Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Winter, Near Water...

A friend writes (via e-mail):
I would pay money (well, Monopoly money) for you to have any reason whatsoever some time any time to post Willie Nile’s monumentally great "It’s All Over" from his first (1980) Arista disc, simply because it’s just plain the greatest thing ever and should have been a "Born to Run" caliber hit. "Vagabond Moon" is pretty damn good. But "It’s All Over" is monumental. It should get an award for sheer greatness. There should be a Nobel prize category for that kind of song.
To which I can only say -- indeed.

Oh, and enjoy.

That song completely slays me, actually, and come to think of it, the whole of that album is an apotheosis of jangly folk-rock brilliance.

And while I've got your attention, by way of an encore, here's Willie and his fabulous band live in 1981 (just back from a European tour with The Who) with a fun cover of Ricky Nelson's "Stood Up." The rhythm section is Fred Smith and Jay Dee Daugherty (Television and the Patti Smith Group) BTW.


FD13NYC said...

Always thought Vagabond Moon was a great jangly rock album. Bought it when it first came out. Still play a few songs from it. The title track is a real gem. Stood Up, a good find, really good.

Faze said...

Heard it here. Went to iTunes. Bought me some Willie Nile. The system works!

steve simels said...

Our long national nightmare is over!!!

Jon said...


"Vagabond Moon" was one of those songs, and Willie Nile one of those artists, that completely disappeared for me until I miraculously rediscovered them on this blog's archives quite by accident some time last year.

I was only 12 or 13 when I first heard Willie Nile on the radio and somewhere along the way I'd conflated Willie with Steve Forbert, and "Vagabond Moon" with "Romeo's Tune" to the point that only the latter ever existed to me.

Coming to realize this again was really mind-blowing and I thank you!

Anonymous said...

It's All Over gives me chills. I have to take aspirin and go home now.

About the time of this live track, WNEW in NYC broadcast a live Willie Nile show, and I managed to tape it on cassette. Maybe a Central Park show? Still looking for that tape...

Also, Clay Barnes, on lead guitar, please stand up and take a bow. The only time I saw Willie Nile live (in Kenny's Castaways) I was amazed by Clay Barne's amazing jangle-twang.


Anonymous said...

You folks are all writing as if Willie Nile isn't around any more. Listen up! Willie Nile is very much still around. He has a new album out on CD Baby right now ("The Innocent Ones") and he is touring in Europe and the New York area in support of it. He puts on a live show that's second to none.
-Joanne (from Cape Cod)

Nigel Tufnel said...

Willie is without doubt my favorite shoulda-been-a-contenda. I guess he was just out of sync with the times: just coming out of the disco and arena rock 70s and about to head into the hair-metal and British-synth-pop eighties. Sigh.

I bought the first Willie Nile album because Sleeve Nimels gave it a glowing review in SR, and later that summer, I saw him open for the Who in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was transcendent; in a way, even better than the headliners, who were on their first tour with Kenney Jones. the next day, the local paper said that "Willie Nye" opened the show with the song "Old Men Sleeping on the Bayou." Sigh again.