Itâ€™s easy to forget how relevant Willie Nelson still remains, nearly 50 years after releasing his first record. On Lost Highway, his greatest hits collection from the label of the same name, Nelson, turns in 17 already classic country songs. Tunes like â€œMaria (Shut Up and Kiss Me),â€ â€œBack to Earthâ€ and his cover of the reggae classic â€œThe Harder They Comeâ€ just go to illustrate how relevant he still remains. With the label for almost 10 years, Nelson churned out 12 albums on Lost Highway Records alone.
There plenty of duets in this collection â€“ everyone from Matchbox 20â€™s Rob Thomas and Ray Price to Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello â€“ but the songs are always best when Nelson goes it alone. Following someone as prolific as Nelson, youâ€™d be forgiven for not picking up every single record he put out over the past decade â€“ which includes a collection of reggae covers. But Lost Highway is essential, even for the casual fan. The album also includes a couple of unreleased tracks like the stellar cover of Ned Subletteâ€™s â€œCowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.â€
Rating: 8.4 out of 10
Top track: â€œMaria (Shut Up and Kiss Me)â€ and â€œCowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.â€
Willie Nelson â€“ Lost Highway/CD /17 tracks /2009/Lost Highway