The Essential Willie Nelson

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The Essential Willie Nelson
Greatest hits album by Willie Nelson
Released April 1, 2003
Recorded 1961–2003
Genre Country
Length 120:00
Label Sony BMG
Producer Nick Shaffran, Al Quaglieri
Willie Nelson chronology
Crazy: The Demo Sessions
The Essential Willie Nelson
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]

The Essential Willie Nelson is a two-disc compilation of Willie Nelson songs. This digitally remastered compilation covers five decades of Nelson's recording career, and is part of Sony's Essential series of compilation albums.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one[edit]

  1. "Night Life"
  2. "Hello Walls"
  3. "Crazy"
  4. "Funny How Time Slips Away"
  5. "The Party's Over"
  6. "Good Times"
  7. "Me and Paul"
  8. "Yesterday's Wine"
  9. "Shotgun Willie"
  10. "Bloody Mary Morning"
  11. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
  12. "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time"
  13. "Uncloudy Day"
  14. "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" (with Waylon Jennings)
  15. "Georgia on My Mind"
  16. "Blue Skies"
  17. "All of Me"
  18. "Help Me Make It Through the Night"
  19. "Whiskey River" (live, April 1978)
  20. "Stay a Little Longer" (live, April 1978)

Disc two[edit]

  1. "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
  2. "Faded Love" (with Ray Price)
  3. "On the Road Again"
  4. "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"
  5. "Always on My Mind"
  6. "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning"
  7. "Pancho and Lefty" (with Merle Haggard)
  8. "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" (with Julio Iglesias)
  9. "City of New Orleans"
  10. "Seven Spanish Angels" (with Ray Charles)
  11. "Forgiving You Was Easy"
  12. "Highwayman" (with Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash & Kris Kristofferson)
  13. "Living in the Promiseland"
  14. "Nothing I Can Do About It Now"
  15. "What a Wonderful World"
  16. "A Horse Called Music"
  17. "Everywhere I Go" (with Emmylou Harris)
  18. "Maria (Shut Up and Kiss Me)"
  19. "Mendocino County Line" (with Lee Ann Womack)
  20. "Rainbow Connection"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 24
U.S. Billboard 200 179


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[2] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "American album certifications – Willie Nelson – The Essential Willie Nelson". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH