Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Willie Nelson - Who'll Buy My Memories: The I.R.S. Tapes, Vols. 1 & 2

Willie Nelson was in hot water in the early nineties for years worth of tax evasion, which he blamed on his financial manager. In order to pay his back taxes, he made a two-volume, solo acoustic album on the cheap, which he sold by mail order through television commercials, acknowledging the humor of the situation by calling the project "Who'll Buy My Memories: The I.R.S. Tapes".

This is an intimate trip through some of Willie's greatest lesser-known songs, obviously among those that mean the most to him. The performances are restrained, stately, haunting and full of life.

In particular, on this day after Memorial Day in the U.S., I'd like to call attention to the powerful but subtle anti-war song "Jimmy's Road", which Willie placed prominently as the second track on the first volume. God bless our troops, and God damn those who send them needlessly to death and dismemberment and psychological destruction. And those of them who use war as a license for inhuman behavior. And those who justify the above.

Excuse the digression. Anyway, these discs are changing hands for at least $40-something used and, respectively, $230 and $135 on Amazon. Not as huge as Willie's tax bill, but way too high a price for such valuable (in a non-monetary sense) recordings! Here they are at The Rare Stuff, encoded at 320 for your aural pleasure. (Of course, if you care to contribute to my own tax bill, please use the Paypal link to the right, or kindly check out one or two of our sponsors!)

Vol 1:

Vol. 2:


  1. Zero comments on this rare post of amazing WN music? Crazy indeed. Thanks for taking the time and making this gem available.

  2. Wow! I had heard about these, but stupidly ignored them for no good reason. What a revelation. Thank you very very much. Beautiful stuff.

  3. Sweet Willie selections. DL'ing now and I can't wait to listen to them at work tomorrow. Thanks for posting these!

  4. Willie is great. I love the sounds on this album.

    Thanks for the work on the Blog too.

  5. Looks as good as it gets to me!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Cool! Any chance of a repost, PLEASE? Keep up the good work. ;)


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