Willie Nelson’s 1984 Live at Budokan Concert Gets Official Release

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The first official album release of Willie Nelson’s performance at Tokyo’s fabled Nippon Budokan in 1984 was issued on Nov. 18, 2022, via Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. Willie Nelson Live At Budokan is available as a 2CD/1DVD configuration. [A 2LP 12″ vinyl pressing will also be available exclusively at independent record stores as part of Record Store Day’s Black Friday event on Nov. 25.] See the track listing and watch performances of “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Stardust,” and others, below.

From the Sept. 15 announcement: Produced by Nelson’s longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael  and mixed by Tony Castle, Willie Nelson Live At Budokan has been sonically upgraded to showcase the American pop-country icon and his ensemble in Tokyo for the first time. The concert was recorded and filmed for broadcast, eventually seeing release only as a laser disc in Japan. However the video was never seen anywhere else and the audio was never released at all… until now.

“My name is Willie Nelson…”

A broadcast edition of the concert is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning Nov. 26 (check local listings).

“Here’s a song that me and Waylon Jennings wrote one time…”

The 50-year-old Nelson’s ensemble that night (February 23, 1984) featured his sister Bobbie Nelson on piano, Paul English on drums, Grady Martin on guitar, Jody Payne on vocals and guitar, Bee Spears on bass and Mickey Raphael on harmonica.

Watch the performances of “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Stardust”

Nelson has co-authored books about his band members including Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band (2020) and the new Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship, arriving from Harper Horizon on Sept. 20. Willie’s drummer, Paul English, passed away at age 87, on Feb. 11, 2020. His sister Bobbie died at age 91, on March 10, 2022.

Willie Nelson Live At Budokan Track Listing and Songwriters

1. Whiskey River (J. B. Shinn III)
2. Mona Lisa (Jay Livingston/Raymond Evans)
3. Good Hearted Woman (Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson)
4. Down Yonder (L. Wolfe Gilbert)
5. If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time (Lefty Frizzell/Jim Beck)
6. Workin’ Man Blues (Merle Haggard)
7. Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kris Kristofferson)
8. Me and Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson/Fred Foster)
9. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (Fred Rose)
10. Under The Double Eagle (Traditional arranged by Willie Nelson)
11. Blue Skies (Irving Berlin)
12. Georgia On My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael/Stuart Gorell)
13. All Of Me (Seymour Simons/Gerald Marks)
14. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish
15. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Sharon Vaughan)
16. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Ed Bruce/Patsy Bruce)
17. Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground (Willie Nelson)
18. On The Road Again (Willie Nelson)
19. Always On My Mind (John Christopher/Wayne Thompson/Mark James)
20. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (A.P. Carter)
21. Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line (Jimmy Bryant)
22. Who’ll Buy My Memories (Willie Nelson)
23. Till I Gain Control Again (Rodney Crowell)
24. Without A Song (Vincent Youmans/Billy Rose/Edward Eliscu)
25. Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) (Bobby Emmons/Chips Moman)
26. Whiskey River (J. B. Shinn III)
27. Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line (Jimmy Bryant)

Tickets to see Willie Nelson & Family perform are available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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