#254: Stardust by Willie Nelson


Stardust by Willie Nelson (1978)

Favorite Track(s): "Stardust" and "September Song"

Thoughts: I think this is our first Willie Nelson album on the list! Fun. And don't you love that album cover? I do.

BUT. This is an album of covers, with Willie singing songs from the American Songbook. Which opens a whole can of worms for me. Because when we have someone from the era of these songs singing them (i.e. Frank Sinatra) I don't necessarily consider it a 'covers' album by strict definition. In many cases they made those songs famous themselves and they were often written by their contemporaries. Willie Nelson, while well along in years, recorded these songs well after they were contemporary (1978--most of the songs he covers are from the 30s).

What am I getting at? The fact that this album of COVERS not only made it on the list, but made it almost halfway in! And so that means that at no point did Rolling Stone tell its voters for the list to ONLY include albums that were written by the artists, and/or made famous by them. Which brings me to a serious contention I have with the list: WHERE THE EFF ARE PETER, PAUL AND MARY? Where is Everything But the Girl's Acoustic? Where's Judy Collins? To quote Linda Richman, "I ask you."

To add insult to injury, Willie's covers aren't anything all that special or different or unique! His voice and the arrangements are nice and pleasant, but not ground-breaking, at least not to my ears. This is an album I could see Starbucks selling. Which isn't to say it's not good! It's very good. But #254? No. If it were in the 500s I would let it slide, but I'm not sure what happened here. Unless my PP&M rage is so intense that it ruined this album for me, which is a real possibility.

Is This Better Than Help!?: I liked it but this should not be above Help! on the list, among many, many other albums.

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