10 Songs, 30 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This long-neglected 1971 concept album will surprise those who know only Nelson's hard-toking, hard-living outlaw persona. As the loosely unified story of one "imperfect man" and his journey from cradle to grave, Yesterday's Wine enacts a spiritual drama about God, faith, love, longing, and loss that shows just how far Willie could stretch when freed from the strictures of songwriting for hire and Nashville convention. It also happens to contain some of the finest examples of his early craft. In particular, the autumnal title track and the superb buddy song "Me and Paul" stand up to anything Nelson ever wrote, while "Family Bible," written decades earlier and sold off for a desperate $50, remains as sweet and simple as a country-church hymn. In spite of its emphasis on faith and Willie's spiritual philosophy, Yesterday's Wine doesn't preach. It simply bears witness to one soul's progress through this vale of tears, and to another side of one of our greatest songwriters and performers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This long-neglected 1971 concept album will surprise those who know only Nelson's hard-toking, hard-living outlaw persona. As the loosely unified story of one "imperfect man" and his journey from cradle to grave, Yesterday's Wine enacts a spiritual drama about God, faith, love, longing, and loss that shows just how far Willie could stretch when freed from the strictures of songwriting for hire and Nashville convention. It also happens to contain some of the finest examples of his early craft. In particular, the autumnal title track and the superb buddy song "Me and Paul" stand up to anything Nelson ever wrote, while "Family Bible," written decades earlier and sold off for a desperate $50, remains as sweet and simple as a country-church hymn. In spite of its emphasis on faith and Willie's spiritual philosophy, Yesterday's Wine doesn't preach. It simply bears witness to one soul's progress through this vale of tears, and to another side of one of our greatest songwriters and performers.

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