Phases and Stages

Rhino Atlantic
Release date
5 Mar 1991
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Phases And Stages (Theme)/Washing The Dishes (LP Version) 1:41 209
2 Phases And Stages (Theme)/Walkin' (LP Version) 4:05 214
3 Pretend I Never Happened (LP Version) 2:59 194
4 Sister's Coming Home/Down At The Corner Beer Joint 3:46 1,364
5 (How Will I Know) I'm Falling In Love Again (LP Version) 3:26 190
6 Bloody Mary Morning 3:42 19,075
7 Phases And Stages (Theme)/No Love Around (LP Version) 2:23 212
8 I Still Can't Believe You're Gone 2:48 3,550
9 It's Not Supposed To Be That Way (LP Version) 3:28 201
10 Heaven and Hell 1:54 2,653
11 Phases And Stages (Theme)/Pick Up The Tempo/Phases And Stages (Theme) (LP Version) 3:26 202

About this album

Phases and Stages is a 1974 album by Willie Nelson, which followed the moderate success of his first Atlantic Records release, Shotgun Willie. Nelson met producer Jerry Wexler at a party where Nelson sang songs from an unreleased album he had recorded in 1972. The single “Phases and Stages” was originally recorded the same year. Nelson re-recorded the album at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in two days and Wexler produced it.

The album narrates the story of a divorce. Side one tells the woman’s story and side two the man’s. Released on March 1974, the album peaked at number 34 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and the single “Bloody Mary Morning” reached number 17 on Billboard’s Country singles. Despite the chart positions attained by the album, and its singles, Atlantic Records closed their Country music division in September 1974.

In 1972, Nelson signed a recording contract with the Country Music division of Atlantic Records and Jerry Wexler, who gave him greater creative control than his previous contract. Nelson met Wexler at a party in Harlan Howard’s house, where he sang the songs he wrote for an album. Nelson recorded his first album for Atlantic Records, Shotgun Willie, in 1972. Shotgun Willie, produced by Arif Mardin and Wexler, marked a change of style in Nelson’s music. Nelson stated that recording the album had “…cleared his throat”.

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  • richardneal

    One of country's great "concept" albums

    16 May 2012 Reply
  • margybee

    This is great stuff! The fiddle solo on "Sister's Coming Home" is really fantastic.

    30 Sep 2008 Reply