11 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time Both Sides Now was released in 1970, the country music industry was slowly beginning to capitulate to the artistic values of Willie Nelson. Rather than force studio musicians on him, producer Felton Jarvis (Elvis Presley’s longtime colleague) allowed Nelson to pick his own players, as well as his own material. The result was a more organic affair that embraced young songwriters from the world of rock. He got the title song from Joni Mitchell while “Everybody’s Talkin’” is a beautifully understated version of the Fred Neil piece popularized by Harry Nilsson for the movie Midnight Cowboy. Propelled by gentle but assured strumming from Nelson’s nylon-string guitar, “Once More With Feeling” and “It Could Be Said That Way” confirm his renewed interest in folk-oriented songwriting, but this being Willie, there is ample affirmation of his honky-tonk roots. Nelson’s original “Bloody Mary Morning” splits the difference between the country world and the folk world, and takes off on one of the singer’s best opening lines: “Well, it's a Bloody Mary morning / Baby left me without warning / Sometime in the night…”

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time Both Sides Now was released in 1970, the country music industry was slowly beginning to capitulate to the artistic values of Willie Nelson. Rather than force studio musicians on him, producer Felton Jarvis (Elvis Presley’s longtime colleague) allowed Nelson to pick his own players, as well as his own material. The result was a more organic affair that embraced young songwriters from the world of rock. He got the title song from Joni Mitchell while “Everybody’s Talkin’” is a beautifully understated version of the Fred Neil piece popularized by Harry Nilsson for the movie Midnight Cowboy. Propelled by gentle but assured strumming from Nelson’s nylon-string guitar, “Once More With Feeling” and “It Could Be Said That Way” confirm his renewed interest in folk-oriented songwriting, but this being Willie, there is ample affirmation of his honky-tonk roots. Nelson’s original “Bloody Mary Morning” splits the difference between the country world and the folk world, and takes off on one of the singer’s best opening lines: “Well, it's a Bloody Mary morning / Baby left me without warning / Sometime in the night…”

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