Phase One: The Early Years 1958-1964

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
In tracing the arc of Waylon Jennings's early recording career, Phase One: The Early Years 1958-1964 fills a critical gap in his catalogue. These rare tracks see Jennings finding his voice and then breaking new ground with prototypical country-folk stylings in the early '60s. It was a shaky start, though. The leaden vocal on the earliest cut here, 1958's "When Sin Stops," hardly bodes well for a long-term career; five years later, however, Jennings was singing free and easy, his rich baritone and gritty phrasing projecting his singularly non-negotiable attitude. You'll hear the first stirrings of this approach on a powerful reading of "Love Denied" that ends with a Roy ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
In tracing the arc of Waylon Jennings's early recording career, Phase One: The Early Years 1958-1964 fills a critical gap in his catalogue. These rare tracks see Jennings finding his voice and then breaking new ground with prototypical country-folk stylings in the early '60s. It was a shaky start, though. The leaden vocal on the earliest cut here, 1958's "When Sin Stops," hardly bodes well for a long-term career; five years later, however, Jennings was singing free and easy, his rich baritone and gritty phrasing projecting his singularly non-negotiable attitude. You'll hear the first stirrings of this approach on a powerful reading of "Love Denied" that ends with a Roy Orbison-like sortie into the upper register. Signed to A&M in 1963, Jennings prospered with Herb Alpert at the production helm, and five superb A&M tracks illustrate the point, notably a wistful version of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds" and a doom-laden interpretation of "House of the Rising Sun" recorded a year before the Animals' version. Rounding out the retrospective are seven 1964 cuts off a small-label album issued in 1969, including authoritative, emotionally gripping readings of Orbison's "Crying" and "Dream Baby"; an easygoing rendition of Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," complete with pre-Byrds jangly guitar lines; rousing takes on Buck Owens's "Love's Gonna Live Here Again" and George Jones's "White Lightnin' "; and a righteous version of Buddy Holly's "It's So Easy" that's light-years better than his version of "Rave On" from the previous year. Great stuff.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The recordings on Hip-O's 2002 collection Phase One: The Early Years 1958-1964 have been collected many times before, in a number of different fashions, but with the exception of Bear Family's exhaustive box set The Journey: Destiny's Child, they've never been presented as clearly or as logically as they are here. Essentially, this is the first disc of that set, containing both sides of his Buddy Holly-produced 1958 single "When Sin Stops"/"Jole Blon," both sides of his 1961 single for Trend; two songs from a 1963 session these may have been re-recorded later, but the documentation is unclear; five sides for A&M produced by Herb Alpert in the spring and fall of 1964; and nine tracks recorded in December 1964 for a Phoenix independent label. Given that chronology, it should not come as a surprise that the music here is all over the map -- a little bit of rock & roll; a little bit of Cajun; a lot of country; a little crossover pop; a sappy string-laden tribute to Buddy Holly; a cover of "Rave On," with mariachi horns; a heavy dose of folk, including covers of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds" and Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"; and lots of rock & roll and country covers. In other words, it's formative recordings, finding Waylon as he was trying to find his sound -- and even if you can hear him stumble, it's a hell of an interesting journey, since it covers so much ground. Sometimes the covers are faithful, usually quite enjoyably "Love's Gonna Live Here Again," "White Lightnin'," "Big Mamou," "Jole Blon," all fair well, but occasionally to their detriment Waylon could sing "Crying," but not in an arrangement that copies Roy Orbison's original; sometimes they're quite inventive "Don't Think Twice" points toward country-rock, "The House of the Rising Sun" is nicely moody. Apart from the Orbison covers, Waylon sounds comfortable in nearly every style and, in retrospect, it's amazing to hear how all these experiments would later blossom on his RCA work -- plus, there's the first version of his first great song, a gently rolling take on "Just to Satisfy You." It all adds up to a fascinating listen; that's not just a boon to collectors, it's also quite an entertaining listen. Perhaps you need to be a dedicated listener to purchase these early recordings, but if you're curious, you will be satisfied.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/5/2002
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • UPC: 731458409625
  • Catalog Number: 584096

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Waylon Jennings Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Herb Alpert Conductor
Buddy Holly Guitar
King Curtis Saxophone
Tommy Allsup Rhythm Guitar
Ritchie Albright Drums
Paul Foster Bass
Byron Metcalf Drums
Ray Corbin Guitar
Buford "Boof" Turner Drums
George Atwood Bass
Technical Credits
Clifton Chenier Composer
Waylon Jennings Arranger
Herb Alpert Arranger, Producer
Buddy Holly Producer
Mississippi Fred McDowell Composer
Andy McKaie Producer
Dana Smart Producer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Richard Weize Discographical Information
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Russ Wapensky Discographical Information
John P. Dixon Discographical Information
Robin Schwartz Licensing
James D. Musil Arranger
L. Sharpe Composer
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