×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection
     

Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection

by Hank Williams
 
The recorded legacy of Hank Williams has been delivered on disc in many ways, but the thematic arrangement of three-disc collection makes for a strikingly coherent presentation. The hard-edged Hank, who brought honky-tonk music to its aesthetic and spiritual apex -- and in the process provided the foundation for rockabilly and hence rock 'n' roll -- is illuminated on

Overview

The recorded legacy of Hank Williams has been delivered on disc in many ways, but the thematic arrangement of three-disc collection makes for a strikingly coherent presentation. The hard-edged Hank, who brought honky-tonk music to its aesthetic and spiritual apex -- and in the process provided the foundation for rockabilly and hence rock 'n' roll -- is illuminated on Disc 1, titled Honky Tonkin'. In addition to a couple of cautionary high-steppers from Luke the Drifter ("I've Been Down That Road Before" and "Too Many Parties and Too Many Pals"), there are rousing, indisputable high-heat classics dotting the song selection -- monuments such as the disc's title song, "I'm a Long Gone Daddy," "Lost Highway," the Hank Jr.-less "There's a Tear in My Beer," and the timeless "Honky Tonk Blues." The ways of the heart are vividly accounted for on Disc 2, Cold, Cold Heart, which unfolds 20 tracks that defined the country tear-jerker for modern times, right up to the present. "Lovesick Blues," "A Mansion on the Hill," "Your Cheatin' Heart," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," and "Cold, Cold Heart" are supported by the winsome "Let's Turn Back the Years" and bluesy entreaties on the order of "You Win Again" -- all beautifully conceived and executed, with soul and craftsmanship to burn. Arguably the most moving performances the father of country music ever committed to tape are on Disc 3, I Saw the Light, featuring 20 choice spiritual numbers, many of them philosophically probing humankind's readiness to meet its maker. One rarity here is the duet by Hank and his wife, Audrey, on "The Pale Horse and His Rider"; otherwise, this is an excellent accounting of the range of Hank Sr.'s work in this area, from rousing celebrations of salvation such as "I Saw the Light" to the chilling ruminations "Drifting Too Far from the Shore" and "Angel of Death." Sixty recordings, digitally remastered, plus a solid background essay by co-producer Colin Escott make this a first-rate retrospective of a hands-down legend.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There have been countless Hank Williams compilations issued over the years, ranging from cheap budget-line discs to box sets of his complete recordings, but the idea for the triple-disc 2005 set Turn Back the Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection is a fresh one: instead of following the traditional chronological approach, or mixing up his greatest hits in random order, this borrows a cue from Columbia/Legacy's 2000 set Love, God, Murder and arranges Hank's work thematically. Each of the three discs is titled after one of his songs, each bearing a clear thematic imprint: the first is "Honky Tonkin'," and contains his barroom anthems; the second is "Cold, Cold Heart" and has his high, lonesome heartbreak songs; the third is "I Saw the Light" and is devoted to gospel and religious tunes. This is an effective way to present his catalog, since each of the discs plays as a cohesive album and, taken together, they give a good indication of the range and depth of Williams' music. That said, this shouldn't be seen as a definitive collection, containing all of his great songs -- indeed, such classics as "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)," "Mind Your Own Business," "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It," "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," "Half as Much," "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)," "I'll Never Get out of This World Alive," and "Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)" are all absent. But that's the curse of a catalog as rich as Hank Williams' -- there's no way that one collection can contain all of his great songs. Turn Back the Years doesn't, but it does offer a different way of looking at his catalog that functions both as a thoroughly enjoyable listen for longtime fans and as an excellent introduction for neophytes who want thematic, cohesive albums instead of the usual greatest hits.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2005
Label:
Mercury Nashville
UPC:
0602498845394
catalogNumber:
000534802

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hank Williams   Primary Artist
Luke the Drifter   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Jimmie Davis   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Bill Carlisle   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Ernest Tubb   Composer
Colin Escott   Essay,Photo Courtesy
Mike Fink   Cover Art
Mel Foree   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
John Bailes   Composer
Claude Boone   Composer
Lonnie Glosson   Composer
Joe Pope   Composer
Jimmy Work   Composer
Jim Sherraden   Cover Art
Mort Dixon   Composer
Vic McAlpin   Composer
Ervin Staggs   Composer
Virgil Brock   Composer
Grady Cole   Composer
Ramona Vincent   Composer
Adam Starr   Project Concept
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Odell McLeod   Composer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews