One of my all-time favorite Willie Nelson songs is his classic country heartbreaker “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning.” Written by Gary Nunn and Donna Farar, it was released as the third single from Willie’s iconic 1982 album, Always On My Mind, and eventually peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
In my opinion, it’s one of the very best sad songs that has ever existed, and there’s just somethin’ about the way Willie sings the heartbreaking lyrics that cuts deep down in your soul. And back in 2016, the great Chris Stapleton included a cover of it on his second studio album, From A Room: Volume 1.
He delivers the lyrics with such a sincere and heartfelt honesty that Willie Nelson has the ability to do in spades, and those backing vocals from Chris’ wife Morgane give the track such a neat layer of depth that I absolutely love.
And let’s be honest, Chris is one of, if not the, best vocalists in the genre right now, so it’s absolutely no surprise that he would nail his rendition of the country standard.
Chris’ version has since been certified Gold by the RIAA in July of last year, which means it has moved over 500,000 units since he released it in 2016. Quite an impressive feat, to say the least, especially considering that there were only two singles from From A Room: Volume 1 pushed out to country radio, which included “Either Way” and “Broken Halos.”
While some people will say they don’t like this cover simply because Willie isn’t the one singing it, though I do agree that, ultimately, it will always be Willie’s song, I have to say that Chris definitely did him justice with his rendition.
He kept the simple production similar to the original and sang straight from the heart with a voice that not many can compare to… just like Willie:
I mean, it simply doesn’t get any better than this: