Waylon & Willie: Waylon & Willie (1978)
I played this album for my 14-year-old nephew, who just loves what he calls the “real country music,” whatever that is …
But I suppose he’s spot-on with this LP, which sort of marked the commercial culmination of the Outlaw Country movement, by way of a back-slapping victory lap between two of its leading figureheads.
Because Waylon & Willie, like all culturally relevant musical works, clearly conveyed a romantic notion (what we marketers like to call an “aspirational lifestyle”) so powerful and appealing, that it went above and beyond the quality of its songs – which didn’t suck, neither.
Sure, nothing can touch the virtual anthem that was “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” (written two years earlier by Ed and Patsy Bruce), but the duo’s duets on Kristofferon’s “The Year 2003 Minus 25,” Willie’s own “Pick Up the Tempo,” and the drug-referencing “I Can Get Off On You” are nothing to scoff at.
I also really like Waylon’s Slick picking on “Lookin’ for a Feeling” (but could frankly take or leave his stab at Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman”) and Willie’s convincingly downtrodden “It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way,” showcasing that gorgeous voice of his.
Almost too gorgeous for an “outlaw,” come to think of it, but not silver-tongued devils like these two, who undoubtedly produced lots of “real country music,” .