Waylon Jennings

Nashville Rebel

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Recorded and issued in 1966, Nashville Rebel is the soundtrack to a budget film of the same name by Jay Sheridan -- who also wrote most of the songs on side two. While the title of the album may be prophetic in terms of the radical changes in Waylon Jennings' career around 1971, the music found here is anything but. While Jennings brought seven of the 12 songs to these sessions, and starred in the film, the soundtrack feels and sounds dated and overwrought -- mostly from a production point of view. However, it's also true that some of the material here is less than stellar. Noteworthy tracks include "Nashville Rebel" and "Green River" by Harlan Howard, as well as an interesting if flawed cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." This is Jennings trying to punch a hole in the sky, but he falls short by trying too hard. The songs here do nothing to advance the narrative of the film and, while interesting, don't really stand on their own. Sheridan's cuts, which close the album, are nothing short of embarrassing.

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