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Dreaming My Dreams
Waylon Jennings

RCA APL 1-1062
Released: June 1975
Chart Peak: #49
Weeks Charted: 21
Certified Gold: 3/24/77

Waylon JenningsWaylon Jennings is one of the most important and influential singers of his time. Poets as well as musicians are in awe of him, and he's number one with my friend Vicki and with Vicki's grandmother. That's good enough for me, that and what I hear; one would not have thought such a voice were possible, and one still has trouble believing he can do so much with it. You've already heard his influence in pop music, though, suddenly a low-pitched baritone is the kind of voice to have. The other thing I hear, speaking of influence, is that if Waylon wants to grow a beard, well, by God, Waylon grows a beard; you have to be pretty rugged to practice individualism in the country-music business, although (thanks to Jennings) you don't have to be quite so all-fired rugged as you once did.

Waylon Jennings - Dreaming My Dreams
Original album advertising art.
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Several of his previous albums have been hurt by erratic song selection, but in RCA's new Dreaming My Dreams Jennings has smoothed out pretty well. He does repeat the trick of including a song that's so difficult to sing that others don't dare try it ("I've Been a Long Time Leaving," one of the strange early songs by Roger Miller), but, being Jennings, he pulls it off, making a semi-rousing success of it. "Let's All Help the Cowboys" is a simple three-chord country song (C-F-G, if that saves you some time), but it has such charm that, will, I couldn't do anything else until I'd sat down with the guitar and learned that little sucker. The song that gives the album its title is clearly an outstanding one; you can hate country music but still love it, "Waymore's Blues" (Waylon was renamed Waymore and made a character in "Ladies Love Outlaws," which Lee Clayton wrote for him sometime ago), a Jennings original, is the kind of up-tempo thing we always hope the fast ones will turn out to be, and is approximately where one notices the carefree, hell-for-leather way some of those old guitars are being played. Jennings is one of the rare good singers capable of playing his own lead guitar, and his stuttering lick mingling with, say, Randy Scruggs' little thousand-note runs is the kind of combination that keeps instrumental breaks willy and surprising. "High Time (You Quit Your Low-Down Ways"), whose country clichés are maybe a little too commonplace, too everyday, is the album's low point, but it isn't serious enough about being a bad country song to keep this album from being one of the year's better recordings.

- Noel Coppage, Stereo Review, 10/75.




Further reading on
Super Seventies RockSite!:

Album Review:
The Outlaws: Waylon
Jennings, Willie Nelson,
Jessi Colter, Tompall Glaser

Waylon Jennings Lyrics

Waylon Jennings Videos

Bonus Reviews!

Jennings is an ultimate performer. His shows are mixtures of tension, sensitivity, audience interplay and tight, powerful music. In the studio things are more controlled and he seems to aim more for the midnight mind. Several songs here have insistent, pulsing backups. The standouts are "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," an autobiographical commentary about the state of Music City, and the bouncy "Waymore's Blues," a Jimmie Rodgers-like hobo song.

Most cuts are more reflective. In "Let's All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)," Waylon continues his series of Western mythology; he speaks both for himself and a vanishing breed of sensitive studs. Roger Miller wrote "I've Been a Long Time Leaving" but Waylon molds it into his own -- listen to the way he wraps around the line, "I been a fool."

The last track, "Bob Wills Is Still the King," is a live track from an Austin gig. A tribute to the King of Western Swing, it demonstrates how well Waylon knows and moves his fans. The fire and drive in this cut foreshadow an upcoming live album -- and that ought to be the one to spread Waylon into everybody's ears.

- Tony Glover, Rolling Stone, 8/28/75.

Waylon Jennings is probably one of the better examples of why music should not be rigidly categorized, for, though his reputation lies solidly in country, the artist pulls in strains of rock, blues, easy listening and various other hybrids without losing his basic audience or the ability to attract new listeners at the same time. The music here is played by some of Nashville's best (Johnny Gimble, Billy Ray Reynolds, Charlie McCoy, Ralph Mooney, Waylon on lead guitar and a fine string section) but the show belongs to Jennings' powerfully distinctive voice and the excellent production of the artist and Jack Clement (who has been a pioneer himself since the Sun days), whose vocals can be heard in the background of several cuts. Jennings has always called for change, and his "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" may be the most articulate and at the same time musically competent way this message has yet been put across. LP is solid mix of ballad and rockers, some straight country and lots that cannot be classified. Strongest shot at pop crossover he's had yet (last LP went to 105) though a country feel is prevalent. One of the few artists whose voice is immediately recognizable. Best cuts: "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," "Waymore's Blues," "I Recall A Gypsy Woman," "Let's All Help The Cowboys Sing The Blues," "She's Looking Good," "Dreaming My Dreams With You," "Bob Wills Is Still The King" (Cut live in Texas).

- Billboard, 1975.

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