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Across the Borderline

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Martin Monkman
If ever there were doubts about the breadth and depth of Willie Nelson's ambitions and talents, Across the Borderline should put them to rest. Nelson surveys roughly two decades of popular music, tackling songs by writers as varied as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, and Lyle Lovett. That Nelson covers such a variety shouldn't really come as such a surprise: the songs on Across the Borderline simply consolidate the range of material he's covered previously, from the Bing Crosby-inspired pop standards albums Stardust to the folk-rock of "City of New Orleans." Nelson, along with producer Don Was, assembled a stellar cast of musicians for the album. Paul Simon, Bonnie ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Martin Monkman
If ever there were doubts about the breadth and depth of Willie Nelson's ambitions and talents, Across the Borderline should put them to rest. Nelson surveys roughly two decades of popular music, tackling songs by writers as varied as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, and Lyle Lovett. That Nelson covers such a variety shouldn't really come as such a surprise: the songs on Across the Borderline simply consolidate the range of material he's covered previously, from the Bing Crosby-inspired pop standards albums Stardust to the folk-rock of "City of New Orleans." Nelson, along with producer Don Was, assembled a stellar cast of musicians for the album. Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, and Mose Allison all guest, and a rock band is Nelson's backup unit for most of the tracks. Of course, country music is at the center of Nelson's vast repertoire, and the two Lyle Lovett compositions he chose to cover for Across the Borderline are wonderfully done, with the accompaniment of Nelson's regular backing band. There are also Nelson's own songs, both new "Valentine" and old the rather gloomy "She's Not for You", as well as a writing and singing collaboration with Bob Dylan "Heartland". For all the strengths of the other 13 tracks, the most stunning song on the album is Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up." The parts originally sung by Kate Bush on Gabriel's So album are sung here by Sinead O'Connor, a brilliant piece of casting. Nelson and O'Connor's rendition is quietly triumphant and every bit as powerful as Gabriel and Bush's original. The result of the apparently scattershot song selection and numerous musicians is an album that possesses a quiet majesty, further establishing Willie Nelson as one of the most important writers and interpreters of the last half of the 20th century.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972417325
  • Catalog Number: 724173
  • Sales rank: 53,016

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Willie Nelson Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Gimble Violin
Kris Kristofferson Vocals
Mark Isham Trumpet
Bob Dylan Vocals
Bonnie Raitt Vocals, Slide Guitar
Paul Simon Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Billy Gene English Percussion
Jim Keltner Drums
Grady Martin Electric Guitar
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Eric Bazilian Mandolin
Jimmy Bralower Sampling
David Campbell Harmonium
Gene Chrisman Drums
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Debra Dobkin Percussion
Paul English Drums
Paul Franklin Pedal Steel Guitar
Goldenberg Guitar
Mark Goldenberg Guitar (Tremolo)
James "Hutch" Hutchinson Bass
Mike Leech Bass
John Leventhal Guitar
Bob "Chicago" Nelson Piano
Mark O'Connor Violin
Sinéad O'Connor Vocals
Jody Payne Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Ray Phiri Electric Guitar
Bee Spears Bass
Fred Tackett Guitar
Daniel Timms Organ, Guitar, Piano, Background Vocals
Robby Turner Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Don Was Bass
Reggie Young Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Paul Simon Producer
Larry Greenhill Engineer
Roy Halee Producer
Doug Sax Mastering
Don Was Producer
Bill Johnson Art Direction
James Dickinson Composer
T. S. Bruton Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A 90s Comeback for an Old Outlaw

    When Willie recorded this set, he had recently settled a lawsuit with the IRS. By all accounts, this was the most ambitous music he'd made in a long time. He put his brand on songs by Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simopn. Graceland, in my opinoion, is one of his best covers ever and may even be better than Paul Simon's original. However, Dylan's What Was It You Wanted tops it and Willie puts a new spin on Gabriel's Don't Give Up. He also does a good job on Simon's American Tune. THe backing is a mix of country and rock. His own songs measure up and make this an intersting outing for The Outlaw.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews