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Ultimate Waylon Jennings
     

Ultimate Waylon Jennings

by Waylon Jennings
 

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One of the better single-disc overviews of recent years, Ultimate Waylon Jennings does the prototypical outlaw proud in its survey of his RCA, Columbia, and MCA highlights. All 22 tracks were Top 10 country hits, 14 of them chart-toppers. The hit parade is a natural selling point, but this run through 19 years (1968 to 1987) of a formidable catalogue

Overview

One of the better single-disc overviews of recent years, Ultimate Waylon Jennings does the prototypical outlaw proud in its survey of his RCA, Columbia, and MCA highlights. All 22 tracks were Top 10 country hits, 14 of them chart-toppers. The hit parade is a natural selling point, but this run through 19 years (1968 to 1987) of a formidable catalogue underscores that Waylon retained his own distinct personality, whether he was being produced by a precise formalist such as Chet Atkins (1968's attitudinous "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line") or a voluble metaphysical force such as Chips Moman (1985's epic "Highwayman"). The force of Jennings's character infuses every performance -- and reveals just how legends are made. "I'm a Ramblin' Man," Rodney Crowell's "I Ain't Living Long like This," "I May Be Used (But Baby I Ain't Used Up)," and "I've Always Been Crazy" are prime examples of the artful, self-deprecating send-ups of his own wild-man tendencies that he proffered so frequently in his prime. "Don't You Think the Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand" and "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," with Willie Nelson on board, put the pinprick of humor to the movement he begat, while the beautiful ballad "Amanda" and the percolating tale "Rose in Paradise" fearlessly displayed the macho man's tender, loving heart. Two more duets with Willie ("Good Hearted Woman" and "Just to Satisfy You") and the enduring "Luckenbach, Texas" join a roll call of hits-as-personal-statements that's hard to stop or top.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's a music criticism cliché to complain about the title of a collection like Ultimate Waylon Jennings, to snipe that the album doesn't live up to the promise of its title when, after all, the Ultimate series is merely RCA/BMG's response to Sony's popular Essentials series. Still, when a compilation falls as short of the mark as this, it's hard not to grumble. Ultimate Waylon Jennings suffers from the need to be evenhanded and to extend the compilation to his less popular and less artistically successful '80s recordings, including a selection from the supergroup the Highwaymen. This comes at the expense of any '60s hit outside of "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," any song from the immortal Honky Tonk Heroes, several hits (including many number ones), and a lot of great album tracks and minor hits. Of course, these kind of omissions are inevitable when a career as rich and prolific as Waylon's is condensed to a mere 22 tracks, but the problem is that there is too much emphasis on late-'70s material and too many tracks from the '80s (a full seven songs), and there are too many classic tracks missing. Nevertheless, there are enough classics present -- such as "The Taker," "I'm a Ramblin' Man," "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," and "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" -- to make it an enjoyable listen, but there are so many good Waylon compilations on the market that there's not much reason to get this, even if it's billed as Ultimate.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2004
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828765726726
catalogNumber:
57267
Rank:
7791

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Waylon Jennings   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Chet Atkins   Producer
Ed Bruce   Composer
Rodney Crowell   Composer
Waylon Jennings   Composer,Producer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer,Producer
Ray Pennington   Composer,Producer
Shel Silverstein   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Jimmy Webb   Composer
Tompall Glaser   Producer
Sammy Johns   Composer
Ritchie Albright   Producer
Jimmy Bowen   Producer
Jerry Bridges   Producer
Jack Clement   Producer
Bobby Emmons   Composer
Stewart Harris   Composer
Chuck Howard   Composer
Lenny Kaye   Liner Notes
Ken Mansfield   Producer
Jim McBride   Composer
Bob McDill   Composer
Chips Moman   Composer,Producer
Gary Scruggs   Producer
Don Bowman   Composer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Bob Gruen   Cover Photo
Ivy J. "Jimmy" Bryant   Composer
Patsy Bruce   Composer
Tom Scholz   Composer

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