Willie Nelson

Face of a Fighter [Pazzazz]

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This double-CD collection of Willie Nelson classics features tracks recorded as publishers' demos, as well as songs that Nelson recorded for the Liberty label in the early 1960s, in an ultimately futile quest to make it as a solo artist in Nashville. The stripped-down, primitive quality of many of these recordings naturally accentuates Nelson's quirky phrasing and attractively weathered voice, focusing attention on the songs, which include the tear-jerker "Happiness Lives Next Door," the bleak "Half a Man," and the acidic "Blame It on the Times," as well as his Liberty version of the memorable "Night Life," a hit for his former employer Ray Price.

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