Waylon Jennings Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Waylon Jennings Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Waylon Jennings was an American singer/songwriter, musician and actor. He was one of the pioneers of the outlaw movement in country music. He started to play the guitar when he was 8 years and by the time he was 14 he performed on KVOW radio. Not long after that he formed his first band, “The Texas Longhorns”, he left school at 16 and worked as a DJ and performer on KVOW, KYTI, KLLL, and KDAV radio stations.

He played bass guitar for Buddy Holly and gave up his seat on the flight that killed Buddy Holly along with J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens. Waylon then formed a rockabilly band called “The Waylors” who went on to become the house band at “JD’s” club in Scottsdale Arizona.

After that he got signed by Trend Records and A&M Records but it wasn’t until he moved to RCA Victor that he became successful. He then started releasing the albums which made him famous, albums including; “ Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” and “Honky Tonk Heroes”.

Best Waylon Jennings Albums Of All Time

Waylon Jennings has released 45 studio albums and 5 live albums and as always we will rank the top 15 and rank them as we see them from the rest to the best.

15. The Eagle (1990)

Released in July 1990, this was Waylon’s first of two solo albums for Epic Records. It was also the last of Waylon’s albums to be made available on vinyl. There were 2 singles released from this album which were “Wrong” and the title track. The album was Waylon’s final Top 10 record, peaking as it did at number 9.

Stand out tracks include: “The Eagle”, “Where Corn Don’t Grow” and “Too Close to Call”.

14. I’ve Always Been Crazy (1978)

Released in July 1978 at a time when Waylon was becoming disillusioned with the outlaw country movement because Nashville had co-opted what had started out as a rebellion against the country music hierarchy. 

It includes the track “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand” which says it all really. The album also includes a cover of the Johnny Cash song “I Walk The Line” and Merle Haggard’s “Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down”.

13. Ladies Love Outlaws (1972)

Released in September 1972 on RCA Nashville this was Waylon’s 2nd album in the genre of outlaw country. The title track mentions Waylon in one of the verses, “Jessi liked Cadillacs and diamonds on her hands, Waymore had a reputation as a ladies man/Late one night her light of love finally gave a sign, Jessi parked her Cadillac and took her place in line” and was written by Lee Clayton. The album peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

12. Full Circle (1988)

Released in October 1988 by MCA Records, this was Waylon’s 4th and last album for MCA. There were 4 singles released from this album which were; “Trouble Man”, “Which Way Do I Go (Now That I’m Gone)”, “How Much Is It Worth To Live In L.A.” and “You Put The Soul In The Song”. The album peaked at number 36 on the country albums chart.

11. The Ramblin’ Man (1974)

Released in September 1974 during the height of the outlaw country music movement which is made obvious by the fact that this album peaked at number 3 on the country music charts. 

This album included Greg Allman’s “Midnight Rider” as well as one of Waylon’s biggest hits, “Amanda” although it wasn’t released as a single until 4 years later.

10. This Time (1974)

Released in July 1974 by RCA Victor at the peak of outlaw country music, this album was produced by Waylon and Willie Nelson. 4 of the tracks on this album were written by Willie Nelson. Willie also sang on the track “Heaven And Hell” and played guitar on parts of the album. 

The title track was Waylon’s first number 1 hit in June 1974. Waylon said of the song, “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”. 

This was also the first album that Waylon had included a song written by Miriam Eddy, the ex-wife of Duane Eddy who later changed her name to Jessi Colter and became Waylon’s wife.

9. Love Of The Common People (1967)

Released in August 1967 by RCA Victor this was Waylon’s 6th studio album. The title track was originally sung by the Four Preps, but has also been covered by The Everly Brothers and Wayne Newton. 

This album also includes The Beatles “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”, Mel Tillis’ “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” and Johnny Cash’s “I Tremble For You”.

8. Ol’ Waylon (1977)

Released in April 1977 on the RCA Victor label, this album eventually became one of his best selling albums due mainly to the success of the single “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)”. 

It was also Waylon’s 4th consecutive solo album to peak at number 1 on the Country Albums chart. It also contains a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.

7. Are You Ready For The Country (1976)

Released on RCA Victor in 1976, this was the first solo album that Waylon released after the highly successful “Wanted! The Outlaws” compilation album. 

The biggest hit from this album, “Can’t You See” was written by Toy Caldwell which was sung by the Marshall Tucker Band and had also been featured on Hank Williams Jr.’s album “Hank Williams Jr. And Friends”. 

This album also features Neil Young’s track “Are You Ready For The Country” as its title track.

6. Waymore’s Blues (Part 2) (1994)

“Waymore’s Blues (Part 2)” was recorded and released during a time when Waylon wasn’t signed to any label. It was a one off record for RCA after having been with MCA Records and Epic Records. 

One of the tracks from this album “You Don’t Mess Around With Me” was featured on the soundtrack for the film “Maverick”.

5. The Taker/Tulsa (1971)

Released in February 1971, this album was notable for containing 4 songs written by Kris Kristofferson. Waylon said in his autobiography, “I went to Los Angeles and cut Kris Kristofferson’s “Lovin’ Her Was Easier” with Ricky Nelson’s band. At the time he had a good bunch of guys with him, including Sonny Curtis. It was a great record, up-tempo with a good guitar riff. They wouldn’t release it because it was recorded in L.A. They didn’t want to set a precedent…They didn’t know who I was or what I was about, and I tried my best to keep ’em in the dark”. 

The album peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and the single “The Taker” was a Top 5 hit.

4. Dreaming My Dreams (1975)

This was Waylon’s 22nd studio album which was released in June 1975. After the renewal of his contract with RCA Records in 1972, Waylon gained artistic freedom and started producing his own albums. As well as changing his image to one inspired by the outlaw country movement of which he was a founding member. 

The album topped the Country Albums chart and peaked at number 49 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart.

3. Lonesome On’ry And Mean (1973)

Released in March 1973, this was Waylon’s 3rd in a series of albums that established him as one of the leading lights of the outlaw country movement. 

It includes tracks co-written by Johnny Cash “Gone To Denver”, Willie Nelson “Pretend I Never Happened” and Kris Kristofferson “Me And Bobby McGee”.

2. Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)

Released in 1973 on RCA Victor, “Honky Tonk Heroes” was an important album in the development of the outlaw country movement. Apart from “We Had It All”, all of the songs on this album were written or co-written by the then unknown Billy Joe Shaver.  

This album is best described as a honky tonk album with added rock and roll elements. The album peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

1. Waylon Live (1976)

Released in December 1976 and recorded on September 25th, 26th and  27th 1974 at live shows in Dallas and Austin, Texas. This was Waylon’s best album according to almost every serious Waylon Jennings fan. 

It includes many of his most popular songs including; “Rainy Day Women”, “This Time” and “Good Hearted Woman”. 

The album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and number 46 on the Billboard 200 chart. The original release was re-released with an additional 9 tracks on the Bonus Tracks CD in 1999.

All Waylon Jennings Albums In Chronological Order

AlbumDate
Waylon at JD’s1964
Folk-Country1966
Leavin’ Town1966
Nashville Rebel1966
Waylon Sings Ol’ Harlan1967
Love of the Common People1967
The One and Only1967
Hangin’ On1968
Only the Greatest1968
Jewels1968
Just to Satisfy You1969
Waylon1970
Singer of Sad Songs1970
The Taker/Tulsa1971
Cedartown, Georgia1971
Good Hearted Woman1972
Ladies Love Outlaws1972
Lonesome, On’ry and Mean1973
Honky Tonk Heroes1973
This Time1974
The Ramblin’ Man1974
Dreaming My Dreams1975
Are You Ready for the Country1976
Waylon Live 1976
Ol’ Waylon1977
I’ve Always Been Crazy1978
What Goes Around Comes Around1979
Music Man1980
Black on Black1982
It’s Only Rock + Roll1983
Waylon and Company1983
Never Could Toe the Mark1984
Turn the Page1985
Sweet Mother Texas1986
Will the Wolf Survive1986
Hangin’ Tough1987
A Man Called Hoss1987
Full Circle1988
The Eagle1990
Too Dumb for New York City, Too Ugly for L.A.1992
Ol’ Waylon Sings Ol’ Hank1992
Cowboys, Sisters, Rascals & Dirt1993
Waymore’s Blues (Part II)1994
Right for the Time1996
Closing In on the Fire1998
Never Say Die: Live2000
Waylon Live: The Expanded Edition2003
Live From Austin, TX2003
Waylon Jennings & The Waymore Blues BandNever Say Die The Final Concert Film2007
Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings2012

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best selling Waylon Jennings album?

The best selling Waylon Jennings album is “Greatest Hits” which was released in 1979 and has sold in excess of 5.3 million copies.

What is the newest Waylon Jennings album?

The newest Waylon Jennings album is “Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings” which was released posthumously in 2012, 10 years after his death.

What is the first Waylon Jennings album?

The first Waylon Jennings album was “Waylon At JD’s” which was released in 1964.

What is Waylon Jennings’ most famous song?

Waylon Jennings’ most famous song is “Theme From “The Dukes Of Hazzard””.

When did Waylon Jennings start?

Waylon Jennings first started playing in a band and performing on the radio when he was 14 years old. His first recording session was in 1958 (arranged by Buddy Holly) at that time he was playing bass guitar for Buddy Holly.

What genre is Waylon Jennings?

The genres ascribed to Waylon Jennings are; Country, Blues, rockabilly and folk.

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *