The 2012 release Icon rounds up 11 songs Merle Haggard recorded for MCA in the late '70s and early '80s -- a period that sometimes gets overlooked between his seminal early stint at Capitol and his later successes at Epic. Unfairly so, as he had several terrific songs during this time, many of which are featured here on this affordable compilation. Highlights include two of his classic drinking songs, "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" and "Misery and Gin," a live version of "Rainbow Stew," "I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall," and "From Graceland to the Promised Land." Not all of his greatest sides for MCA are here, but enough are to make this a good representative sampler. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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