Thursday, January 31, 2013

129 40 Greatest hits. Thank Hank.

Album: 40 Greatest hits
Artist: Hank Williams
Genre: Country
Year: 1978


Disc one

  1. Move It on Over
  2. A Mansion on the Hill
  3. Lovesick Blues
  4. Wedding Bells
  5. Mind Your Own Business
  6. You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave) 
  7. Lost Highway
  8. My Bucket's Got a Hole in It
  9. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  10. I Just Don't Like This Kind of Living
  11. Long Gone Lonesome Blues
  12. My Son Calls Another Man Daddy
  13. Why Don't You Love Me
  14. Why Should We Try Anymore
  15. They'll Never Take Her Love from Me
  16. Moanin' the Blues
  17. Nobody's Lonesome for Me
  18. Cold, Cold Heart
  19. Dear John
  20. Howlin' at the Moon 

Disc two

  1. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)
  2. Hey, Good Lookin'
  3. Crazy Heart
  4. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
  5. Baby, We're Really in Love
  6. Ramblin' Man
  7. Honky Tonk Blues
  8. I'm Sorry for You My Friend
  9. Half as Much
  10. Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
  11. Window Shopping
  12. Settin' the Woods on Fire
  13. You Win Again
  14. I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
  15. Kaw-Liga
  16. Your Cheatin' Heart
  17. Take These Chains from My Heart
  18. I Won't Be Home No More
  19. Weary Blues from Waitin'
  20. I Saw the Light

Did I listen to this album in its entirety? Did I sit down and listen to two discs of Hank Williams even though I know that Hank isn't really for me?

Yes. Yes I did.

Sort of.

You might think I cheated slightly but I gave Hank a miss this time around because a few albums ago I listened to everything Hank Williams ever did ever. His entire recorded output was captured on ten discs which I listened to four times each. I feel I've done Hank, I really do. I've paid my Hank dues and I can honestly say I've heard every song on this album because they're all in that ten discs somewhere. Granted I couldn't sing many of them for you because god knows country tends to blend into a bit of a big countrified fog when you listen to it all together like I did. It's not like Hank evolved much as an artist. When you listen to a Williams disc you're listening to pure country and not encountering his Metal phase or his flirtations with jazz fusion.

So I can tell you two things from the outset: Hank was the finest country singer of his (or possibly any) generation and gave the genre a heart and soul that made him respected by everyone in country and lots of people who weren't. He was a way into C&W for lots of people who loved other music but appreciated the fact that Williams was authentic. He was truly country but came at it from a perspective that didn't alienate people who had never seen a prairie, ridden a horse or met a sherrif.

The other thing I can tell you is that with this compilation here there was no need for Rolling Stone magazine to include the ten disc monster they inflicted on us earlier. Every single track that they included before is included here with no modification alteration or addition. If you ripped the ten discs from the Complete Hank Williams and wacked it on your MP3 player then you have this album as well.  It's an exact duplication.

If you want to know what country sounded like at its best and before it became a billion dollar industry then these two discs are waiting for you. If you can't get enough of it then there's another eight discs worth on The Complete Hank Williams.

Highlight: Your Cheatin Heart
Lowlight: My son calls another man Daddy

Influenced by: Prairies
Influenced: Country music. All country music

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Here's another question; why don't we ever hear tragic stories about bands like Good Charlotte dying in plane crashes? Its always people like Buddy, Otis, and Skynyrd. I'm not advocating murder...but why do sucky bands never accidently meet with a tragic end and "force" us to have to do without their music?"

-Interesting, if slightly creepy, viewpoint. Thanks for sharing.

So is this enough Hank, Too much Hank or not nearly enough Hank? Let me know below.

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