by Willie NelsonWillie Nelson


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Returning to the Columbia/Sony family after nearly two decades away, Willie Nelson once again tries to be everything to everybody on 2012's Heroes, an appealingly misshapen collection of classics, contemporaries, and originals. Heroes -- its title signifying no great concept -- is roughly divided into quarters, with part of the album devoted to the Western swing and Texas country he's always loved to sing, part consisting of new songs from Willie, part originals from his son Lukas, and part covers of newer, rock-oriented tunes from the likes of Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, and Chris Martin. Each of these categories is a bit hit-or-miss, either succumbing to cutesy novelty (the dope-smoking anthem "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die," complete with country cadences from a non-rapping Snoop Dogg) or laziness, and there's a wee bit too much Lukas Nelson scattered throughout the record, with the son of the father singing on no less than nine of the album's 14 songs. This can be too much of a strong spice, obscuring the overall flavor of the music, but Lukas contributes a couple of the record's best songs in "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her" and "The Sound of Your Memory," songs that fit well next to a quite beautiful version of Vedder's "Just Breathe" and yet another strong, swinging rendition of "My Window Faces the South." And so Heroes kind of winds up summarizing all that's good and bad about Willie as he approaches his 80th birthday: he's open to everything but has no innate editor, so he whiffs as often as he connects, but when he does connect, it's a wonder to behold...and somehow he can still surprise whenever he sings those old songs.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2012
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0886919604825
catalogNumber: 196048
Rank: 5196

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Kris Kristofferson   Background Vocals
Paul Shaffer   Hammond B3
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Steve Brewster   Drums
Buddy Cannon   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Background Vocals
Melonie Cannon   Background Vocals
Butch Carr   Synthesizer
Kevin Grantt   Bass
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Justin Stanley   Drums,Keyboards
Bobby Terry   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tony Creasman   Drums
Doyle Bramhall   Bass,Guitar
Jim "Moose" Brown   Piano,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Lance Miller   Background Vocals
Lukas Nelson   Electric Guitar
Mike Johnson   Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Willie Nelson   Composer
Floyd Tillman   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Rich Alves   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
Buddy Cannon   Composer,Producer
Butch Carr   Engineer
Jerry Livingston   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Justin Stanley   Producer,Engineer
Eddie Vedder   Composer
Jeremy Brown   Engineer
Doyle Bramhall   Producer
Eric Fritsch   Engineer
Frank Harkins   Art Direction
Steve Chadie   Engineer
Abner Silver   Composer
Wayne Carson Thompson   Composer
Micah Nelson   Composer
T.W. Cargile   Engineer
Chris Martin   Composer
Will Champion   Composer
Guy Berryman   Composer
Jonny Buckland   Composer
Lukas Nelson   Composer
Travis "Shaggy" Marshall   Engineer
Mike McQuerry   Composer
John "Ace" Otten   Engineer
Elizabeth Rainey   Composer
John Colgin   Composer

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