pressed on clear vinyl , with Teatro and Milk Cow Blues on translucent red vinyl and orange vinyl respectively.
The Great Divide, his 50th studio album, was a stirring collection of originals and covers made with a diverse group of songwriters, singers and musicians. Collaborators included Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Brian McKnight, Kid Rock, and Lee Ann Womack, the latter country star duetting with Nelson on the unforgettable “Mendocino County Line,” co-written by Bernie Taupin who also co-wrote “This Face.” “Mendocino…” won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration. The album peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
Teatro was recorded live with Lanois in an old, unused movie theatre in Oxnard, California, prominently displayed on the cover. It chiefly featured reinventions of songs that Nelson wrote in the 1960s, such as 1962’s “I’ve Just Destroyed The World” and “Three Days” and 1968’s “I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye.” Longtime friend and frequent collaborator Emmylou Harris accompanied him on 11 of the 14 tracks and he was also backed by a nine-piece band including Willie’s sister Bobbie Nelson, on piano.
Milk Cow Blues had Nelson backed by the Antone’s blues band and his harmonica player Mickey Raphael, on a collection of blues standards and original compositions, including bluesy interpretations of some of his classics and earliest tracks. He was joined by B.B. King on the blues great’s “The Thrill Has Gone,” by Dr. John on “Black Night,” and vocalist Francine Reed on Willie’s “Funny (How Time Slips Away)” and the scene-setting title track. Guests included modern-day blues flag-bearers such as Keb Mo, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, and Susan Tedeschi.
Spirit marked a return to Nelson’s roots for an album that was seen by critics as his most focused of that decade. It was self-produced and featured a stripped-back band of Willie and Jody Payne on guitars, Bobbie Nelson on piano, and the great country fiddler Johnny Gimble, from Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. It included 12 original compositions on the themes of love, loss, redemption, and the human experience and, in 2020, was ranked by Texas Monthly at No.10 among Nelson’s more than 150 albums.
Pre-order the vinyl editions of these vintage Willie Nelson albums.