Townes Van Zandt - Discography with comments

Townes Van Zandt Discography with commentary by Len Coop
						    (updated 23 Mar 2019):
See also guide.
Selection guidelines: nearly every one of Townes' original albums is worth owning for
different reasons (not the reissues however, see below), some may suit 
different tastes better than others. I like both the solo and produced sounds; 
some others tend to avoid the more heavily produced work. Performance guidelines
(revised Dec 27, 2002):
                             + not recommended if you already own most
			       poppy/tomato releases
                            ++ recommended, a very good record
                           +++ highly recommended, may have flaws
                          ++++ nearly flawless Townes at his best
                         +++++ perhaps the best folk songwriter albums of all time
Vinyl albums/CDs - label and year of first US release, also some European
CD issues are noted; there have been many reissues of the early albums
on vinyl and CD over the years in Europe on labels such as Edsel, Decal, Charly
and Zebra. There are a small number of grey market/bootlegs at this time. See
new section after ORIGINAL ALBUMS. 

ORIGINAL STUDIO & LIVE ALBUMS BY TOWNES VAN ZANDT (Reissues follow):                    
      |      LP       |     US CD       |   Europe CD          | Sound/Performance
1. For the Sake of the Song                                        +++/++  
      |Poppy 1968 Aug |Tom./Rhino 1994  |Austria - Tomato 1993 |
   most songs re-recorded on later albums, overproduced perhaps,
   definite early genius on display here, long out of print

2. Our Mother the Mountain                                        ++++/+++++ 
      |Poppy 1969 Apr |Tomato           |Holland - Tomato 1989|
   a very successful and ambitious production that features many
   great songs; this one gets my vote as numero uno
   Reviews by Glenn Christmas and Len
3. Townes Van Zandt                                               ++++/+++++
      |Poppy 1969 Sep |Tomato           |Holland - Tomato 1989|  
      |               |                 |Charly Dec 2003      |  

   lighter production, great balance, excellent representation
   of Townes at his best. Charly reissue purported to have extra tracks
   but Amazon does not list these tracks.
   Review by Len

4. Delta Momma Blues                                              ++++/+++
      |Poppy 1970 Oct |Tomato           |Holland - Tomato 1989|  

   slightly raunchier style, blues, down and out

5. High, Low & In Between                                          +++/+++
      |Poppy 1971 Jan |Rhino/Tomato     |  
   introspective, a little religion, worth seeking out. Re-released 
   with Late Great Townes Van Zandt on one CD in 1996 by EMI as a "two-fer".
   The re-release includes 3 alternate mixes/takes (orig. rejected by 
   Townes, including "Pancho & Lefty", "Snow Don't Fall", and "Heavenly 
   Houseboat Blues".  Like the EMI two-fer, re-released by Sony in 2003 
   as "Songs Torn From the Flesh". Review by Mark Rowland 

6. The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt                                +++/+++
      |Poppy 1972 Sep |Tomato           |Holland - Tomato 1989|  

   1st w/Pancho & Lefty, some off-the-cuff songs, very good overall
   a bit overrated in my opinion (some say it is the best). 

7. Live at the Old Quarter, Houston                               ++++/+++++
      |Tomato 1977 May|Tomato 1989, 2002|Holland - Tomato 1989|  
      |               |                 |Holland - Corazon 2003| 

   live July 1973; 2 record set (vinyl), still represents Townes live
   with no backup musicians at his best, essential, note orig. CD release
   missing 6 songs! The Tomato 2002 reissue is a double CD with full 26
   songs (also reissued 2006 on Charly). A different 20 song version 
   released as "In Concert" on the Brilliant label in 2000. 
   In 2003 Corazong in Holland released a 2CD version with 4 bonus MPEG videos:
   Dressing Room Chatter, Dollar Bill Blues, Loretta, and Pancho &
   Lefty. Full 26 song 2CD version (songs reordered from orig.) renamed "Live 
   In Texas" released July 2011 on ATOM Label. Album review by Len

8. Flyin' Shoes                                                    +++/+++
      |Tomato 1978 May|Rhino/Tomato     |Charly CDGR 217 Dec 2003|

   after 6 years, another great studio effort well produced. Reissue from 
   Charly has 4 bonus tracks that sound much better than on Nashville Sessions;
9. At My Window                                                    +++/++++
      |Sugar Hill 1987 Apr|Sugar Hill   |Heartland 1987        |  

   9 years since Flyin' Shoes, this one is relatively upbeat and uplifting; 
   a very fine effort, essential in part because it is the only studio recording
   from the decade of the '80s
10. Live and Obscure                                                ++/++
      |Sugar Hill 1989|Sugar Hill       |Normal Germ. Dec. 2003| 
   Live Nashville Apr 19 1985 with band, good start on live releases from
   the middle years, a little distant sounding, good song selection

   Released as Dollar Bill Blues on Ramble Tamble in Holland 1991 
   and as Pancho & Lefty (Live & Obscure) on Edsel in France 1987
   With 4 extra tracks & revised artwork on Normal 2003 release: 
   "Flyin Shoes", "Texas River Song", "Our Mother the Mountain", and 
   "Racing In the Streets".

11. Rain on a Conga Drum (import only)                             +++/++
      |1991 Exile     |1991 Shock       |1991 Holland Silenz    |  

   Live Berlin Oct 25 1990, a very good representation of an 
   early '90s show with Townes solo, 18 songs total including four covers of 
   Short Haired Woman Blues, The Shrimp Song, Dead Flowers and Fraulein; 
   recently reissued
12. The Nashville Sessions (CD)                                   ++++/++++
      |               |1993 Tomato/Rhino  | 2015 Charly |

   This was recorded in early 1974 at Jack Clements' studio and was known
   then as "seven comes eleven". But, it went unreleased for 19 years 
   due to lack of payment for studio time. K. Eggers had a somewhat poor
   quality cassette or acetate copy that was first released on CD in 1993. 
   Now in 2015 the original master tapes were finally used to release the
   record on vinyl in very high quality after 41 years, a major event for 
   fans of TVZ. Recorded after Late Great TVZ, before Flying Shoes. Very 
   tasteful production, enjoyable arrangements of songs mostly available
   elsewhere.  Of interest, the four bonus songs on the Charly  2003 
   reissue of Flyin Shoes (#8 above) sounded as though the original 
   master tapes were rediscovered, which gave hope that "7 comes 11" 
   would someday released. Sounds more like "1974 comes 2015"!!
   Review of re-issue at Uncut Magazine

13. Rear View Mirror (CD)                                           ++/+++
      |               |1993 Sundown SD-21010 |1996 Normal 203    |
      |               |1997 Sugar Hill 1054  |                   |
      |               |2000 Sugar Hill 203   |2002 Normal 201    |

   Recorded live at The Blue Onion in Norman Oklahoma, 1979, excellent live 
   show w/Owen Cody on fiddle and Danny Rowland on guitar, good sound but
   has some distracting "soundboard buzz" problems during most of the set. 

   Reissue by Normal with 3 bonus tracks: Fraternity Blues & Talking 
   Thunderbird Blues live (from the 90's), plus Riding The Range as performed 
   with The Good Sons from their album "Singing The Glory Down" on 
   Glitterhouse Records. Review by People magazine

14. Road Songs                                                     +++/++
      |               |1994 Sugar Hill       |1992 Holland Universe|
      |               |                      |1992 Normal 195 CD   |

   Produced by Townes Van Zandt; Executive producer Harold Eggers. Musicians
   include Owen Cody, Jimmie Gray, Mickey White, and Ruester Rowland.
   All cover songs done live, including: 2 Dylan tunes, 4 by Lightnin
   Hopkins, 2 traditional, 1 each by J Ely, AP Carter and P 
   LaFarge, highly recommended. Reissued on Normal Records with 3 bonus tracks 
   (You Win Again, High, Low and In Between, and When He Offers His Hand).

15. No Deeper Blue                                                ++++/+++
      |               |Dec 2 1994 Sugar Hill|

   14 new songs, favorably reviewed by People magazine {and 
   others} many excellent songs well recorded but not easy
   listening; represents Townes' essential catalog from the 1990s

16. Townes Van Zandt Abnormal                                     ++++/++
      |               |       |Sept 7 1996 Return to Sender RTS 24|
      |               |                 |June 1998 Normal NCD 216 |
   Released in Germany on Return To Sender records, c/o Normal Mail 
   Order/Bonner Talweg 276 / 53129 Bonn /FRG / Tel. (0228) 220655 /
   fax (0228) 221656. Produced by Townes Van Zandt, Executive producer
   Harold Eggers, Sound recording, mastering and tour manager: Luc Wouters.
   Cover photo by Fred Plaschek. Artwork by Olaf Meyer.
   15 songs from a recent European tour, a good mix of rare and not so
   rare selections, includes "Old Shep", "Snake Mountain Blues", "A Song
   For", "Kathleen -> Waiting Around To Die", and "Catfish Song".  Total
   length (RTS) is 50 minutes, the whole thing is a very nice effort with Townes
   at his 1990's best voice and guitar work.  The initial release was 
   limited to 2000 copies. Re-released 1998 with three tracks dropped 
   "If I Needed You", "Pancho and Lefty", Snake Mountain Blues", and 
   replaced by three additional tracks "Dollar Bill Blues", "Coo-Coo", 
   and "Shrimp Song", plus new artwork.
17. The Highway Kind                                              ++++/++ 
      |               |Mar 18 1997 Sugar Hill |Normal 201 CD 1997|

   Compiled and produced by Townes and Harold Eggers. 11 songs recorded
   recently in concert, 3 songs from the studio (Dublin Blues, Lonesome
   Whistle, and Wreck on the Highway). 8 originals, 6 covers. Total length
   49:21; w/4 guest artists on 4 tracks.  This appears to be a conscious
   effort to assemble some of Townes' and others' most ramblin, down and out
   songs. The fourth song is listed as "A Song For" instead of "Lovers Lullaby"
   Most performances are very worthwhile, such as with Highway Kind,
   Blazes Blues, My Proud Mountains, Still Lookin' For You, Rake, and Ira 
   Hayes.  Very nice sound and great cover design. The European release changes
   the artwork and song order and adds 2 additional songs, "Banks of The Ohio",
   and "At My Window" (a duet with Kurt Ostlahn who also plays harmonica). 
   The Leprechan joke is now included in the track listing, and "Lovers 
   Lullaby" is wrongly labeled as "A Song For". Review by Len
18. Last Rights (US) / Documentary (Europe)                        +++/++   
      |               |Jun 23 1997 Gregor    |May 23 1997 Normal| 

   Complete US title: Last Rights: The Life and Times of Townes Van Zandt

   An in-studio interview and performance. Features 10 songs including  
   I'll be Here in the Morning (duet with Barb Donovan), Pancho and Lefty,
   If I Needed You, and Waitin' Round to Die, Blaze's Blues, Marie, The
   Hole, Cowboy Junkies Lament, Brand New Companion, and Tecumseh Valley.
   The interview was conducted in Austin at KUT by Larry Monroe.

   The European version (Normal 116) differs in artwork and editing and is 
   also available on vinyl. Length of European CD version is 76 minutes, 
   while US CD is 68 minutes. Re-released as Normal 211 in 2002.
19. A Far Cry From Dead                                           ++++/+++
      |               |Jun 30 1999 Arista Austin 07822-18888-2|
   Produced by Eric Paul and Jeanene Van Zandt, 11 old and 2 new songs
   recorded in the studio 1989-1996 and produced after Townes death.
   Includes previously unreleased "Sanitarium Blues" and "Squash".
   Great job on some more obscure titles like "Greensboro Woman", "Snake
   Mountain Blues", and "Many A Fine Lady". Also my favorite "Rex's Blues".
   Nicely produced effort provides a gentler introduction to Townes
   than other recent releases such as Highway Kind and Abnormal.
   Reviews - compiled

20. In Pain                                                       ++++/++
      |Oct 1999 Normal|                      |Sept 1999 Normal|
   Produced by Harold Eggers and Townes Van Zandt, 13 old and 3 cover songs
   recorded mostly at a particularly strong performance in Bochum, Germany, 
   Nov. 1994. In addition, 1 recorded Munich Nov 1995 and 3 recorded on Townes' 
   last tour, Nov. 1996, in Dresden, Bochum, and Vienna. Songs are: Katie 
   Belle Blue, Buckskin Stallion Blues, Loretta, Snowin' on Raton, Nothin', 
   Gone Too Long, To Live's to Fly, Highway Kind, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, Lover's
   Lullaby, White Freightliner Blues, You Are Not Needed Now, Rex's Blues,
   You Gotta Move (by Fred McDowell), Stopping Off Place (by Chris Eckman), 
   and Alone and Forsaken (by Hank Williams). The last three are new (never 
   recorded by Townes).  All songs solo except Alone and Forsaken and Stopping 
   off Place with Wolfgang Pracht on Guitar, You Gotta Move with Hans Theessink
   on Dobro and Slide guitar. This is yet another excellent sounding souvenir 
   of Townes' last years in concert, highly recommended for the song selection 
   and often moving performances, with mostly stronger vocals than on Highway 
   Kind. In addition, the 3 new cover songs sound as if Townes wrote them, and 
   are worth the price of the album alone. This series from Normal Records, 
   Harold Eggers and others (also including Road Songs, Rear View Mirror, 
   Abnormal, Highway Kind, and Documentary) is a real treasure chest, with 
   this one among several also available on vinyl. So please keep them coming 
   (and make them all easier to obtain for the US market)!

21. Live At McCabes                                               ++++/++  
      |               |                      |Feb 2001 Normal/RTS 32|
      |               |                      |Nov 27 2001 Normal/RTS 32|
      |               |                      |2003 Varese Sarabande    |
  This is live from McCabe's Los Angeles, Feb 10, 1995, produced by TVZ/Harold 
  Eggers. Features Kelly Joe Phelps on Dobro on "Banks of the Ohio" and "Wabash
  Cannonball". A fine performance from the later years; a nice, semi-rare 
  "Pueblo Waltz", "Shrimp Song", and "Snowin on Raton".  Other highlights are 
  "Katie Belle Blue" and "A Song For", and "The Hole". This album best captures
  an intimate latter day concert by Townes - sounding old, sage, funny and 
  dear. Only 2,000 copies were originally made, reissued later in 2001 on
  Return To Sender/Normal 32 Made in Germany. The 2003 Varese Sarabande reissue added
  "Lungs", "Two Girls", and "To Live Is To Fly", plus the duo of Townes
  with Barb Donovan "I'll Be Here In the Morning", but dropped "The Hole" and "A
  Song For".

22. Texas Rain  The Texas Hill Country Recordings                 ++++/+++  
      |               |Oct 23 2001 Tomato-2001|                |

   After 12+ years, the first release of the "Newology" "box set" produced
   by long-time associate Kevin Eggers, with Eric Paul (A Far Cry From
   Dead) engineering. Some real gems and great interplay
   between Townes and guests like Calvin Russell on Waitin Around To Die,
   Emmylou Harris on If I Needed You, Willie Nelson on Marie and No
   Lonesome Tune, Kathy Mattea on At My Window, Kimmie Rhodes on Brother 
   Flower, and several others. Overall the production seems to be in accord
   with the original plans set out in the late 1980s (when Townes started
   laying down his own vocal tracks), as well as with the mostly tastefull
   and interesting productions of the early 70's Poppy releases.  This album
   has more in common with "Nashville Sessions" than perhaps with his last
   studio album "No Deeper Blue". In fact both were near-lost for more than
   a decade, and are produced similarly. Also, the Chromatics sound
   great on the two or so tracks they appear on. Complaints: short at 45
   minutes (CD's can easily hold 73 minutes nowadays), and a couple tracks 
   are a bit over-produced, annoying or at least not of the same 
   serious/sensitive/sympathetic tone of the other songs (like the too-jolly 
   Blue Wind Blew w/Jerry Jeff). It will be interesting to see how the other 
   3 or so CDs come out sounding.

23. A Gentle Evening With Townes Van Zandt                        ++++/++++  
      |               |April 23 2002 Dualtone 1119|              |

   Nine songs (plus one joke) recorded live at Carnegie Hall, New York on
   November 26, 1969, as part of a Poppy Records showcase. Includes
   "Talking KKK Blues", not previously issued. Townes was a bit tenuous,
   but a fine performance and a joy to hear him close to the beginning of
   his career. I wish there were more live recordings from this era available.

24. Absolutely Nothing                                            ++++/++ 
      |               |                      |Oct 1 2002 Normal 235| 

   18 tracks: 12 recorded live in Ireland, 1994; 4 recorded in Austin
   on December 5: "German Mustard", "Where I Lead Me", "Nothin", and "Heavenly
   Houseboat Blues", 1996 plus "Willie Boy" recorded in Austin 1991 and
   "Dirty Old Town" (1996) - previously only available as a limited
   edition 7" single on the Exile label. Excellent sound and inspired
   performances, with 2 of Townes classic jokes as bonus. If you like the
   bleaker songs (that somehow offer hope), look out for this one.
   Also released on vinyl.

25. In The Beginning                                               +++/+++
      |               |April 22 2003 Compadre 6-16892-52402-1|          |
   Rare unreleased recordings from Jack Clements vault, produced by Jack and 
   Townes' family, show what some of the earliest produced recordings sound 
   like, most songs probably written in 1966-67.  Pre-first album demo 
   tapes probably recorded soon after April 1967, with Colorado Bound, Black 
   Crow Blues, Maryetta's Song, Black Jack Mama, Gypsy Friday, Waitin for the Day,  
   Black Widow Blues, Hunger Child Blues, Big Country Blues, and When Your Dream 
   Lovers Die. I believe that these essentially are "lost outtakes" from his 
   first couple albums, and that the known songs were left out of this collection,
   even though many were probably among this set. In other words, Townes wrote many
   songs in 1966-67; these tracks were released because they had not been heard 
   before (except "Waitin For the Day" see "compilation releases #3 below). This 
   implies that "early demo" and "alternate mix" recordings of several other 
   (already known) songs await possible future release.  

26. Acoustic Blue                                                 ++++/++ 
      |               |Oct 07 2003 Tomato TOM-2087|          |
   A collection of 14 blues and down-and-out songs co-produced by Kevin and Harold 
   Eggers.  These recorded live 1994 and 1996, plus Nothin' recorded in studio 3 
   weeks before Townes' death. Not much unique about this release, but performances 
   were quite good, and overall should appeal to blues fans and completists. Sound 
   quality also is excellent.

27. Live at the Jester Lounge (Houston, Texas 1966)                 ++/+++
      |               |Sep 21, 2004 Normal NOR260CD|           |
   With this release, the archives of Townes have been pushed back another year or
   two, and we clearly see another chapter in the evolution of his singing and
   songwriting. We get several talkin blues songs, "Talkin' Birth Control Pill
   Blues", "Talkin' Thunderbird Blues", "Talkin' Karate Blues", Some straight-ahead 
   blues such as "Badly Mistreated Blues", 'Louisiana Girl Blues", "Mustang Blues", 
   "Black Crow Blues", and some rich covers, "Trouble in Mind" by Richard Jones, 
   Lightnin' Hopkins' "Hello Central", Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas", the Carter 
   Family's "Cannon Ball Blues", and Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". 
   There is no real proof of the date of this recording - It could have been 1965.
   Since most of these were dropped from his later repertoire, it is a treat to hear 
   them from such a spry and talented singer at such an early stage. Produced by TVZ 
   and Harold Eggers (Harold still gives co-production credits to Townes even when 
   Townes never saw or heard the recording himself, a fun fact of sorts).

28. Rear View Mirror Vol. 2                                         ++/++
      |               |Sep 28, 2004 Varese Sarabande|          |
    18 tracks recorded live over a wide ranging period. A few unusual tracks
    including "Jole Blon", "Who Do You Love", "Greensboro Woman", "None But the Rain",
    "Hello Central", "Texas River Song", and "Coo-Coo". Produced by TVZ & Harold 

29. Live at Union Chapel, London, England [Live]                   +++/++
      |               |Oct 25, 2005 Tomato          |          |
   36 tracks from a fairly good show from 1994. Nice that some of his intros
   and jokes are included. Produced by Harold and Kevin Eggers.

30. A Private Concert [Live]                                       +++/++
      |               |Nov 15, 2005 Varese          |          |
   16 tracks (3 extra) from the same hotel room recording session as the DVD 
   "Houston 1988". Good performances you might expect if Townes came into your 
   living room circa the late 1980's. Produced by TVZ & Harold Eggers.

31. Austin City Limits [Live Sept 30, 1975]                       +++/+++
      |               |Apr 22, 2017 Fat Possum, Sony Music Canada Inc. |
   A record store day release, formerly available only amongst music traders,        
   This was the very first ACL show featuring 9 songs w/Townes singing solo.
   There were flashbacks to this performance during the ACL Tribute concert.
   Here is the audio only, in excellent sound, thus far available only on vinyl,
   With digital download card - only 2,500 copies pressed.
   Songs include Dollar Bill Blues, Ira Hayes, If I Needed You, Frat. Blues,
   Freightliner Blues, Dont Take It Too Bad, Karate Blues, Shrimp Song, and My
   Starter Wont Start. A rather funny selection, but Townes was also very funny
   and in excellent voice.

32. Sky Blue                                                       +++/+++
      |               |Mar. 7, 2019 Fat Possum      |          |
   11 tracks recorded in early 1973 at home of Bill Hedgepeth in Atlanta, GA
   who was well known for interviews with Townes. Some never-heard material
   such as "Sky Blue" and "All I Need" (both written by Townes), plus three 
   covers: "Forever, for Always, for Certain" by Richard Dobson, "The Last Thing
   on My Mind" by Tom Paxton, and "Hills of Roane County" (Trad.). The other 
   tracks, although released on other studio albums, are mostly different 
   sounding such that these versions are highly worthwhile too, such as "Rex's
   Blues", "Blue Ridge Mtns. (Smoky Version)", and "Snake Song" to name a few.
   A great release on Townes 75th birthday by his family. Long live Townes!

GREY MARKET/BOOTLEG Releases (these could be legitimate but I have them listed 
here until this is clarified):

G1. Live At The Whole Coffeehouse, Minneapolis MN, Nov. 1973        ++/++
      |               |2013 Unofficial Release                 |
This is or was available on vinyl and CD, the vinyl possibly from Russia, the
CD on Echoes Label ECHOCD2023. This FM broadcast has been widely circulated 
among traders and is of high quality. Pretty certain this is a true bootleg 
a la "Great White Wonder" (which now has its own Wikipedia Page, so look it
up for a history of bootleg albums). 15 tracks including "Tying a Knot in 
the Devil's Tail", "Molly and Ten Brookes", and "The Cuckoo". 

G2. Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972     ++/++
      |               |Feb. 5, 2013 Omnivore Recordings LLC    |
This is a CD plus vinyl release of studio sessions and demos from 1971-1972. 
Studio tracks listed include T For Texas, Who Do You Love, Sunshine Boy, 
Where I Lead Me, Blue Ridge Mountains, No Deal, P&L, TLITF, Sad Cinderella,
Two Hands, and Dead Flowers, and several more. Demo Tracks include H. Houseboat
Blues, Diamond Heel Blues, TLITF, Tower Song, Highway Kind, Greensboro Woman,
Old Paint, Standin, and several more. This collection might be for completests

G3. Down Home [Live Apr. 18, 1985 Johnson City, TN]                +++/+++
      |2012 UK LETV095LP|Aug. 6, 2013 All Access (import)        |
This was a live NPR radio broadcast on WETS-FM that was widely traded and now
available on vinyl and CD formats from major retailers who import grey
market issues. This was recorded the day before the recording of the live 
album "Live and Obscure", and had Micky White on guitar and Donnie Silverman on flute.
The song list of 15 songs includes a few nice rarities like "Rake" and "Colorado
Girl->Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues->Colorado Girl". Excellent sound and performance.

G4. Townes Van Zandt - You Are Needed Now, Live at Bla Rock Cafe 2nd set ??/??
      |Vinyl only     |2014 Moone Productions MO02 (Norway)        |
This was a live recording from Bla Rock Cafe, Tromse Norway Nov 9, 1995. The 
track listing (11 tracks) includes Flyin Shoes, Hey Willie Boy, Rex's Blues, 
Snowin On Raton, Aint Leavin Your Love, Catfish Song, Snake Mountain Blues, A Song
For, and several others. Limited Edition of 300 vinyl copies. This may be a show
not circulating among traders.

REISSUES (all previously released tracks unless noted)
Editorial note: These have been separated from the regular (original) 
recordings for a couple of reasons. First, so far none of these add 
any significant material to Townes' body of recorded works (excepting 
2 tracks on #R5), whereas normally we expect different takes 
or mixes at the very least. Secondly, since Townes wrote around 122 
songs (and recorded around 42 songs written by others), there should 
not be THIS MANY "best of" "anthologies" or what have you out there. 
We recommend only investing in albums endorsed and offered by 
Townes estate, website at //, which at this time 
carries none of these reissues! Beginning in 2007, The Van Zandt Estate obtained
all rights to reissue the original releases. Please be patient and they should be
readily available on newly authorized labels and benefit Townes' family.

R1. Best of Townes Van Zandt                                       +++/+
      |               |Apr. 23 1996 Charly 8176|

   Released in Germany as Charly CPCD 8176, distributed by Koch records. 21
   songs with the usual suspects (Delta Momma Blues, To Live Is To Fly,
   Pancho and Lefty, If I Needed You, Loretta, No Place To Fall, and Flyin'
   Shoes), plus Kathleen, St John the Gambler,
   Waiting Around to Die, Colorado Girl, I'll Be Here in the Morning, Tower
   Song, Brand New Companion, Two Hands, Standin', No Deal, No Lonesome
   Tune, Honky Tonkin', and Heavenly Houseboat Blues. All are reissued from
   the old Poppy/Tomato studio records.

R2. The Masters (Europe)                                           +++/+   
      |               |                      |1997 Eagle Rec. CD 043|

   Another "best of" compilation with no new material or remixed versions,
   licensed from Charly Licensing, with songs compiled by Gary Wallington.

   20 songs making another good introduction to mostly the studio side of 
   Townes, but with 4 live tracks from Live at the Old Quarter. Also notable
   that 3 covers are included: Honky Tonkin (H Williams), Nine Pound Hammer
   (Trad), and Who Do You Love (McDaniel). Also, 75% of the tracks come from
   just three albums: Old Quarter (4), Flying Shoes (5), and Townes Van Zandt
   (6). Other unexpected numbers include: When She Dont Need Me, (Quick Silver
   Day Dreams of) Maria, and Why She's Acting This Way.

R3. Townes Van Zandt Anthology 1968-1979 (Europe)                  +++/+
      |               |                      |Jan. 1998 Charly 207-2|
      |               |                      |Jul. 2001 Varese 061128|

   Released in Germany as Charly CDGR 207-2, 40 songs selected by John 
   Collis, apparently under contract with Tomato records, from all the
   early releases from "Our Mother the Mountain" through "Nashville 
   Sessions" and "Flying Shoes". A very good selection, representing
   close to half of Townes' output during those years. But it sure would
   be nice to get some alternate takes/live studio material and unreleased
   photos in a release calling itself an anthology. Such material surely is
   out there, deep in the Eggers vault, but do they have rights to release it?
   Re-released 2001 by Varese with different packaging/artwork. 

R4. Drama Falls Like Teardrops                                     +++/+  
      |               |                      |May 2000 Snapper 288|
   Yet another Charly-licensed compilation (2CDs) from the first 7 Poppy/Tomato
   recordings, made without the permission of Townes' estate, and with no 
   outside clue that these are recycled only. Anyway, it is a fair assortment 
   (36 tracks) in near chronological order, with new liner notes by Neil 
   Slaven (combination biography and discography). No new material here, 
   keep moving, please folks!  

R5. The Best Of Townes Van Zandt                                   +++/+    
      |               |March 12 2002 Tomato-2002|                | 

   Not the same as #R1 above. 17-track CD compiled by Kevin Eggers. 15 of
   the tracks are from various Townes' albums plus 2 tracks previously
   unavailable: "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes", recorded live and "No Place To
   Fall" (with Willie Nelson).

R6. Very Best of Townes Van Zandt: The Texan Troubadour            ???/+     
      |               |                      |Jun 25 2002 Metro 7008|

   Yet another repackaging of Tomato/Poppy releases, 33 tracks on two CDs, no  
   bonus or unusual tracks, very similar listing to #R1 above. Songs are  
   "best of" regulars in chronological order. European release.

R7. Townes Van Zandt Singer Songwriter                             +++/+    
      |               |                      |Oct 1 2002 EMI Plus |

   Another repackaging of Tomato/Poppy releases, 16 tracks on one CD, no  
   bonus or unusual tracks. Most songs "best of" regulars. European

R8. Texas Troubadour                                               +++/+
      |               |Nov 5 2002 Tomato     |Nov 5 2002 Snapper 903| 

   4 CD box set with all Poppy/Tomato recordings and selected live cuts.

R9. Townes Van Zandt Songs                                         ???/+
      |               |                      |2002 Bug Music        | 
   19 tracks recycled mix of older and newer songs (Sanitarium Blues, BW
   Railroad Blues, The Hole etc) 

R10. Townes Van Zandt - Songs Torn From the Flesh                  ???/+
      |               |                      |2003 Corazong 255 048 | 
   22 tracks - a repackaging of Hi Low and In Between and Late Great 
   TVZ released for Europe

R11. Legend Townes Van Zandt                                        +++/+
      |               |                      |Oct 14 2003 Charly 831| 
      |               |                      |Apr 19 2005 Snapper UK| 

   This years' reissue has 46 tracks from Tomato/Poppy, and includes
   5 from Live at the Old Quarter, and 6 "bonus duets" from Texas Rain.
   Seems to be an update of R3, Townes Van Zandt Anthology 1968-1979.
   Released as Charly SNAF 831 CD in the UK

R12. Pancho and Lefty                                                ??/+
      |               |                      |Jul 27 2004 Atom import| 
   Probably a reissue of #R3 or #R4 above. 36 tracks. 2 discs. Misspelled title.                              
R13. Be Here To Love Me                                             ???/+
      |               |                      |Aug 23 2005 Tomato    | 
   A 2-disc compilation associated/released with the documentory movie about
   Townes. These are all reissued so I include it with the reissues listing.
R14. Buckskin Stallion                                              ???/+
      |               |                      |May 23 2006 Atom      | 
   A 2-disc compilation with 36 tracks. Probably same #R4, and #R10 above.
R15.  Townes Van Zandt - The Legendary Singer/Songwriter            ???/+
      |               |                      |2006 Weton-Wesgram    |
   A 3-disc 42 song release from The Netherlands. 

R16.  Pancho & Lefty - The Collection                               +++/+
      |               |                      |2006 Weton-Wesgram    |
   A 1-disc 16 song release from The Netherlands "Music Sessions" label. Songs 
   falsely indicated as "all live recordings"; date not mentioned. Instead, all 
   are reissued Poppy/Tomato tracks as usual. Songs listed are: P&L, TLITF, 
   Loretta, Blue Ridge Mountains, Tecumseh Valley, White Freightliner, Cocaine 
   Blues, Kathleen, For the Sake of the Song, Brand New Companion, Waitin' Round 
   To Die, Nothin', Sad Cinderella, Turnstyled Junkpiled, Rake, Delta Momma Blues.

R17.  Live In Texas                                                ++++/?
      |               |2007 Germany Atom      |July 12, 2011 Atom|
   This is "Live at the Old Quarter" renamed. The songs may be re-ordered but
   there is no real reason to get this CD. It is just causing confusion and I
   wonder if it is not in fact an unauthorized version. The Van Zandt estate 
   has rights to the original so buy that one please.

R18.  Townes Van Zandt - Singer - Songwriter Collection             ???/+
      |               |                      |2007 Weton-Wesgram    |
   A 1-disc 20 song release for UK/Europe. Claims to be live recordings but
   from the track listing I would doubt that. 
R19.  Townes Van Zandt - Catalogue Sampler                          ???/+
      |               |                      |2009 Domino           |
   A 1-disc 7-song sampler from UK. Just a few tracks from mostly Poppy/Tomato albums.

R20.  For The Sake of the Song & Our Mother the Mountain            ???/+
      |               |                      |2014 Charly UK        |
   A 2-disc twofor release made in Poland for UK market.


xx. Newology (working title?) - remaining tracks from the over-long awaited 
   4-CD box set produced by Tomato/Kevin Eggers
   See #22 above, which should be representative of another 3 or more CDs to
   be released later.

   It is probable that the Van Zandt estate now controls the future of these 
   recordings - so they have another chance of release perhaps in another dozen
   years or less ;-)

   See the FAQ page at: //
   for more information

SINGLES BY TOWNES VAN ZANDT                        |     45 (or CD)     | 
1. Waiting Around To Die/Talking Karate Blues      |1968 Poppy 506      |
2. Second Lovers Song/Tecumseh Valley              |1969 Poppy 510      |
3. Come Tomorrow/Delta Mama Blues                  |1971 Poppy 90104    |
4. If I Needed You/Sunshine Boy                    |1972 Poppy 90113    |
5. Honky Tonkin'/Snow Dont Fall                    |1972 Poppy 90116    |
6. Fraulein/Don't Let the Sunshine Fool You        |1972 Poppy 90170    |
7. Greensboro Woman/Standin'                       |1972 Poppy 90198    |
8. Pancho and Lefty/Heavenly Houseboat Blues       |1972 UA PP-XW238-W  |
9. Pancho and Lefty/If I Needed You                |1973 Poppy 90124    |
10. Who Do You Love/Pueblo Waltz                   |1978 Tomato 10003   |
11. When She Don't Need Me/No Place To Fall        |1978 Tomato 10005   |
12. Dead Flowers/Fraulein/Racing In the Street     |1993 Chlodwig       |
    (German CD single) from Road Songs             |74321 15016 2       |
13. Ain't Leavin' Your Love (US CD single)         |1999 Arista ASCD3168|
14. Riding The Range/Dirty Old Town                |1999 Exile EX7013   |
15. Snowin On Raton (US CD single)-from Texas Rain |2001 Tomato 1001    |
16. Highwaykind (CD single)                        |2002 City Hall      |

(note: only original recordings included, e.g. "Tomato Sampler" not included)
1. Kerrville Folk Festival, Live 1977        Kerrville PSG77     1977
   (If I Needed You w/Mickey White on guitar, re-released as #12 below)
2. Texas Folk and Outlaw Music (vinyl 2recs) Adelphi  4122/23    1983
   (2 cuts, Pancho and Lefty and Tecumseh Valley from Kerrville
   Folk Festivals, 1972-5, re-released #12 below)
3. Love Is My Only Crime                     Veracity IRS 986.966 1993
   (1 cut, Waitin' For the Day. Early version of this track available on #25 above)
4. Endless Avenue, Direction Nashville       Brambus 199344-2    1993
   (2 cuts, Hobo's Lullabye with Dale Stumbo and Sage with
    Denise Benson)
5. Update Live 2 Radio Studio Brussels     Columbia col 473789-2 1993
   (Pancho & Lefty; other artists include Graham Parker, Sarah McLachlan,
   The Fatal Flowers, Peter Case, The Watchman, Silos, Balanesco Quartet) 
6. Daddies Sing Good Night                   Sugar Hill          1994
   (1 cut, Hey Willy Boy)
7. Vinyl Junkie: Country                     Vinyl Junkie VJ1    1994
   (1 cut, No Place To Fall - Live at the BBC UK radio session)
8. KGSR Broadcasts, Volume 3 compilation CD  KGSR                1995
   (Townes sings Katie Belle Blue live in studio,
   (same track also included in KGSR Broadcasts, Vol 8, 2000) 
9. Where Love Goes                           Joyce Maynard       1995
   (new version of If I needed you by Townes and Jonell Mosser, accomp.
   by Steve Earle (guitar), Kieran Kane (octave mandolin), others, plus
   18 cuts prev. released from other artists; 
   $8 cassette, $10 CD available from )
10. Texans Live From Mountain Stage           Blue Plate BPM-304  1995
   (Townes does a live version of Buckskin Stallion Blues)
11. Cowpunks: 25 Trailblazing Tracks          Vinyl Junkie VJLP 002 1995
   (Townes does a live version of "The Hole") (CD issue, Vinyl Junkie VJCD
   002, has 24 tracks, including the Townes track)
12. The Early Years Kerrville Folk Festival  Silverwolf/Kerrville 1009 1997
   (1972-1981 (10-CD Limited edition)
   (Pancho and Lefty, Tecumseh Valley, If I Needed You w/Mickey White on guitar)
13. Live at the World Cafe vol. 6            World Cafe WC 9706  1997
   (Townes does Pancho and Lefty Phil PA WXPN studio)
14. Blaze Foley: In Tribute and Loving Memory Vol. One Deep South - 1998
   (Townes sings Wouldn't That Be Nice and Springtime in Uganda, both by
15. E-Town Live! Two                         E-Town 69901 1999
   (Townes sings Snowin On Raton from one of his two appearances on the
   radio show)
16. Seka "Sister" Vol. 2 - A Songwriters     TWAH                2000
   Benefit for the Seka Recreation House for Women and Children. Denmark. 
   Townes does "If I Needed You [Deleted Version]" - not sure what this means.
   Other musicians include Tom Russell, Billy Bragg, Loudon Wainwright III,
   Tom Waits, Mary Chapin Carpenter.
17. Rough Guide To Americana: Contemporary Alternative Country Music 2001
   Townes does "Lost Highway" UK label World Music Network. 20 tracks total
18. TOGETHER at the Bluebird Cafe            Koch 4006 - 2       2001
   (Townes does 5 songs, Guy Clark 5, Steve Earle 6, live Sept 13 1995,
   some stories thrown in; very nice intro to all 3 singer/songwriters)
19. I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive:  Trikont        Sept 2005
   Hank Williams Revisited. Townes does "Lost Highway".

TOWNES on Video:
1. Heartworn Highways. DVD/VHS. 1977. US premier Apr 1981. A film by James Szalapski 
   about the early 70s outlaw country movement, especially Townes, Guy Clark, Steve 
   Young, Steve Earle, and Rodney Crowell.  Filmed in 1975, Townes provides the 
   comical and musical highlights. July 2003 DVD reissue with extra footage and 
   performances by Townes (Pancho and Lefty), Guy and others.
2. No Deeper Blue: the Videos. DVD/VHS. 1995. ca. 20 minutes.
   Music videos of "A Song For" in color and in B&W, plus "Blaze's Blues", made to 
   support "No Deeper Blue" circa 1995-96. These are quite well done and recommended.
3. Live in Amsterdam - De MilkWeg (Milky Way). VHS/DVD. 11/12/91. 2 hr. 36 min.
   A complete live performance w/38 songs. If you want to see a full uninterrupted
   solo Townes concert, this is very satisfying and well produced. Available from 
   Townes Van Zandt Central.
4. Townes Van Zandt - Houston 1988 - A Private Concert. DVD released Oct. 2004.
   Produced by Townes and Harold Eggers. I remember wishing many times that I could 
   invite Townes into my living room to sing and play in front of my video camera, 
   to save as a time capsule for posterity. That is what we have here, 13 songs from 
   a Houston Holiday Inn, a personal concert well recorded with Townes in good shape.
   Bonus song with Barb Donovan, Larry Wilson, and Calvin Russell on "I'll Be Here In 
   The Morning". Commercially released by Varese Sarabande.
5. Be Here To Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt. Margaret Brown, Director. 
   99 minutes.  First shown at the Toronto Film Festival Sept 13 & 15, 2004, then 
   shown around the US in theaters Dec 2005 -Mar 2006, and to be released on DVD 
   Mar 14, 2006. Details and Reviews.

1. Butch Hancock Tape No 2 Alike #8          Rainlight RLT-1008  1991
   (Townes sings one line on the song "Split and Slide" on one tape 
   of the 14 tape set released on Butch's own label) 
2. Richard Dobson & State of the Heart       Brambus 199239      1993
   Blue Collar Blues                                
   (Townes helps with vocals on the song "Uncertain Texas")
3. CJ Berkman - A Texican Tradition          Back Porch Music    1994
   (Townes recites one poem "San Antone" w/tasteful accompaniment.
   Guy Clark also appears. "A musical compilation of Honest Texas Verse" 
   cassette avail at Waterloo, Lubbock or Leave, & Antones, Austin TX)
4. The Good Sons - Singing The Glory Down    Glitterhouse GR379  1995 
   (Townes sings "Riding the Range" - recommended by Bert)
   (also included as one of the bonus tracks on the Normal "Rear View
   Mirror" CD)
5. Kimmie Rhodes - West Texas Heaven -       Justice 2201-2      1996
   (Townes shares vocals on one track "I'm Gonna Fly")
6. Barb Donovan - Angelina                   Gregor 41292        1996
   (Townes shares vocals on one track "I'll Be Here In the Morning")
   (also included on both "Documentary" and "Last Rights")
7. K. R. Wood - Fathers of Texas             Texanna             1997
   Texanna Records, P.O. Box 5512, Jonestown TX 78645 
   (Townes has vocals on 2 songs, "Will You Come To The Bower", and 
   "Texas River Song", called "Brazos River Song" on the CD. 
   Townes voice is reported to be in great form on both songs. 
   Liner notes contain a nice memorial to Townes).
8. Chris Buhalis - Kenai Dreams              One Man Clapping OMC-8 1998
   (Townes duets with Chris on the title track)
9. Blaze Foley Tribute - If I Could Only Fly Borderdreams BD0004 2004 (Spain)
   (Townes contributes "Wouldn't That Be Nice", and "Springtime in Uganda", 
   plus bonus DVD with Townes & Blaze singing "Snowin On Raton")

1. Won't You Lend Your Songs To Me - Trees and Frenk 1993 
   (35 min circulating Tape, with Nothing, Waitin Around 
   to Die, The Highway Kind, Blaze's Blues, St. John
   the Gambler, Lungs, If I Needed You: Trees on vocals,
   Frenk on guitars, Holland)
2. Amigos - Richard Dobson Sings Townes Van Zandt
   (Townes wrote all songs and the CD liner notes) 1995
3. Around Townes - Jonell Mosser - Winter Harvest June 18 1996
   (see the web page at // for
   more information and comments)
4. Wrecks' Blues - Wrecks Bell (Romeo label, no number)
   It says on the CD: "An all-acoustic blues/folk tribute to Townes Van Zandt
   and his mentor, Lightnin' Hopkins, performed by Townes' long time friend
   and bass player, Rex ("Wrecks") Bell". 7 of the 14 songs written by Townes 
   plus Townes talking about Wrecks playing with Lightnin' Hopkins.
5. POET a Tribute to Townes Van Zandt - Pedernales Free Fall 70192 2001
   (first official tribute with many old friends like Guy, The Flatlanders,
   Nanci Griffith, Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou, Willie, REK, JTVZ, John Prine, 
   mostly very well done). Reissued July 2009 on TVZ Records w/one added
   track and reordered. Additional track "A Song For" - Jonel Mosser.
6. There's A Hole In Heaven Where Some Sin Slips Through - Various Artists
   Glitterhouse Records released 2007 2LP Vinyl. Incl. Two Girls - Knife in the Water,
   Lungs - ST Wynn & Miracle 3, If I Needed You - Willard Grant Conspir., Kathleen - 
   Tindersticks, Que Te Vaya Bien, Miss Carrusel (Fare Thee Well Miss Carousel) - 
   Nacho Vegas, Snake Mountain Blues - Walkabouts, and Sanitarium Blues - G. Heffern
   & Walkabouts, 10 others
7. Rhonda Harris - Tell the World We Tried. Released 2006 on Auditorium Label,
   TRBL 117 in Denmark.
8. Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via The Great Unknown - Various Artists.
   Released to mp3 download at least on Oct 26, 2009. Artists include Lessons in Time
   T. Denver Jonsson, Loophole, Ciaran Kirby, Great Lake Swimmers, J. Tillman, G. Haggren, Kate 
   Maki, Nick Jones, Wheel, Chris Mills, The Be Good Tanyas, others. I ordered the mp3 and have
   enjoyed at least some of the covers, but have not really given a critical listen (nor has
   anyone on Amazon after 2 years). At least check out the samples if you are interested. 
Credits: major help from Patrick Hurley, Nigel Young, and others is gratefully acknowledged - Len

Back to Blue Sky Homepage