Today marks a homecoming of sorts for Willie Nelson: he has inked a deal to return to Sony Records, his label from 1975-1993.
Nelson will record five new albums and re-release archival works via Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony. The deal will serve as a retrospective effort, including the distribution of material from every stage of the country icon's career, which spans approximately 60 years, seven Grammys, and involvement in 200 albums. In his initial tenure at Sony/Columbia, Nelson released several of his most legendary works, including 1975's Red Headed Stranger and 1978's Stardust.
"I'm really happy to be back home with Sony Music. We have been partners for many years, all the way back to Pamper and Tree Music," said Nelson in a statement, referencing his former publishing companies. "We share a great history, and I'm looking forward to many more years together."
Nelson's first new record is scheduled for a spring 2012 release. Since leaving Sony in 1993, he has worked with a slew of other imprints, including Island, Lost Highway and Rounder. The latter released his Country Music in 2010, which was produced by T-Bone Burnett and reached a recent career peak of Number Four on the Billboard country charts.