Search - Willie Nelson :: Nashville Was The Roughest

Nashville Was The Roughest
Willie Nelson
Nashville Was The Roughest
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (32) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #5
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #6
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #7
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #8

8 CD box set with a 72 page hardcover book.


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CD Details

All Artists: Willie Nelson
Title: Nashville Was The Roughest
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bear Family
Original Release Date: 6/2/1998
Re-Release Date: 6/10/1998
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Country, Pop
Styles: Outlaw Country, Classic Country
Number of Discs: 8
SwapaCD Credits: 8
UPC: 790051583125


Album Description
8 CD box set with a 72 page hardcover book.

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CD Reviews

(5 out of 5 stars)

"Merle Haggard said in an interview that if he had to be jealous of one person in country music, that person would be Willie Nelson. Merle must have been thinking about some of the songs on this box set when he made that remark.I have to agree with the music fan from Philly that this box set is a major release even though reviews have been less than stellar. It's not great from start to finish by any means but the critical reviews I've read have made too much of the lowlights and not enough of the highlights. The lowlights have mostly been attributed to "The Nashville Sound" which Chet Atkins, Willie's producer for some of this box set material, has been credited with pioneering. Country purists usually have a tough time with the Nashville Sound because it employs "violins" (not fiddles) and bland backup choirs. You will find that sort of thing on this set even though it wasn't the best setting for Willie. Chet Atkins has admitted that he didn't produce Willie properly but was forced to experiment because Willie just wasn't selling in this period. But the Nashville Sound is not the whole story of this set by any means. Four songs into Disc 1 you have one of the greatest Willie songs of all time, "I Never Cared For You", and not a violin or choir in earshot. I first heard this song on Willie's recent "Teatro" album but the box set version is much better. This song is just the tip of the iceberg as far as quality songs are concerned. However, you have to be patient and really listen to these discs to get to the gems. On Disc 2, for instance, there is a great version of "San Antonio Rose" and a not-so-good, poppier version only two songs apart. The moral of the story is you don't know when or where you're going to find great songs. Besides the highlights listed above, I'd list some other standouts as "December Day", "Wild Memories",the Vietnam-themed "Jimmy's Road", a cover of Fred Neil's "Everbody's Talkin" (all Disc 4), "I Gotta Get Drunk", a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" (both Disc 5), and "Rainy Day Blues" (Disc 6). You'll find many more. The bonus to this box set is the vintage mid-60s live Willie concert recording on Disc 8. If you're a Willie fan, you know Willie was never a musical snob or purist with tunnel vision when it came to doing material. The cover versions of the Joni Mitchell and Fred Neil tracks listed above as well as all the material on the classic "Stardust" album from the late 70s attest to Willie's eclectic tastes. On this live disc, Willie is already covering the recent (at that time) "Yesterday" by the Beatles. Again, the live recording is a real bonus.If you're a big Willie fan and have the dough to plunk down for this box set, it is well worth your investment. It's not a greatest hits in that everything in terms of artistic quality or even sales is programmed back-to-back. But some of Willie's greatest songs, artistically speaking, are definitely found throughout these discs."
Too Much Bad Stuff Weighs This Boxset Down
allismile0 | Washington, DC | 08/07/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"There is no doubt that there are some real gems on Nashville Was The Roughest that would be hard to find anywhere else. But of 8 Cd's, most of the good stuff could be filed down to one, perhaps two Cd's.

The only albums of Willie Nelson's early career (before he shifted to Atlantic Records) that are really solid are Country Willie and Yesterday's Wine. All the other albums have a couple of good songs here or there, but mostly just fall flat- with boring tunes and very typical production of that time in Nashville.

This box set is definitely a testament of a great artist who started with a plenty of talent but with very little self style. On different records you can hear him imitating anything from Roy Orbison, Ray Price, Bob Willis, and even LA's 1960's psychedelic rock. He finally started coming into his own on Yesterday's Wine, which oddly enough doesn't sound too far removed from the sound of Country Willie, but with a more soulful earthiness.

There's no question that he really came into his own when he went to Atlantic and recorded Shotgun Willie and Phases & Stages back to back.

Nashville Was The Roughest is most certainly for completest, if you are interested in his early recording career there are plenty of "best of" compilations from during his RCA period.
Also of note are the recordings he did for Liberty records in the early 60's before he signed with RCA."
The Best of Willie
Dr. Walter Hettche | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Does anybody out there realize what a major release this box set is? Apparently not, judging by the reviews, which seem to be lukewarm and condescending, at best. To my ears, much of this is as innovative and unique as anything in country in those years and Willie was in superb voice through all of it. The April, 1965 sessions were especially "right"; the recordings were as good as Willie (or anyone else) ever got it. Definately worth the cost and shows that the Nashville Sound was more than just excess chorus and strings. And oh yeah, the songwriting ain't half bad, either."