Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years

Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years

4.5 2
by Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Yoakam didn't need a box set to remind us he was kicking ass and taking names even before he signed with Warner Bros. in 1985. But with the four-disc extravaganza Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years -- featuring over two dozen previously unreleased tracks -- Yoakam dazzles with his staggering artistry and infallible command of all things country


Dwight Yoakam didn't need a box set to remind us he was kicking ass and taking names even before he signed with Warner Bros. in 1985. But with the four-disc extravaganza Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years -- featuring over two dozen previously unreleased tracks -- Yoakam dazzles with his staggering artistry and infallible command of all things country -- and then some. Three of the discs collect tracks from his catalog (as well as cuts he's contributed to other artists' projects), a batch of material that handily proves Yoakam's genius when it comes to adapting traditional sensibilities to contemporary styles. Acknowledged as the foremost contemporary purveyor of the hard-edged Bakersfield sound pioneered by his heroes Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Yoakam (and longtime producer/guitarist Pete Anderson) has found touchstones in pop (Sonny & Cher's "Baby Don't Go," for one, here done as a duet with Sheryl Crow), punk (the Clash's "Train in Vain"), Texas boogie (ZZ Top's "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide"), and rock (Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me," done to white-hot perfection). Yoakam's evolution as a songwriter is also well-chronicled here, on his own, as a collaborator, and in his transcendent partnership with Anderson. That last relationship receives an unexpected spotlight on the fourth disc, a selection of 21 previously unreleased recordings, 10 of which predate Anderson's 1981 appearance on the scene. The disc's early take on "You're the One," done as a slow, tearjerking lament, stands in stark contrast to the ferocious, Anderson-assisted version (heard on disc 1) that scalded both the country and pop charts a decade later. In addition, there are enough new recordings (three) and previously unissued live and studio tracks (including two stunning duets with Kelly Willis, on the George Jones-Tammy Wynette classic "Golden Ring" and on Jones's "Take Me") to comprise an entire new Dwight Yoakam album in the midst of this breathtaking retrospective. Reprise Please Baby is not only this year's most vibrant and essential box set, it's one of the all-time great ones.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Randy Travis sold more records and George Strait was a purer country singer, but Dwight Yoakam was as influential as either on country music in the '80s. A Kentucky-born, Ohio-raised refugee from Nashville, he headed out to California where he managed to play Bakersfield country for L.A. punks, laying the groundwork for the Americana movement of the late '80s and '90s by not only revitalizing classic country from honky tonks to country-pop ballads through his traditionalist readings, but treating rock songs in a similar fashion. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Rhino's excellent four-disc box set Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years, a superb chronicling of his time at Reprise/Warner Records. What makes this set so successful is that it doesn't focus simply on the hits, though they're all here. Instead of just the hits, they're interlaced with key album tracks, covers, duets, and songs cut for compilations, all necessary to understanding Yoakam's music and his influence. Take his superlative duet with Flaco Jimenez on Warren Zevon's "Carmelita" and how it blurs the lines between country, punk, classic rock, and singer/songwriters, creating the sound that would come to be known as Americana. Nearly every alt-country artist sought this expert balance of self-consciously classic instrumentation, contemporary subject matter, stylized yet sincere delivery, and clean production -- a delicate balance many sought to replicate, yet few succeeded in capturing. It's a brilliant moment, but one that wasn't on any Dwight album, and this rightly presents it, among other rarities, as key parts of his legacy. Among the revelations on Reprise Please Baby is that Yoakam had this balance perfected from the beginning, from before he released his landmark debut, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.; his ten-track demo from 1981 is included here on the all-previously unreleased fourth disc, and it holds its own among his best albums in both its songwriting and performance. This entire disc -- which also contains two fine duets with Kelly Willis and a string of covers, recorded anywhere from 1986 to 2002, all very good, with a nimble "Oh Lonesome Me" and a rip-roaring "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" standing as particular highlights -- makes it necessary for collectors, but the set wouldn't be much if it was just for the completists. What makes it such a success is that it presents Yoakam's full achievement through a sharp, thorough examination of his prodigious output, turning in a convincing case for his greatness while being a hell of an entertaining listen. He produced his share of great albums, but Reprise Please Baby tells everything country fans of any stripe need to know.
New York Times - Neil Strauss
In this set, one can hear [Yoakam's] stubborn traditionalism and his innate eclecticism intertwine as two decades roll by.

Product Details

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Disc 1

  1. Honky Tonk Man
  2. Guitars, Cadillacs
  3. It Won't Hurt
  4. Miner's Prayer
  5. Little Sister
  6. Little Ways
  7. Please, Please Baby
  8. Always Late (With Your Kisses)
  9. This Drinkin' Will Kill Me
  10. Streets of Bakersfield
  11. I Sang Dixie
  12. I Got You
  13. I Hear You Knockin'
  14. Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses)
  15. Long White Cadillac
  16. Turn It on, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose
  17. You're the One
  18. Nothing's Changed Here
  19. It Only Hurts When I Cry
  20. The Heart That You Own
  21. The Distance Between You and Me
  22. Dangerous Man
  23. Send a Message to My Heart
  24. Takes a Lot to Rock You

Disc 2

  1. Carmelita
  2. Suspicious Minds
  3. Doin' What I Did
  4. Hey Little Girl
  5. Ain't That Lonely Yet
  6. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere
  7. Try Not to Look So Pretty
  8. Pocket of a Clown
  9. Home for Sale
  10. Fast as You
  11. King of Fools
  12. Holding Things Together
  13. Nothing
  14. Don't Be Sad
  15. Sorry You Asked?
  16. Gone (That'll Be Me)
  17. Claudette
  18. Baby Don't Go
  19. Train in Vain
  20. Rapid City, South Dakota

Disc 3

  1. Only Want You More
  2. Same Fool
  3. Things Change
  4. These Arms
  5. A Long Way Home
  6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  7. Thinking About Leaving
  8. New San Antonio Rose
  9. Two Doors Down
  10. Bury Me
  11. Love Caught Up to Me
  12. What Do You Know About Love
  13. Free to Go
  14. A Place to Cry
  15. I Want You to Want Me
  16. Alright, I'm Wrong
  17. Who at the Door Is Standing
  18. The First Thing Smokin'
  19. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
  20. Louisville
  21. Sittin' Pretty
  22. Mercury Blues

Disc 4

  1. This Drinkin' Will Kill Me
  2. It Won't Hurt
  3. I'll Be Gone
  4. Floyd County
  5. You're the One
  6. Twenty Years
  7. Please Daddy
  8. Miner's Prayer
  9. I Sang Dixie
  10. Bury Me
  11. Golden Ring
  12. Take Me
  13. Sin City
  14. Truckin'
  15. Grand Tour
  16. Oh, Lonesome Me
  17. Today I Started Loving You Again
  18. Mystery Train
  19. Can't You Hear Me Callin'
  20. Heartaches by the Number
  21. My Bucket's Got a Hole in It

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dwight Yoakam   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Autoharp,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ralph Stanley   Banjo,Background Vocals
Chris Hillman   Piano
Jim Lauderdale   Background Vocals
Tony Campise   Alto Saxophone
Bruce Eskovitz   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Allsup   Guitar
Lonesome Strangers   Background Vocals
Roger Miller   Background Vocals
Dave Alexander   Trumpet
Beth Andersen   Background Vocals
Maxi Anderson   Background Vocals
Pete Anderson   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Electric Sitar,6-string bass,Guitar (Baritone)
Richard Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Fills,Requinto
Ray Benson   Guitar
James E. Bond   Conductor
Bekka Bramlett   Background Vocals
Tom Brumley   Steel Guitar
Paul Buckmaster   Conductor
Bill Campbell   Bass
Cindy Cashdollar   Steel Guitar
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Jonathan Clark   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Anthony Crawford   Background Vocals
Glen D. Hardin   Piano
Floyd Domino   Piano
Skip Edwards   Organ,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Accordion,Keyboards,Wurlitzer
Phillip Fajardo   Drums
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion,Vocal Harmony
J.D. Foster   Bass
Michael Francis   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Funderburk   Background Vocals
Bob Glaub   Bass
John Goux   Acoustic Guitar
Jim Haas   Background Vocals
Don Heffington   Drums
Carl Jackson   Background Vocals
Duane Jarvis   Rhythm Guitar
Eric Jorgensen   Trombone
Scott Joss   Fiddle,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Brantley Kearns   Fiddle,Background Vocals
Nick Lane   Trombone
Greg Leisz   Lap Steel Guitar
Jay Dee Maness   Pedal Steel Guitar
David Mansfield   Dobro,Fiddle,Mandolin
Jerry McGee   Guitar
Gary Morse   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Marty Muse   Dobro
Tim O'Brien   Mandolin,Background Vocals
Dean Parks   Acoustic Guitar
Herb Pedersen   Background Vocals
Perkins   Banjo,Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Tom Peterson   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Earl Lon Price   Tenor Saxophone
Taras Prodaniuk   Bass,Upright Bass
Amy Ray   Background Vocals
Don Reed   Fiddle
Jason Roberts   Fiddle
Jeff Rymes   Background Vocals
David Sanger   Drums
Greg "Frosty" Smith   Trombone,Baritone Saxophone
Oscar Tellez   Bajo Sexto
Lee Thornburg   Trombone,Trumpet
Dusty Wakeman   Percussion,Background Vocals,6-string bass
Randy Weeks   Background Vocals
David Woodford   Saxophone
Jim Christie   Drums
Jeff Donavan   Drums
Elias Haslanger   Tenor Saxophone
Leland Sklar   Bass
Carmen Twilley   Background Vocals
Bonhomme   Acoustic Guitar
Chris Booher   Piano
Davey Crockett   Drums
David Earl Miller   Bass
John Noreyko   Tuba
Chris Tedesco   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Buck Owens   Introduction
Dwight Yoakam   Arranger,Producer,Art Direction
Jerry Garcia   Composer
Steve Morse   Liner Notes
Bob Weir   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Bobby Braddock   Composer
Pete Anderson   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Louis Armstrong   Composer
James Austin   Liner Notes,Art Direction
Don Baskin   Composer
James E. Bond   String Arrangements
Sally Browder   Engineer
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Paul Buckmaster   String Arrangements
Frank Campbell   Engineer
Peter Doell   Engineer
Michael Dumas   Engineer
Ralph Forbes   Programming
Billy Gibbons   Author
Robert Gonzales   Composer
Bill Halverson   Producer
Bill Ham   Executive Producer
Scott Humphrey   Programming
Leslie Ann Jones   Engineer
David Leonard   Engineer
Phil Lesh   Composer
Brian Levi   Engineer
Velma Middleton   Composer
Charles Paakkari   Engineer
Junior Parker   Composer
Kevin Reeves   Engineer
Eddie Ruscha   Author
Schulman   Engineer
Chris Stone   Engineer
Tim Stroh   Engineer
Lee Thornburg   Horn Arrangements
Dusty Wakeman   Programming,Engineer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Daniel Steinberg   Engineer
Cisco   Composer
Sam Phillips   Composer
Holly George-Warren   Liner Notes
Mauricio Iragorri   Engineer
Steven Chean   Editorial Research
Bryan Lasley   Art Direction
Kacey Jones   Producer
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Elijah Bradford   Engineer
Kenneth A. Van Druten   Engineer
Kevin Mazur   Cover Photo
Pearl King   Composer
Bob Totten   Composer
Joe Galante   Executive Producer
Bryan McConkey   Engineer
Dennis Hopper   Author
David Ponak   Licensing

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Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the words of Chris Hillman, "Dwight Yoakum is the Gram Parsons that worked.."This 4-cd set spans the career of the artist all the way from "Guitars, Cadillacs",to present.The 4th disc is all previously unissued material that features a smoking live version of The Dead's "Truckin", and a nice acoustic version of "You're the One".Dwight Yoakum is quite simply, the purest pure country singer in the business today, and if you listen to this set from beginning to end,you'll believe it. From the Allman Brothers feel of "Free to Go, to the blistering rockabilly of "Sitting Pretty" this set is a nice bonus for the hardcore fan, and a must if you're just mildly interested.Those looking for the slick, schmaltzy,radio-friendly country music of today need not apply.Get ready to rumble on this one, folks. Damn this guy's good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This box set is great. It's got all my favorite Dwight songs on it. I love country music. I also like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. I have lots of country cds. That's what I listen to in the car, is country. If I get the chance, I listen to the radio at work. I work out at the gym after work, but of course you aren't gonna hear country at the gym. At least not where I live (which is the Detroit area). I need to get some new country cds because I like it so much. I want to learn how to play country guitar, but I don't have time because of softball. I hope that I get to see Dwight in concert when he comes around again.