Phases and Stages

Phases and Stages

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by Willie Nelson
     
 

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If Shotgun Willie played a bit like a concept album, Phases and Stages was a full-blown one, tracing the dissolution of a marriage and devoting one side to the wife's perspective, the second to the husband's. If anything, Willie overplays his hand a bit, insisting on grafting the "Phases and Stages" theme between crucial songs to the point of genuineSee more details below

Overview

If Shotgun Willie played a bit like a concept album, Phases and Stages was a full-blown one, tracing the dissolution of a marriage and devoting one side to the wife's perspective, the second to the husband's. If anything, Willie overplays his hand a bit, insisting on grafting the "Phases and Stages" theme between crucial songs to the point of genuine irritation. But, pretend that never happened, erase it from your mind, and Phases and Stages is easily the equal of its remarkable predecessor, a wonderful set of music that resonates deeply, as deeply as the words. Make no mistake -- the deceptively relaxed arrangements, including the occasional strings, not only highlight Nelson's clever eclecticism, but they also heighten the emotional impact of the album. And this is a hell of an emotional record, where even each side's celebratory honky tonk numbers (the medley "Sister's Coming Home/Down at the Corner Beer Joint" and "Pick Up the Tempo," respectively) are muted by sadness. Then, there are the centerpieces: "Walkin'," where the woman decides it's time to move on; "Pretend I Never Happened," perhaps the coldest ending to a relationship ever written; "Bloody Mary Morning," a bleary-eyed morning-after tale that became a standard; "It's Not Supposed to Be That Way," a nearly unbearably melancholy account of a love gone wrong; and "Heaven and Hell," a waltz summary of the relationship. Any two of these would have formed a strong core for an album, but placed together in a narrative context, their impact is even more considerable. As a result, this is not just one of Willie Nelson's best records, but one of the great concept albums overall.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2008
Label:
Rhino Flashback
UPC:
0081227993214
catalogNumber:
82192
Rank:
44321

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle,Mandolin
Pete Carr   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jeanie Greene   Background Vocals
Eric Weissberg   Banjo
Barry Beckett   Keyboards
Roger Hawkins   Drums
David Hood   Bass
John Hughey   Pedal Steel Guitar
Lester   Fiddle
George Soulé   Background Vocals
Fred Carter   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar

Technical Credits

Willie Nelson   Composer,Liner Notes
Tom Dowd   Remixing
Mike Lewis   String Arrangements
Jerry Masters   Engineer
Steve Melton   Engineer
Jerry Wexler   Producer

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