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Merle Haggard: The Complete '60s Capitol Singles

Track List

>I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can
>Falling For You
>Shade Tree Fix-It-Man
>This Town's Not Big Enough
>Swinging Doors
>Girl Turned Ripe, The
>Bottle Let Me Down, The
>Longer You Wait, The
>Fugitive, The
>Someone Told My Story
>I Threw Away the Rose
>Loneliness is Eating Me Alive
>Branded Man
>You Don't Have Very Far to Go
>Sing Me Back Home
>Good times
>Legend of Bonnie and Clyde, The
>I Started Loving You Again
>Mama Tried
>You'll Never Love Me Now
>I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am
>Keep Me From Cryin' Today
>Hungry Eyes
>California Blues
>Workin' Man Blues
>Silver Wings
>Okie From Muskogee
>If I Had Left It Up to You

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: Deke Dickerson.

Recording information: Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/31/1968-02/01/1968); Las Vegas, NV (01/31/1968-02/01/1968); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (04/10/1967-04/11/1967); Las Vegas, NV (04/10/1967-04/11/1967); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (04/27/1965); Las Vegas, NV (04/27/1965); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (05/07/1968); Las Vegas, NV (05/07/1968); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (05/08/1968/09/??/1968); Las Vegas, NV (05/08/1968/09/??/1968); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (06/28/1966); Las Vegas, NV (06/28/1966); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (08/01/1966-08/03/1966); Las Vegas, NV (08/01/1966-08/03/1966); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (08/03/1965); Las Vegas, NV (08/03/1965); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (08/26/1968-08/27/1968); Las Vegas, NV (08/26/1968-08/27/1968); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/18/1967); Las Vegas, NV (09/18/1967); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/20/1967); Las Vegas, NV (09/20/1967); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/16/1966); Las Vegas, NV (11/16/1966); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (12/01/1965); Las Vegas, NV (12/01/1965); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (12/08/1968); Las Vegas, NV (12/08/1968); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (1964); Las Vegas, NV (1964).

Merle Haggard's Capitol recordings have been anthologized countless times so it could stand to reason there isn't much use for another CD of Hag's '60s sides. That assumption is decidedly wrong. Omnivore's 2013 set, The Complete '60s Capitol Singles, is the first compilation to present nothing but the A- and B-sides from Hag's '60s Capitol singles. After 1965's "Strangers," every single Merle released in the '60s apart from 1967's self-mythologizing "Someone Told My Story" reached the Billboard Country Top 10, constituting one of the great runs in country music, a run not diminished by the presence of the single's flipsides, which are sturdy songs cut from the same cloth as the A-side. By setting the parameters at Capitol, several of Merle's earliest hits are absent -- "Sing a Sad Song," "Sam Hill," and "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" were all released on the Californian independent label Tally, so they're not here -- and while they're missed, The Complete '60s Capitol Singles does offer something no other Haggard compilation has: each of these songs is presented in their original mono mixes, so this replicates how Merle Haggard would have been heard on the radio and on jukeboxes across America. This is how Merle Haggard sounded in the '60s, when he catapulted from Bakersfield to the top of the charts, defining the sound of country music in the latter half of the decade, and by focusing intently on Haggard's legacy-creating hot streak, this Omnivore collection re-creates the sound and feel of Merle at his peak, so it's valuable even for those who already have this material elsewhere, whether it's in career-spanning compilations or Bear Family's in-depth exploration of these years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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