Personnel includes: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar); Gordon Payne (acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, background vocals); Rance Wasson (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Reggie Young (eletric guitar); Larry Whitmore, Chips Moman, John Hug, Fred Newell (guitar); Buddy Emmons, Ralph Mooney (steel guitar); Don Brooks (harmonica); Kyle Lehning (trumpet, piano, organ); Dee Moeller (piano, organ); Barny Robertson (organ, keyboards, background vocals); Sherman Hayes, Duke Goff (bass); Richie Albright, Eddy Anderson (drums); Becky Williams, Carter Robertson (background vocals).
Producers: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Chips Moman, Ken Mansfield.
Compilation producer: Rob Santos.
Recorded at American Studios, Nashville, Tennessee between August 1977 and November 1977. Originally released on RCA (#2686). Includes liner notes by Rich Kienzle.
Digitally remastered by Mike Hartry (BMG).
It sat on the top of the country charts for 11 weeks and went double platinum, making it one of the biggest hits in either Waylon Jennings' or Willie Nelson's catalog. Years after its initial 1978 release, Waylon & Willie remains one of their biggest-selling albums. Released in early 1978, a few months after Jennings' Ol' Waylon spent 13 weeks on the top of the charts in the summer of 1977, thanks in part to the hit single "Luckenbach, Texas" featuring a chorus sung by Nelson, the album was intended as a celebration of the peak of outlaw, as both singers are more or less in command of their talents here. Waylon's original "Lookin' for a Feeling" is sturdy and the album-closing "The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want to Get Over You)" is brilliant, possibly the best song here, even if the heart of the record -- what the album is selling -- is the four duets with Willie. One of these, of course, is the monster hit "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," with two others -- "The Year 2003 Minus 25" and "Don't Cuss the Fiddle" -- being laid-back, funny Kris Kristofferson songs that showcase Waylon & Willie's roguish humor and charm. The other, "Pick Up the Tempo" -- like Willie's three solo tracks, a previously released Waylon recording stripped of his vocals and overdubbed by Nelson -- is one of Willie's classics. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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