In his early days, after he first hit Nashville in the early '60s, Willie Nelson was known as a songwriter, penning huge hits for Ray Price ("Night Life"), Billy Walker ("Funny How Time Slips Away"), Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), and Faron Young ("Hello Walls"). At the same time, though, he was also recording many of the same songs he placed with other artists, and they revealed what country fans and the world would know soon enough: that here was one of the most persuasive and powerful voices then working -- Harlan Howard and Jim Reeves wrapped up in one. Capitol's Certified Hits is mercilessly brief, just ten tracks, but these ten are some of the best performances in Willie's career, including all the songs mentioned above plus "Mr. Record Man" and "Country Willie." His voice may not have been exactly what country radio fans were used to, but like many other classic vocalists, his interpretive skills overcame the initial limitations of his voice.
AllMusic Review by John Bush