WILLIE NELSON - Phases and Stages - 2 LP - 140g Black Vinyl
  [RSD 2024]

WILLIE NELSON - Phases and Stages - 2 LP - 140g Black Vinyl [RSD 2024]

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This product is a Record Store Day title and not available to pre-order.
Available to buy in-store from 8am on Saturday, 20/04/2024 (Record Store Day).
Any remaining copies will be available to buy online from 8pm on Monday 22/04/2024.


Willie Nelson’s 1974 classic, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in March, just prior to RSD.

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….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.