Billy Joe Shaver: When I Get My Wings/Gypsy Boy

Track List

>Texas Up Here Tennessee
>Good Lord Knows I Tried, The
>Woman Is the Wonder of the World
>When I Get My Wings
>Ain't No God in Mexico
>Love You Till the Cows Come Home
>Ride Me Down Easy
>When the World Was Thunderbird
>America You Are My Woman
>Restless Wind, A
>Billy B. Damned
>We Stayed Too Long at the Fair
>Honky Tonk Heroes
>I'm Going Crazy in 3/4 Time
>Gypsy Boy
>Chicken on the Ground
>Everything, Everywhere's
>Slow Rollin' Low
>Silver Wings of Time
>Believer, The
>You Asked Me To
>Fit to Kill and Going Out in Style
>Saturday Night
>I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: Keith Glass.

Raven's 2013 two-fer combines Billy Joe Shaver's two albums for Capricorn: 1976's When I Get My Wings and 1977's Gypsy Boy. These two records boast a slightly slicker, grander production than his dusty classic debut Old Five and Dimers Like Me, a commercial gambit that didn't quite pay off and the records soon faded from the catalog, never being the easiest LPs to find on CD. Bear Family released the two as a single CD called Honky Tonk Heroes in 1994, supported by a couple of rarities, but that's harder to find than this Raven two-fer, which adds three cuts from Shaver's 1981 Columbia debut I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (that, along with the rest of his Columbia recordings, were rounded up for Real Gone's 2013 double-disc set The Complete Columbia Recordings). From one angle, it could be argued that neither When I Get My Wings nor Gypsy Boy are as strong as Old Five and Dimers or I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal, primarily due to that big production, but to an extent that's just nitpicking: in retrospect that '70s studio slickness sounds appealing and Shaver sounds wily, singing some of his greatest songs ("Ain't No God in Mexico," "When the Word Was Thunderbird," "Ride Me Down Easy," "Honky Tonk Heroes," "I'm Going Crazy in 3/4 Time," "You Asked Me To"). Certainly, any serious fan of country music, particularly in its progressive '70s incarnation, will find the renewed availability of these two Shaver LPs reason to celebrate. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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