Search - Willie Nelson :: The Great Divide

The Great Divide
Willie Nelson
The Great Divide
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Though Willie Nelson has previously demonstrated that he can sing just about anything with just about anyone, The Great Divide shows there are some bridges even he shouldn't cross. An incongruous array of duet partners joi...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Willie Nelson
Title: The Great Divide
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Lost Highway
Original Release Date: 1/1/2002
Re-Release Date: 1/15/2002
Genres: Country, Pop
Styles: Outlaw Country, Today's Country
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Great Divide
UPCs: 731458623120, 0008817027821, 0731458623120, 008817027821

Though Willie Nelson has previously demonstrated that he can sing just about anything with just about anyone, The Great Divide shows there are some bridges even he shouldn't cross. An incongruous array of duet partners join Nelson on this attempt to attract a younger and wider demographic. The project follows the formula that paid such commercial dividends for Carlos Santana, down to the collaboration with matchbox twenty's Rob Thomas on the opening "Maria." Nelson proceeds to engage Kid Rock in a transgenerational gunslingers' duel on "Last Stand in Open Country," reaches a more comfortable accommodation with neo-soulster Brian McKnight on "Don't Fade Away," and meditates on the aging process with three melancholy ballads ("This Face," "Recollecting Phoenix," and "You Remain") that are likely to confound the pop-rock crowd the project seems so intent on converting. The rest of the material ranges from Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" to the psychedelic chestnut "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"--already revived by Nelson on 2001's Rainbow Connection. Only the Gypsy-tinged title song rings as true as one typically expects from Willie. --Don McLeese

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CD Reviews

Okay divide
Rafael Cruz | Dover, NJ United States | 01/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I purchased this album without hearing a track off of it, just because it's by country legend Willie Nelson. When I popped it into the system and gave it a couple listens,I decided to let you people out there know what you get. Rob Thomas, wrote 3 songs, 2 of which are Maria and Won't Catch Me Crying. The dude that writes for Elton John, Bernie Taupin co-wrote 3 songs. Willie only wrote one song, the title track, but it is a good one. The collaborations with Sheryl Crow and Brian McKnight offer positive messages. The Kid Rock track features good vocals from him, recalling his performance of "Only God Knows Why". Leeann Womack is also in fine voice on her duet with Willie. I would have like the closing track with Bonnie Raitt more if she and Willie flashed some guitar exchange. Willie offers another version of Just Dropped In, which features more studio tinkering than the version on 2001's Rainbow Connection. Overall, 10 songs out of the 12 are worth a listen. This is better than Rainbow Connection and Milk Cow Blues. I hope he releases the collaboration he has been working on with The Wailers. They should have included the wonderful song Bono of U2 wrote for him, "Slow Dancing" on this release.For more recent Willie, check out the great 1998 session: Teatro, and for a more countryfied release get 2000's Me and the Drummer."
Willie Nelson as Elton John
Orlick Trellis | Holden, MA USA | 01/15/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A number of critics have heralded this album as an attempt for Willie to break into the pop music world. True, Willie has not had many Top 40 hits lately, but back in the late 70's and early 80's he was pop (or rather pop decided that Willie was okay). A number of critics have also said that this attempt is an unwise move on Willie's part. I think Willie's reached an age where he doesn't really give a hoot 'n hell what anyone thinks about his musical choices (as if he ever did). That aside, I think the album is pretty good; it's certainly better than last year's Rainbow Connection--which did have its charm. The sound of the album is very polished and "The Great Divide" does stand out as one song that is close to the classic stripped down Willie style. However, I don't think this is a bad thing. "Just Dropped In" is rendered better on this album than RC's version--some songs just need a big sound. It is a trip to hear Willie sing a Cyndia Lauper tune, but he is God afterall, so it works. I was surprised at the number of Bernie Taupin songs (hence the title of this review), and equally surpirsed how good they were. Maybe Bernie should take a leave from Elton and move to Austin for a spell. I seem to be rambling. In any case, I think this album is his best album since Teatro, but not quite as good. A thoroughly entertaining and lively album. I had originally given the album three stars, but as I overlook what I have written, I'll give him another star. I may not be the best critic to listen to since I am a bit biased towards the man (he and James Joyce fight for possession of my soul every day of my life--Willie wins today since I just got this album; however, Jimmy might win out tomorrow if I reread the "Circe" episode for my thesis as planned). In any case, if you are the type of person who thinks Willie Nelson advised Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita you will enjoy this album."
A GREAT divide indeed!
DanD | 04/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In country music, one name stands above all others: Willie Nelson. While not a huge Willie fan, I've always admired the man, for he has such a talent for bringing a song to life. And "The Great Divide" is no exception.I won't waste time telling you which songs were my favorites, for you are not me. I will tell you, however, that you are in for a treat. Rob Thomas, Sheryl Crow, and Bonnie Rait show themselves for harmony duets, blending their voices well with Willie's. Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, and Brian McKnight go for the full-fledged thing--bringing to life tales of gunslingers, lost loves, and hope. Willie redoes the old Kenny Rogers rock'n'roll song "Just Dropped In..." and goes entirely country on the title track and "This Face," a wonderful ballad about aging. "Maria," "Last Stand," "Be There For You," and "Time After Time" keep the album's upbeat going, while "Mendocino County Line", "Won't Catch Me Crying," "Don't Fade Away," "Recollection Phoenix", and "You Remain" provide a gentler, quieter side. With all the talent on this CD (with Willie, of course, being the most prominent) this is one divide you should not step across. Take the time to pick it up and listen to it...who knows, you just may have a good time, Heaven forbid!"