HALF NELSON is a compilation of duets Willie Nelson recorded during the early 1980's. The majority of tracks are drawn from previously released albums and singles. The result is a mixed bag that includes something for practically everyone, from fans of older country (Merle Haggard, Mel Tillis, George Jones, and a studio-created duet with Hank Williams Sr.) to rock and rollers (Neil Young, Leon Russell, Carlos Santana). Nelson is a sensitive duet partner, and when the material is first-rate he rises to the challenge well.
Occasionally, Nelson shines on what is arguably inferior material, such as the treacly mega-hit "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," performed with Julio Iglesias. High points include the Nelson-Merle Haggard version of "Pancho and Lefty," one of the great singles of its era, and the Western swing tune "Texas on a Saturday Night," performed with Mel Tillis. Nelson is well-paired with fellow hippie iconoclast Neil Young on "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?," drawn from Young's OLD WAYS album. HALF NELSON also includes three previously unreleased tracks, including Hank Sr.'s "I Told A Lie to My Heart," a demo tape onto which Willie overdubbed a harmony vocal and guitar solo.