Personnel: Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Chips Moman, Johnny Christopher, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Grady Martin, Lewis Talley, Reggie Young (vocals, guitar); Julio Iglesias (vocals); Johnny Gimble (guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Jody Payne (guitar, mandolin); Gordon Payne (guitar, harmonica); Chip Young, Larry Whitmore, Dave Zettner, Paul Matthew Davis, John Leslie Hug, J.R. Cobb , Bucky Meadows, Johnny Western, Paul Buskirk, Roy Nichols, Billy Ray Reynolds, Billy Strange, Rance Wasson (guitar); Fred Carter, Jr. (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, dobro); Dale Sellers (acoustic guitar); Herb Remington, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Weldon Myrick (steel guitar); Pete Bordonali, Billy Sanford (gut-string guitar); Marty Stuart (mandolin); Al Lester, Buddy Spicher (fiddle); Roger Crabtree, Terry McMillan, Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Dick Shannon (saxophone, vibraphone); Don Markham (saxophone); Donald Sanders (baritone saxophone); Jose McElhiney, Bill McElhiney, Wayne Jackson (trumpet); Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano, organ, keyboards); Booker T. Jones (piano, organ); Paul English (piano, drums, percussion); Bob Whitford, Bobbie Nelson, Jim Pierce (piano); Bobby Wood (keyboards, background vocals); Barry Beckett, Bobby Emmons, Bobby Woods (keyboards); Al Hagy, Rex Ludwig, Gene Chrisman, Gene Crisman, Ritchie Albright, Roger Hawkins, Billy Gene English, Roy Harte (drums); Diane Tidwell, Andy Black, Sherrill Parks, Lisa Silver, Rick Yancey, Toni Wine, Louis Dean Nunley, Hershel Wigginton (background vocals).
Recording information: American Studios, Nashville, TN (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Eleven Eleven Studios, Nashville, TN (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Gold Star Studio, Houston, TX (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, NV (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Los Angeles, CA (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Moman's Recording Studio, Nashville, TN (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Muscle Shoals Sound, Muscle Shoals, AL (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Pedernales Recording Studio, Spicewood, TX (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); The Enactron, Los Angeles, CA (??/??/1960-10/03/1984); Woodland Sound Studios, Nashville, TN (??/??/1960-10/03/1984).
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Frank Ockenfels.
This quality Australian collection from RCA collects 20 of country legend Willie Nelson's best-known songs, including "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," "Poncho and Lefty," "Always on My Mind," "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," and "On the Road Again." Fans looking for a meatier overview of Nelson's long and productive career would be better off with Columbia's 41-track Essential Willie Nelson, but as far as single-disc anthologies go, this one's hard to beat. ~ James Christopher Monger