45 Years Later: Jennings, Nelson, Colter and Glaser’s ‘Wanted! The Outlaws’
It was all so brilliant – progressive country music and creative marketing coming together in seamless, cohesive fashion. The meld of seemingly polar opposites created a powerful magnetic force in the album Wanted! The Outlaws, a joint effort from Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jennings’ wife Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. Wanted! The Outlaws, released January 12, 1976, rode to No. 1 on the country charts and No. 10 on the pop charts, making it a bona fide crossover smash. The record also carved out a slice of history as it became the first country album to receive the newly-established Platinum certification, marking sales of one million copies.
Wanted! The Outlaws is long considered one of the most influential and groundbreaking albums in country history. As it celebrates its 45th anniversary, we delve into the album’s background, hit singles, and the legacy that remains vibrant decades down the line.
During the 1970s, the so-called “Outlaw” movement was brandishing a double-barreled assault on the confines of country music. Like other musical revolutions, Outlaw country started as a reaction to current trends, in this case, the pop-influenced stylings of the Nashville Sound, which proved commercially successful but was often derided by purists as formulaic and shallow. Outlaw music had its roots in earlier genres, such as rockabilly, honky tonk, rock, and traditional country, and was characterized by a more progressive sound and a maverick, rock ‘n’ roll attitude. Leading the attack were such away-from-the mainstream stars as Jennings and Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, David Allan Coe, and Guy Clark. Colter, who apparently adopted her stage name after a reputed accomplice of Jesse James, was one of the few females prominent in the outlaw genre. Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes album in 1973 is usually considered by historians and reviewers as the first album of the Outlaw movement, paving the way for Nelson’s highly popular concept album Red Headed Stranger and others.
The term “Outlaw” also became a rallying cry for artists who wanted creative control over their music. They rebelled against the standard record label practices of being told what to record, who would produce their songs, and even who would play on them. Jennings and Nelson were two of the artists able to gain that all-important freedom. “For us, ‘outlaw’ meant standing up for your rights, your own way of doing things,” Jennings stated in his autobiography Waylon. “It felt like a different music, and ‘outlaw’ was as good a description as any.”
SHAPING THE ALBUM
The Outlaw movement was generating its share of industry buzz, and the RCA label seemed determined to capitalize on it. Producer Jerry Bradley convinced Jennings to compile some of his recordings with some old Nelson songs into an album called Wanted! The Outlaws. From all apparent reports, Jennings personally detested the “Outlaw” monicker but recognized it as a sharp, cutting-edge marketing ploy. He gave his approval to the project, with the provision that songs featuring his friend Tompall Glaser would be included.
Wanted! The Outlaws consisted mostly of previously released material, but all the selections played into the pervading “outlaw” theme. The album kicked off with the somber, introspective tune, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” the first major success for songwriter Sharon Vaughn. Jennings performed it solo for the Outlaws record, and Nelson scored a No. 1 hit with it in 1980 after releasing it as a single.
Easily, the biggest cut from the album was the rowdy “Good Hearted Woman,” which Jennings had released as a single in 1972. This time out, Jennings and Nelson performed the song as a duet, at least in the technical sense in that two distinct voices were heard. But the two artists were never actually in the same place at the same time. In 1975, Jennings remixed his live concert version of the song for the album, using Nelson’s dubbed in vocal and adding canned audience applause to various sections, ramping up the “live” flavor of the track. In The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits, Jennings explained, “I just took my voice off and put Willie’s on in different places. Willie wasn’t within 10,000 miles when I recorded it.” Who could tell? Certainly not the listening and buying public. “Good Hearted Woman” shot to No. 1 on the country charts in February of 1976, staying at the top for three weeks, and peaked at a more-than-respectable No. 25 on the pop charts. It also won the CMA Single of the Year award.
Jennings and Colter scored the second smash hit from the album with their duet version of “Suspicious Minds,” first made famous by Elvis Presley, which landed at the No. 2 spot. Other standout tracks included a salute to the legendary Jimmie Rodgers on “T for Texas,” performed by Glaser, and Nelson’s “Yesterday’s Wine,” the title tune from his 1971 album. Jennings sang Billy Joe Shaver’s “Honky Tonk Heroes,” continuing the “outlaw” concept.
Wanted! The Outlaws served notice of country’s “progressive” movement, signaling that a major musical revolution lurked on the fringes. Even the cowboy-themed cover, designed to give the appearance of a Wanted poster from the Wild West, painted a hipper image of country music to the masses. Jennings, Nelson, and Glaser hardly resembled prototypical country artists, with their shaggy long hair, beards, and cool, defiant expressions, appealing to a generation raised on rebellion and rock. The record captured the fancy of both country loyalists and stone cold rockers who likely once swore that purchasing a country album would coincide with the freezing over of Hell.
“Everybody rushed out to buy the ‘Outlaws’ album – rock and rollers, kids, people who’d never bought a country album in their whole lives bought that album,” Glaser commented in the book Willie. Author Michael Streissguth, in his book Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville, observed, “Like Red Headed Stranger, the album tapped into America’s ongoing love affair with the western outlaw as well as each artist’s growing stature in the music community.”
Ultimately, Wanted! The Outlaws injected a sorely-needed boost into country music by opening up the door for artists outside the mainstream. It further proved that country could be accessible to a youth market. Wanted! The Outlaws won the 1976 CMA award for Album of the Year, and has gone on to sell more than two million copies.
Tags:Jessi Colter, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Years Later
SfondoNel 1973, Waylon Jennings e Willie Nelson avevano affermato il controllo creativo sulla loro musica, che entrambi ritenevano fosse stata ostacolata per anni dall'approccio conservatore adottato alle loro registrazioni presso la divisione di Nashville della RCA Records. Nel 1972, Nelson lasciò l'etichetta per la Atlantic Records e registrò un paio di album acclamati dalla critica, Shotgun Willie (1973) e il concept album Phases and Stages (1974). Con l'aumento della popolarità di Nelson, la RCA non voleva perdere anche Jennings e gli concesse l'autorità di produrre i suoi dischi come voleva. Jennings ha pubblicato l'album seminale Honky Tonk Heroes nel 1973, ampiamente considerato il primo album "fuorilegge", e This Time nel 1974, che è stato registrato nello studio indipendente di Tompall Glaser a Nashville. Nel 1975, dopo il successo esplosivo dell'album Red Headed Stranger di Nelson, era emerso un sottogenere completamente nuovo di musica country chiamato outlaw country. Questo nuovo movimento presentava un suono più "progressivo", caratterizzato dalla musica di Jennings e Nelson ma anche ispirato da cantautori come Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Lee Clayton, David Allan Coe e Townes Van Zandt. Sulla scia di Red Headed Stranger e dell'attenzione generale dei media che il movimento country fuorilegge stava generando, il produttore Jerry Bradley degli studi RCA di Nashville era determinato a capitalizzare la ricchezza delle registrazioni di Jennings e Nelson che la RCA aveva a disposizione: Waylon vendeva, se eravamo fortunati, duecentocinquantamila album. Willie esce con Red Headed Stranger e questo è decollato e ha venduto un milione di dischi. Jessi Colter ha pubblicato "I'm Not Lisa" su Capitol. Quella dannata cosa ha venduto mezzo milione, o un milione, ci ha dato fuoco. Siamo seduti laggiù, cercando di vendere duecentocinquantamila dischi, e stiamo ancora lottando. Tompall aveva un dannato record... Non sono mai andato a uno dei loro concerti, ma posso immaginare come fosse, mentre correvano su e giù per l'autostrada a farlo. Bradley ha contattato Jennings per compilare alcune delle sue registrazioni con alcune vecchie canzoni di Nelson e chiamarle Wanted! I fuorilegge. Jennings ha approvato il progetto a condizione che fossero incluse un paio di tracce di Glaser. Jennings in seguito osservò: "Mi piaceva Jerry, ma mi faceva impazzire un po'. Non aveva la più pallida idea della musica, anche se cercava sempre di farsi coinvolgere, di solito con il telecomando... Era un buon venditore, però..." Una volta ottenuto il via libera, Bradley è andato "all in" sul concetto di fuorilegge. Come osserva l'autore Michael Streissguth, "Bradley ha assunto Chet Flippo di Rolling Stone per scrivere le note di copertina e si è ispirato a un libro di Time Life sul West americano come ispirazione per l'iconica copertina dell'album, che conteneva fotografie di Colter, Glaser, Jennings e Nelson. su un poster di ricercato riarso e pieno di proiettili. Nel documentario del 2003 Beyond Nashville, Chet Flippo ha ricordato: "L'aspetto e il marketing dell'album sono stati estremamente importanti nel rendere un album di Nashville alla moda per la prima volta". Tompall Glaser ha dichiarato: "La gente era così affamata di qualcosa di diverso da quello che c'era alla radio che l'hanno appena mangiato. E ha venduto un milione nel primo
Wanted! The Outlaws
1976 compilation album by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser
Wanted! The Outlaws is a compilation album by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, released by RCA Records in 1976. The album consists of previously released material with four new songs. Released to capitalize on the new outlaw country movement, Wanted! The Outlaws earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to be platinum-certified, reaching sales of one million.
The album quickly reached No. 1 on the country charts and peaked at No. 10 on the pop charts, with two hit singles released, "Suspicious Minds" and "Good Hearted Woman." The two peaked at No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, both featuring Jennings. In 1984, this album was among the first to be reissued on compact disc by RCA Records, catalog number PCD1-1321.
By 1973, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had asserted creative control over their music, which they both felt had been hampered for years by the conservative approach taken to their recordings at the Nashville division of RCA Records. In 1972, Nelson left the label for Atlantic Records and recorded a pair of critically acclaimed albums, Shotgun Willie (1973) and the concept album Phases and Stages (1974). With Nelson's popularity increasing, RCA did not want to lose Jennings as well, and granted him the authority to produce his records however he wanted. Jennings released the seminal Honky Tonk Heroes album in 1973, widely considered the first "outlaw" album, and This Time in 1974, which was recorded at Tompall Glaser's independent studio in Nashville. By 1975, after the explosive success of Nelson's Red Headed Stranger album, a whole new subgenre of country music had emerged called outlaw country. This new movement featured a more "progressive" sound, typified by the music of Jennings and Nelson but also inspired by songwriters like Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Lee Clayton, David Allan Coe and Townes Van Zandt.
In the wake of Red Headed Stranger and the general media attention the outlaw country movement was generating, producer Jerry Bradley at the RCA studios in Nashville was determined to capitalize on the wealth of Jennings and Nelson recordings that RCA had at their disposal:
Waylon was selling, if we were lucky, two hundred and fifty thousand albums. Willie comes out with Red Headed Stranger and that took off and sold a million records. Jessi Colter put out "I'm Not Lisa" on Capitol. That damn thing sold half a million, or a million, set our butt on fire. We're sitting over there, trying to sell two hundred and fifty thousand records, and we're still struggling. Tompall had a damn record...I never went to one of their concerts, but I can imagine what it looked like, them running up and down the highway doing that.
Bradley approached Jennings about compiling some of his recordings with some old Nelson songs and calling it Wanted! The Outlaws. Jennings okayed the project on the condition that a couple of Glaser tracks be included. Jennings later remarked, "I liked Jerry, but he drove me a little nuts. He didn't have a clue about music, though he always tried to get involved in it, usually by remote control...He was a good merchandiser, though..." Once he got the green light, Bradley went "all in" on the outlaw concept. As author Michael Streissguth observes, "Bradley hired Rolling Stone's Chet Flippo to pen liner notes, and looked to a Time Life book about the American West as inspiration for the album's iconic album cover, which featured photographs of Colter, Glaser, Jennings, and Nelson on a parched, bullet-riddled wanted poster. In the 2003 documentary Beyond Nashville, Chet Flippo recalled, "The appearance and the marketing of the album were extremely important in making a Nashville album look hip for the first time." In the same film Tompall Glaser stated, "People were so hungry for something different than what was on the radio that they just ate it up. And it sold a million in the first two weeks and it went on up to five million." Jennings, who always viewed the outlaw image with a degree of cynicism, conceded in the audio version of his autobiography Waylon that the movement was rooted in musical integrity:
The cover was pure Old West—Dodge City and Tombstone. Now, we weren't just playing bad guys; we took our stand outside the country music rules, its set ways, locking the door on its own jail cell. We looked like tramps..."Don't fuck with me," was what we were tryin' to say...We loved the energy of rock and roll, but rock had self destructed. Country had gone syrupy. For us, "outlaw" meant standing up for your rights, your own way of doing things. It felt like a different music, and outlaw was as good a description as any. We mostly thought it was funny; Tompall immediately made up outlaw membership certificates...RCA was delighted...At last, an image!
In Nelson's 1988 autobiography Willie, Glaser stated, "Everybody rushed out to buy the Outlaws album: rock and rollers, kids, lockjaw types from the East, people who'd never bought a country album in their whole lives bought that album...Ultimately, I think the outlaw movement or publicity or gimmick or whatever you want to call it did a great thing for country music as a whole, because it opened the way for different styles."
Although many of the songs included on Wanted: The Outlaws were several years old and featured a plethora of producers, the unifying outlaw theme gave the album a cohesion and freshness it might have otherwise lacked. Although the album was predominately upbeat, it begins with the brooding "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," which laments the loneliness of outlaw life as much as it celebrates the freedom of it. In the audio version of his autobiography, Jennings confessed, "It was an oddly downbeat way to start an album, but it seemed to sum up the frontier loneliness that often came hand-in-hand with our ideas of rugged individualism." Nelson would take the song to #1 in 1980 when it appeared on the soundtrack to The Electric Horseman. Jennings also sings Billy Joe Shavers's "Honky Tonk Heroes," the title cut from his classic 1973 LP about "lovable losers" and "no account boozers" who "danced holes in (their) shoes." Nostalgic themes are also found in Nelson's "Yesterday's Wine," the title track from his 1971 concept album of the same name. Nelson's other solo track, "Me and Paul," which also appeared on the Yesterday's Wine album, seemed to echo the outlaw ethos with its tales of suspicious cops, drug busts and lines like, "We'd come to play and not just for the ride." In keeping with the cowboy theme, Glaser tips his hat to Jimmie Rodgers on a rousing version of "T For Texas" and provides some comic relief with the Shel Silverstein nugget "Put Another Log on the Fire." Contrasting with these songs, Colter's selections, including "I'm Looking For Blue Eyes" and "You Mean to Say," address themes of loneliness and heartbreak. Jennings' and Colter's duet on "Suspicious Minds" had originally been released in 1970; at that time the song peaked at #25 on the Billboard country singles chart but, upon its rerelease in 1976, shot up to #2.
The biggest hit single from the album was the Jennings-Nelson duet of "Good Hearted Woman"; it peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Country Singles and at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also awarded with the Single of the Year award by the Country Music Association. Largely written by Jennings, it had served as the title track of his 1972 album and had also been recorded by Nelson for his LP The Words Don't Fit the Picture, also released that same year. According to Joe Nick Patoski's 2008 memoir Willie Nelson, the live performance of "Good Hearted Woman" on Wanted: The Outlaws was recorded at Geno McCoslin's Western Place in Dallas, although there has been speculation that the track was a studio creation because of what appears to be canned audience applause. In reality, Nelson's vocal was overdubbed onto the edited track, which appeared in its original form on Jennings' 1976 live album Waylon Live.
In 1984, RCA reissued the original 11 track album on compact disc. By 1988, the original CD issue was deleted, and RCA issued a truncated version of the album on CD, omitting Waylon & Jessi's "Suspicious Minds", Tompall Glaser's "Put Another Log On The Fire" and Waylon's "Honky Tonk Heroes". The reasons for the deletions are unknown to this day. Wanted! The Outlaws was reissued on CD and cassette tape by RCA for a third time in 1996 (as the remastered 20th Anniversary edition) with all 11 original tracks restored, and augmented with 10 bonus tracks. Only one of these, Steve Earle's "Nowhere Road", had previously been unreleased.
At the time of the album's release, Joe Nick Patoski of Country Music wrote, "Most of the tracks are from a period when the first seeds of experimentation began to spill in Music City. Thus, a constant clash of traditional and innovative influences dominates each artist's selections, in most instances, finely woven lyrics hiding behind still slick studio concepts." In 2014, Stephen Bletts of Rolling Stone described the album as, "Raucous, rebellious and decidedly uninterested in the blend of pop and country that was storming the charts at the time..." Kurt Wolff of AllMusic observes, "it marked the industry's recognition of the changing times, and as the center point of a campaign to publicize Nashville's new "progressive" breed, it worked like a charm."
Wanted! The Outlaws reached at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart where it stayed for six weeks. In November 1976, it became the first country album to be awarded the platinum certification by RIAA, which introduced the platinum certification that year.
- "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" (Sharon Rice) – 2:48 (previously unreleased)
- "Honky Tonk Heroes" (Billy Joe Shaver) – 3:27 (new vocal and instrumental parts added to 1973 recording)
- "I'm Looking For Blue Eyes" (Jessi Colter) – 2:15 (previously unreleased)
- "You Mean to Say" (Colter) – 2:28 (alternate mix of 1971 single)
- "Suspicious Minds" (Mark James) – 3:55 (new vocal parts added to 1970 recording)
- Performed by Jennings and Colter
- "Good Hearted Woman" (Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson) – 2:56 (live version previously unreleased, released later without Willie's vocal))
- Performed by Jennings and Nelson
- "Heaven or Hell" (Nelson) – 1:37 (originally issued in 1974)
- Performed by Jennings and Nelson
- "Me and Paul" (Nelson) – 3:45 (remix of 1971 track)
- "Yesterday's Wine" (Nelson) – 2:58 (remix of 1971 track with added vocal parts)
- "T for Texas" (Jimmie Rodgers) – 4:12 (previously unreleased)
- Performed by Tompall Glaser
- "Put Another Log on the Fire (Male Chauvinist National Anthem)" (Shel Silverstein) – 2:16 (previously released in 1974)
Bonus tracks (20th anniversary reissue)
- "Slow Movin' Outlaw" (Dee Moeller) – 3:39 (previously released in 1974)
- "I'm a Ramblin' Man" (Ray Pennington) – 2:44 (previously released in 1974)
- "If She's Where You Like Livin' (You Won't Feel at Home with Me)" (Colter) – 2:51 (previously released in 1970)
- "It's Not Easy" (Frankie Miller) – 3:10 (previously released in 1970)
- "Why You Been Gone So Long" (Mickey Newbury) – 3:04 (previously released in 1970)
- "Under Your Spell Again" (Buck Owens, Dusty Rhodes) – 2:55 (mono single mix released 1971)
- Performed by Jennings and Colter
- "I Ain't the One" (Colter) – 2:09 (mono single mix released 1970)
- Performed by Jennings and Colter
- "You Left a Long, Long Time Ago" (Nelson) – 2:37 (originally released 1971, version presented here is a 1981 remix with added instruments)
- "Healing Hands of Time" (Nelson) – 2:21 (previously released in 1965)
- "Nowhere Road" (Steve Earle, Reno Kling) – 2:42
- Performed by Jennings and Nelson
- Jessi Colter - vocals
- Tompall Glaser - vocals
- Waylon Jennings - vocals
- Willie Nelson - vocals
- ^"Flashback: Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson Make Music History". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- ^ abcStreissguth, Michael (2013). Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville. HarperCollins. pp. 189–190. ISBN .
- ^Jennings, Waylon; Kaye, Lenny (1996). Waylon: An Autobiography. Warner Brooks. p. 229. ISBN .
- ^Wolff, kurt. Wanted! The Outlaws at AllMusic
- ^Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: O". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN . Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- ^"10 Musical Milestone". Billboard. 27 November 2004. p. 16.
1976 Hit Album: Wanted! The Outlaws
About the Album
Released by RCA Records in 1976, Wanted! The Outlaws is a compilation album by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. The album consists entirely of previously released material. Released to capitalize on the new outlaw country movement, Wanted! The Outlaws earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to be platinum-certified, reaching sales of one million.
The album quickly reached #1 on the country charts and peaked at #10 on the pop charts, with two hit singles released, “Suspicious Minds” and “Good Hearted Woman.” The two peaked at #2 and #1, respectively, both featuring Jennings.
Behind the Album
By 1973, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had asserted creative control over their music. They both felt it had been hampered for years by the conservative approach taken to their recordings at RCA in Nashville.
In 1972, Nelson left the label for Atlantic Records. He recorded a pair of critically acclaimed albums, Shotgun Willie (1973) and the concept album Phases and Stages (1974). With Nelson becoming more popular, RCA did not want to lose Jennings as well. They granted him the authority to produce his records how he wanted. On the other hand, Jennings released the seminal Honky Tonk Heroes album in 1973. It was widely considered the first “outlaw” album, and This Time in 1974, It was recorded at Tompall Glaser’s independent studio in Nashville.
By 1975, after the explosive success of Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger album, a whole new subgenre of country music had emerged called outlaw country. This new movement featured a more “progressive” sound and a drug culture attuned attitude. It was typified by the music of Waylon and Willie. Also inspired by songwriters like Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Lee Clayton, David Allan Coe and Townes Van Zandt.
In the wake of Red Headed Stranger’ and the general media attention, the outlaw country movement was generating. RCA boss Jerry Bradley was determined to capitalize on the wealth of Jennings and Nelson recordings that he had at his disposal:
“Waylon was selling, if we were lucky, two hundred and fifty thousand albums. Willie comes out with Red Headed Stranger and that took off and sold a million records. Jessi Colter put out “I’m Not Lisa” on Capitol. That damn thing sold half a million, or a million, set our butt on fire. We’re sitting over there, trying to sell two hundred and fifty thousand records, and we’re still struggling. Tompall had a damn record. I never went to one of their concerts. But I can imagine what it looked like, them running up and down the highway doing that.”
On the other hand, Wanted! The Outlaws received a 20th-anniversary CD reissue in 1996 featuring 10 bonus tracks, but it’s those original 11 songs that helped make country music history.
This article is dedicated to Hazel Smith, the Mother of Outlaw Music, who passed away March 18. May this inspire those who feel and want to pursue the outlaw career.
Any thoughts folks? Tell us what you think. Don’t forget to like and share this post. Share the country spirit folks! For more country reads, visit our website, https://www.countrythangdaily.com/.
Outlaws album cover wanted the
.Outlaws - Green Grass And High Tides - 11/10/1978 - Capitol Theatre
You will also be interested:
- Leopard print urn
- Model 3 eyelids
- Fantasy feeder
- Android 16 dbz
- Sevierville auto parts
- Acme plastics coupon
- Configure apple watch
- Minecraft server portals
- Sunfish freshwater aquarium