Willie Nelson Crazy: The Demo Sessions (Sugar Hill) Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
Forty years back, aspiring country songwriter Willie Nelson wasn't sure whether he'd ever wrangle a recording contract of his own, so he made sure the publishing demos he cut for Pamper sounded good enough to release as is. And with a session crew that included Jimmy Day, Pig Robbins and Pete Wade, the 15 to 20 tunes Nelson recorded in just three hours were built to last, as these spare but amazing recently discovered tracks prove. Along with the version of Crazy he pitched to Patsy Cline, there's also the great previously unheard tune I'm Still Here and chilling first cracks at Undo The Right, I've Just Destroyed The World, Darkness On The Face Of The Earth and Permanently Lonely, which reveal that Nelson had his whole artistic concept down long before anyone might've guessed. Brilliant.