20 Number One Hits

20 Number One Hits

by Merle Haggard
     
 

Barring Hank Williams Sr., Merle Haggard is arguably the most significant and influential recording artist in country music history, an insightful, emotionally complex songwriter as well as a forceful, nuanced performer who consistently resists stylistic clichés and easy pigeonholing. The artist's rich and influential body of work incorporates a staggering amount of… See more details below

Overview

Barring Hank Williams Sr., Merle Haggard is arguably the most significant and influential recording artist in country music history, an insightful, emotionally complex songwriter as well as a forceful, nuanced performer who consistently resists stylistic clichés and easy pigeonholing. The artist's rich and influential body of work incorporates a staggering amount of brilliant -- and mostly self-penned -- songs, encompassing hard-bitten outlaw anthems ("Mama Tried," "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive"), gritty tales of survival in hard times ("If We Make It Through December," "Working Man Blues"), and trenchant sociopolitical numbers ("Okie from Muskogee," "The Fightin' Side of Me"). In the mid-1990s, Haggard recorded new versions of about 40 of his best-known songs, which have since popped up, in various combinations, on too many budget-priced compilation CDs to keep track of; this is one of the better of those packages. Though the idea of a country star cutting updated versions of his hits is nothing new, Haggard's revisitations are more than the usual pale imitation. Instead, the artist brings new layers of interpretation to the above-mentioned tunes, applying several decades' worth of hard living and hard lessons to his performances. As its title makes clear, 20 Number One Hits is compiled with an eye toward the songs' original country chart placings rather than thematic coherence and thus omits some of Haggard's best and best known songs. But it's a powerful listen nonetheless, offering a compelling insight into this most iconoclastic of country legends.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Varese Fontana
UPC:
0030206616422
catalogNumber:
066164

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