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Remember Which Country Album Was the First to Be Certified Platinum?

wanted: the outlaws
RCA

Platinum certification for one million albums sold didn’t begin until 1976, so while other recordings may have soared past this sales mark, Wanted: The Outlaws became the first official platinum album in country music history that year.

The project featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, and it would eventually go on to be certified double platinum.

This isn’t to say Wanted: The Outlaws is a must-have in a country lover’s collection. One review refers to it as more of a money-grab than an earnest artistic effort. Indeed, all of the songs were heard on previous efforts from each singer, including Tompall Glaser, who landed two songs, including a cover of the Jimmie Rodgers tune ‘T for Texas.’ Ironically, since it featured artists who had built their success mostly outside of the Nashville box, the album was proposed by RCA specifically to capitalize on that success.

It worked, too. Released in January of 1976, the album reached No. 1 on the country charts, and also reached No. 10 on the pop charts, driven by the success of two hit singles — Jennings and Colter’s “Suspicious Minds,” and Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman.”

In 1996, RCA reissued the album, adding 10 more bonus tracks.

Allmusic.com reports that this album popularized the term “Outlaw Country,” which is a phrase that still lives on today.

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