Playing Waylon – Live for this week and next.

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Waylon Live Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


As one of the great live albums, Waylon Live is nearly flawless, a snapshot of Waylon Jennings at the height of his powers and, not so coincidentally, at the peak of the outlaw movement. At this time, he was popular and powerful, creating a mythos out of his performances and songs, delivering first-rate material both on record and in concert. This is where it all came together, since a set list limited Waylon to his best songs, whether his own hits or carefully selected covers. This is especially true of 1999’s Buddha reissue that included nine bonus tracks (all put into the middle of the record), restoring Waylon Live to the double-LP running time it was designed to have. With the restoration of this section — containing such perennials as “Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” “The Taker,” “Look Into My Teardrops,” and “Never Been to Spain” — the record really becomes a definitive statement on outlaw country and how it bent the rules, borrowing from country and rock and twisting them into something thoroughly distinctive. On top of it all, Waylon and his band give a bracing, terrific performance, investing these songs with more passion than they had previously seen on record. It winds up as one of the great country records and one of the great live albums, capturing a movement at its peak and transcending it.

Track Listing

  1. T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1) – Jimmie Rodgers
  2. Rainy Day Woman – Waylon Jennings
  3. Me and Paul – Willie Nelson
  4. The Last Letter – Rex Griffin
  5. I’m a Ramblin’ Man  – Ray Pennington
  6. Bob Wills Is Still the King  – Waylon Jennings
  7. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) – Kris Kristofferson
  8. Look into My Teardrops -Don Bowman / Harlan Howard
  9. Lonesome, On’ry and Mean – Steve Young
  10. Freedom to Stay – Bill Hoover
  11. Big Ball’s in Cowtown –  Hoyle Nix
  12. The Taker Kris Kristofferson / Shel Silverstein
  13. Mississippi Woman – Red Lane
  14. Mona –  Mirriam Eddy
  15. Never Been to Spain – Hoyt Axton
  16. Pick Up the Tempo – Willie Nelson
  17. Good Hearted Woman – Waylon Jennings / Willie Nelson
  18. House of the Rising Sun – Alan Price
  19. Me and Bobby McGee Fred Foster / Fred L. Foster / Kris Kristofferson
  20. This Time Waylon Jennings

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