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Across the Borderline

Willie Nelson Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.34 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

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Across the Borderline was produced in 1993 by Don Was, then flush with work following his helming of Bonnie Raitt's commercial breakthrough, Nick of Time. In fact, his celebrated clients at the time included everyone from Iggy Pop to Neil Diamond. Here he surrounds Willie Nelson with a vast cast of superstar admirers that includes Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Lyle Lovett. If the thought of Nelson and Lyle Lovett dueting on Peter Gabriel "Don't Give Up" with Mark Isham blowing dulcet trumpet lines above it all gives you the willies, surprisingly, it shouldn't. In fact, it's a highlight of this very successful all-star album. Nelson, coming off a dry spell, sounds invigorated, the material is strong, and the musicianship sparkles. --Steven Stolder

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You have friends Oct. 13 2003
Format:Audio CD
This album from 1993 is one of Willie's finest. It features a wide variety of good songs from different songwriters, plus guest appearances by many of Willie's famous friends. The whole album is good, but my personal favorites are "Most Unoriginal Sin", "Graceland", "Still is Still Moving to Me" and "Heartland" with Bob Dylan. Anybody who likes Willie should enjoy this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Across the Borderline Willie Nelson June 6 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this music in audio tape form and listened to it until I wore the tape out. Having it again is the return of an old friend. Willie at his best. Great songs, great support vocalists. Well worth having.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Un très bon disque de Nelson March 9 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Un disque très touchant et très réussi. Nelson est toujours aussi professionnel et ses arrangements relèvent l'ensemble. Un très bon disque.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Best Albums By Anyone July 9 2011
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album to get one song that was used on a TV show....and can honestly say this turned out to be one of the best albums I have ever heard...of any kind...and I have eclectic tastes and approximately 400 albums. Thanks Willie for the beautiful music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album which illustrates all the variety of Willie Nelson Oct. 8 1999
By "mitchiedoo" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A superb tour of modern songs written by such established singer/songwriters as Paul Simon,Lyle Lovett,Peter Gabriel,Bob Dylan and Nelson himself. From the opening track,Paul Simons "American Tune",the album just grew on me, and after a few plays I became convinced this song had been written especially for Nelson himself so complete is his rendition. While all the duets on the album work most satisfactorily I thought Dylan and Nelson were a terrific pairing for their self penned track "Heartland" Those who prefer Willie Nelson of the basic variety,complete with the famous haunting vocals,guitar, and little else, are well catered for with his own composition"Valentine". While enjoyable I prefered his raunchy version of Paul Simons "Graceland" which could be compared to some of his foot-tapping cover versions of such classics as "South of the Border" "All of Me" "City of New Orleans" or his own"On the Road Again" For the traditional country fan I felt Lyle Lovetts"Farther down the Line" struck the right note;was totally enjoyable the first time I heard it and still produces the same reaction today.Ry Cooders title track"Across The Borderline" is masterly performed by Willie Nelson, yet strangely I found it was the lyrics which attracted my immediate attention and not the melody:-it usually happens the other way round for me! Although I must admit to having a broad grin on my face listening to"I love the life I live" for the first time,and since, by thinking"hes singing the story of his life and probably with a big smile on his face!! This album is superbly produced with a multitude of top drawer performers providing excellent musicianship which combines beautifully with the strong material to provide an album which illustrates the range,variety,and adaptability of Willie Nelson as a performer. Thouroughly recommended for both the fan or as a terrific sampler for someone who wants to experience what Willie Nelson and his work is all about.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Great Divide! June 29 2002
By Mark D. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although his recent The Great Divide has some good songs/music/duets on it, it comes nowhere near Across The Borderline. This is the perfect Willie Nelson album for song selection/production/music/feeling. Songs like American Tune, Don't Give Up, Graceland are given a classic Willie americana/country treatment. Duets with Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan,and Sinead O'Connor are mixed beautifully between great Nelson songs and interpretations of John Hiatt, Dylan, Lovett, and Dixon. The Nelson/Dylan song Heartland, sung by both, is the best collaborative song that Dylan has done since his 'Sign Language' song written/sung with Clapton. This is great music.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Willie plus a cast of stars April 11 2005
By Greg Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Usually these "cast of thousands" type albums just blend it an overboiled tasteless paste...so much "input" is added that the artist's style disappears, gauzed over by the producer into a faceless project that could have been anyone. Thankfully, this is NOT the case here. Don Was makes a thicker sound for Willie here but stops short of filling the tracks with so many sonic bells and whistles that Willie's greatest asset...that solid interpretive voice of his...gets lost. Indeed, Was' great taste shows in use of touches that sound like they wouldn't work (for example, a muted jazzy trumpet courtesy of Mark Isham on Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up") that end up enhancing the songs. Most of the songs here are Willie covering songs of others with quite a few guest vocalists (Sinead O'Connor, Sinead O'Connor, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt) on tap. The band backing Willie is crack also (Jim Keltner, Mark O'Connor, Benmont Tench,John Leventhal,Johnny Gimble at times). A minor complaint might be that several interesting duets DON'T happen. Willie does a John Hiatt and a Lyle Lovett tune, but they don't sing on the cuts. (Nor does Paul Simon on either of the 2 songs of his Willie does here, though he does play guitar.)

HIGHLIGHTS:
Though Bonnie Raitt's appearance here is probably a result of Was' recent collaboration with her (he produced her big comeback album "Nick of Time"), her smoky latenight bar voice and slide are the perfect compliment on "Getting Over You". Sinead O'Connor, surprisingly, turns out to be a good vocal pairing as well. Their harmonies on the last verse of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" sparkle, and the arrangement recasts it as the country tale of the distressed workingman that the lyric always was. The title track's saga of a Mexican casting his eyes toward the "broken promised land" of the U.S. benefits from Kristofferson's harmonies, though they could be higher in the mix. Nelson's interpretations of Dylan's "What was it You Wanted?" and Lovett's "Farther Down the Line" and "If I Were the Man You Wanted" are also great. Of the numbers penned by Nelson himself, the brisk "Still is Still Moving to Me" and tender "Valentine" fare best.

LOWS:
Willie turns in a curiously dispassionate reading of Willie Dixon's classic blues "I Love the Life I Live" though the musical backing is nicely relaxed. I consider myself a Dylan fan, though his voice is at its croakiest for "Heartland" making it a track I skip by.

BOTTOM LINE:
Another fine performance from Nelson is made somewhat more contemporary by the collaborations here, though he's not made to play second-fidddle (as Carlos Santana was on his recent album with Rob Thomas and others). Nelson is clearly the star here and the production by Was recognizes that fact. A good one for Nelson fans and for those just learning about him.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Country with Some good duets Aug. 4 2005
By D Bourgie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Willie Nelson's Across the Borderline is a classic album. On this record there are songs that range from covers (ranging from Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel) and originals. Plus the guest appearances are amazing. Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Sinead O'Connor, and Bob Dylan lend their talents to this record. My favorite song is Heartland which Nelson cowrote with Dylan. This collaboration results in a real personal poetic song. Favorites include American Tune (with Paul Simon on lead guitar), Getting over You (with Bonnie Raitt), Most Unoriginal Sin, Don't Give Up (with Sinead O'Connor), Heartland (with Bob Dylan), Graceland, What Was It You Wanted?, Farther Down the Line, and If I Were the Man You Wanted. Highly Highly Recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Panoply of American Folk Feb. 2 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Perhaps only a lyricist as talented as Willie Nelson has the vision to select such well-built songs and craft them into a quilt of American Folk. The songs are all beautiful, and run the range of emotion from hope in the face of failure (Heartland) to selfless love (Valentine). Buy it.
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