Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2005
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
  • UPC: 602498845394
  • Catalog Number: 000534802
  • Sales rank: 149,838

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Honky Tonkin' - Hank Williams (2:45)
  2. 2 Rockin' Chair Money - Hank Williams (2:06)
  3. 3 I'm a Long Gone Daddy (2:50)
  4. 4 I've Been Down That Road Before (2:57)
  5. 5 Moanin' the Blues - Hank Williams (2:24)
  6. 6 (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle - Hank Williams (2:27)
  7. 7 Rootie Tootie - Hank Williams (2:46)
  8. 8 You Better Keep It on Your Mind - Hank Williams (2:23)
  9. 9 Settin' the Woods on Fire - Hank Williams (2:37)
  10. 10 Wearin' Out Your Walkin' Shoes - Hank Williams (1:37)
  11. 11 Too Many Parties and Too Many Pals (3:00)
  12. 12 Ramblin' Man (3:03)
  13. 13 Tennessee Border - Hank Williams (1:54)
  14. 14 Howlin' at the Moon - Hank Williams (2:43)
  15. 15 Move It on Over - Hank Williams (2:45)
  16. 16 Hey, Good Lookin' - Hank Williams (2:55)
  17. 17 Leave Me Alone with the Blues - Hank Williams (2:18)
  18. 18 Lost Highway - Hank Williams (2:43)
  19. 19 There's a Tear in My Beer - Hank Williams (2:49)
  20. 20 Honky Tonk Blues - Hank Williams (2:10)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams (2:44)
  2. 2 Wedding Bells - Hank Williams (2:54)
  3. 3 A Mansion on the Hill - Hank Williams (2:34)
  4. 4 I'm Free at Last - Hank Williams (2:23)
  5. 5 My Love for You (Has Turned to Hate) (2:41)
  6. 6 Your Cheatin' Heart - Hank Williams (2:42)
  7. 7 First Year Blues - Hank Williams (2:26)
  8. 8 On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain - Hank Williams (2:51)
  9. 9 May You Never Be Alone - Hank Williams (2:50)
  10. 10 A House Without Love - Hank Williams (2:53)
  11. 11 They'll Never Take Her Love from Me - Hank Williams (2:44)
  12. 12 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (2:46)
  13. 13 Let's Turn Back the Years - Hank Williams (2:23)
  14. 14 I'm So Tired of It All - Hank Williams (2:21)
  15. 15 Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams (2:43)
  16. 16 Weary Blues from Waiting - Hank Williams (2:27)
  17. 17 You Win Again - Hank Williams (2:36)
  18. 18 Fool About You - Hank Williams (1:23)
  19. 19 Please Make Up Your Mind (2:49)
  20. 20 I Can't Escape from You - Hank Williams (2:14)
Disc 3
  1. 1 I Saw the Light - Hank Williams (2:44)
  2. 2 Thy Burderns Are Greater Than Mine - Hank Williams (3:30)
  3. 3 Calling You - Hank Williams (2:54)
  4. 4 Wealth Won't Save Your Soul - Hank Williams (2:47)
  5. 5 The Pale Horse and His Rider - Hank Williams (2:54)
  6. 6 Beyond the Sunset (3:00)
  7. 7 Are You Walkin' and a Talkin' for the Lord? - Hank Williams (2:45)
  8. 8 Let the Spirit Descend - Hank Williams (2:07)
  9. 9 The Battle of Armageddon - Hank Williams (2:29)
  10. 10 Alone and Forsaken - Hank Williams (2:01)
  11. 11 Drifting Too Far from the Shore - Hank Williams (3:15)
  12. 12 A House of Gold - Hank Williams (2:16)
  13. 13 Where the Soul of Man Never Dies - Hank Williams (1:50)
  14. 14 How Can You Refuse Him Now? - Hank Williams (2:36)
  15. 15 A Tramp on the Street - Hank Williams (3:39)
  16. 16 Lost on the River - Hank Williams (1:51)
  17. 17 When God Dips His Love in My Heart - Hank Williams (2:25)
  18. 18 'Neath a Cold Gray Tomb of Stone - Hank Williams (2:42)
  19. 19 I'll Have a New Body (I'll Have a New Life) - Hank Williams (2:06)
  20. 20 Angel of Death - Hank Williams (2:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Williams, Hank [1] 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
Elliott Federman Mastering
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
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