Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck

Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck

by Johnny Paycheck
     
 

Johnny Paycheck, who unfortunately took his alignment with the '70s outlaw country movement a little too seriously, has nonetheless built up an amazing catalogue for himself. The Soul and the Edge is an apt title for this retrospective, because the man's defining songs reveal a sensitive, even reasonable side balancing out his jut-jawed hard-country manifestos.See more details below

Overview

Johnny Paycheck, who unfortunately took his alignment with the '70s outlaw country movement a little too seriously, has nonetheless built up an amazing catalogue for himself. The Soul and the Edge is an apt title for this retrospective, because the man's defining songs reveal a sensitive, even reasonable side balancing out his jut-jawed hard-country manifestos. The workingman's call to arms "Take This Job and Shove It," is the perfect snap-to album opener, and in a nice bit of sequencing it's followed by a blues-rooted prisoner's musing, "11 Months and 29 Days," on which Paycheck, in a throaty vocal, expectantly advises, "Keep your hands off my woman/I ain't gonna be gone that long." "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)," "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets," "She's All I Got," and "Barstool Mountain" all limn classic country themes and are beautifully realized in every aspect, most especially in Billy Sherrill's lean, mean productions. But don't overlook the ballads, which offer the big payoff. The deep feeling Paycheck brings to the tea-jerking "My Part of Forever" and the devastating chronicle of utter loneliness, "The Feminine Touch," reveals a masterful singer who can invest a song with stirring humanity. The 23 cuts here are mostly from Paycheck's fertile 1977-80 chart run, including a rousing 1980 duet with George Jones on Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On," which underscores the debt Jones owes to Paycheck's style. Suffice it to say that country gets no better than this, in any era, and it certainly sounds right today.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Most listeners know Johnny Paycheck from "Take This Job and Shove It" -- a song so popular and so iconic that it overshadows everything else Paycheck did, not just for pop fans but for country listeners. Couple that with a reputation for being a roughneck hellion and you have somebody who is known as a persona, not as a musician. And that's a real shame, as Epic/Legacy's The Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck proves. As the first comprehensive CD collection of Paycheck's hit-making peak years of the '70s and '80s -- his early years are documented on the stellar The Real Mr. Heartache collection -- this collection is a revelation, offering definitive proof that he was one of the very greatest hardcore country singers. He could do it all: blue-collar rage ("Take This Job and Shove It," "Me and the IRS"), barroom weepers ("Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets," "I Did the Right Thing") and barroom ravers ("Fifteen Beers"), lush country-pop (the Billy Sherrill-produced "She's All I Got") and gritty country-soul (a George Jones duet on "You Better Move On"), tough-guy laments ("I'm the Only Hell (My Mama Ever Raised)") and tough-guy bravado ("Ragged Old Truck," "The Outlaw's Prayer"). Plus, there's a wicked, bizarre sense of humor, evidenced clearly on the neo-talking blues "Colorado Cool-Aid," illustrating that he didn't tame his wildness even at his popular peak. Then there's that voice -- a resonant baritone with impeccable phrasing that some claim was an inspiration for George Jones' style (and listening to this and Mr. Heartache makes those claims quite credible). It all adds up to a collection that not only captures Paycheck at his peak, but also lays claim as one of the great country albums of its era, if not all time. It's the kind of collection an artist the stature of Johnny Paycheck deserves.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/30/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998524620
catalogNumber:
85246
Rank:
16168

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Take This Job and Shove It
  2. 11 Months and 29 Days
  3. I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)
  4. Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets
  5. (Don't Take Her) She's All I Got
  6. Ragged Old Truck
  7. Colorado Kool-Aid
  8. Fifteen Beers
  9. I've Seen Better Days
  10. Someone to Give My Love To
  11. My Part of Forever
  12. Yesterday's News Just Hit Home Today
  13. (Stay Away From) The Cocaine Train
  14. Me and the I.R.S.
  15. The Feminine Touch
  16. You Better Move On  - Johnny Paycheck
  17. I Did the Right Thing  - Johnny Paycheck
  18. When I Had a Home to Go To
  19. Barstool Mountain
  20. I Can See Me Lovin' You Again
  21. Old Violin
  22. All Night Lady
  23. The Outlaw's Prayer

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