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Heroes CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony CMG
  • ASIN: B0077PHOR8
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Heroes is the eagerly-awaited album of new songs and re-imagined classics performed by Willie Nelson, America's legendary outlaw country music avatar. Heroes is essential Willie Nelson, a seamless collection of top-flight pop-country songs. It includes a cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” which recently debuted to great acclaim as the soundtrack to an animated short film commercial during the US Super Bowl. There are also covers from the 30s and 40s and new songs by Willie, his sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, and "Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die", a new track featuring special guests Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. All songs are performed with the easy-going homespun warmth and honesty that have become Willie’s trademarks.
The album opens with Willie and Merle Haggard joining forces on a powerful new rendition of Wayne ("The Letter," "Always On My Mind") Carson's "A Horse Called Music" (the title song from Willie's 1989 album). Other brand-new Willie Nelson compositions making their debut on Heroes are "Hero," featuring guest appearances by Jamey Johnson and Billy Joe Shaver, and "Come On Back Jesus" featuring Nelson’s sons Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson. The collection includes a sublime interpretation of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe," performed with son Lukas, Lukas also performs with his dad on several of the album's other tracks including a droll soulful take on the Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan composition, "Come On Up To The House," sung with Sheryl Crow. Lukas has penned three songs for the album; "No Place To Fly," "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her," and "The Sound of Your Memory" (cowritten with Elizabeth Rainey).
Willie revisits the roots of classic country with three pre-rock gems: the 1930's ballad "My Window Faces The South," Fred Rose's immortal "Home In San Antone" from 1943, and 1949's "Cold War With You," a still timely take on the battle of the sexes with guest artist Ray Price. (Price made Willie's composition, "Night Life," a smash in 1960 and Willie served as a member of Ray's band, the Cherokee Cowboys).

BBC Review

Still playing, still with a twinkle in his eye, Willie Nelson at 79 sounds like a man with nothing to prove. And he’s all the better for that. Those who have missed out on a recording career that began in 1956 will get a pointer from Roll Me Up – a rollicking piece of mischief recorded with Snoop Dogg while Willie had a marijuana charge still pending in El Paso.

And if that sounds a little messy, the album is actually a return to simple virtues after a couple of outings where Johnny Mandel and then T-Bone Burnett dictated the style. Buddy Cannon’s unfussy production measures out pedal steel, accordion, and Mickey Raphael’s dependable harmonica round a pin-sharp rhythm section. There’s no stricter theme than a lucky-bag of genres and guest singers that all hang on a legend.

It’s an easy brew to enjoy, too. The range takes in the roistering, exemplary Western swing of My Window Faces the South (written in 1937) and Home in San Antone (1943) to wistful readings of Floyd Tillman’s Cold War With You and Tom Waits’ Come On Up to the House. Old compadres Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver and Kris Kristofferson jostle for the honours of grizzled sidekick, and Sheryl Crow is soulful on the Waits song.

There’s a degree of torch-passing as well, with three songs by Willie’s son Lukas, whose voice echoes his father’s dauntless quaver. Lukas’ Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her sits comfortably with the standards, likewise Cannon’s That’s All There Is to This Song and Willie’s own Hero. And if the hour ever drags, it’s on the Pearl Jam (Just Breathe) and Coldplay (The Scientist) covers; one talent Willie Nelson has never boasted is the rock-style gravitas of a Johnny Cash.

But if anyone asks how Heroes differs from the 65 Willie Nelson studio albums that preceded it, the happy answer is: not much. The expressive, intimate tenor, the matchless musical instinct and Willie’s distinctive ringing guitar lines are just as compelling, and just as delightful, as ever.

--Chris Roberts

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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A new Willie Nelson album is always something to look forward to - and the guy is so prolific that you never have to wait long for the next one to trundle along!

After the wonderful "Remember Me (Vol.1)" from late last year (can we please have volume 2, Willie?), my first feelings about this collection are ones of slight disappointment. It's certainly something of a selection box, offering a mixture of old style country and a more contemporary Americana sound, and the highlights for me are definitely those more traditional sounding tracks - "My House Faces The South", "Cold War With You", and "Home In San Antone".

It sometimes feels as if the world and his wife have either dueted with Willie or are in the queue to do so, and this album has duet partners in spades, with a total of 9 other vocalists joining him. His son Lukas is the most present of these, appearing on nine of the fourteen tracks. He's got an interesting voice, sometimes sounding like a young Bob Dylan and others just like his old man. The duet with Merle Haggard on the opening track, a remake of "A Horse Called Music", is probably the best of the lot, offering a sweet melancoly take on what has always sounded a very sad song. This is probably the standout track on the album for me. Ray Price's appearance on "Cold War" is also worthy of note.

I have no doubt that it will be "Roll Me Up (and Smoke Me When I Die)", featuring rapper Snoop Dogg and country men Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson, that gets the most attention, which will be sad as, to my ears, it's pretty much a throwaway song. This song also seems to use exactly the same tune as "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" from a few years back and "Everytime He Drinks He Thinks Of Her" on this album ..... or is that just me?
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Format: Audio CD
It is a real pleasure to listen to the quintessential Country rhythms of Willie Nelson's recent, glorious album 'Heroes'. At 79, Willie is still crooning out the most sublime songs with a little bit of outlaw sensibility here and there ['Roll Me Up'] and with classic Country melody. Synonym son Lukas offers support throughout - and it is a more dynamic duo than when Willie supports on his boy's albums - and there is further help provided by the likes of Merle Haggard, Snoop Dog [with smoking proclivities rather than any Country affiliations], Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Ray Price and others.

Opener 'A Horse Called Music' is a gorgeous cowboy lament with Merle Haggard, and next 'Roll Me Up' ['and smoke me before I die'] keeps the proceedings lively and irreverent. There is a clutch of beautiful lovelorn songs, like third 'That's All There Is To The Song'. Fourth 'No Place To Fly' is another painful love confession and the father/son singing of the Nelsons resonates with the varying experience of loss and how to tug us along with the sorryful narrative. This is followed by the two again on 'Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her' ['but every morning her memory fades away'] - so more from the heartache of such familiar themes.

Sixth track Tom Wait's 'Come On Up To The House', sung as a superb Country gospel, sees Crow providing emotive female vocal support. Pearl Jam's 'Just Breathe' sits more comfortably within this whole album than on its own, but I struggle with the cover of Coldplay's 'The Scientist', but that is largely down to my antipathy to their latter anthemic indie tendencies. But with lines like 'Come on back Jesus and pick up John Wayne on the way' from 'Come On Back Jesus', the Country ideology is, thankfully, the predominant feature of this wonderful album.
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I am a very keen Country and Western music fan and Willie Nelson is within my top five all time favourites. A must for people that prefer the older or long astablished Country music singers
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This cd was for my dad. He loves it and hasn't had it off the car cd player since I got it for him. Fantastic buy :-)
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yes i would recoment what ever willie dose a must go for it you wont be disapointed would love to meet him
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Excellent CD in true Willie Nelson fashion. All the tracks were new to me but very quickly became familiar friends. I bought 2. One as a birthday present for a friend as I just knew he would love it. Happy listening all you Willie fans!
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I have ALWAYS LOVED Willie Nelson. He has written some very poignant songs which I can relate to about life's ups and downs and relationships. Lovely to hear him singing with his sons and other artistes. A Hero and a rebel who has experienced life.
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Brilliant music as always,love. All of his music
Can't recommend this cd enough so if you like
Him to it very much worth a buy.
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