Across the Borderline

Across the Borderline

by Willie Nelson

CD

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Overview

If ever there were doubts about the breadth and depth of Willie Nelson's ambitions and talents, Across the Borderline should put them to rest. Nelson surveys roughly two decades of popular music, tackling songs by writers as varied as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, and Lyle Lovett. That Nelson covers such a variety shouldn't really come as such a surprise: the songs on Across the Borderline simply consolidate the range of material he's covered previously, from the Bing Crosby-inspired pop standards albums Stardust to the folk-rock of "City of New Orleans." Nelson, along with producer Don Was, assembled a stellar cast of musicians for the album. Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, and Mose Allison all guest, and a rock band is Nelson's backup unit for most of the tracks. Of course, country music is at the center of Nelson's vast repertoire, and the two Lyle Lovett compositions he chose to cover for Across the Borderline are wonderfully done, with the accompaniment of Nelson's regular backing band. There are also Nelson's own songs, both new ("Valentine") and old (the rather gloomy "She's Not for You"), as well as a writing and singing collaboration with Bob Dylan ("Heartland"). For all the strengths of the other 13 tracks, the most stunning song on the album is Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up." The parts originally sung by Kate Bush on Gabriel's So album are sung here by Sinead O'Connor, a brilliant piece of casting. Nelson and O'Connor's rendition is quietly triumphant and every bit as powerful as Gabriel and Bush's original. The result of the apparently scattershot song selection and numerous musicians is an album that possesses a quiet majesty, further establishing Willie Nelson as one of the most important writers and interpreters of the last half of the 20th century.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/23/1993
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074645275222
catalogNumber: 52752

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Violin
Kris Kristofferson   Vocals
Mark Isham   Trumpet
Bob Dylan   Vocals
Bonnie Raitt   Vocals,Slide Guitar
Paul Simon   Acoustic Guitar
Billy Gene English   Percussion
Jim Keltner   Drums
Grady Martin   Electric Guitar
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Eric Bazilian   Mandolin
Jimmy Bralower   Sampling
David Campbell   Harmonium
Gene Chrisman   Drums
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Debra Dobkin   Percussion
Paul English   Drums
Paul Franklin   Pedal Steel Guitar
Goldenberg   Guitar
Mark Goldenberg   Guitar (Tremolo)
James "Hutch" Hutchinson   Bass
Mike Leech   Bass
John Leventhal   Guitar
Bob "Chicago" Nelson   Piano
Mark O'Connor   Violin
Sinéad O'Connor   Vocals
Jody Payne   Acoustic Guitar
Ray Phiri   Electric Guitar
Bee Spears   Bass
Fred Tackett   Guitar
Daniel Timms   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals
Robby Turner   Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar
Don Was   Bass
Reggie Young   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Paul Simon   Producer
Larry Greenhill   Engineer
Roy Halee   Producer
Don Was   Producer
Bill Johnson   Art Direction
James Dickinson   Composer
T. S. Bruton   Composer

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Across the Borderline 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
When Willie recorded this set, he had recently settled a lawsuit with the IRS. By all accounts, this was the most ambitous music he'd made in a long time. He put his brand on songs by Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simopn. Graceland, in my opinoion, is one of his best covers ever and may even be better than Paul Simon's original. However, Dylan's What Was It You Wanted tops it and Willie puts a new spin on Gabriel's Don't Give Up. He also does a good job on Simon's American Tune. THe backing is a mix of country and rock. His own songs measure up and make this an intersting outing for The Outlaw.