Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection

Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection


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Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection

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.

Product Details

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

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

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