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Waylon Jennings - Are You Ready For The Country

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Are You Ready For The Country

Waylon Jennings

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If the heavy-hitters of outlaw country were acting like rock stars during their mid-'70s peak, then perhaps it was inevitable that the outlaws would start singing rock songs -- which is precisely what Waylon Jennings did on 1976's Are You Ready for the Country. Although the title is taken from Neil Young's song -- which provides an absolutely storming opener for this ten-song record -- there is a bit of a jibe to its sentiment as well, since Waylon not only sings Young, but also the Marshall Tucker Band and Dr. Hook, along with reviving Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park." That selection of material indicates not just the increasing rock-isms of Waylon and the outlaws, it also indicates that Jennings' focus was beginning to blur slightly as he lost the sense of purpose that propelled his records of the first half the '70s, from The Taker/Tulsa to Dreaming My Dreams. Here, the music hasn't really changed, but the flow is no longer seamless and the shifting tones can be a little jarring. Also, Jennings' songwriting starts to slip a little bit here; none of his originals are bad, and "I'll Go Back to Her" is quite good, but they're all decidedly second tier. All things considered, though, most of the individual moments hold up quite well, with "Are You Ready for the Country" and a wonderful, surging take on Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See" ranking among Waylon's best music of the era. There are other very good moments, such as the cracking "Jack a Diamonds," and the entire record is entertaining, but more for a collection of moments than a cohesive whole. That's the first time since the late '60s that one of Jennings' albums felt like less than the sum of its parts, and if it didn't necessarily mark the end of the era, it did mark the point when he started to ease back from his startling peak of creativity.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Are You Ready For The Country

Waylon Jennings

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1
Are You Ready for the Country
00:03:12

Ken Mansfield, Producer - Neil Young, Composer - Neil Young, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

2
Them Old Love Songs
00:03:13

Donnie Fritts, Composer - Donnie Fritts, Lyricist - Ken Mansfield, Producer - Troy Seals, Composer - Troy Seals, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

3
So Good Woman
00:02:03

Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Composer - Waylon Jennings, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

4
Jack-A-Diamonds
00:03:27

Daniel Moore, Composer - Daniel Moore, Lyricist - Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

5
Can't You See
00:03:46

Ken Mansfield, Producer - Toy Caldwell, Composer - Toy Caldwell, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

6
MacArthur Park (Revisited) Revisited
00:06:39

Jimmy Webb, Composer - Jimmy Webb, Lyricist - Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

7
I'll Go Back to Her
00:03:10

Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Composer - Waylon Jennings, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

8
A Couple More Years
00:04:11

Dennis Locorriere, Composer - Dennis Locorriere, Lyricist - Shel Silverstein, Composer - Shel Silverstein, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer

(P) 1977 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Old Friend
00:03:23

Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Composer - Waylon Jennings, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Precious Memories
00:03:40

Ken Mansfield, Arranger - Ken Mansfield, Composer - Ken Mansfield, Lyricist - Ken Mansfield, Producer - Waylon Jennings, Arranger - Waylon Jennings, Composer - Waylon Jennings, Lyricist - Waylon Jennings, Performer - Waylon Jennings, Producer

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

Albumbeschreibung

If the heavy-hitters of outlaw country were acting like rock stars during their mid-'70s peak, then perhaps it was inevitable that the outlaws would start singing rock songs -- which is precisely what Waylon Jennings did on 1976's Are You Ready for the Country. Although the title is taken from Neil Young's song -- which provides an absolutely storming opener for this ten-song record -- there is a bit of a jibe to its sentiment as well, since Waylon not only sings Young, but also the Marshall Tucker Band and Dr. Hook, along with reviving Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park." That selection of material indicates not just the increasing rock-isms of Waylon and the outlaws, it also indicates that Jennings' focus was beginning to blur slightly as he lost the sense of purpose that propelled his records of the first half the '70s, from The Taker/Tulsa to Dreaming My Dreams. Here, the music hasn't really changed, but the flow is no longer seamless and the shifting tones can be a little jarring. Also, Jennings' songwriting starts to slip a little bit here; none of his originals are bad, and "I'll Go Back to Her" is quite good, but they're all decidedly second tier. All things considered, though, most of the individual moments hold up quite well, with "Are You Ready for the Country" and a wonderful, surging take on Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See" ranking among Waylon's best music of the era. There are other very good moments, such as the cracking "Jack a Diamonds," and the entire record is entertaining, but more for a collection of moments than a cohesive whole. That's the first time since the late '60s that one of Jennings' albums felt like less than the sum of its parts, and if it didn't necessarily mark the end of the era, it did mark the point when he started to ease back from his startling peak of creativity.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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