All Time Greatest Hits

All Time Greatest Hits

5.0 2
by Roger Miller
     
 

He's best known for his folksy and humorous novelty songs, but Roger "King of the Road" Miller is a deeper artist than that: His voice had a subtle country twang, and as a writer, he treasured language, finding insight in the most nonsensical formulations. All Time Greatest Hits presents 20 of Miller's most memorable performances, and all but five are songs heSee more details below

Overview

He's best known for his folksy and humorous novelty songs, but Roger "King of the Road" Miller is a deeper artist than that: His voice had a subtle country twang, and as a writer, he treasured language, finding insight in the most nonsensical formulations. All Time Greatest Hits presents 20 of Miller's most memorable performances, and all but five are songs he wrote. The bulk of this retrospective (13 cuts) is rightly focused on the artist's dominant 1964–65 chart run, when his Jerry Kennedy–produced singles for the Smash label routinely landed at or near the top of the country chart and often climbed into the pop chart's Top 40. The unqualified classic of the bunch is, of course, the aforementioned timeless paean to honorable rootlessness, "King of the Road," but there's also the loopy treatises "Dang Me" and "Chug-a-Lug" (does anyone hear in this song's send-up of a happy drunk a cautionary tale of temperance?). The goofy, vaudevillian salute to the local kiddie show host, "Kansas City Star," includes the timeless couplet, "Kansas City Star / That's what I are," and "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" is a gently swinging commonsense guide to happiness. Yet there's more than first meets the ear on many cuts, such as "Engine Engine #9," which masks a tale of lost love behind a sweet, catchy children's verse, and two devastating ballads of broken hearts, "The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me" (possibly the most clever song title ever) and "Husbands and Wives," the latter the last word in explaining a disintegrating institution. A songwriter who could infuse a kooky ditty with wry social commentary, or at least a meaningful story, Roger Miller was simply one of a kind, as every cut here proves.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There have been many collections of Roger Miller's hitmaking peak on Mercury over the years, but few have been as comprehensive or as good as Mercury/Chronicle's 2003 CD, All Time Greatest Hits. Spanning 20 tracks over the course of one CD, this contains all the big songs: "Dang Me," "Chug-a-Lug," "Do Wacka Do," "In the Summertime (You Don't Want My Love)," "King of the Road," "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd," "Kansas City Star," "England Swings," and "Husbands and Wives," among others. All but one track from the seminal 1965 collection Golden Hits is here ("Atta Boy Girl" is the missing culprit -- a good song but not enough to tip the scales in favor of the 38-year-old collection), and it spans further than that record, collecting hits from 1967-1970 and ending with the 1986 hit "River in the Rain." While that final song isn't quite of the standard of what preceded it, it provides a nice closer to a set of songs that unequivocally proves Miller's genius. That might seem like a weighty word for a singer/songwriter whose specialty was lightweight funny songs, but the thing is, those songs have a certain mad ingenious sensibility that nobody else could replicate, and he could dig deeper -- witness "I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone)" -- when he wanted to. That side might not be mined as deeply as it could have been here, but that's what previous comps like the King of the Road box is for. This is a hits collection, a summary overview and introduction to his genius, and it succeeds brilliantly on that level. Absolutely essential.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2003
Label:
Mercury Nashville
UPC:
0008817037523
catalogNumber:
000023302
Rank:
2424

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >