“This Time” is a song written and performed by one of the legends of country music, Waylon Jennings. It was released in April of 1974 as the No. 1 track of the album “This Time’. The song climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in June of the same year.
The album ‘This Time’ by Waylon Jennings was released at the peak of outlaw country movement. It was produced and Willie Nelson.
Even though Jennings had already won an artistic autonomy from RCA in 1972, he was still irritated by RCA executives, who kept a watch on his recording sessions at RCA Victor Studios and had even delayed the release of his 1973 album Honky Tonk Heroes. In his autobiography, he wrote that although he agreed to record in their studios, the RCA engineers were constantly calling executive Jerry Bradley, keeping him updated on everything Jennings did. Fed up with aggravation, Jennings decided to record his next album at Tompall Glaser’s studio at 916 Nineteenth Avenue South, nicknamed “Hillbilly Central,” with Willie Nelson co-producing. Glaser, a Nashville veteran who had achieved fame with the Glaser Brothers, had co-produced Honky Tonk Heroes, a touchstone of the outlaw country movement. In his book Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville, the author Michael Streissguth describes the atmosphere at the studio, which contrasted sharply with RCA’s strict recording traditions:
“Its doors propped open to let in the young breezes sweeping through the West End, the so-called Hillbilly Central offices became an outlaw safe haven. Former employees recalled Willie Nelson lazing on the front lawn, and Waylon haunting the offices at three in the morning…The studio hosted a fraternity of singers, songwriters and Nashville dropouts living the verse of a strumming and bumming honky tonk song…Sessions burned into the small hours until Tompall and his entourage peeled out into the streets in search of pinball machines, drinks, and greasy food.”
According to Streissguth, the first song Jennings recorded at Glaser’s studio in October 1973 was J.J. Cale’s “Louisiana Women” with Kyle Lehning engineering. Lehning, who would achieve fame in the 1980s producing albums for Randy Travis, contributed Wurlitzer electric piano to the Cale song and the trumpet part to “Heaven and Hell.”
“You just can’t believe how different everything sounded when he moved from RCA,” Glaser explained in the 2003 documentary Beyond Nashville. “The bottom was fat and big again…You could hear the drum, it wasn’t a little tick in the back. It was marvelous.”
Overall, This Time has a more laid-back feel than its defiant predecessor. Four of the twelve songs on the LP were written by Nelson and included on his Phases and Stages concept album, which was released earlier that same year. Nelson also sang on “Heaven and Hell” and contributed guitar to the album. The title track became Jennings’ first chart-topping smash in June 1974. In the authorized video biography Renegade Outlaw Legend, the singer revealed, “I wrote that song five years before and whoever was producing me then at RCA said it was no good. I was going through some old tapes and happened to find it.” Jennings added that he wanted to throw the song away but was persuaded not to by drummer Ritchie Albright. The album also marked the first time Jennings recorded a song written by Miriam Eddy, the ex-wife of producer Duane Eddy, who later changed her name to Jessi Colter and became Waylon’s wife. Playing up to his outlaw personae, Jennings recorded the aptly titled “Slow Movin’ Outlaw” and also included Texan songwriter Billy Joe Shaver’s “Slow Rollin’ Low.”
This Time was reissued in 1999 with five bonus tracks featuring several songs famously sung by Buddy Holly. Produced by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Duane Eddy, these tracks feature The Crickets, Holly’s backing band, as musicians and backing vocalists.
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